Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute
Join Leadership for a Changing World on Friday, February 22 at 1 pm EST for a live online interview with Phill Wilson, Executive Director of the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute (AAAPTI), and a 2001 Leadership for a Changing World award recipient.
Wilson, a gay black man, living with AIDS and raising two nephews, is among the nation’s most articulate leaders in this arena.
"Our house is on fire," he says. "The fire truck arrives, but we won't come out, because we're afraid the folks from next door will see that we're in that burning house. AIDS is a fire raging in our community and it's out of control." Some 40,000 Americans a year are diagnosed with AIDS. More than half of them are black. “While African-Americans represent around 12 percent of the total United States population, we account for 37 percent of the cumulated AIDS cases,” Wilson says.
As the founder and director of African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute (AAAPTI), the nation's first African-American AIDS think tank, his primary mission is to create black, community-based AIDS leadership.
Some of AAAPTI’s projects include:
The Nia Plan - In 1999, the organization began work on an African-American strategic plan for AIDS, called the Nia Plan, from the Swahili word for “purpose.” It identifies black stakeholders, analyzes what they have done on AIDS, and recommends new steps for them to take. Phill pulled together more than 40 leaders from key black institutions and the ranks of people living with AIDS, along with health workers and policy makers. The final draft was released last year at the National African-American AIDS Conference in Washington.
The African-American HIV University - AAAPTI’s flagship program, this program teaches people with HIV and community advocates the science of AIDS and encourages individuals to design treatment and prevention programs and policies that are effective in their own communities. The university also teaches effective advocacy, organizing, mentoring and other leadership skills.
Media – AAAPTI also educates the public, focusing on the black media. The American Urban Radio Network (AURN), the largest producer of black radio in America, provides AIDS programming to 300 radio stations. “We supply the network with information, hook it up with African-American sources and contacts and advise it on AIDS programming,” Wilson says. He and AAAPTI created a similar program with the National Newspaper Publishing Association, the black publishers' group representing 250 black newspapers. The newspaper collaboration includes an upcoming training program for journalists. AAAPTI’s newsletter, Kujisource, has a readership of 20,000; the organization’s web site offers over 500 pages of information.
For more information on Phill Wilson, go to his Leadership for a Changing World awardee profile or to the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute website.
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