The Fort Wayne Allen County NAACP branch 3049 will host a workshop and luncheon to support black churches and pastors in the fight against HIV/AIDS. The event – called the Black Church & HIV: The Social Justice Imperative – will take place Monday, February 27 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Eddie Merlot’s,
1502 Illinois Rd. Pastors interested in attending may RSVP by Feb. 23, 2017.
The goal of the workshop and outreach program is to engage and support churches in the fight against HIV/AIDS by promoting advocacy, community mobilization and education and training, said Linda Brooks, the local NAACP’s Health Committee chairperson. Brooks said she encourages black pastors to get involved and learn about strategies that raise awareness about HIV and AIDS in the black community.
The national HIV/AIDS outreach program began in 2011, after a research team commissioned by NAACP conducted focus groups in 11 major cities and determined that black churches could play a key role in helping in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Allen County Board of Health statistics indicate that neighborhoods in the 46803 and 46806 zip codes reported a very high rate of cases of HIV/AIDS in 2015 and 2016.
Brooks said pastors are invited to participate in the workshop at no cost and workshop materials will be provided. The event is sponsored by the NAACP, American Legion Post #148, the Fort Wayne Urban League and Step Up to Fitness.
The NAACP’s HIV workshop is held in February in honor of Black History Month and in coordination with the National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day on Feb. 7th. The NAACP will also recognize March 10th as National Women & Girls HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, April 10th as National Youth HIV/AIDS Awareness Day and the
Annual Day of Unity, on the second Sunday in July.
For more information about the program or to RSVP, call Linda Brooks, Health Chair (313) 434-6549 or NAACP office (260) 421-2836.