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The Black Church & HIV Initiative Launches Newly Updated Pastoral Resources for Faith Leaders, Empowering Them to Incorporate HIV into Ministry


(Black PR Wire) WASHINGTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Today, The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative announced the release of its newly updated pastoral resources for faith leaders in honor of Minority Health Month. The Pastoral Brief and the Activity Manual offer a foundational approach for faith leaders to address HIV within the Black community from a social justice perspective.

The Black Church & HIV initiative, a partnership between the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Gilead Sciences, Inc. that aims to address the urgent need for action A the HIV epidemic within the Black community, believes the faith community is part of the solution, just as it has been in addressing equity issues affecting African Americans for decades.

The Pastoral Brief is an introduction to The Black Church & HIV, along with first-hand stories of how faith leaders can preach about HIV as a social justice issue and impact the lives of those living with HIV. Complementing the brief is an Activity Manual that provides faith leaders and lay persons who lead ministries in their church with more detailed information about HIV, as well as specific recommendations on activities that combat HIV and AIDS in the African-American community.

“Historically, the Black Church has been instrumental in driving change on social justice issues,” says Dr. Marjorie Innocent, NAACP’s Senior Director of Health Programs. “There is a growing need for pastors and the faith community to help address the alarming rates of HIV among African Americans. These comprehensive tools will empower pastors and lay leaders, giving them the resources they need to bring HIV awareness and prevention into their ministry.”

The African-American community, bearing the heaviest burden of HIV within the United States, is on the front lines of the fight against HIV. While they represent 12 percent of the total United States population, they account for 41 percent of all people living with HIV and 44 percent of all new infections. Additionally, on average, African Americans are likely to experience worse health outcomes than any other racial or ethnic group. Addressing the HIV epidemic is crucial in lowering these statistics and advancing health equity among African Americans, who historically have experienced unequal access to healthcare and been economically and socially disadvantaged, leading to a disproportionate burden of disease.

The Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual, which are an update to the original documents released in 2012, are reflective of the initiative’s learnings over the past five years, as well as current statistics and positions on the issue. They were developed under the guidance and support of an Advisory Committee of bishops, ministers and thought leaders who have worked in HIV ministry for decades.

The timely launch of the Pastoral Brief and Activity Manual allows faith leaders to incorporate HIV education into their sermons in observance of Minority Health Month. This month is dedicated to bringing national attention to the issue of health disparities that continue to affect racial and ethnic minorities, including HIV in the black community.

To download a copy of the Pastoral Brief or Activity Manual or learn more about NAACP’s The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative, visit

About The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative

The Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative was created in 2013 as a Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Commitment to Action through the NAACP in partnership with Gilead Sciences, Inc. The initiative joins faith leaders, religious institutions and community members committed to ending the HIV epidemic in Black America, while also working to overcome stigma and address HIV as an issue of social justice. For more information, please visit

About the NAACP

Founded in 1909, the NAACP is the nation’s oldest and largest nonpartisan civil rights organization. Its members throughout the United States and the world are the premier advocates for civil rights in their communities. You can read more about the NAACP’s work and our six “Game Changer” issue areas here.

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Activist Converge On Southlawn Neighborhood For Day of Black Love


By: Kofi Taharka

On Saturday, March 25, 2017 close to a dozen community organizations united to serve the Southlawn Palms Apartment complex. Hundreds of residents came out to receive free food, clothing, health screenings, games and face painting for children. Speakers, music and barbeque filled the air as children played on the newly donated basketball goal.  Over forty volunteers staffed different stations providing services for the residents. The Southlawn community has been in the news over the past few years for the proposed “gang injunction” that would have banned over 90 Black men for life from the area. Due to community push back the effort was thwarted. Activist targeted the area for outreach to help quell crime and violence.

One of the lead organizers, Malik Muhammad, National Vice – Chair of Organizing and Training for the National Black United Front (NBUF) stated “We have to be in the streets serving the people, we have the solutions to our own problems, we are our own saviors.” Spearheading the effort were NBUF, The People’s New Black Panther Party, Melanated Men of Action and Black Lives Matter Houston, Texas. Groups that supported the effort included: The People’s Patrol, The Houston Unity Tribe, The Nation of Islam Mosque #45, The Local Organizing Committee for The Million Man March, No More Blood Shed and The Black Women’s Health Project.  A community gardener Brother Kelvin led residents in a gardening exhibition. A peace march wound through the neighborhood along with a community clean up that helped to cap a day of Black Love.

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Maryland fracking banned bill passes

Senate passes bill with GOP governor’s support, following six years of grassroots resistance across the state of Maryland

Monday night, with game-changing support from Republican Governor Larry Hogan, the Maryland state Senate gave final approval to a bill to forever ban the practice of fracking in Maryland. The move culminates years of protests against gas fracking from landowners, health leaders, and environmentalists in the state. It also sets a nationally significant precedent as other states grapple with the dangerous drilling method.

Maryland will now become the first state in the nation with proven gas reserves to band fracking by legislative action. New York has banned the drilling process via executive order. Vermont has a statutory ban but the state has no frackable gas reserves at present.

With Senate passage late Monday night, the Maryland bill will now be sent to Gov. Hogan’s desk in the next few days for signing.

“Let the news go forth to Congress and the White House: fracking can never be done safely,” said Mike Tidwell, director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network. “The Republican governor closest to DC – Larry Hogan of Maryland – has joined scientists and health leaders in agreeing that fracking must be banned. This is a win for Marylanders and for citizens nationwide as we move away from violent fossil fuels and toward sustainable wind and solar power.”