All I have ever wanted was identity, significance, and security for myself, family, peers, community… everyone.-Helen Turner, Achieving Together Partner
Stigma is a negative social norm that is based on learned beliefs and perceptions about people or communities who are perceived as different in some way. Discrimination occurs when people and societies deprive certain groups of individuals of the rights and life opportunities that are afforded to other people, such as housing, healthcare, employment, education, and opportunities for civic life.
Arik Hartman explores stigma and HIV in this compelling TED Talk.
In the talk, he explores challenging questions like:
- If we have made such exponential progress in combating HIV, why haven’t our perceptions of those with the virus evolved alongside?
- Why does HIV elicit this reaction from us when it’s so easily managed?
- When did the stigmatization occur and why hasn’t it subsided?
Achieving Together aims to cultivate a stigma-free climate of appreciation and inclusion. This is one of the goals of the plan and also an area to actively focus action and advocacy. Stigma often results from fear and beliefs that we are not aware of. One of the first steps in moving from stigma to inclusion is to shine a light on those unconscious beliefs and habits. Hartman talks about the importance of being an “everyday advocate” to create teachable moments in everyday life. “When I saw someone coming from a place of ignorance [or lack of awareness],” he says, “I saw an opportunity for them to learn.”
What does being an “everyday advocate” mean to you?
How can you be an “everyday advocate” in your community?
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