At United We Rise, we’re always looking for ways to collaborate with organizations working for similar outcomes: ensuring that Black people have access to opportunities to be healthy and liberated. We call this intersectional solidarity, and it’s the backbone of how we’re activating a Black-led response to ending the HIV epidemic. We heard from our collaborators and conspirators that to optimize their impact even further, they needed a tool that cuts across silos, and specifically, connects them with researchers to undergird and support their work.
So with our friends at HISTORI, we developed a tool to answer that call.
Introducing the Black HIV Researchers’ Directory
The Black HIV Researchers Directory is a newly launched online resource where Black researchers can elevate their visibility, expertise, and desire to serve Black communities, while Black-led community organizations can easily connect with researchers to bolster their work. The Directory offers an easy and streamlined way for anyone in need of the expertise, knowledge, and cutting-edge research that can push our collective work forward and end the HIV epidemic for Black people.
“We know that research is a critical lever for Black-led community organizations working to improve the health and well-being of Black people in this country,” said Stephaun E. Wallace, PhD, MS, one of HISTORI’s co-chairs. “And we also know that there are brilliant research minds out there, whether independent, part of an academic institution, or embedded within a community agency, who are eager to lend their expertise to this work. The Black Researchers Directory will bring all of these individuals together with the speed and ease that is necessary for addressing our shared challenges,” Wallace added.
A Tool to Bring Communities Together
The Directory, which is available at https://www.everyblackbody.org/black-researchers-database/ is free to use and only requires a few minutes for researchers to sign up, create a profile, and get connected. The Directory offers users multiple pathways for connection and collaboration – Black researchers can connect with other Black researchers and Black-led community organizations can find researchers that align with their interests and needs. Additionally, researchers with varying backgrounds and experience can achieve visibility that can be challenging to gain with more organic opportunities.
A New Pathway Forward
As we look ahead to our priorities for 2023 and beyond, we’re confident that the Directory will play a key role in moving our work forward and cultivate a Black researcher community for knowledge and action. And we hope that it will play a similar role for researchers and community organizations working for and within Black communities. For us, the Directory really is a dream come true. Justin Smith, a member of the United We Rise Research & Evaluation Workgroup that led the development of the Directory, reflected that “the Directory was something we had only dreamed of and seeing it come to life was very satisfying.”
The Directory’s features and tools will continue to evolve based on user feedback so please reach out and let us know your thoughts, comments, and questions. And be sure to sign up and check out the Directory!