For the 29 years since being diagnosed with HIV, Shelia Crockett has stopped at nothing to uplift the voices around her, especially those who can’t speak for themselves — no matter what the cost.
Last September, Crockett was arrested in Washington, D.C., after protesting proposed budget cuts and Congress’s threat to the Affordable Care Act. She joined dozens of other HIV-positive activists who have helped lead the charge to save the health care of millions of Americans.
She was arrested again while protesting at the capital against the nomination of alleged sexual predator Brett Kavanaugh, who has since been confirmed to the Supreme Court.
These days, the 55-year-old is co-chair of Positive Women Network-USA’s Dallas/Fort Worth chapter and a current PWN Policy Fellow. Despite the countless hours Crockett has clocked toward eradicating stigma, and defending health care, she says the biggest challenge she sees right now is “getting the world to understand undetectable equals untransmittable.”
And while the activist has long used her life to bring awareness to poz women’s stories, but she says we still need “more articles and billboards with women of color standing on the foundation of U=U” to encourage them they can live “longer, healthier, sexual lives.”
As an activist and community organizer, Crockett has accomplished a lot. But, if she could talk to her younger self she would still urge herself, to “not wait 26 years to sit at the table, to speak up and out for others who don’t have a voice.”
Moving on, Crockett says she will stop at nothing to push progress forward. Much of the work she does now is on behalf of the memory of those in her life she’s lost — including a dear friend who died late last year, Nippy Tymes.
“R.I.P. Nippy,” is a new rallying cry for this activist.