Cleo Manago, whose organization Black Men’s Xchange was (along with nearly every other legacy community black organization such as NAACP, Urban League, etc.) funded by the Center for Disease Control’s Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) program. The program goals is in preventing and decreasing the spread of AIDS and HIV. Manago’s approach is unique in that while so many look at the effects the spread is having on women, he believes healing black men (going to the route) is the real solution that no one’s really looking at.
As part of CDC’s new Act Against AIDS communication campaign, CDC has launched a $10 million, five-year partnership with 14 of the nation’s leading African-American organizations. The Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) seeks to harness the collective strength and reach of traditional, longstanding African-American institutions to increase HIV-related awareness, knowledge, and action within black communities across the United States.
African-Americans face the most severe rates of HIV and AIDS in the nation. While blacks make up just 12 percent of the U.S. population, they represent nearly half of the 56,000 new HIV infections that occur each year and half of the more than 14,000 AIDS deaths each year.
While many AAALI partners have longstanding commitments to addressing HIV among African-Americans, the new initiative will enable each group to make HIV prevention a core component of its day-to-day activities. The 14 organizations were chosen based on demonstrated reach, credibility, and influence at the national, regional and local community level, as well as the ability to effectively reach African-Americans at risk through established communication platforms.
The program will work to equip each organization with the resources needed to deliver consistent and sustainable HIV prevention programs through its extensive outreach networks. Each organization will use AAALI funds to support an HIV coordinator who will work through the organization’s membership networks to disseminate Act Against AIDS campaign materials and other HIV prevention services. AAALI partners represent a broad spectrum of the black community and will conduct a wide range of communication, mobilization, and outreach activities. Examples include:
- Integrating Act Against AIDS and other HIV prevention messages into African-American community forums
- Holding education and training sessions on HIV prevention at national and regional membership conventions
- Giving Act Against AIDS and other HIV prevention public service announcements (PSAs) prominent placement in African-American broadcast and print outlets throughout the nation
- Training and funding local chapters to implement community-based awareness campaigns
- Working to educate national, state, and local policymakers and community leaders about the role of HIV prevention in advancing the well-being of African-Americans
- Extending campaign messages through organization publications, Web sites, and public appearances
- Working with African-American celebrities to produce additional PSAs
AAALI is designed to create a network of organizations that reach through multiple sectors of the African-American community—civic, business, media, and education—to help accelerate HIV prevention efforts and reduce the severe burden of HIV and AIDS among black men, women, and children across the nation.
Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative Partner Organizations
- 100 Black Men of America, a national alliance of leading African-American men of business, industry, public affairs and government whose mission is to improve the quality of life for African-Americans, particularly African-American youth
- American Urban Radio Networks, the nation’s only African-American owned network radio company, which broadcasts programming to more then 300 radio stations nationwide
- Coalition of Black Trade Unionists, the nation’s oldest and largest independent black labor organization
- Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, a nonpartisan, nonprofit, public policy, research and education institute to help improve the socio-economic circumstances of African-Americans and other underserved communities
- National Action Network, one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations
- National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP), the nation’s oldest and largest civil rights organization with more than half a million members and supporters nationwide
- National Coalition of 100 Black Women, a nonprofit advocacy organization supporting women of color through leadership development, networking, political action, health awareness, mentoring and scholarship
- National Council of Negro Women, a coalition of national African-American women’s organizations connecting nearly 4 million women worldwide to lead, develop and advocate for women of African descent as they support their families and communities
- National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African-American physicians and their patients in the United States
- National Newspaper Publishers Association, a 67-year-old federation of more than 200 black community newspapers from across the United States
- National Organization of Black County Officials, a coalition of black elected and appointed officials within county government for all 50 states
- National Urban League, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African-Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream
- Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, a predominantly African-American fraternity founded in 1914 dedicated to public service
- Southern Christian Leadership Conference, one of the oldest and most influential civil rights organizations in the United States
- Black Men’s Xchange (BMX), a unique approach in dealing with AIDS looking at the effects the spread is having on women, but healing the black men (going to the route) as a real solution.