Student organizations have worked throughout the years to promote community awareness and activism of social issues. In honor of National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD) and Black History Month, our Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs), fraternities, and sororities are using new media to promote HIV/AIDS awareness.
Greek Organizations and NBHAAD
The Twenty Pearls Foundation Inc., an affiliate of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Tau Epsilon Omega chapter provided free HIV testing and educational materials at a mall in Atlanta on February 1st. This was community collaboration with several partnerships, including local media channels. Black fraternity and sorority members in Georgia worked to promote and organize the event as way to show their support towards HIV/AIDS awareness. This event was part of the Greater than AIDS campaign and photos from the event were posted on Facebook .
“We are very fortunate to be part of this event every year”, said Travis Williams of the Phi Kappa Kappa chapter of Omega Psi Phi in East Point, Georgia. Travis went on to tell us that his chapter uses all the social media channels, but mostly Facebook and their website to promote events and social gatherings. “Social media allows us to reach specific people and target communities that we normally can’t reach. Being on social media channels is essential for getting the word out because people can get the information they need right then and there and helps keep everyone stay connected.”
In New Orleans, the Delta Eta Chapter of Southern University at New Orleans held a free HIV testing and counseling event on campus and used Instagram and Twitter to promote and share photos from the event.
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Fort Valley State University, held a two day event for NBHAAD that provided free HIV testing and information. A fashion show, seminar, and HIV informational event were promoted and shared on social media with the hashtag #NBHAAD and #FVSU.
We spoke with Eureecia Spivey, a peer educator who helped organize the event, and she said “I think it is important to be involved in HIV prevention and awareness because I do go to a HBCU. There is a stigma associated with HIV in the Black community. No one wants to talk about it, but I want people to know that it’s real and it’s out there”. She also said that as an organizer for the event she found that “social media helped a lot in bringing people out to the event. I think it was a way to remind the students of the event after they already saw the flyers. Some may not have have had time to read the flyer in person but since it was on social media they could read it on the go.”
The women from Spelman College’s National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) used Twitter and Instagram to promote their event for NBHAAD. Their event “calls on every NCNW leader and the leaders of our nationally affiliated organizations to spread the word-HIV/AIDS continues to disproportionately impact the African American community, but we can turn it around. Together, we can ensure and AIDS free generation in our lifetime!”
These are only a few of the inspirational activities that were done by student organizations in honor of NBHAAD. What did you observe in your community? Don’t forget to connect with us for the most recent updates on HIV.