AIDS 2020 Participation Grant Recipients
As part of programming around the Canada Pavilion, the Canada Pavilion is pleased to provide 9 Participation Grants for members of the HIV/AIDS community and service providers to attend AIDS 2020: Virtual.
We’re proud to share their stories and elevate the important work they are doing in Canada to advocate for communities across the country and move the needle on global HIV/AIDS targets.
Mindy Brown is a volunteer with HIV/AIDS Resources and Community Health, or ARCH, in Guelph, Ontario and sits on the organization’s PLH Advisory Committee. Mindy completed her internship through ARCH, and in 2018 she was hired as their Practical Support Worker. In this role, Mindy helps clients get to doctors’ appointments, the city food bank or other rides, organizes transport, provides community members with gas and food cards, and provides assistance to those applying for Ontario Disability Support Program (ODSP) or Trillium Benefits. Mindy also plans social activities including monthly movie nights. She is a former participant of the Positive Leadership Development Institute (PLDI) and Turning to One Another (TTOA) programs and brings experience as a community facilitator. Mindy has facilitated at Survive to Thrive two years in a row as well. She is very passionate about her work and continues to fight for the day the PLH community can live stigma free.
Brittany Cameron is a 34-year-old woman from Peterborough, Ontario, Canada who has been living with HIV for over a decade. Brittany wears many hats in the HIV sector. She is the current Co-Chair of the Canadian Positive People Network (CPPN), part of the Positive Leadership Development (PLDI) Ontario Facilitation Team and works at her local community AIDS Service Organization - PARN as the Peer and Volunteer Engagement Program Coordinator. In addition to her lived experiences of generational substance use, incarceration, sex work and HIV she has an educational background in Social Service Work. The core values she brings to the work are a deep sense of connection and willingness to meaningfully engage, enable and empower people living with HIV locally and beyond to find their passions and become active agents of change in their lives and the lives of others. As we say; nothing about us, without us.
Valerie Nicholson is an Indigenous woman living with HIV, an Elder, a frontline warrior, a Peer Indigenous Research Associate with the BC Centre for Excellence in HIV/AIDS, the first positive women to be Chair of the Canadian Aboriginal AIDS Network in 25 years, previous Board Member of AIDS Vancouver for 6-years, first Indigenous person to be Chair of Positive Living Society of BC, a motivational speaker, Trainer with Positive Leadership Development Institute, an Indigenous Peer Navigator, and Peer Elder with YouthCo’s Camp Moomba, the Yúusnewas program and the First Directions camp program. Valerie honors all peer voices, and ensures their words are heard and transformed into positive actions through the work she does. She is dedicated to bringing research “home”.
Jeff Potts is 51 years old, a gay man, father to five, and grandfather to four. Jeff is aging with HIV having received a once-fateful diagnosis (early 90s), and he joined a second survivors’ community after a stroke at Thanksgiving 2016, and another in January 2018.
His life’s work found him at CATIE in 1994, and, from there, he held portfolio and management positions in the infectious diseases Health Canada, Correctional Service Canada, and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Today, Jeff proudly serves as the Canadian Positive People Network’s Executive Director.
In life and its pursuits, Jeff shares a simple objective with Helen Keller who said, “I long to accomplish great and noble tasks, but it is my chief duty to accomplish humble tasks as though they were great and noble. The world is moved along, not only by the mighty shoves of its heroes, but also by the aggregate of the tiny pushes of each honest worker.”
Joanne Lindsay is a Community Investigator with Dr. Ann Burchell’s ESTIMATE Lab, Unity Health Toronto, Joanne’s HIV research, advocacy and community education work focuses on the link between HIV, HPV and increased cancer risks for positive people, specifically cervical, anal and oral cancers. Talking with community groups of positive people about protecting ourselves from HPV-related cancers, she explores experiences accessing HPV and cancer prevention tools, screening procedures and treatment options for pre-cancer. Her work in research, training, mentoring and programming within Toronto’s HIV sector began in 2012.
Joanne is a member of CIHR’s CHASRAC and is Treasurer of CATIE. Joanne has degrees in Urban Planning, Community Development and Community Engaged Research and Evaluation. Engaging with the Circle of Care Peer Support Team with Toronto’s People With AIDS Foundation (PWA), Joanne initiated a team research project on HIV stigma experienced by the positive women working as peers and being supported in communities by peers.