Social Architect/Activist Cleo Manago Releases Hard Hitting Video In Commemoration of World AIDS Day

March 1, 2012

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Social Architect/Activist Cleo Manago Releases Hard Hitting Video In Commemoration of World AIDS Day

Social Activist Cleo Manago

Washington, DC (PRWEB) December 1, 2010

In solidarity with the commemoration of World AIDS Day on December 1, social architect/ activist Cleo Manago has released a thought provoking video missile in an effort to continue the dialogue and incite change within the Black community. The video, “HIV Healing in Young Black America: Getting the Language Right” is a hard hitting, no holds barred examination highlighting the voices of young African American leaders from across the nation. A fan page has been set up on Facebook under “HIV Healing in Young Black America by Cleo Manago” so viewers can watch the short film and leave their comments.

The film short examines the rarely addressed relationship between Black self-concept, culture, sexuality, masculinity and the capacity to protect the community from HIV and self-destruction. Youth suicides, hetero and homosexuality, and Bishop Eddie Long are just a few of the topical issues raised and addressed.

Opening with Magic Johnson’s HIV disclosure at his 1991 press conference, the 17 minute documentary moves at a riveting pace, incorporating dialogue, music, historic news clips, statistics, historical figures, speeches, sound bites and comedic clips from popular culture including “The Boondocks,” and “In Living Color.” “HIV Healing in Young Black America” ultimately reveals itself as a poignant appeal targeting the heart of Black America.

“HIV Healing in Young Black America” is also being distributed for group viewings at private screenings, churches, colleges, grassroots educational efforts and health centers on World AIDS DAY. The video has already been viewed by over 1000 people, many of them primarily African American youth.

“The response to the video has been electric and a bit overwhelming. Given that the central topic is HIV/AIDS, a still stigmatized and often avoided issue, such interests among Black youth may be a first for this subject,” cites Manago. “The video was purposely designed to be relevant, compelling and educational, to a broad Black audience, and others interested in the issue. That this has indeed occurred is quite satisfying.”

“Social networking has become one of our most important vehicles for getting messages out there directly to the youth. With the establishment of the Facebook fan page for “HIV Healing in Young Black America” we can now directly impact our audience and interact with them immediately, attending to concerns, administering advice and pointing them to programs that can directly address their issues. The fan page is also crucial to providing a ‘voice’ for everyone to speak and be heard,” explains Manago.

Manago’s inventive programs have continuously stimulated the national discourse on HIV/AIDS and Black community health, most notably for appropriate methodologies in mental health and wellness and prevention. He addresses culturally and historically relevant barriers to sexual health, stigma and responsibility, and the challenge of cultural inequity in American society at large.

This past June, Manago was invited to the White House by the Obama administration to contribute to a planning discussion on Black men’s health. And during a time when non-profits are shutting down and losing funding, he has successfully secured financial resources for three of his longtime programs; Manago’s study, entitled the Critical Thinking and Cultural Affirmation (CTCA), his Los Angeles-based AmASSI Centers for Wellness, Education and Culture (, and Black Men’s Xchange (BMX) (, the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to promoting healthy self-concept and behavior, cultural affirmation and critical consciousness among same gender loving (SGL), gay-identifying and bisexual African-descended males and allies.

“HIV Healing in Young Black America: Getting the Language Right” is a project of the Black Men’s Xchange. BMX was recently funded by the Center for Disease Control’s Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative (AAALI) program. As part of CDC’s innovative campaign program, CDC has launched a $ 10 million, five-year partnership with 16 of the nation’s leading African-American organizations. The AAALI seeks to harness the collective strength and reach of traditional, longstanding African-American institutions to increase HIV-related awareness, knowledge and action within black communities across the United States. This conglomerate of historically black organizations, which also includes NAACP, the Urban League, the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation and American Urban Radio Networks, are also implementing activity for World AIDS Day.

“Having two organizations with national scope and regional locations, I have observed the extreme lack of effective and culturally relevant HIV prevention and care focus on young Black folks, particularly young homosexual and bisexual men, and even females at-risk, for years now. There’s been a gap both in including their voices and properly addressing their issues for 30 years now. Recently I was invited by young people familiar with my work to participate at a national conference in New York that focused on Black youth and HIV. I planned to build a mini-documentary or educational video around that event. I wanted to feature “their” voices and my own work relevant to the issue on video. “HIV Healing in Young Black America: Getting the Language Right” is the result,” offers Manago.

To view “HIV Healing in Young Black America: Getting the Language Right” and propel the discussion, log on to Facebook and go to the “HIV Healing in Young Black America by Cleo Manago” fan page now ! For private organizational screenings, connect with Cleo Manago directly at and BMX and



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