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Transgender Resilience Month

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A Message From Our CEO:

AMAAD observes and celebrates National Transgender Awareness Month this month. AMAAD lifts and centers our transgender, nonbinary, and gender-nonconforming siblings and friends throughout all of our programs and activities all year. In this month’s AMAAD On The Move, we highlight two of our dynamic team members. 

The AMAAD Institute is continuing to see tremendous growth, including the expansion of our C-Suite, with the appointment of Gerald Garth as AMAAD’s Chief Operations Officer (COO). As Director of Operations & Programs for AMAAD, Gerald has developed, grown, and strengthened every part of AMAAD, and I’m excited for what he will do in the role of COO for AMAAD. Take a look at this month’s newsletter to see more of our exciting growth! We also will showcase our AMAAD Squad Star, a monthly highlight of one of the many great individuals who make up our great agency.

I also, on behalf of the AMAAD Institute, we also want to wish all of our veterans and servicepeople a Happy Veterans Day. We also want to wish you and your loved ones a Happy Thanksgiving as we all take time this month to reflect and celebrate all we have to be thankful for.

Happy Transgender Awareness Month!

Happy Thanksgiving! Happy Veterans Day!

Be well and take care!

Dr. Carl Highshaw, MSW

Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Founder

[email protected]

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Join the HIV.E Today!

"Hello, my name is Nina Barkers from The AMAAD Institute, which stands for (Arming Minorities Against Addiction & Diseases) located in South LA. I am the Manager of Transgender Equity and EHE team lead for our EHE (Ending the HIV Epidemic) initiative in Los Angeles, CA. Under the EHE umbrella, we created our program initiative called the (HIV.E), which stands for HIV Education and Empowerment. We want to partner with community leaders and organizations throughout Los Angeles County to help us reach the goal of reducing new HIV transmissions and acquisitions in the United States by 75 percent in five years (by 2025) and by 90 percent in ten years (by 2030). It is HIV.E’s goal to help bring awareness through education, self-empowerment, treatment, and interventions that work for our specific populations such as Black Women, Black same gender loving Men, Youth under 30, and Transgender Persons in the LA community.


Right now, we are in the HIV.E cohort application process. We are sending the HIV.E application to the different community-led organizations and members who have direct contact with the applicants to build out our HIV.E cohorts. This will take some structured attempts to accumulate these applications and then decipher which are qualified candidates for the opportunity. In addition, HIV.E is reaching out via email correspondence, social media outreach, and community calls to available applicants. This is all part of the concentrated effort to build out the HIV.E to be an effective community change agent in HIV prevention and education."

Nina Barkers

Manager of Transgender Equity

[email protected]


AMAAD is in the C.R.I.B.B.

The AMAAD Institute is excited to partner with NAESM for the 2022 Conference January 13-16, 2022 in Los Angeles, CA. With the theme, “Our Lives Matter: Turning the Tide Together,” the National African American MSM Leadership Conference on Health Disparities and Social Justice is the nation’s largest annual convening dedicated to exploring HIV prevention, care, treatment, policy, and research advances related to Black gay, bisexual, and the same gender loving men.

As a part of NAESM, Gerald Garth, AMAAD’s Chief Operations Officer, will serve as faculty for the CRIBB Fellowship. The yearlong, stipended fellowship is Creating Responsible Intelligent Black Brother and is designed to grow and support the next generation of HIV and social justice leaders through training and mentorship.

Those interested in the CRIBB fellowship or the NAESM conference may still apply at CRIBB application deadline is December 10, 2021.

Continue to check out amaad_institute on Instagram and for all the latest details!

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AMAAD's Response to COVID-19

"I am excited to announce that I am the new Community Education and Engagement Team Lead; my everyday duties will include overseeing the new COVID-19 Outreach and Access team. With this new role, I will be able to expand my knowledge and grow as we keep AMAAD at the forefront of serving the community, as AMAAD continues to stay on the move. The COVID-19 Outreach and Access team will continue to create change and bring awareness to our community as assist with vaccine registration, supporting vaccination sites, dispelling any myths, and miseducation about COVID-19 and the vaccination along with vaccine safety, eligibility, and aftercare."

Tyrone Thompson

[email protected]

Community Education and Engagement Team Lead

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AMAAD joins Alternatives to Incarceration Academy Cohort

The AMAAD Institute is excited to have been selected to participate in the first Alternatives to Incarceration (ATI) Incubation Academy Cohort. Supported through the CEO’s office of the County of Los Angeles, the Incubation Academy provides training, funding, and technical assistance to community-based organizations, particularly those serving underrepresented and justice-involved communities. Through support and opportunities like the Alternatives to Incarceration Initiative, AMAAD looks for continuous growth and expansion of its reentry portfolio with such programs as Project imPACT and the Reclaiming Innocence Project.

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AMAAD Star of the Month:

Ron Jackson

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"I am an artist, advocate, activist, and more. I am a student of life and love to offer my support and insight to help others.   

I’m inspired by individuals that are not afraid to speak up for themselves, individuals that provide a safe space for individuals to better equip themselves to navigate these life choices.   

I impact my community and individuals every day. Whether it’s offering resources through the various programs I am working for at the time or in my daily life providing understanding where it may not exist. As an HIV tester, I made sure that everyone that I tested was very comfortable, and when a positive result occurred, I made sure they were aware of their results and not let them leave my presence until they were able to assure me, they were okay. I do this work for my friends who didn’t have a fighting chance to live with HIV, now one can have a healthy and sustainable life while living with HIV. With my experience, I assure individuals that HIV does not define you, nor does it lessen your quality of life.   

Studying and working in the field of social work has improved my ability to listen and communicate better to the individuals I provide services or resources to. I love people, providing light where there is darkness, placing resources that match the need of the population being served. I work with different personalities, cultures, and egos, as well as through the various processes and protocols that often exist while working with marginalized and vulnerable populations.  

Individuals are impacted in multiple ways, your reactions and choices are the infrastructures of your future, one must choose well or be willing to deal with the consequences. This morning I spoke with a participant who served 41 years for a crime he did not commit, he’s finally home with his family and realizes the system is not set up for all. He decided not to allow his situation to define his future, while he can’t get those 41 years back, he can live his life as he chooses.  

Social work brings many challenges that one must understand to overcome, as well as daily successes that one should observe. I realize I can’t help everyone, and there’s no one pill one can take, however, by taking each situation as its own entity I focus on what is needed to secure the results that one desires. I’m able to determine the work needed to overcome an obstacle, I also accept if it’s something I can’t overcome and seek help. Ultimately, I’m at my best when helping others overcome their challenges to experience peace and happiness.  

As a Peer Navigator working with individuals that recently home from a California State Prison. My duties are the initial intake, assessment, and matching participants to services. If so, I schedule an office visit to collect and sign all necessary documents needed to enroll individuals into the program. I help them navigate the process of readjusting back into society, some serving as much as 40 plus years." 

Ronald Jackson (Ron)

Peer Housing Navigator

[email protected]

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Christopher Webb


Media Coordinator

Gerald Garth



Carl Highshaw



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