Congratulations to this year’s HIV 50+ Mini-grant Recipients!
This year we awarded 11 mini-grants to Scholars to implement programs/projects in their communities related to HIV and aging. These Mini-grants focus on education, advocacy and empowerment among the HIV 50+ population. These Mini-grants will run from December 2019-May 2020. Below are the recipients:
- Angel Hernandez – Arecibo, Puerto Rico
Project Title: Celebrating Advocacy for 50+ Moving Forward Together
Description: This program is targeted to 50+ persons living with HIV and their allies, with a full day framed in a Christmas Celebration in an open space where they will educate on HIV and Aging advocacy awareness beginning with self-advocacy on healthcare, promoting healthy habits with physical activities of aqua aerobics, zumba and goofy games which also promotes good mental health.
- Art Jackson – Indianapolis, IN
Project Title: B-FIT
Description: The objective of the photo and social media campaign will be to highlight 12 members of the 50+ members of the community who have made amazing strides in changing the trajectory of HIV/AIDS in their community by becoming actively engaged in reducing stigma, bias, fear and barriers to care. This unique approach will allow these 12 ambassadors to offer perspectives from a large population whose voices are not shared.
- Bryan Jones – Cleveland, OH
Project Title: The Sankofa Initiative…Living Long and Strong with HIV
Description: This project will develop a short 10-15 minute video that will highlight four people 50 and over living with HIV. Each one will address a specific issue and provide insight into overcoming the issue, including acceptance, stigma, isolation, and disclosure. The creative vehicle used to move the video along will be a phone call between a newly diagnosed person and several long-term survivors.
- Dawn Breedon – Fort Myers, FL
Project Title: HIV 50+ Peer to Peer Dine and Learn
Description: The purpose of these sessions are to educate individuals 50 plus living with HIV about the latest information on U=U, Sexual Health, Living healthy with other illnesses, aging with HIV making money without losing Social Security benefits and socializing within the community.
- Emilio Aponte-Sierraparetti – Palm Beach, FL
Project Title: AMIGAS: Empowering Hispanic Women Living with HIV 50+
Description: AMIGAS was created as a safe space for Hispanic women living with HIV. AMIGAS is a Spanish acronyms where each letter have its own meaning. The meaning of the letter “A” is “Amistad” (Friendship). “M” means “Motivación” (Motivation), “I” means “Integridad” (Integrity), “G” means “Generosidad” (Generosity), “A” means “Amor” (Love), and “S” means “Sabiduría” (wisdom). This group has been a source of support for women who are newly diagnosed with HIV and in shock for the diagnosis or women that have been living with HIV for a while and suffering because the HIV stigma.
- Esther Ross – Greenville, NC
Project Title: LAMPS: Leaders Advocating Mentoring Personal Growth and Support
Description: The LAMPS Project aim is to impact the lives of underrepresented/marginalized People of Color Living with HIV (POCLWH) 50 years and older population. Empowering Women Living with HIV (WLWH) 50 years and older to see themselves as Human beings worthy of dignity, respect and of equal value is an unchallengeable method to reduce internal and external stigma.
- David “Jax” Kelly – Cathedral City, CA
Project Title: Striving to Thrive Town Hall
Description: Striving to Thrive will be a town hall format featuring panels of speakers from the local Ryan White planning board (Riverside County), government agencies (ADAP, HOPWA, etc.), Featured discussion to include planning and implementing a ‘Standards of Care” document for people living with HIV over 50 to be used by planning bodies, clinics and community based organizations. The town hall will be scheduled for late March or Early April 2020.
- Kneeshe Parkinson – Arnold, MO
Project Title: Level Up-Women and Men FORUM/Healthy and Strong
Description: To enhance, educate and empower the lives of those HIV 50+ diagnosed with HIV/AIDS to eradicate STIGMA and improve quality of life with a meaningful impact. In addition the program goals are to increase the knowledge for ally’s from the community and have meaningful involvement to help our fast track city initiatives efforts. FORUM – is a place, meeting or medium where ideas and views on a particular issue can be exchanged.
- Miguel Delgado-Ramos – Cidra, Puerto Rico
Project Title: Taking my Life to Another Level”- The “LleVaN”Project
Description: The purpose of the “Taking my Life to Another Level” Project is to improve quality of life of HIV + persons, mainly HIV 50+ in terms of how to take their life to another level through self-reflection, self-help and self-empowerment by addressing the six dimensions of wellbeing model as proposed by the National Wellness Institute and promoted by SAMHSA.
- Nancy Shearer – Santa Monica, CA
Project Title: Intergenerational Buddy Support Program: Celebrating a Lifetime of Resiliency
Description: The purpose of this project is to develop a program of intergenerational mentorship between older adults living with HIV and younger adults aged living with HIV. The project’s purpose was informed by two overarching goals: (1) to provide an opportunity for social engagement for older adults living with HIV, thus addressing the psychological and physiological threats of loneliness and isolation, and (2) to expose younger HIV-positive individuals to meaningful mentorship, allowing for the destigmitization of HIV as a general concept and discussions centered around resiliency, education, and prevention through safe practices with partners.
- Robert Cornelius – Chattanooga, TN
Project Title: Survivors Network
Description: The goal of this project is to connect individuals who identify as both, aging and have an HIV/AIDS diagnosis, with the education and resources needed to learn valuable life skills. The information will help them continue to grow into the successful survivors that they are! We hope that with this information, it will empower and encourage the population to serve and encourage the younger generation with peer support and history of the virus