May 6, 2016: In just a little over a week, the HIV Is Not a Crime II National Training Academy will convene at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. There is still time to register to train alongside committed advocates building an intersectional movement to end HIV criminalization! The Training Academy will take place from May 17 – 20, 2016.
Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA) and the SERO Project — two networks of people living with HIV — have joined forces to organize the Training Academy. We are thrilled to announce three exciting keynote speakers at the event:
- HIV community icon Mary Fisher, who spoke about her experiences living with HIV at the Republican National Convention (RNC), back in 1992;
- Longtime advocate Joel Goldman of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation; and
- Colorado State Senator Pat Steadman, who in March introduced a bill into the state senate that would effectively repeal or significantly amend the three HIV-specific criminal codes, remove sentence enhancements for knowledge of HIV status, and modernize STI statutes to include HIV.
See below for biographical information for our speakers, in addition to highlights from the event’s dynamic program!
The Training Academy will convene in the Deep South — the region most heavily affected by not only HIV, but many other symptoms of a history steeped in injustice and trauma.
Plenary session topics include:
- What’s Working? Where Are We Struggling? Focus on State Strategies: Successes & Challenges
- AntiBlackness & HIV Criminalization: Grounding Ourselves in Racial Justice
Breakout workshop titles include:
- Activists, Advocates and Lawyers: Collaborating to a Common Goal
- Joining Forces: Mobilizing Feminists to Challenge Unjust Prosecutions
- Building Youth Capacity to Effect Policy Change Through an Intergenerational Model
Evening events include:
- Consent: HIV NonDisclosure and Sexual Assault Law, Last Men Standing, and more (film screenings)
- Advocacy, Action and Community Building Through Art
- TIME IS NOT A LINE: (re)Considering our HIV Herstory for Collective Freedom
View the full program of exciting, thought-provoking, movement-building sessions here.
HIV is a human rights issue; criminalization of people living with HIV is a social justice issue. The Training Academy will unite and train advocates living with HIV and allies from across the country on strategies and best practices for repealing laws criminalizing people living with and vulnerable to HIV. The Training Academy will also center the voices of survivors of HIV-related criminal cases and prosecutions.
Keynote Speaker Bios
Author, artist, advocate, and social entrepreneur Mary Fisher is a global leader in the arena of social change through positive thought and action. A renaissance woman, Mary landed on every front page with her stunning keynote address speaking truth to power at the 1992 RNC, a speech since ranked among “the best 100 American speeches of the 20th Century” (Oxford University Press). Diagnosed with HIV in 1991 and with breast cancer in 2012, she retains an exuberant, eclectic style in her life, her words and her design. She has trained women worldwide to use her original concepts to find pride and dignity in work. Ms. Fisher will also offer a special workshop for women living with HIV at the Training Academy.
Joel Goldman is the Managing Director of the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation (ETAF). In 1991, his career path was interrupted when he was diagnosed with HIV. Told that he only had three years to live, he decided to make his infection a meaningful force in the lives of young people by raising their awareness of the reality of HIV/AIDS. Joel spent the next 14 years speaking to over a million students on more than 2,000 campuses, high schools, and faith-based youth programs. He sees his role at ETAF as helping reinvigorate the public’s conversation about HIV/AIDS and building on Elizabeth Taylor’s legacy as a leader and crusader in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
State Senator Pat Steadman (SD 31)
Senator Pat Steadman was selected to Colorado’s Legislature in 2009 to fill a senate vacancy, then elected to finish his term and re-elected in 2012 — all to serve his home District 31. He has used his passion and knowledge of the legislative system to advocate for civil rights — as he did during his active role in opposing Amendment 2 in 1992, which aimed to dismiss all legal protections for lesbians and gay men in Colorado. The citizen-initiated constitutional amendment was ultimately overturned by the Supreme Court.
Questions? Please contact Tami Haught, SERO Organizer and Training Coordinator, at: tami.haught@SEROproject.com.
Stay tuned to the training academy’s website and social media for more information as the event approaches.