Letter From the Executive Director
The true "heart and soul" of our almost fifteen year old AIDS organization is evidenced in the work of our peer educators. Reaching out with important information to so many diverse communities and spreading HIV education and prevention remains as vital today as it was twenty years ago. The visibility that our peers bring in communities of color, with women, and all those living with or affected by AIDS is carried out each week throughout the entire New York City area.
Staff members Laurie Cullen and Diana Marrero have truly created a strong team of the most diverse group of individuals to provide this outreach. In fact, last year we began the Young Men's Initiative to reach young men of color who are having sex with other men. This program has complimented the peer education program with the addition of our newest staff member, Jameel Morton, who will specifically reach out to youth. By holding bi-weekly administrative supervision and then bi-weekly clinical supervision, the peer educators are able to discuss issues facing them out in the field and personally as well. They are then empowered to continue their important and necessary work.
Body Positive stands firmly in its roots of peers "teaching" peers, as we know this to be the most effective model for reaching out to any group in need of education. People tend to relate very well to those from within their own community, as well as those that have a history of reaching out to their community. That is why Body Positive and our Peer Education Department have both been successful in acting as leaders in working together with and empowering all those living with AIDS.
My wishes remain with each of you and your loved ones during this holiday season. As we approach 2002 and our fifteenth anniversary, I speak on behalf of the entire agency and board of Body Positive with a promise and pledge to continue our rich heritage of programs and services to the entire HIV/AIDS community. We look forward to seeing you in the days ahead at our December 13th fundraiser as well as on January 12th at our conference at NYU (see "BP Spotlight" for details).
Back to the December 2001 issue of Body Positive magazine.
This article was provided by Body Positive. It is a part of the publication Body Positive.