WASHINGTON, D.C. - Today, the Human Rights Campaign (HRC) Foundation, the educational arm of the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) civil rights organization, announced that Tyrell Manning of Williams & Associates, Inc. has been selected as one of 10 outstanding, young community-based leaders for a nine-month fellowship providing high-level training to elevate their work ending HIV in hard-hit U.S. communities.
The HRC HIV 360° initiative is made possible with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
“We are thrilled to begin working with this highly-committed and talented group of young leaders who are absolutely critical to ending the HIV epidemic,” said Mary Beth Maxwell, HRC Senior Vice President for Programs, Research and Training. “Their efforts in American communities hardest hit by HIV are already changing and saving lives. The HIV 360° program invests in helping them develop management and strategy skills, as well as make valuable contacts in the advocacy world to elevate their work back home.”
“At the Elton John AIDS Foundation, we know how vitally important it is to support and train the next generation of activists and community leaders as a logical extension of our strategy to support HIV-related work being carried out by and for people most affected by the epidemic within their own communities,” said Scott Campbell, Executive Director of the Elton John AIDS Foundation. “Having diverse backgrounds and points of view represented in this exciting group of future young leaders selected for HRC’s HIV 360° Fellowship Program is absolutely crucial. We are so proud to support this unique program and look forward to the important work these young scholars will accomplish for their communities.”
Manning is a native of St. Louis, and passionate advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. He has been a key driver of change within Williams & Associates, a health education and disease prevention center addressing the health disparities of minorities in the St. Louis Bi-State Region, where he is Regional Integration Specialist and site coordinator of Rustin’s Place. Manning continues to be a positive mentor for young gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM). He strives to create safe spaces that offer growth and promote healing among young Black MSM in his local community.
“I am truly humbled and honored to have been selected as an inaugural HRC HIV 360° fellow,” said Manning. “This fellowship has already challenged me and motivated me to grow as a leader. I know this program will equip me to combat the HIV epidemic in St. Louis.”
The other new HIV 360° fellows are: Andrés Cano, Chair, National Latino AIDS Awareness Day-Tucson, Tucson, AZ; Thomas Davis, Health Education Specialist, LA LGBT Center, Los Angeles, CA; Nicole Elinoff, Director of Clinical Services, The GLBT Community Center of Central Florida, Orlando, FL; Mardrequs Harris, Public Health Program Director, Tennessee Department of Health, Memphis, TN; Sasanka Jianadasa, Capacity Building and Community Resource Manager, HIPS, Washington, DC; Pierre Jamar (PJ) Moton, Interim Clinical Program Manager, Abounding Propensity, Inc., Dallas, TX; Steven Romeo, Executive Director, The Change Project, Birmingham, AL; Milan Sherry, Advisory Board Member, Positively Trans, New Orleans, LA; and Lee Storrow, Executive Director, North Carolina AIDS Action Network, Raleigh, NC.
Bios of the new fellows, as well as a video in which they are featured, can be found here.
This diverse group, which held its first retreat at HRC’s Washington headquarters April 20-25, was chosen from a highly-competitive pool of 89 candidates, all under age 35 and playing leadership roles in community-based organizations and initiatives in two dozen states.
Even as the LGBT community continues to make extraordinary strides in equality, we are still facing staggering rates of HIV in the U.S. – driven largely by misinformation, stigma and societal barriers to information and care, including discrimination and poverty.
Roughly one in seven people in the U.S. do not know their HIV status;
Of the 1.2 million Americans living with HIV, only 40% are engaged in medical care, only 37% are prescribed antiretroviral therapy, and only 30% have achieved viral suppression.
One in four of new HIV transmissions are occurring among young people between the ages of 13 and 24;
Gay and bisexual men and transgender women of color continue to bear the biggest HIV burden. According to the CDC, if HIV incidence rates do not change, half of all Black gay and bisexual men will be diagnosed with HIV within their lifetime, along with one quarter of Latino gay and bisexual men, and one in eleven White gay and bisexual men.
Through the HIV 360° initiative, the new fellows will be deepening their skills to manage a nonprofit organization or initiative and impact the HIV & AIDS epidemic in their local communities, from leadership and strategy, to marketing, collaboration, finance, and organizational sustainability. At their first retreat, they learned from organizations including amfAR:The Foundation for AIDS Research, AIDS United, Casa Ruby, NAESM Inc., Whitman-Walker Health, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.