Special Message from the Executive Director
Dear PWN Community,
This month, Positive Women’s Network – USA (PWN-USA) celebrates our ninth year of fierce leadership by and for women living with HIV. As PWN-USA’s executive director and a woman living with HIV, I couldn’t be prouder of what we have collectively accomplished or more honored to serve in this capacity.
When PWN-USA was founded in June 2008 by 28 women with HIV, including folks of trans experience, the presence of our communities at policy- and decision-making tables in the HIV arena was heartbreakingly scant. Very few women living with HIV were well-recognized as leaders in the movement. There was no collective voice speaking on behalf of our communities. And, in large part because of structural racism, classism, transphobia, and poverty, those most frequently sought out as advisors were not those most reflective of the U.S. epidemic.
Today, that has changed, and we have built a strong and diverse movement. PWN is proud to be part of a transformation of the HIV landscape towards meaningful leadership by people living with HIV, with an emphasis on people of color, low-income folks, and folks of trans experience. In 2017, these communities are not only visible in HIV work; we are currently leading some of the most innovative, intersectional, and urgent battles for our collective liberation, including access to quality health care and economic justice; fighting for human rights and dignity.
PWN-USA is committed to fundamentally shift who is in power and how power is held by cultivating leadership and building power in the communities most impacted by the epidemic, while using transformative practices in our own organizing.
Read more about how we’ve done that and our herstory here.
In today’s political climate, our work is more urgent and necessary than ever. We’re getting ready to scale up our resistance, and we need your support.
We are absolutely thrilled to announce that we are working to establish a 501(c)(4), the PWN Action Fund, which will allow PWN’s national office and chapters to engage at a deeper level in the political process by directly endorsing and supporting candidates who demonstrate a commitment to protect the interests and wellbeing of people living with and vulnerable to HIV, as well as our communities, including women, youth, the LGBTQ community, people of color, immigrants, religious and ethnic minorities, and others who face marginalization and oppression. Your contribution to the PWN Action Fund is critical, as other sources of funding for this type of work are very limited.
PWN has big plans for 2017 and 2018! We’re getting ready for world domination! Just kidding… But we are growing, building our base, developing a new strategic plan, a membership engagement plan, and an updated policy agenda – in the service of justice and liberation for our communities. Our chapters are working at the intersection of HIV, trans liberation, reproductive justice, decriminalization of communities of color, and immigrant rights. Our members are mobilizing for the 2018 elections, and we are preparing chapters to develop and launch voter engagement and candidate pressure strategies. Next spring, we’ll be hosting our third National Leadership Summit for Women Living with HIV, which will feature a political action track, along with our usual advocacy, policy, and leadership skills-building content. We are committed to serious, scaleable impact, because our very lives depend on it.
Please consider donating to our 501(c)(4) today to help us make a bigger impact in shifting the political landscape at the local and state level over the next two years.
To show our appreciation for early supporters of the PWN Action Fund:
- the first 25 people to support the PWN Action Fund at $100 or more will get a custom-made silk-screened bag from the fierce members of PWN Colorado!
- The first 50 people to support the PWN Action Fund at $50 or more will get a custom made patch from PWN Colorado
Checks to support the PWN Action Fund, in any amount, can be made out to
Movement Strategy Center Action Fund, memo line: PWN-USA Action Fund and mailed to 436 14th Street, Suite 500, Oakland CA 94612 https://pwn-usa.org/supportpwn/support-the-pwn-action-fund/
Donations to our 501(c)(3) can be made online here or by check to: Movement Strategy Center, memo line: PWN-USA, and mailed to:
Positive Women’s Network – USA
436 14th Street, Suite 500
Oakland CA 94612
We are so deeply thankful for your support.
In sisterhood, movement, solidarity, and love,
On behalf of Positive Women’s Network