The mission of the Akron AIDS is to broaden the network of caring organizations in the minority community, to influence social norms that contribute to the prevention of HIV/AIDS, and to increase advocacy for social services for people of color who are living with HIV/AIDS and people who have suffered from sexual orientation stigma within the African American community. The Akron AIDS Collaborative has six programs:Akron Brother Circle – provides a safe and nurturing environment to discuss safer sex and other HIV prevention techniques. Since 1997, the Akron Brother Circle has provided workshops on topics such as healthy relationships, homophobia and stigma, religion and culture. In 2000, the Akron Brother Circle assisted in the regional development of the People of Color Consortium which includes chapters in Michigan, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Ohio. Each state has at least one organization with similar goals as the Akron Brother Circle.The Annual Thanksgiving food baskets – an annual dinner and food basket distribution has evolved over the past five years to include gay, bisexual, transgender and heterosexual people and their families. We have served over 375 individuals with the help of African American churches and social organizations such as the Black Women’s Leadership Caucus.Annual Fundraising Events – Four gospel concerts containing HIV prevention messages, two fashion shows, community dances with announcements and HIV prevention literature available, outreach and tabling at the annual African American Festival & Parade, and support through patron tickets at the annual Cleveland Black Out weekend events. Annual Prayer Breakfast for the Healing of AIDS – 4 events has been produced in Akron during March – May based on the nation Balm in Gilead Week of Prayer for the Healing of AIDS.
Young Gay Males Mentoring Program – this program has developed as an offspring of the Akron Brother Circle. Its purpose is to assist young African American gay, bisexual and transgender men in developing healthier lifestyle choices.Many Men, Many Voices – This is the CDC recommended group-level intervention which addresses behavioral influencing factors such as dual identity issues, racism, etc. particularly relevant to black gay men used with the Akron Health Dept. funded program. Do you plan to collaborate with another organization? If so, please provide details and state specifically the responsibilities of each organization. The Akron AIDS Collaborative has partnered with the United Serenity Organization which provides alcohol and drug counseling to individuals at the Ujima Safe House Project. We also have a collaborative agreement with the Akron African American Cultural Association. One of our members serves on the Advisory Board of this organization as well as the Akron African American Cultural Association, a 501 C-3 organization serves as the fiscal agent for the Akron AIDS Collaborative.
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