Harvard's SGAC chapter reacts to #SOTU in this Op-Ed - pointing out the budget cuts and trade agreements that will undermine public health, and calling on students and constituents to hold lawmakers accountable for the consequences of these choices. "If our lawmakers won't face facts, it is up to students and constituents across the U.S. to make it known that they are, in the most urgent matters of life and death, continually falling short."
We had a great meeting of the Positive Students Network on Saturday, November 9th with students from around New York City. We are really excited to keep growing the network and bring even more amazing activists together for the next Positive Students Network Summit at the SGAC National Conference, coming up in February 2014! Want to bring the Positive Students Network to your campus? Email us to chat about starting a chapter or to discuss how to be an ally to HIV+ students.
On Tuesday, September 17th -- the second anniversary of the Occupy Wall Street movement -- SGACers and over a thousand others took to the streets of New York City to demand a Robin Hood Tax! SGAC joined many other activist groups, including amazing student debt activists, to say that enough is enough: enough health inequity, enough economic injustice, enough corporate greed. SGAC is fired up and ready to continue fighting for a Robin Hood Tax to end AIDS. Continue reading
The President's Budget is in, and it isn't great for PEPFAR. While the President suggested funding for the Global Fund at $1.65 B (which we applaud), he suggested a drastic funding cut to PEPFAR. At the beginning of next week (April 15th) members of Congress and Senators will be submitting their funding "wish lists" to the Appropriations Committee - lets get them to include funding for PEPFAR at the needed level. Call your Congress and Senate representatives today! You can find the phone numbers for your representatives here and the phone numbers for your senators here. Use the following script as a guide: "Hello, my name is ___________ from ____________ and I'm calling to ask that Representative/Senator _________ submit a request in response to the President's budget demanding increased funding for domestic and global HIV/AIDS programs. While the President's request of $1.65 Billion for the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB, and Malaria is commendable, his request for the President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) is severely deficient. PEPFAR must be funded at a level of at least $4.58 billion to continue our current investment in ending the AIDS pandemic. Fighting HIV/AIDS is a fully bipartisan issue; at a time when we have the tools and expert consensus to foresee an end to the HIV/AIDS epidemic due to scientific breakthroughs, America cannot afford to go back on it's pledge to realize an AIDS-free generation. Scaling back on our cost-effective programs will cost thousands of lives, weaken global economic development, and threaten our national security. A decade of critical investement and American leadership cannot fail now after significant evidence-based progress. We ask that Senator/Representative ____________ include in their funding wishlist a commitment to fully funding these life-saving programs." Email Amirah to let us know about the calls you make!
Students from City College NY, Columbia, Harvard, Iowa State, and Yale University came to Washington, DC this spring break to fight for an end to AIDS. The students traded in swimsuits and tequila for suits and ties, and took to the hill to get their legislators to support full funding for Global AIDS Programs, the Robin Hood Tax on Wall Street to end AIDS, and lifting the federal ban on syringe exchange funding. On Thursday, March 21st, the group took over Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid's office with a Spring Break beach party. Their message: "AIDS Doesn't Take Spring Break, Neither Can It's Funding". The students sung staffers their rendition of the hit song, "Call Me, Maybe", entitled "Fund AIDS, Harry!", and agreed to leave peacefully after securing a meeting with Reid's office.
On March 11th, students from the Harvard SGAC chapter protested Eric Cantor due to his inaction on funding Global AIDS programs, and lifting the federal ban on syringe exchange funding. This is the second time that Harvard SGAC has met with Eric Cantor - the first took place in February 2011, when nearly 200 SGAC students from the northeast met up at Harvard to protest Eric Cantor's proposed cuts to global health funding. Check out the coverage of the action in the Harvard Crimson.
What an amazing weekend! Our 2013 National Conference took place from February 1st to 3rd in Colchester, Vermont, hosted by the incredible St. Mike's SGAC Chapter. A huge thank you to everyone who helped make the conference a success! We had a great time learning about the current challenges facing us, building advocacy skills, and bonding with new friends from all over the country! We also created a strategy for the spring semester to hold leaders accountable and save the lives of thousands of people. We have a big job ahead of us, but SGAC has achieved incredible wins before and will do so this spring, too, thanks in part to the relationships we formed and the tools we gained this weekend! Many of the conference sessions were videotaped and all of the conference materials will be uploaded here. Keep checking here for more as they become available! Ending AIDS in Kenya: Funding Mechanisms for the End to Global AIDS http://www.slideshare.net/melSGAC/funding-mechanisms-and-the-end-of-aids by Paul Davis of HealthGAP Robin Hood is Coming: A Tiny Tax to End AIDS http://www.slideshare.net/melSGAC/robin-hood-is-coming by Jennifer Flynn of HealthGAP Federal Budget Process Teach-in http://www.slideshare.net/melSGAC/federal-budget-process-2013-conference Note: On slide 9, the incorrect subcommittee is highlighted. We are interested in the State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs subcommittee that governs global health funding programs. The Medicines Patent Pool and Access to Medicines http://www.slideshare.net/melSGAC/medicines-patent-pool by Ethan Guillen Trade Laws and Medicines http://www.slideshare.net/melSGAC/trade-laws-about-medicines
The fundraiser party was amazing! Thank you to everyone who was able to attend and support our work. You can view photos from the party here. Couldn't make the party? Celebrate the next generation of AIDS activism any time with a donation to SGAC.
SGAC chapters across the country are preparing for a week of action surrounding World AIDS Day 2012 (December 1st). We will be advocating against budget cuts to life-saving AIDS programs. Do you need ideas for World AIDS Day events and actions to plan at your school? Want to learn how to most effectively advocate to your legislators? Check our our World AIDS Week 2012 Campaign Kit! We got together with the AIDS Advocacy Network of the American Medical Students Association, to put together this comprehensive guide to help you change history this World AIDS Day. If you have any questions, or would like ideas or support for your advocacy efforts, email our National Coordinator, Amirah.
Have you seen the award-winning documentary How To Survive A Plague yet? If you have, then you know that the soundtrack is great - and it just got even better! All proceeds from the sales of the soundtrack will be donated to the Student Global AIDS Campaign! The soundtrack is now available for purchase on iTunes - for less than $10 you can buy fantastic music, and donate to support the lifesaving advocacy work of the Student Global AIDS Campaign. The score by brooklyn-based Superhuman Happiness features members of Antibalas, TV On The Radio, Iron and Wine, and The Phenomenal Handclap Band. You can purchase the soundtrack here. If you haven't seen How To Survive A Plague yet, or if you have and you'd like to set up a screening in your community or on your college campus, please email Amirah to schedule a screening. The film recently received the Gotham Award for Best Documentary of the Year, the New York Film Critic's Award for Best First Film, and has been shortlisted for an Academy Award. More than that, it tells the incredible story of ACT UP and the Treatment Action Group's fight for AIDS treatment in the 1980's and 1990's. The film is a wonderful tool to inspire new activists to get involved in the AIDS movement. If you'd like to further support SGAC and the wonderful work of our student and youth activists, please donate here.