Sankofa conference continues community conversations on Black MSM in Central Maryland
The Center For Black Equity (CBE), an international Black LGBT organization, Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research – Baltimore HIV Collaboratory, and the Center For Black Equity – Baltimore (formerly Baltimore Black Pride) along with a host of community partners have collaborated to produce Sankofa: Community Conversations on Black Men Who Sex With Men (MSM) in Central Maryland. It will be held Friday, May 2 and Saturday, May 3 at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing, 525 N. Wolfe Street, Baltimore, MD. The purpose of Sankofa: Community Conversations on Black Men Who Sex With Men (MSM) in Central Maryland is to provide a space for health care and service providers, clinicians, and social workers to better understand the lives of Black gay and bisexual men not just from the standpoint of HIV/AIDS infection and the related stigma, but as individuals who want the tools to build a healthy life. The second purpose is to provide Black gay and bisexual men additional tools to build a holistic life which includes building healthy relationships, job preparedness, learning about different resources, and building a stronger community.
The Friday, May 2 afternoon session will be geared towards health care and service providers, clinicians and social workers who work with Black gay and bisexual men in Central Maryland. Speakers Cornelius Baker, National Black Gay Men’s Advocacy Coalition; Danielle German, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health; Kali Lindsay, amfAR; Leo Rennie, American Psychological Association; Dr. Renata Arrington-Sanders, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and Gregorio Millett will bring their expertise on Black gay and bisexual men to the Friday’s session. “It’s very important that professionals providing healthcare to Black MSM understand the framework in which these individuals make choices particularly during the HIV/AIDS pandemic,” said Earl Fowlkes, CBE President/CEO.
Saturday’s session will be geared toward the young Black gay and bisexual men’s community and will feature workshops on Financial Literacy, Job Readiness & Job Decorum, building Healthy Relationships, and an Intergenerational Dialogue: Building Black LGBT Community. Over one dozen community providers will be on hand to disseminate information. These providers include PNC Bank, Testing Makes Us Stronger, University of Maryland – Star Track, The Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender Community Center of Baltimore and Central Maryland and Free State Legal AID. “Saturday’s session reflected our desire to provide opportunities for Black MSM in Central Maryland to be part of the dialogue and to see themselves as men with dreams, not just vectors of HIV,” stated Carlton Smith, President, CBE-Baltimore. Both Friday and Saturday are free, and, a continental breakfast and lunch will be provided on Saturday.