HIV 360° Fellow Spotlight: PJ Moton

Earlier this year, HRC Foundation announced the inaugural class of the 2016 HIV 360° Fellowship Program. Made possible with generous support from the Elton John AIDS Foundation, HIV 360° is a capacity-building fellowship program for young, non-profit leaders ready to take HIV-inclusive organizations and initiatives to the next level.

The HRC blog recently sat down with each of the fellows to discuss the program, their work, and their vision of an AIDS-free generation.

PJ Moton, 28, was born in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. PJ received his Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Sociology from Fisk University and earned his Master of Social Work degree from Washington University in St. Louis. With seven years of experience in HIV & AIDS research, prevention, and care, specifically focused on Black gay and bisexual men, PJ has become a nationally recognized leader among his peers. PJ currently works at Abounding Prosperity in Dallas, Texas.

How did you first get involved with the movement to end the HIV and AIDS epidemic? How, if at all, did that inspire you to become an HIV 360° Fellow?

I started in the field almost 10 years ago volunteering with a local non-profit that offered prevention services and had a group for Black men who have sex with men (MSM). First, I modeled in some of their marketing campaigns and eventually my responsibilities expanded. I soon began co-facilitating the support group and planning initiatives for Black MSM. After doing this work for so many years, the fellowship seemed like an opportunity to grow in new and different ways.

Each fellow has been asked to design, implement, and evaluate a community service project to combat HIV transmission rates in their respective communities. Tell us about yours and what you hope to accomplish with it.

Project  T.R.I.P.S. (Transportation Resource for Improved Prevention and Suppression) provides safe and discreet round-trip transportation services to Black and Latinx men who have sex with men and transgender women in the Dallas Metropolitan area. People who sign up for the program can arrange for someone to take them to their medical appointments and/or other essential support services. In accordance with the National HIV and AIDS Strategy, I hope the programs helps participants – both positive and negative – stay in care and remain healthy.

What is one key lesson you’ve gained from the fellowship program? What have you enjoyed the most about it?

Project management has been an overall theme throughout the fellowship program. Prevention and care services can have many moving parts and without the ability to effectively manage all of those parts, your programs and services may not be as effective as you may want them to be. The retreats have taught me a lot about managing the different pieces that comprise a program or service.

How can people learn more about your organization and support the work you are doing?

Please check out the Abounding Prosperity as well as our community mobilization initiative, Dallas Southern Pride.

To learn more about the HIV 360° fellowship program itself, click here. Also, check out: