Two new women — both whom happen to be HIV-positive — have been added to the “Wall of Justice,” a learning tool provided by the Rural Women's Health Project and the Women’s Leadership Institute. Here they join the ranks of some very prominent female leaders, both current and historical — including Harriet Tubman, Angela Davis, Malala Youssafzai, and Maxine Waters, to name a few.
The updated “Wall,” which now includes activists Cecilia Chung and Tami Haught, was posted on Rural Women's Health Project’s (RWHP) Facebook page last week in honor of Women’s History Month this March. The post caption read:
As we continue through March, Women's History Month, we want to encourage you all to learn about some powerful women from our “Wall of Justice.”
The Wall of Justice is a tool that our Women's Leadership Institute has been using for the past year to expand our knowledge of the amazing work women have been and are continuing to do in all our various intersecting communities.
Chung and Haught also happen to be previous honorees of Plus magazine, as both were featured as “Amazing HIV-Positive Women” of 2015.
Chung — who has worked tirelessly for years advocating on behalf of human rights, social justice, health equity, and LGBT equality — couldn’t be more deserving of the recognition. Chung, a senior strategist at the Transgender Law Center, was also the first transgender woman appointed as a San Francisco health commissioner and a former council member on the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS under the Obama administration.
When we talked to Chung about her advocacy in 2015, she told Plus: “What launched my own advocacy path was my desire to survive as a trans woman, an immigrant, and a person of color living with HIV… I’m heartened to see the progress in HIV prevention and treatment, but concerned that many inequities that make us vulnerable to HIV still exist today. Next time when you see or hear me, please keep in mind that there are hundreds and thousands of stories from other HIV-positive women waiting to be heard.”
Haught’s fierceness as a leading organizer and champion of HIV anti-criminalization efforts has earned her the nickname of “mama bear” by many of the poz folks she’s helped along the way. She’s also been a Sero Project board member, a member of the United States People Living With HIV Caucus Steering Committee, a GNP+NA board member, and president of Positive Iowans Taking Charge — an educational, emotional and social support group.
“What an honor, I don't think I am worthy of being on that Wall of Justice with so many incredible women and activists,” Haught commented on the post. “Thank you for thinking of me, I am deeply honored to know and work with you all.”