Southern Solidarity: HIV Advocacy Summit


Ignite Change! 

Thank you for attending the 2023 Southern Solidarity HIV Advocacy Summit, held at the Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Friday, November 3rd and Saturday, November 4th. Your presence and engagement at the Summit demonstrated your commitment to addressing critical issues related to HIV and ending the HIV epidemic in the Southern United States. We are inspired by your dedication and the potential for positive change that lies within our communities. Now we ask, are you ready to ignite change?

In line with our shared mission, we are thrilled to introduce the Southern Solidarity Advocacy Grant (SSAG), a unique opportunity to further collective efforts and implement the knowledge shared at the 2023 Southern Solidarity Summit. The SSAG is your opportunity to bring an advocacy project or initiative into a tangible reality. The SSAG is exclusively available to individuals and organizations who participated in the advocacy summit. We believe that those who have taken part in the Summit have a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities we face addressing the Southern HIV/AIDS epidemic. Your firsthand knowledge, experiences, and passion make you uniquely positioned to drive the change we all seek.
Through the SSAG, Emory COMPASS Coordinating Center seeks to support community-led advocacy projects that aim to foster positive change in the Southern United States for communities disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. This opportunity is open to non-profit, 501(c)(3) or fiscally sponsored organizations that had representation at the 2023 Southern Solidarity HIV Advocacy Summit.

The Emory COMPASS Center seeks to fund projects that center on increasing local or regional advocacy awareness, engagement, and mobilization. Funded organizations and projects should have an intentional focus on HIV/AIDS-related policy and/or advocacy efforts and uphold MIPA (Meaningful Involvement of People Living with HIV/AIDS) principles. Organizations may apply for up to $10,000 in funding to implement an advocacy-related project or initiative.

Project Examples:
• Policy and Advocacy Training: Develop a training program for your community, coalition, or staff to expand advocacy-related activities, such as a voter registration drive or a letter-writing campaign.
• Voter Media Campaign: Create a media campaign to raise awareness about voting and civic engagement within your community.
• Advocacy Community Group: Establish a community advocacy group that hosts town hall round tables with elected officials and offers community advocacy training.
• State or National Hill Visit: Provide training and travel support for a state or national hill visit to advocate for specific policy changes or issues.
• Community Advocacy Summit: Organize a community advocacy summit that brings together local advocates, policymakers, and community members to discuss critical issues.

These project examples are not exhaustive, and we encourage applicants to:
• Develop proposals that best align with their organization’s mission and local or regional community needs;
• Collaborate with other community and faith-based organizations, community advocates, and existing advocacy coalitions and networks for a broader reach, and;
• Engage and solicit training and technical assistance from advocacy leaders and speakers from the summit.

The SSAG RFP closes Monday, December 4, 2023, at 11:59 p.m. ET.

Written or video submissions will be accepted. Incomplete or late submissions will not be reviewed or considered for funding.


Here are the topics that were discussed at the summit:


Friday, November 3rd 
Advocacy Knowledge Building 

9:35 am to 10:50 am:
Southern Solidarity: The Now and the Next
Celebrate Successes: Learn from advocacy triumphs in the South and their impact. 

11:00 am to 12:00 pm:
Advocacy Alliances: Building Networks to Transform the South
Connect & Engage: Understand regional/national advocacy networks and their initiatives. 

1:30 pm to 2:30 pm:
Democracy Unplugged: Voting and Community Mobilization
Power of Your Voice: Explore voter engagement and how community organizations play a vital role. 

2:35 pm to 3:50 pm:
Federal Initiatives, Local Impact: Unveiling the Connections
Policy Impact: Grasp the intersection of federal policies and local communities in HIV care. 

Saturday, November 4th
Advocacy Skills Building
Concurrent Sessions

9:25 am to 10:25 am:
MIPA Magic: Harnessing Advocacy Infrastructure for Impact
Advocacy Essentials: Master advocacy basics and the MIPA approach for impact. 

9:25 am to 10:25 am:
Data Drops: Compelling Stories through Numbers and Narratives
Data-Driven Stories: Craft compelling narratives using data for effective advocacy. 

10:40 am to 11:50 am:
Unlocking Doors: Creating Connections for Effective Advocacy
Engage Officials Effectively: Hone skills to interact with elected officials and make your voice count. 

10:40 am to 11:50 am:
Media Mic Check: Striking the Right Chord in Advocacy
Media Impact: Harness media for advocacy success and tailor messages for wider reach. 

12:00 pm to 1:30 pm:
Elevate & Advocate: Upgrading Your Advocacy for Greater Impact
Strategic Capacity Building: Elevate your advocacy strategy to new heights for lasting change. 

2:00 pm: Summit adjourns

Heres a some of the speakers that were at the summit: 
Bruce Garner – Chair, Metropolitan Atlanta HIV Health Services Planning Council (Ryan White Program Part A)
Francisco Ruiz – Sr. Advisor, Program Innovation and Coordination the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Krista Wright Thayer – Director of Outreach and Prevention, Friends For All – The Haven
Marsha Jones – Executive Director, The Afiya Center
Mike Webb – Public Health Policy Strategist, Equality Federation
Mike Weir – Assoc. Director Policy and Legislative Affairs, NASTAD
Natalie Crawford – Assoc. Professor, Rollins School of Public Health and Co-Director, Prevention and Implementation Sciences Core at Emory University Center for AIDS Research
Park Cannon – Georgia State Representative
S. Mandisa Moore-O’Neal – Executive Director, Center for HIV Law and Policy
Shannon Williams – Director, Bolder Advocacy Operations and Evaluation at Alliance for Justice
Venita C. Ray – Social Justice Consultant, Venita Ray Consulting

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