Leaders for Change: Celebrating the 2023-2024 SHIF Leadership Cohort

Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.”

— Barack Obama, former U.S. president

An eight-person photo set of the LDC

AIDS United is thrilled to announce the 2023-2024 cohort graduation from the AIDS United’s Southern HIV Impact Fund (SHIF) Leadership Development Program.

The 2023 cohort was selected last fall with a focus on reshaping the approach to HIV in the South to prioritize intersectional work, integrate principles of racial justice, and enhance the meaningful involvement of people living with HIV. Participants completed an introductory public health management e-learning course at their own pace, engaged in monthly peer-to-peer discussions, and undertook a service learning project of their choice, supported by a $500 micro-grant. The Southern HIV Impact Fund is dedicated to rebuilding the HIV workforce, ensuring that HIV leadership and organizations reflect the communities most affected by HIV in the South.

We are proud to have supported the participation of ten emerging leaders in the program, each representing communities of the HIV epidemic in the U.S. South, particularly those from Black, Latinx, youth, queer, and transgender communities, with a majority of the graduating cohort under the age 40.

“The South is the epicenter of HIV in the United States. We can not end the HIV epidemic until we end it in the South for communities of color, said Vanessa Lathan, Senior Manager of Southern HIV Impact Fund. The Southern HIV Impact Fund remains committed to rebuilding the public health and public policy workforce by intentionally investing in Black-led organizations, Black leadership, Black institutions, solutions, and innovations until communities of color are no longer disproportionately impacted by HIV. Additionally, the Southern HIV Impact Fund aims to address and reduce racial, social, and economic barriers communities of color in the South continue to endure by creating opportunities for people of color to lead the HIV movement as HIV affects us.”

Utilizing in-house expertise and partnerships with experienced Southern providers, AIDS United offers tailored training and support to develop the whole leader beyond their professional focus and assist cohort members in completing their chosen service learning projects. We invite you to celebrate the 2023- 2024 graduating cohort of the SHIF Leadership Development Program:


Ataiya Bridges, Texas Southern University

Brandi Taylor, Hope House Memphis

Estella Guerrero, Eagle Pass SAFE

Jabari Baymon, CH-PIER

JaiPiere Morrison, MS Positive Network

Joe Brown III, Gretna Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.

Kesha Holloway, TAKE Resource Center

Marcus Kennedy, Grambling State University

Shaquita Miles, The Women’s Collective

Tavianna Rouse, WeCare TN


About the Southern HIV Impact Fund: Convened by Funders Concerned About AIDS in 2017 to coordinate and expand philanthropic efforts in the U.S. South, SHIF and its funding partners Gilead Sciences, ViiV Healthcare, and a generous anonymous donor are committed to leveraging their collective power to promote a more coordinated and effective response to the disproportionate impact of HIV in the U.S. South. SHIF is operated and staffed by AIDS United.