As far back as 2015, the Flag for All Mississippians Coalition and others, including AHF, have been advocating for Mississippi—the only state that includes the Confederate emblem in its flag—to remove it
JACKSON, MS (June 28, 2020) The Flag for All Mississippians Coalition, a diverse group of citizens who first came together five years ago to support the creation of a state flag that represents all Mississippians regardless of their race, religion, education, or socio-economic status, and AHF, which has free AIDS treatment clinics in Mississippi, today commended the Mississippi State Legislature for advancing legislation to change the state’s flag, the last in the country to still include the stars and bars emblem of the Confederacy.
Sharon Brown, Director of Flag for All Mississippians Coalition stated, “Now Mississippi can embrace a new flag that represent unity and progress. It was humble beginnings back in 2015 when we joined in the fight with our many allies such as AIDS Healthcare Foundation, who knew the importance of joining in the fight to remove this divisive Confederate emblem. I am grateful and truly humbled to the many who spent countless hours with us in this endeavor.”
In 2015, Sharon Brown was also a citizen proponent of Initiative #55, the ‘Flag for All Mississippians Act,’ a proposed state ballot initiative spearheaded by her organization and funded and supported by AHF. The backers later withdrew the measure before it could be placed before Mississippi voters.
Valerie Brown, Community Organizer for the Flag for All Mississippians Coalition and an AHF Community Mobilizer, stated, “I am grateful to our Mississippi legislators for their bravery in voting to finally have a symbol of hate removed from our state flag. We can now move forward in the 21st century and really embrace our state motto, ‘The Hospitality State’.”
In early June, AHF and its Black Leadership AIDS Crisis Coalition (BLACC), an affinity group of AHF, relaunched their #StandAgainstHate campaign, a national advocacy, awareness and action campaign intended to take on and challenge the racism, hatred, police abuse targeting African Americans and a burgeoning white supremacy movement that continue to sweep our nation.
The revival of the #StandAgainstHate campaign came in direct response to the brutal murder of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer in May and an ongoing, tragic pattern of other high-profile deaths of African Americans at the hands of law enforcement officers or involving or connected to police departments. AHF launched its initial #StandAgainstHate campaign in August 2017 in response to the civil rights and social justice tragedy so brutally unmasked in Charlottesville, VA and its aftermath.
AHF has free HIV/AIDS treatment clinics and testing and outreach programs in six former states of the former Confederacy: Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina and Texas.
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