Season 2
Episode 13

ACB immigrant women living with HIV: creatively mobilizing to educate and excite...

January 26, 2022
photographer, Rose-Anne Bailey

In this episode we revisit the significant and creative work of the Because She Cares (BSC) initiative. As Black History month approaches we refocus our attention and pay tribute to the African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) immigrant women living with HIV who have been at the forefront of the HIV/AIDS response in Canada and around the world.

Our episode guest

Lori Ann Chambers

Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Factor-Inwentash Faculty of Social Work, University of Toronto

Lori Ann Chambers, Ph.D., is a social worker and researcher who uses storytelling methods to generate and share knowledge from communities living with or impacted by HIV. She has devoted her recent advocacy to telling the stories of women of African descent employed in HIV/AIDS service organizations (ASOs) to better assuring their self-care and mutual support. In collaboration with African, Caribbean and Black community advocates, she is co-leading Because She Cares, a performance narrative project that translates research exploring the ASO employment experiences of ACB women living with HIV into spoken word theatre and film.

5 Questions for Lori...

Beer or wine? Wine.

Moderna or Pfizer? The one that's available.

Doctor or PhD? PhD when I have to use it...not always.

Singing or dancing? Dancing.

Shower or tub? Tub.

February is Black History Month, a time to celebrate the multitude of ways Black Canadians have, and continue to contribute to Canada's history and culture.

It’s also the perfect opportunity to revisit and celebrate, the Because She Cares initiative. African, Caribbean and black HIV positive women have always been at the forefront of the HIV and AIDS response in Canada, alongside those of us engaged in the movement. We know this, and we see it in our day-to-day work. But their engagement as paid workers falls way short of the recognition it deserves.

Our research findings... we do something with it. And that something means we use it either to educate, to excite, to incite or to activate.

In this episode we pay homage to the Because She Cares Study and revisit Season 1, Episode 4. Yet so much has happened in the world since then. And it feels like a lifetime ago. COVID, well, that happened. It's still happening. But, so is Because She Cares. Listen in as host, James Watson catches up with pozcast regular guest, Lori Chambers, the founder of the Because She Cares Collaborative, and one of the producers of the play and film 'Because She Cares: A Critical Poetic Retelling' – as well as the editor and co-author of its poetry anthology.

illustrator, Rose-Anne Bailey

Because She Cares, in case you aren't familiar...

'BSC' started as a qualitative research study, and uses performance and poetry to share the stories of African Caribbean and black immigrant women employed in AIDS service organizations. The study underscores some pretty emotional and serious issues around employment, but in unexpected, beautifully crafted and dynamically creative ways. It's definitely not often we associate research with creative expression or the poetic arts. So this is what is so compelling about Because She Cares, and why so many people are drawn to this work. And why it keeps growing and thriving.

photographer, Rose-Anne Bailey
Scenes from the Because She Cares film shorts....
photographer, Rose-Anne Bailey

For more information about storytelling, knowledge mobilization and social change, Lori recommends 7.10 stories

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