Today is National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day. In honor of the observance I would like to recognize four Black men for their contribution to ending AIDS in Black America. They are receiving the “Black History” award.
Ronald Henderson, State-wide Minority AIDS Coordinator Florida Department of Health
If I wrote a song about Ron Henderson it would have a melodic ballad sound like Stevie Wonder’s “Ribbon in the Sky” to represent the grace and class Ron leads with. The lyrics would only have two words…”Well Done.”
Ron Henderson is a motivator, strategic planner, program developer, and the state government ambassador to the Black community.
Mr. Henderson has been the co-author of some of Florida’s most notable publications, “Organizing to Survive,” “Man Up,” and the creator of the historic “Silence Is Death.”
Ron mobilized four women to develop Florida’s nationally recognized HIV mobilization for Black women, “Sistas Organizing to Survive.”
To me Ron has been a mentor, a brother, a friend, and sometimes he even serves in the role of father. I wouldn’t have had the courage to do the work I’ve done if it hadn’t been for Ron believing in me and teaching me to believe in myself.
History has recorded you as the father of Florida’s Black mobilization movement to end AIDS.
Phil Wilson, Founder and CEO The Black AIDS Institute
The only word that I can use to describe Phil Wilson is LOVE. What else would make you carry the burden of ending AIDS for the entire African Diaspora on your shoulders but love? I recently discovered that if you work for him you have to LOVE to work very hard and long hours or you will HATE Phil Wilson (you know I had to say it!)
Phil says the question is no longer can we end AIDS but will we end AIDS? He is truly leading the fight to end AIDS by example. From his work with International AIDS Conference to localized efforts of training Black clients how to take ownership of their medical care.
Every time I hear Phil’s voice on the phone, I’m still in awe that this man knows me and believes that I’m capable of working with his team to end AIDS for Black America and beyond. Thank you so much for accepting me into The Black Institute family.
Know History has ALREADY recorded your commitment, contribution, and dedication to ending AIDS.
Kenneth Johnson, Community Activist
Kenneth Johnson has never lacked personality. From the moment he enters a room he makes is presence known. His big personality doesn’t out shine his enormous commitment to fighting AIDS among young Black youth, specifically youth from the LGBT community. During his tenure with the Florida Department of Health Kenneth worked tirelessly traveling throughout the state supporting Black and gay community mobilization efforts.
Kenneth’s work with the Georgia Department of Community Health proved he was the right man for the job. With less than two month in his new position he began supporting grassroots efforts to mobilizing gay men in the non-metropolitan areas.
Kenneth receives this award for his” perseverance in the mist of the storm.” This young man represents our future leadership whose efforts will be recorded in our “black history” as helping to end the AIDS epidemic.
Terrance Moore, Director of Policy and Health Equity National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors
Terrance has been a leader in providing capacity building and training to the country’s state health departments to address HIV/AIDS among gay men. He has supported health department initiatives that focused on social media to raise HIV awareness among gay men, use of culturally appropriate social marketing campaigns, and supported health department’s gay men leadership initiatives for community mobilization.
During my tenure at the Georgia Department of Community Health, I was overwhelmed with epidemiological data that showed the city of Atlanta with some of the country’s highest rate of HIV infection among gay men specifically gay men of African descent. Terrance came to work with our staff to develop a plan of action DURING his vacation. Georgia went on to develop a state mobilization program “Taking Control” and the day of the launch Terrance was there. Black history records his commitment to ensuring the success of health department HIV prevention, treatment and care efforts for gay men.
Georgia Peaches (Mark Douglas, Rudy Carn, Doug Anthony, William Frances, William Lyons, Donato Clarke, John Malone, Michael Banner, Earnest Hopkins, Lamont Evans, Charles Stephens, Charles Shackelford and David Mattison
I recognize the contribution of these Georgia men who raise awareness of HIV every day where they live, work, play, and worship. History has also recorded your commitment to ending AIDS.