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Across Black America week of Aug. 17, 2017.

Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 8/17/2017, midnight

Alabama

Birmingham has become one of 13 cities in the United States dedicated to committing local resources to achieve key Paris Declaration goals in the fight against AIDS by 2020 and ending the spread of AIDS by 2030, reports the University of Alabama. State agencies, local organizations and the U of A at Birmingham are partnering to achieve the following by 2020: 90 percent of people living with HIV will know their HIV status; 90 percent of those who know their status will be engaged in care and on antiretroviral therapy (ART); and 90 percent of those on ART achieving full viral suppression. “If we can achieve the 90-90-90 plan by 2020, along with zero stigma and discrimination against those living with HIV/AIDS, we will be on our way to ending the spread of HIV/AIDS by 2030,” said Dr. Michael Mugavero an UAB professor. “The only way to effectively do this is by coming together as a community to commit all of our resources to achieve this goal.” Currently, almost 40 percent of all individuals infected with HIV in Alabama are still not suppressed, meaning their virus is not under complete control with medication. Partners in the Paris Declaration for Birmingham include the City of Birmingham, Alabama Department of Public Health, Jefferson County Department of Public Health, Birmingham AIDS Outreach, Altheia House and others.

California

California Community Colleges have kicked off a new campaign to inform underserved populations about the good-paying jobs available through career education, reports BlackVoiceNews.com. According to a press release, there is a skill and an information gap in California, since many high-paying jobs go unfilled because employers can’t find employees with the right training. This includes jobs in the information technology, healthcare, biotechnology and digital media fields. Many people are put off by the cost of college education, but advocates say community colleges offer a low-cost alternative to career education programs and are expanding efforts to ensure people are aware. “Both adults and high school students hesitate to pursue higher education to gain new skills and refresh existing ones because they worry about student debt,” said Van Ton-Quinlivan, vice chancellor of Workforce and Economic Development at the California Community Colleges Chancellor’s Office. “Career education offers a great pathway to increase earnings and make a living wage without that type of debt burden.” She added that the legislature had allocated money specifically targeted for students interested in training for new careers. The campaign will target potential students through ads on traditional and digital media, a website and an app. The promotional campaign is part of a $200 million recurring investment made by Gov. Jerry Brown and the California legislature, according to a news release. Cassandra Jennings, president of the Greater Sacramento Urban League, said working alongside community organizations was an important part of spreading the word in the Black community. African-American students make up 6.5 percent of the students at community colleges. About 5 percent of the more than 6 million students in the K-12 system are Black and they make up 6 percent of students enrolled in four-year colleges.