This is not our usual newsletter and we are not asking for donations to our cause. We are living in both fragile and challenging times and are at a crossroads of change in our country that needs to be acknowledged.
We join you in outrage, sickness, and grief at the murder of George Floyd by police. His killing, and the killings of Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Arbery, Tony McDade, and countless African Americans have generated massive protests across the U.S. with millions of people calling for justice. These protests have been met with rampant police violence targeting activists and the media.
At Face to Face, our work is ending HIV in Sonoma County, but we know we cannot defeat HIV, COVID-19, or any other pandemic that is fueled by racism and stigma. Our organization’s history is rooted in the AIDS activism that taught us anger and outrage can be a productive force. We know that uniting for justice and rising up is the only way towards lasting change.
Our fight has been one of racial equality since the beginning, as we see African American and Latinx communities overwhelmingly disproportionately affected by HIV. Blacks/African Americans account for a higher proportion of new HIV diagnoses and people with HIV, compared to other races/ethnicities. In 2018, blacks/African Americans accounted for 13% of the US population but 42% of the 37,832 new HIV diagnoses in the United States and dependent areas. The structural racism that fuels social, economic, and demographic inequality—including stigma, discrimination, fear, as well as poverty, limited access to high-quality health care and housing, education, and HIV prevention resources—affect their risk for HIV. These factors further explain why African Americans have worse outcomes on the HIV continuum of care, including lower rates of linkage to care and viral suppression. This is wholly unjust and it needs to change.
We stand with the activists peacefully rising up in power across the US in demanding an end to the structural racism that fuels violence in all forms against African Americans, and call on politico-economic and community change leaders to create action strategies to address the public policies, institutional practices and cultural representations that perpetuate racial inequality. We ask you to hold the politicians and corporations accountable for confronting the deep racism that thwarts our national values.
We hope that you will join us in participating in whatever way you can at this time. This link here is a great resource for education, participation, donations and more. Take a look…https://blacklivesmatters.carrd.co.
Thank You. Stay safe, Stay informed.
Be the change.