Saron Selassie

Saron Selassie
Location: Los Angeles, California Cohort Start Year: 2019 Project Topics: Community/Civic Engagement, Health Care Access, Health Care Quality, LGBTQ+ Health, Public, Population and Community Health, Racial Justice, Sexual Health, Social Sector/Non-Profit Populations Served: Adolescents (12-20 years), Adults (21-64 years), African-American/Black, Homeless Populations, LGBTQ+ Communities, Low-Income Communities, People Living with HIV/AIDS, People with Addictions, Urban Communities
Prevention and Care Manager
Black AIDS Institute

Saron is based in Los Angeles and works at the intersection of racial justice and public health. Her vision of a Culture of Health is one free of structural oppression and full of structures, systems, and policies that facilitate health and opportunity. She is currently applying this lens to the field of HIV. The field has all of the biomedical tools to end the HIV epidemic, and yet it persists because of racist, homophobic, transphobic, economically unjust structures. Los Angeles County follows national trends with black communities disproportionately affected by HIV. In Los Angeles, black people make up only 8 percent of the population but represent 20 percent of all people living with HIV and 30 percent of deaths due to AIDS-related complications. Saron believes that to truly end this epidemic among the most affected communities, the field must focus on dismantling the drivers of the epidemic.

Saron is a Southern California native with roots in communities in Los Angeles and a commitment to supporting these communities to leverage their power to improve their health and well-being. She wants to ensure that public health advocates have the tools and resources to dismantle existing systems of oppression, and envision and create new systems that recognize the full humanity and health of individuals.

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