by Elliott Kozuch •
WASHINGTON - The Human Rights Campaign Foundation (HRC) over the weekend welcomed the first cohort of Elevate: A Fellowship Advancing Public Health Leadership for Transgender Women of Color. TenBlack and Latinx transgender women and non-binary people participated in the pilot program that focuses on developing transgender women and non-binary leaders of color in the South to increase their career opportunities and ability to work on improving public health systems.
“Black and Latinx transgender women and non-binary people are often overlooked within the workforce, specifically in public health,” said HRC Foundation’s Director of HIV & Health Equity J. Maurice McCants-Pearsall. “In many ways they are relegated to solely working in community outreach and HIV testing roles. As we seek to give voice to those who have been pushed to the margins, it is important that we develop and expand access to equitable professional development opportunities.”
The first group of leaders to take part in the groundbreaking Elevate fellowship program include Atlantis Narcisse of Houston; Desiree Pittman of Montgomery, Ala.; Donte Oxun of Houston; Jholett Hernandez of Montevallo, Miss.; Laneyana Henderson of Jackson, Miss.; Mahogany Toney of Birmingham, Ala.; Samantha Rose Montemayor-Morales of McAllan, Texas; Jayla Sylvester of Houston; Bee Kelley of Little Rock, Ark.; and Nakia Green of Little Rock, Ark..
During this inaugural year, Elevate will focus on skill-building as well as professional and leadership development, including intensive in-person training and a series of interactive webinars. This past week’s initial gathering -- led by Advocates for Better Care Executive Director Atlanta Tori Cooper; Casa Ruby Founder Ruby Corado; Southern Black Policy and Advocacy Network CEO Venton Hill-Jones; and HRC Project One America Director Meghan Kissell -- focused on policy and advocacy; navigating social stigma; organizational leadership; community building and mobilization; public health systems; and self-care.
Elevate is designed to help participants develop skills and access tools to advance their work on improving health outcomes within the Black and Latinx transgender community in Arkansas, Alabama, Mississippi and Texas, all part of HRC’s Project One America program. For more details please visit: https://hrc.im/elevatefellowship
The Human Rights Campaign Foundation is the educational arm of America’s largest civil rights organization working to achieve equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people. HRC envisions a world where LGBTQ people are embraced as full members of society at home, at work and in every community.
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