As 2016 comes to a close, there is no doubt that this year was difficult for many in the LGBTQ and allied community. After a year of such celebration and momentous progress in 2015, 2016 was a shocking wake-up call to many about the realities that LGBTQ people face. From the rise in anti-LGBTQ legislation to the horrific shooting at Pulse, from the incidents of anti-transgender violence to the election of a presidential ticket that threatens to undermine equality and justice, we know that our job is more important now than ever before.
However, through these difficult times, we witnessed countless moments of inspiration. Throughout the year, time and time again, we saw people stand up and do what was right. Whether they were celebrities, politicians, a friend or just an acquaintance, we saw people stand up for equality and inspire us all. Their stories made us cry, gave us hope and reminded us that love will conquer hate.
The year, HRC Foundation selected 10 outstanding, young leaders for the 2016 class of the HIV 360° Fellowship Program. Made possible with support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, HIV 360° is a capacity-building program for young, non-profit leaders ready to take HIV-inclusive organizations and initiatives to the next level. This diverse group 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.
These young leaders and their commitment to their communities inspire us. While they work with community-based organizations and initiatives focused on the communities hit hardest by HIV, they are also receiving leadership and organizational development training, individualized coaching and technical assistance, financial support for an HIV prevention community service project, personal stipends, and opportunities for strategic partnership and collaboration.
Our HIV 360° Fellows have the creativity, passion and ingenuity necessary to help the most underserved and vulnerable communities. We are proud to work with and support these advocates in ending the HIV epidemic.
Learn more about the fellows here.
Follow along with HRC’s blog in the coming days as we recognize the people who inspired us and gave us hope, courage and strength in 2016.