Engage, Educate, Empower: Uniting to End HIV/AIDS in Black Communities
A Prayer in Observance of the 25th Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
Written by Ulysses Burley III
Gracious and loving God,
We gather on this National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day, remembering those lost to HIV/AIDS and recognizing the urgency of the moment for those still with us. We come with open hearts, seeking healing and transformation in our communities.
We lift up those living with HIV/AIDS, especially in Black communities, and we pray for their physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Creator, hear our prayers and guide us as we work towards the healing of HIV in every Black body.
Today, we acknowledge that racism is a public health crisis. We recognize the systemic inequalities that have disproportionately affected Black communities, leading to higher rates of HIV/AIDS and stigma. As faith communities, we cannot turn a blind eye to this reality.
We commit ourselves to challenging the structures of racism and discrimination that perpetuate suffering and inequality.
Likewise, we affirm that LGBTQIA discrimination is anti-God. God teaches us to love one another, without exception. We reject any theology or ideology that promotes hate or exclusion.
We rise in solidarity with our LGBTQIA siblings, affirming their inherent dignity and worth. We especially pray for Black LGBTQIA people living with HIV, who embody multiple marginalized identities.
Let us lift our prayers to God, who hears the cries of the oppressed and marginalized.
For those living with HIV/AIDS, especially in Black communities, we pray for healing and support.
For an end to HIV-related stigma and discrimination, that all may be treated with compassion and respect.
For our faith communities and leaders, that they may be bold advocates for justice and equality.
For the courage to confront racism and LGBTQIA discrimination wherever it may be found.
God, in your mercy, hear our prayers.
May the God of justice and mercy empower us to be agents of healing and change. May we go forth from this place with renewed commitment to love and serve our neighbors, working tirelessly for the eradication of HIV/AIDS and the dismantling of systems of oppression.
Amen. Ameen. Ashe.
Dr. Ulysses Burley III
Dr. Ulysses Burley III is founder of UBtheCURE LLC, a Chicago-based consulting organization that operates at the intersection of faith, health, and human rights. Ulysses is chair of the U.S. HIV/AIDS Faith Coalition.
The U.S. HIV & AIDS Faith Coalition is composed of people of faith, faith leaders, people living with HIV and people working in the HIV and AIDS response working together to develop and implement strategies to strengthen the faith response to HIV the toward ending the epidemic.
Email contact: email@example.com
The United Church of Christ serves as the fiscal agent for the US HIV & AIDS Faith Coalition.