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Celebrating Positive Women's Leadership

I have had the honor of working with so many amazing people and organizations over my 25 years of activism and employment within HIV/AIDS. However, one of the greatest honors hands-down, was serving as the Executive Director of WORLD in Oakland, CA when we were able to launch the Positive Women's Network (PWN) in 2008. Naina Khanna, now the Executive Director of PWN-USA came back from a global conference on women and HIV in Nairobi and asked why there was no national network of women living with HIV in the US. This question led to bold action on the part of Naina and an amazing team of women living with HIV to think, and ultimately act with the conviction that women deserve a voice in determining their own needs and corresponding solutions. The rest is herstory!

PWN-USA is now a policy and advocacy powerhouse in the US, engaging women in ways that are truly inspiring. They are an example of how to mobilize people living with HIV to impact policy and determine their own solutions to stigma and barriers to equity. So much has happened since those early days.

This year, I am thrilled to be attending the PWN-USA Summit, Speak UP! - a 3-day leadership training for women living with HIV which will take place September 27-30. I am excited to present a session at the Summit on grant writing tips and skill building for activists and leaders. As funders, we must reach out to groups doing amazing work and provide them with the information and training needed to create their own programs, activism and long-term sustainability. I look forward to the session at the Summit to share some of this critical information, but also to hear from women living with HIV about what is happening in their communities and how funders can be most useful as allies in resourcing work to save lives, prevent violence and help ensure equity in all communities.

Posted By: Maura Riordan, Riordan Strategies - Thursday, September 22, 2016

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