#NHASeverywhere: Activate and Elevate – Transgender Justice Initiative

Content From: HIV.govPublished: December 12, 20223 min read



The Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation estimates that there are more than two million transgender (trans) people in the United States. And despite the efforts of community members and allies, many members of the trans community continue to face discrimination and experience stigma and systemic inequality—including in health outcomes.

The HRC Foundation’s Transgender Justice Initiative (TJI) addresses the urgent needs of the trans community. Through leading community engagement efforts, capacity-building initiatives, economic empowerment programs, and public safety education campaigns, TJI works to combat the discrimination faced by trans people, while addressing the root causes of the physical danger and transphobia faced by the members of the trans community.

#NHASeverywhere Story – Activate and Elevate

The four key pillars of TJI are public safety, capacity building, strategic communications, and economic empowerment. Capacity building is at the core of two fellowship programs offered by the HRC Foundation—Activate and Elevate—as both are designed to help advance the leadership skills of Black, Hispanic, and Latino/Latina trans people.

ElevateExit Disclaimer began in 2019 and is designed to advance the leadership of Black, Hispanic, and Latina transgender women in the South by effectively increasing their capacity to navigate and improve public health systems. The program is rooted in skills-building and professional and leadership development and consists of digital training and interactive webinars that lead to an increase in competencies and improving health outcomes for the target community.

ActivateExit Disclaimer, which began in the summer of 2020, is aimed at advancing the professional development of trans, non-binary, and gender non-conforming Black, Hispanic, Latino/Latina people, or other people of color. The program seeks to provide an in-depth and comprehensive training curriculum that addresses the core skills needed to achieve and thrive in leadership roles in the LGBTQ+ non-profit sector. It consists of monthly small group meetings, quarterly cohort-based courses, and an annual project.

The TJI’s work aligns with more than one National HIV/AIDS Strategy (2022-2025) (NHAS) objective, including objective 3.3 in the NHAS: Engage, employ, and provide public leadership opportunities at all levels for people with or who experience risk for HIV.

“A lot of the leaders who are fellows in Elevate and Activate are people who are in community-based organizations that serve people who are especially vulnerable to HIV or people who [have] HIV,” said Derek Baugh, Lead Facilitator for the Elevate and Activate programs. A fellow of the Activate program, Verniss McFarland, shared the importance of these fellowships noting that they are “for up-and-coming leaders and those [who] may already be embedded in movement work to build better connections across communities, as well as find new tools, tips, and tactics to tackle ways to support their community and to do some policy work.”

Hear from additional Activate and Elevate program participants in the reel from HIV.govExit Disclaimer.

HIV.gov launched #NHASeverywhere in Spring 2022. It is a social media effort that spotlights the remarkable work being done in communities across the country to help reach the goals detailed in the NHAS. Each story highlights work that aligns with the NHAS as an example of the collective efforts needed across the nation to end the HIV epidemic.

To learn more about the NHAS and its implementation throughout the country, follow our social media channels (FacebookExit DisclaimerTwitterExit Disclaimer, and InstagramExit Disclaimer) and sign up for updates, as HIV.gov will share more stories, like the Transgender Justice Initiative’s, from across the country.