Tuesday, February 18, 2014

'Income inequality' or poor?

Lately, I've been thinking about the term 'income inequality.' If you turn on one of the cable news channels, you can't help but hear it. I even looked it up to make sure I truly understood it. What I realized is that 'income inequality' is one of those terms that we use to replace a word or phrase that makes us uncomfortable to talk about. Sort of like using the term 'urban radio' to describe a station that Black people listen to, or using the term 'thug' as a metaphor for the 'n-word.' I believe that when we use the term 'income inequality,' it takes some of the sting out of talking about poor people who have real problems that society is not addressing. 
By talking about 'income inequality,' we're acknowledging that it's ok that rich people have money and poor people don't in a way that is not offensive. This isn't entirely a new phenomenon. In the last decade, I've noticed that rather than talk about poverty, there has been a larger and larger focus on helping the middle class and turning a blind eye to the poor.

However, failing to call a spade a spade does everyone a disservice. By failing to talk about poverty, we imply that the poor are disposable and we can throw them away. But it doesn't have to be that way.

If we talk about the struggles of poor people in this country -- no matter how uncomfortable it may be to begin that conversation -- we have to talk about issues such as disparities in incarceration rates, housing challenges, the drug culture and gaps in healthcare coverage.
It won't be so easy for us to pretend that everything is right and well with the world if we have to describe conditions that are unfair and life-threatening to an entire segment of our society. We may actually start to feel bad about where we are going as a country.

But then we may actually feel compelled to do something about it.

A. Toni Young
Community Education Group

Monday, August 13, 2012

ROAD TO AIDS 2012 Report Complete

Community Education Group (CEG) has released the final report for ROAD TO AIDS 2012, a joint effort between CEG, the Urban Coalition for HIV/AIDS Prevention Services (UCHAPS) and the International AIDS Society (IAS).  The tour, funded by a grant from the Merck Company Foundation, sought community feedback in 17 cities to define the state of the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic.  While each city had its unique concerns, some issues, such as stigma, were common to all. To read the full report, clickhere

What I've Been Thinking...

The International AIDS Conference has come and it’s gone. 

It was as intense as I thought it would be. Yet, organizationally Community Education Group had some unique opportunities including a visit from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius. 

We were particularly honored when Secretary Sebelius mentioned our program during her remarks in the Conference’s Opening Session. It is always a good feeling to know that your work is making a difference in the community.

But despite the public recognition, I’ve been thinking that when it comes to linkage to care, we could do so much more. It’s true that CEG has experienced tremendous success, linking 95 percent of clients who test positive to care. But we must do more to apply this model of success to other health disparities.

It’s time that HIV/AIDS organizations -- specifically those that are non-clinical providers -- really begin to think about how we can serve the whole person and the whole community. The end of the epidemic is in sight, but it certainly isn’t here. Yet we have some very unique skillsets, tools and access to communities to be able to do more with regard to other health disparities, such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. While we’re routinizing HIV testing, we can also make sure people know their HDL and LDL cholesterol levels.  Likewise, if we know that smoking contributes to heart disease, we can link members of the community to smoking cessation programs and help to reduce community incidences of heart failure.

At AIDS 2012, we celebrated how far we’ve come in the prevention, care and treatment of HIV/AIDS. And yes, we are closer to the end of the epidemic than we’ve ever been before.

But now that we know better, we must do better. 


A. Toni Young
Executive Director
Community Education Group

Job Openings at CEG

Community Education Group is looking for candidates to fill the following full-time positions:
Strategic Operations Coordinator: The ideal candidate will provide guidance to senior program staff with the goal of maximizing the productivity of its core programs. He or she will analyze current processes, develop strategies for process improvements, and implement interim and long-term solutions in the areas of program implementation and evaluation. Most importantly this person will move CEG further along in its transition from an organization that tracks mostly outputs to a more outcome-based framework. The successful candidate will have the ability to take outcome summaries from the program evaluator and effectively package and market them to current and potential funders. This position presents a unique opportunity for an experienced program manager to increase the efficacy of an innovative AIDS service organization that is implementing cutting edge solutions in the fight against HIV and other health disparities.
To Apply: Submit a cover letter, resume, salary history and writing sample to lynn@communityeducationgroup.org.

Assistant Manager of Programs and Evaluation
This candidate will provide program management and evaluation services for various initiatives aimed at reducing health disparities.  The Assistant Manager of Programs and Evaluation position provides a unique opportunity to implement innovative strategies in the areas of health education and patient navigation while making a difference in the lives of South East DC residents.  This position will report to the Executive Director and Manager of Testing and Field Operations.

To Apply, submit a cover letter, resume and writing sample to Lavietra@communityeducationgroup.org .   Please put Assistant Manager of Programs and Evaluation Position in the subject line of your email.

Development Specialist
CEG is looking for someone to research, identify and define funding sources to support existing and planned program activities. This candidate will also prepare proposals and grant applications in response to solicitations in accordance with CEG’s preferences and guidelines; prepare supporting documents for proposals and grant applications in accordance with CEG’s preferences and guidelines; and establish clear timelines for the completion of all proposals and grant applications. Other responsibilities include producing technical grant proposals within discrete timeframes in accordance with CEG’s preferences and guidelines; designing graphs, charts, and visuals to illustrate key concepts; and developing workable implementation plans for proposals and grant applications.

To Apply: Please forward a cover letter, resume, salary requirement and one-page writing sample to LaVietra Shannon at lavietra@communityeducationgroup.org. Please put “Development Specialist Position” in the subject line of your email.