A Conversation with SisterLove, Inc.

Who doesn’t love a little #inspo? To help those applying for the 2020 Transformative Grant, we wanted to speak with some of our current Transformative Grant Partners and get an update on how their projects are coming along plus see what tips they can provide current applicants for writing the perfect proposal. Today we spoke with Lisa Diane White of SisterLove, Inc. See the brief video and read the transcript below.

Can you provide us with a brief overview of your organization?

Lisa Diane White: My organization is SisterLove, Incorporated and we were founded 30 years ago by Dazon Dixon Diallo, and what we do is we look at the impact of HIV/AIDS  and other reproductive challenges around women and their families and community.

You recently received a Transformative Grant from the COMPASS Initiative®, what is the project you’re working on?

LDW: We were so excited to be awarded funding for our Transformative Grant project. What we proposed to do was a video series that we have called “Everyone Has a Story” and what it looks at is advocacy, education, treatment adherence, stigma and disclosure, and how to talk to your doctor, and how to stay in treatment. We were particularly excited about the ability to talk about stigma. Internalized stigma, externalized stigma and how to eradicate it and understand what it is so that we can talk about in ways that we can reduce stigma in the lives of people living with HIV and AIDS.

You’ve been working on your Transformative Grant project for almost 8 months, what are some of the successes so far?

LDW: One of the biggest successes of our Transformative Grant is the building of new leadership. I’m not talking about young leadership only, I’m talking about new leadership. We like to have an intergenerational program so the experiences of an entire spectrum of community is highlighted.

What advice would you provide to organizations currently applying for the Transformative Grant?

em>LDW: I would offer organizations who are applying for the Transformative Grant to look at how might your program transform and how do you know? I would say build in that evaluation, and I would also say don’t worry about making mistakes. There are no mistakes. There are only opportunities to understand ways to get better and ways to improve upon how we do this work. So don’t come in thinking you have to impress everyone with what you know. Impress us with what you don’t know and what you are learning as you grow.

Do you have any other exiting tidbits that you’d like to share with us?

LDW: I’d like to remind people that everyone has a story and anytime you give someone an opportunity to tell their story then you add to a tapestry of stories that can improve the lives of people, eradicate the impact of HIV/AIDS, educate people, and understanding nothing without you is about you. So everyone has a story, listen to it and see what you can learn.

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