The Day of Unity
Posted on July 14, 2013 by Reverend Keron R. Sadler, NAACP Manager of Health Programs
Today marks the second annual national Day of Unity, a day that unites faith leaders nationwide in the fight to end the HIV epidemic. Hundreds of faith leaders around the country join together on this day in support of the NAACP’s The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative initiative to preach a powerful message on HIV/AIDS as a social justice issue.
The Day of Unity unifies pastors nationwide to preach from the pulpit and create a movement that will inspire their communities to take action to stop the social injustices that have led to the unequal impact HIV is having in the Black community. Pastors from Harlem to Chicago to Nashville join us today on this second annual Day of Unity, including senior leaders from mainline denominations.
For too long, life-saving conversations about HIV/AIDS have been ignored in order to avoid uncomfortable conversations or fear of judgment. This is not about fear or judgment – it is a fact that HIV is having a disparate impact on Black America – it is about saving lives and preventing any new cases of HIV.
Many don’t know this, but if Black America were its own country, it would rank 16th in the world for new HIV infections. And one in 16 Black men will be diagnosed with HIV in their lifetime. HIV is impacting our community and it is our responsibility to speak out and fight the systems that make and keep us vulnerable to HIV infection.
We are no longer reticent to have these necessary conversations and we are delivering the message through those who have strong, respected voices in their communities. Historically, when the Black Church and the NAACP have teamed up, we have changed the world. We did it once and can do it again!
As everyone knows, eliminating HIV is a tremendous undertaking, but our partners in the faith community have a crucial opportunity to talk about a disease that is hurting their neighborhoods and help to provide a pathway for parishioners to feel comfortable learning more about the disease. By starting the conversation, we are beginning the fight for a system that ensures that we all have access to the information, insurance, prevention, care and treatment to dramatically impact the HIV epidemic in Black America.
Unite on this day to start a movement to end HIV in our communities. Visit our website http://www.TheBlackChurchandHIV.org/, and join the fight.