weSpeak Podcast Episode 2

weSpeak Podcast Episode 2
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PART 2

Facilitating the community sessions in Toronto to engage Black men and the community in dialogue on HIV vulnerabilities and collective resilience brought out fundamental aspects of the experiences of Black Heterosexual Men and the challenges with Black stereotypes in Ontario.

The second episode of the weSpeak podcast will look at some of the insights generated from the sessions in Toronto.

AMBIENCE

Hello, and thanks for joining us for the second edition of the podcast; I'm Joy Osiagwu, your host for the series.

weSpeak is a 5-year program of research and related activities on the African, Caribbean, and Black (ACB) heterosexual men in Ontario to address their health needs, interest, and vulnerability to HIV.

Our guests on this edition are Andre Harriot, one of the project's research assistants. In addition, Brandon Hay, the founder of the Black Daddies Club, a forum created as a safe space for black men to share ideas, struggles and victories for effective network and support, is a collaborator on the project. You will get to hear his commentary on the outcome of the study.

AMBIENCE

Andre Harriot commends the community based participatory approach of the study. He describes it as one of the greatest successes of the weSpeak project.

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Reaching out to Black men and the community in their safe spaces, especially the barber's shop, was a significant attraction for Brandon Hay. The strategy resonates with his concept of Black Daddies Club.

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The facilitators ensured that the sessions allowed participants to share personal experiences about structural inequities without reservations, as you will hear from Andre Harriot.

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Hay and Harriot say the conversations became intriguing as the barbers turned to co-facilitators because of the attachment to the customers, which made for more engaging and productive discussions about Black Heterosexual men and HIV. 

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The focus group sessions also revealed some of the vulnerable aspects of Blackmen

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Contrary to popular narratives, Andre Harriots says Blackmen are committed to positive health outcomes

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A significant challenge encountered in the conversations was the stigma around HIV.

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What should be the next steps from now on?

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Black Masculinities and structural determinants of HIV vulnerabilities are the themes of the third episode of the weSpeak podcast, featuring Dr Rogers Antabe and Dr Wesley Oakes.

weSpeak research is funded by the Ontario HIV Treatment Network and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.