Did His Time!
Advocacy is volunteering for a cause that you believe in and want to make a change because of that cause. Helping others to become aware of a situation while speaking up for those who can not speak for themselves. I started this journey of fighting for the rights of people who live with HIV because I had no one there for me for 17 years.
I have spent my own money to help in whatever it was needed for. My journey led me into this, and I never knew that advocacy would be so tiring, so draining, and have such a mental strain on a fight we all believe in.
Although there are many causes within the HIV sector, we still should know that supporting one another helps us all win in the end.
HIV criminalization injustices
His wife reached out to me four years ago because she knew they needed something bigger to show that NuShawn Williams, was still here, alive, well and that he DID HIS TIME!
If you do not know who this is, he is a Black man who took a 12-year deal for transmitting HIV at the age of 19-20 years old. After 20 years of being away from his family and not having any support from the community at all, I learned that there was so much more to his case.
The injustice of Mr. Williams is not the only case of a Black man in this world who has done his time and then some. After doing his 12 years sentence, 25 years later he is still not home. I knew I had to speak for him regardless of if anyone else would because he DID HIS TIME!
Supporting others through advocacy
I sit at my computer to reach people on his behalf sending out hundreds of emails over the past few years, making numerous phone calls, emailing, messaging, celebrities on social media, talking to many advocates, and doing videos to get the community's attention about his case.
An advocate name Bryan Jones and I have drafted articles, made t-shirts, gotten over 250 signatures, then created the free NuShawn Coalition. All free! With no money to help either one of us because that is what advocates do when they believe in what’s right.
Like NuShawn Williams, many disparities still exist today
A Black man who has done his time. That’s right DID HIS TIME! No matter how others see it. Racial disparities in the criminal justice system, racial bias in the police system, and mass incarceration is a form of slavery even when it comes to HIV. When we see how they use these three letters as another excuse to put Black folks away. Blacks have always been targeted and impacted by mass incarceration (Jim Crow).
HIV criminalization laws must be modernized. I ask you to not believe what the media says because that is just information. If you want to know the truth reach out to educate yourself so you can have the knowledge of what the system did to NuShawn Williams.
How can anyone go to sleep at night and not fight to have him released?
Do you wear a red ribbon on World AIDS Day?