Watch the webinar: Michael Johnson, HIV decriminalization, and the Movement for Black Lives

| October 14, 2015 | 0 Comments
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Until he is free: Michael Johnson, HIV decriminalization, and the Movement for Black Lives

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October 10, 2015 marks the two-year anniversary of Michael L. Johnson’s arrest. Since that time, 23-year old Michael has faced stigmatizing media coverage, a grueling trial, and was sentenced to a horrific 30 1/2 years in prison under HIV criminalization laws in Missouri.

The prosecution and incarceration of Michael Johnson highlighted many of the ways in which policing, racist criminal justice practices and homophobia intersect – and led to a beautiful statement of love and support from 116 Black gay men, as well as several strategic discussions about advancing solidarity frames between the HIV decriminalization movement and #BlackLivesMatter at the historic first-ever Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) National Convening that occurred in Cleveland, Ohio on July 22-24.

The Counter Narrative Project, Black Youth Project (BYP100), HIV Prevention Justice Alliance and Positive Women’s Network – USA present this webinar to recommit to our fight for justice for Michael Johnson; an end to racist, homophobic, and HIV-stigma-driven laws and policing practices; and action to support grassroots organizing led by Black gay men.

Download the slides

Our fierce panelists included:

  • Diane Burkholder, Cofounder, One Struggle KC
  • Darnell Moore, Senior Editor, Mic and Black Lives Matter organizer
  • Waheedah Shabazz-El, Regional Organizing Director, Positive Women’s Network – USA

Moderated by Maxx Boykin, Community Organizer, AIDS Foundation of Chicago, BYP100 and HIV PJA

Download the slides


Black gay men cannot and must not be removed.   Read the agenda released by Black gay men on the day of Michael’s sentencing, which demands the following:

  1. Continue to dialog with Black gay men around the country in person and through social media about the importance of opposing such laws.
  2. Repeal the laws that criminalize HIV exposure, nondisclosure, and transmission, in Missouri and nationwide.
  3. Challenge our allies in Black progressive organizations, criminal justice reform, HIV prevention and treatment, and the LGBT movement to take more of an active role in challenging HIV criminalization.
  4. Develop more capacity for Black gay men’s grassroots organizing.

“Until you are free, none of us are free.”

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Category: Criminalization & Mass Imprisonment

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