Join the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative and the Southern AIDS Coalition at the US Conference on AIDS

USCA logo

Join the SASI and the Southern AIDS Coalition

at the United States Conference on AIDS:

 Southern Pathway Workshops: September 15-17, 2016

Workshop #1: Southern Storytelling: Using Personal Testimony as an Effective Advocacy Tool.

Date/Time:  9/15/16 from 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2 

DESCRIPTION:  Storytelling can be a powerful strategy for persuading legislators and other decision-makers across many different HIV-related policy issues.  When facts and characters, logic and emotion, and cause and effect work together artfully, the results can change strongly held beliefs and move people to action.  But storytelling can be challenging, especially in a short period of time, and advocates often fail because they are unable to connect their narratives to clearly articulated policy goals.  This interactive workshop will help advocates think strategically about their storytelling and how to make it effective.  Following a brief presentation, participants will have the opportunity to select one of four issue areas (Medicaid expansion, Ryan White, Housing, HIV Criminalization) where they can work with a facilitator to begin to unpack their own stories and get more comfortable inserting them into a collective narrative about the selected issue and why it matters.


Gina Brown, Planning Council Coordinator at the New Orleans Regional AIDS Planning Council

Khafre Abif, Southern AIDS Coalition 

Workshop #2: Southern Stigma: Programs Designed to take on Social and Institutional Stigma in the US South

Date/Time:  9/16/16 from 2:30 – 4:00 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2 

DESCRIPTION: The disproportionate burden of new HIV cases in the South is further exacerbated by the need to respond within stigmatized surroundings.  Pervasive internal and external stigma in the US South creates additional barriers toward achieving optimal health. Our workshop will provide examples of how bias associated with sexuality, gender identity, and HIV status hampers the quality of life for those impacted by HIV. Our panelists will address how the socio-political climate in the south creates a perfect storm for HIV stigma and they will describe programs designed to confront institutionalized discrimination and toxic social norms. We’ll learn about PLWH acquiring the tools to advocate for themselves and their community in Baton Rouge, LA;  how LGBT Youth in Northeast Florida are creating safe and healthy environments; and finally how Latinx LGBT groups in Durham, NC are challenging newly enacted laws targeting immigrants and LGBT.


Judith Montenegro, Latinos in the Deep South, Latino Commission on AIDS

Sharon Decuir and Sarah Jackson, HAART, Inc. (Baton Rouge, LA)

Bradley Landan, JASMYN (Jacksonville Area Sexual Minority Youth Network) (Jacksonville, FL)

Carolyn McAllaster, Moderator, Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI)

Workshop #3: Southern Shelter: To HOPWA and beyond! 

Date/Time:  9/16/16 from 4:15 – 5:45 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2

DESCRIPTION:  HIV housers and residents of that housing often rely solely on Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS (HOPWA), a relatively small resource within the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) portfolio.  This workshop will explore more mainstream housing options that may be available to people living with HIV (PLWH), as well as the ins and outs of HOPWA.  What does the HOPWA legislation actually allow?  What barriers are actually layered onto HOPWA eligibility by local jurisdictions?  What will HOPWA Modernization mean to your jurisdiction?  Does your local Continuum of Care provide HIV-specific housing for the homeless?  What are HUD’s current priorities?  Learn to advocate for the housing options that are best suited to serve the people in your area.


Kathie Hiers, AIDS Alabama

Nathan Salter, AIDS Alabama

Claude Martin, Acadiana Cares, Lafayette, LA

Alton Thornton, Acadiana Cares, Lafayette, LA

Rita Flegel, HUD Office of HIV/AIDS Housing 

Workshop #4.  Southern Strategies: Policy Priorities to increase HIV care and prevention in the US South.

Date/Time:  9/17/16 from 9:30 – 11:00 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2

DESCRIPTION: In this workshop, participants will learn about selected policy changes needed to increase access to HIV prevention and care in the US South. Workshop leaders will discuss the challenges of expanding Medicaid in the South focusing on Louisiana; the importance of prevention funding from the CDC for community-based organizations in smaller cities and rural areas in the US South; issues related to continued funding from the Ryan White Care Act; how  tele-medicine is being used in a resource poor state (Alabama) to provide HIV care throughout the state. Participants will come away with specific action steps through which to make your voices heard with state and federal policy makers.


Carolyn McAllaster, Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative (SASI)

Alicia Cooke, Louisiana STD/HIV Program

Kathie Hiers, AIDS Alabama

Rozetta Roberts, Medical AIDS Outreach of Alabama

Felicia Owens, AIDS Alabama

Workshop #5: Southern Sisters on the Move: A market of ideas and actions to engage women living with HIV in the South.

Date/Time:  9/17/16 from 2 – 3:30 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2 

DESCRIPTION: Speakers from three agencies in the US South (HAART, Inc. in Baton Rouge; Rural Women’s Health Project in Gainesville, and Sisterlove in Atlanta) will discuss initiatives that are meaningfully engaging women living with HIV to be a voice in their communities and to build leadership and advocacy skills. Speakers will share information in an interactive marketplace setting in which speakers and audience members will exchange ideas and actions related to building strong positive women activists in the South. Workshop participants will walk away with at least three approaches to engaging women living with HIV in the US South.


Sharon Decuir, HAART, Inc. (Baton Rouge, LA)

Sarah Jackson, HAART, Inc. PEPR program (Positives empowering positives to Renew) (Baton Rouge, LA)

Tammy Kinney, SisterLove (Atlanta, GA)

Dee Dee Chamblee, La Gender, Inc. (Atlanta, GA)

Marvene Edwards, Rural Women’s Health Project “Let’s Talk About It” program (Gainesville, FL)

Robin Lewy, Rural Women’s Health Project, (Gainesville, FL)

Facilitators: Carolyn McAllaster, Dazon Dixon Diallo, Melissa Torres-Montoya 

Workshop #6: Southern Salvation: Black Gay Men, HIV and the Black Church

Date/Time:  9/17/16 from 4 – 5:30 p.m.

Location: Atlantic Ballroom 2

DESCRIPTION: An in-depth discussion about HIV and the black church.  We will examine the woes of when the place that is supposed to bring healing and hope actually rob you of those.  Often times the black church, which is the center of the black family and community, play a major role in how norms are shaped.  They also take the lead on setting priorities of what’s important in our communities (i.e., Civil Rights Movement) and families follow suit.  This has been the pattern for decades, but one issue that is often overlooked and has caused damage to many is the neglect, rejection, ridicule and blatant judgment of the black gay man.  Where does He find healing? Where does He find hope?  Who helps to validate Him?  These questions still go unanswered in many communities today.  Could this be one reason why HIV rates are high among BMSM?  Did the black church not know this was an issue or was the silence intentional?


Mardrequs Harris, HIV Prevention-HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Program, TN Department of Health

Khafre K. Abif, Southern AIDS Coalition

Dr. Shanell McGoy, HIV/STD Director, HIV/STD/Viral Hepatitis Program, TN Department of Health

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s