(October 20, 2021, Los Angeles, CA) — Black AIDS Institute (BAI), the nation’s only ‘think and do tank’ focused on ending HIV in all Black communities, is proud to be the sole recipient of the Health Resources & Services Administration - HIV/ AIDS Bureau’s (HRSA/HAB) eight-million-dollar grant for a biomedical justice initiative. This four-year project led by BAI, in partnership with Cardea and Legacy Project, aims to develop a national training program for students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) to expand and diversify a strong pipeline of HIV advocates and leaders equipped to end the HIV epidemic. By focusing on the southern states, which are home to a majority of HBCUs and regionally prioritized by the federal government’s ‘Ending The HIV Epidemic’ program because they face the heaviest HIV burden, the BAI-led team’s efforts will center Black Americans who remain most vulnerable due to systemic racism.
Reverend Rob Newells-Newton, Director of National Programs, Black AIDS Institute, said, “This project will harness two decades of BAI’s experience in HIV workforce development, community mobilization, and collaboration with minority-serving institutions. We are appreciative of HRSAHAB’s funding as a recognition of our collaborative approach that brings together stellar partnerships with Cardea and Legacy Project, scientific guidance from BAI’s all-Black Scientific Advisory Committee, mentorship from BAI’s African American HIV University (AAHU), and outreach by BAI’s Black Treatment Advocates Network. This effort will be a testament to the Black excellence and expertise that are entirely capable of addressing and ending HIV in Black America.”
Cardea is a national, women of color-led organization with 50 years of experience providing capacity development, policy advancement, professional learning, and social impact evaluation services to diverse health and human services agencies across the U.S. Their team envisions a world in which optimal health and well-being, equity, and justice are realities for all communities. They do this by addressing complex program, policy, and systems issues through co-creating solutions that center community strengths and wisdom. Cardea is an organization deeply committed to equity and justice and center this in all of their work to strengthen and transform systems, communities, and organizations.
The Legacy Project (Legacy), a national initiative housed within the Office of HIV/AIDS Network Coordination (HANC), based at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, also joins in this effort, bringing to the project its ongoing expertise in integrating HIV science into curricula at multiple minority serving institutions (MSIs). With a team of diverse, skilled, and devoted staff and working group members, the Legacy Project works to cultivate and enhance partnerships and relationships among the National Institutes of Health (NIH) HIV/ AIDS Clinical Trials Networks and research sites, research and academic institutions, governmental agencies, community-based organizations, and affiliates, while ensuring a commitment to capacity building for communities and populations most impacted by the HIV epidemic in the United States.