The Black Health Agenda

Dear Friends,

Our communities continue to suffer because of HIV and AIDS. More than 40 percent of new HIV infections in the United States occur among Black Americans, even though we represent only 13 percent of the population.

As people of faith, we know that the first steps toward reversing this situation are prayer and education. And we know that our faith communities – be they churches, mosques, or individuals coming together to worship – have been the foundation for our survival since our ancestors first stepped foot upon this land.

This is why I am grateful that The Balm In Gilead is, once again, organizing the National Week of Prayer for the Healing AIDS. I am most thankful that many of you — faith communities, community organizations, and individuals will join us by mobilizing your constituents through prayer and education during the week.

By popular demand, The Balm will present “The Doctor and The Preacher,” a live, virtual conversation between a faith leader and a medical doctor who will discuss the current impact of HIV among African Americans. These discussions will take place at 12noonET on Monday, March 5, Tuesday, March 6 and Wednesday, March 7.

We also invite you to inform us about how your place of worship or organization will observe the week of prayer, so that we can include you in our online directory.

Monday, March 6 – Scientific Update on HIV

Rev. Dr. Daryl G. Bloodsaw is the Senior Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church, West of Athens, GA. He previously served as senior pastor of First Baptist Church of Crown Heights in Brooklyn, NY. Dr. Bloodsaw was born and raised in Monroe, GA and was licensed to preach and ordained under the guidance of his pastor, Rev. Dr. Calvin O. Butts III, at the historic Abyssinian Baptist Church (Harlem, NY).
Dr. Ulysses Burley III is the founder of UBtheCURE LLC, a consulting company that works at the intersection of Health and Human Rights. Dr. Burley formerly served as a member of the United States Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS (PACHA) appointed by the Obama Administration, and made international headlines when he and five other members of PACHA resigned under the Trump Administration.

Tuesday, March 7 – HIV and Mental Health

Rev. Dr. John Tyus is the Senior Pastor of World Conquerors Through Jesus Christ Ministries in Columbus, OH. He is an award winning Leadership & Personal Development Speaker, a Published Author and the Founder of The I.D. Movement. The I.D. Movement is a 501c(3) nonprofit organization that focuses on bridging the gap of generations, inspiring and developing males, and empowering the fatherless.
HIV & Mental Health – Dr. Rayvann Kee II, PSYD, MBA is an experienced, licensed Mental Health Professional based in Philadelphia, PA. Dr. Kee is the CEO of Kee Elements, Founder of the Kee 2 Wellness movement, and owner and principal psychologist of EmpowerMeant Counseling, Coaching, and Consulting, LLC.

Wednesday, March 8 – Black Women and HIV

Rev. Stephanie Allen is an ordained Itinerate Elder of the African Methodist Episcopal Church.

Rev. Stephanie is a St. Louis, MO native, whose faith was nurtured at St. John AMEC on the “Kingshighway”. Rev. Stephanie has served the AMEC in various capacities on the local, conference, and district level. Rev. Stephanie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work from Alabama Agricultural and Mechanical University, Normal, AL; Master of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and Gerontology from Washington University, St. Louis, MO; and Master of Divinity degree from United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH.

Rev. Stephanie has pastored Allen Chapel AMEC, Hannibal, MO and Bethel AMEC, Louisiana, MO. She currently pastors The Historic St. Paul AMEC, Columbia, MO. Rev. Stephanie is bi-vocational and has served as a mental health professional and in the field of Social Work for 12 years. Rev. Stephanie has a heart for the people and is committed to meeting them exactly where they are.

Dr. Typhanye Vielka Dyer is an epidemiologist and health disparities scholar whose research examines the influence of social, psychological and behavioral factors on STI and HIV risk in Black populations. Her work examines syndemics (intersecting psychosocial and structural barriers), including the impact of trauma, poor mental health, and criminal justice involvement on STI/HIV outcomes for Black sexual and gender minorities, as well as Black women living with HIV in the DC Metro Area.

Downloadable Resources