International Holocaust Remembrance Day

On January 27, 1945 the German Nazi concentration and extermination Auschwitz-Birkenau camp was liberated.

International Holocaust Remembrance Day commemorates the horrors of the Holocaust and remembers the 17 million people killed by the Nazi regime, including the 6 million Jews persecuted and executed. 

At least 1.3 million people were sent to Auschwitz.  The majority, 1.1 million, died there.  Close to 1 million of whom were Jews.

LGBTQ people were also imprisoned, persecuted, and murdered by the Nazi state.  Roughly 100,000 homosexuals were arrested and sentenced by the Nazi’s during their reign.  The pink triangle, now a sign of resistance for the LGBTQ community, was the Nazi marker for homosexuals in the concentration camps.

Today, as we pause and remember the unimaginable loss of life, we must a vow to never forget what happened and to challenge those who work to erase the history of the murder of 17 million people.  We must stay aware of events in our country and around the world and fight the rise of fascism and the scapegoating of immigrants, refugees, and those deemed marginal.

“I swore never to be silent whenever and wherever human beings endure suffering and humiliation. We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented. Sometimes we must interfere. When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy, national borders and sensitivities become irrelevant. Wherever men or women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views, that place must—at that moment—become the center of the universe.”

Martin Luther King Jr. Day

“WE SHALL OVERCOME BECAUSE THE ARC OF THE MORAL UNIVERSE IS LONG BUT IT BENDS TOWARD JUSTICE”

Today, this statement by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr continues to offer hope and to drive us as we individually and collectively work towards the day when racism no longer defines the choices and outcomes of the lives of people of color in America. 

As we are daily assaulted by what feels too often as steps backward, Dr. King’s words remind us that what we do today may feel small or futile in the struggle for racial justice in America but what we do today is one more step toward that future.

As we reflect on Dr. King’s words and life today, we must remember that the work he championed and the dream he shared will only be achieved through individual and collective actions. 

In the face of hatred, apathy will be interpreted as acceptance by the perpetrators, the public and — worse — the victims. Community members must take action; if we don’t, hate persists.

Since 2010, law enforcement agencies have reported an average of about 6,000 hate crime incidents per year to the FBI. But government studies show that the real number is far higher — an estimated 260,000 per year. Many hate crimes never get reported, in large part because the victims are reluctant to go to the police. – Southern Law and Policy Center

This guide sets out 10 principles for fighting hate in your community.

For White people, we have a responsibility to stand up and work toward racial justice, to examine our histories and our privilege.  Here are ten simple ways White people can step up and fight everyday racism in America. These include:

  • Honor the feelings of people of color in the discussion.
  • Educate yourself about racism as much as possible before asking people of color for help.
  • Listen when people of color talk about everyday racism and white privilege
  • Challenge other White people in your life to think critically about racism.

How One Organization Uses Rapid Initiation to Link People from HIV Testing to Care

Medical advances are one of the major developments that allow us to envision and work towards ending the HIV epidemic nationally and in Texas.  New testing technologies and better medications make it possible to achieve our goal.  One of these new strategies is “rapid start” treatment processes.  Sometimes called “test and treat” these processes can connect newly diagnosed individuals to treatment and provide medication in one day.

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World AIDS Day 2019

World AIDS Day began in 1988 to draw attention to the HIV crisis ravaging communities across the globe.  Since its beginning, it has served as a time to pause and remember the devastating impact that HIV has had on communities and families.  As we collectively envision an end to HIV, and as we work to bring that vision to reality, we must also pause to remember the history and lives that have brought us to this time.  The possibilities that we see now are only because of the tireless work of so many activists, communities, and individuals who gave everything in the hope that one day this would be over. 

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