March 17, 2020

So, I've Been Thinking: Sharing

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CEG's A. Toni Young, Dr. Orisha Bowers, Amy Atkins, & Dr. Lynn Madden at the Project MO(H)RE announcement

So, I’ve been thinking about sharing. In particular I’ve been thinking that, as CEG starts this journey of working with health departments and Community-Based Organizations across the state of West Virginia, trying to integrate HIV into medically- assisted treatment programs, that our goal— and my goal, even my reason for being on the planet, frankly—must always be to share. I want to share what I know with other communities, and increase the capacity of other organizations to do the work that they do. But most importantly, I want to figure out how we can help individuals.

It seems like an obvious point: it’s important that we share our resources and information. But often we're all forced into such competitive situations that we don’t instinctively share. We’re reluctant, suspicious about sharing. But if we truly have as our mission public health, or helping our community, then it’s critical that we share our knowledge, our resources, our capabilities, across all spectrums: financial, logistical, even emotional and spiritual.

As Angela Davis said, “We must always attempt to lift as we climb.” And not just because if we don’t lift up the people around us, one day it could be us in need. But because, as we grow and develop, as we get more funding and resources, or as we figure out something useful that can better our community, we need to remember: helping the people in our town, in our neighborhood, in our holler, in our families—that’s the whole point.

That’s what I’ve been thinking...

-A. Toni Young
Executive Director

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