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EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT March 8 th 9 th 10 th 2011 Robin Webb, Conference Coordinator.

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Presentation on theme: "EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT March 8 th 9 th 10 th 2011 Robin Webb, Conference Coordinator."— Presentation transcript:

1 EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT EMPOWER US! THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT March 8 th 9 th 10 th 2011 Robin Webb, Conference Coordinator Valencia Robinson, Legislative Day Coordinator A BRAVE NEW DAY

2 THE MISSISSIPPI HIVIL RIGHTS PROJECT Ties the American Civil Rights Movement to contemporary HIV Rights Advocacy/Activism. We will include Film: 50 th Anniversary of the Freedom Riders Film: March 222 miles from Jackson to Oxford Actual living members from Veterans of Civil Rights Movement.

3 Mar 8 th One full day of Advocacy Training. Mar 9 th 1st Ann. State AIDS Day at the Capitol Mar 10 th One full day of Activism Training. 50 HIV+ persons, fully funded from across the state, including the poverty-ridden Mississippi Delta and Katrina- stricken Mississippi Gulf Coast. In addition, 25 HIV survivors from the Jackson Metro area, totally 75 HIV+ persons. The launch of the SHARP Report will add 25 more key staff and service providers. Press conference will add 50 additional at-large community. National partners, allies, enemies, advocates, media, anyone who attend = 25 TOTAL PARTICIPANTS: 200 PAX

4 Start from the bottoms, don’t worry about the tops. By Law of Attraction, the bottoms – when well organized – will always attract the tops. Oh, wait… LESSON # 1: PWLHA’S ARE NOT BOTTOMS (not always…) (Newsflash from Cole Porter: “YOU’RE THE TOPS!”)

5 LESSON #2: HIV IS NOT A HORSE RACE AND WE ARE NOT HORSES. HIV survivor subgroups are not in competition with each other. United we stand, divided we are wait-listed. So there.

6 SERMONIZING-SCHWERMONIZING: A SERMON ON “SERMONS.” IN CREATING TRUE CHANGE, ONE-UPSMANSHIP AMONG ADVOCATES DOES NOT WORK. EGOS ARE EGOS. THEY ID WHAT THEY ID. You got your presenters, your dissenters, your teachers, your preachers, your sinners, saints and soldiers. Know thyself, know others…it takes more than a village. It takes a… um….er…. well, no one really knows what it takes. There is always someone holier than thou, smarter than thou, angrier than thou and moved more mountains than pitiful little insignificant unpaid you. In any case, talk is cheap. Let no one “trump” you. Pick your teachers and pick your battles. Learn from your Masters, not your Blasters. Just keep moving. Roll up your sleeves, do the damn work. IT TAKES US ALL. That said, LESSON # 3: An organizer’s job is to not ‘like or dislike’ an organization or presenter, rather, to gather and groom all sides of an issue possible, for a diversity of contradicting voices in order to create a rich dialogue… oy ve praise the lord, over and out, next…

7 LESSON #4: IDENTIFY THE MOTIVATORS. Number #1 Motivator: LET MY PEOPLE SHINE! Other motivators: food, travel assistance, up time, down time, a self-care component in every meeting, socialization, excellent trainings and trainers, concise information sharing, the presence of role models, the ability to meet national partners and allies, ability to meet service providers, especially doctors, lawyers, legislators. (Butch McKay, stand up for a round…)

8 “The thing you need to understand about our movement is that three people are better than no people.” Fannie Lou Hamer (Ruleville, Mississippi 1963)


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