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Prosperity Project

In the late spring of 2019, Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus (the Caucus) partnered with Morten Group, LLC to co-facilitate a community-driven needs assessment of and strategic planning process for the Chicago-area population of Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men.

The long-term goals of this endeavor are to (1) increase antiretroviral medication use for HIV PrEP and HIV treatment and (2) move the community closer to the elimination of HIV via the Prosperity Project.

Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP), the community-wide needs assessment and strategic planning framework for improving public health, was utilized as part of a holistic and participatory means to develop structural intervention(s) addressing social and structural determinants of health. This framework included addressing the four elements of (1) Community Themes and Strengths; (2) Community Health Assessment; (3) Forces of Change; and (4) Local Public Health Assessment as key parts of the overall assessment.


These elements were incorporated within the various phases of the process beginning with project initiation and continuing through strategy development, including the steps of organizing for success and developing partners; visioning; conducting the assessments; identifying strategic issues; and formulating strategies to address the issues.

This report contains a description of the data collected through surveys and focus groups, as well as the process used in sharing and contextualizing the data collection findings among community members and other stakeholders. As part of this process and in order to build upon the subsequent momentum raised, strategies are identified to address the issues discovered in the data findings. These recommendations serve as a springboard for future work in relationship to the following social determinants of health (SDOH) affecting Black gay, bisexual, and same gender loving men in Chicago


Youth Programming

The Mpowerment Project (MP) has been enhanced to help young gay, bisexual, and other MSM (YMSM) living with HIV to engage in the HIV care continuum. The Mpowerment Project+ (MP+) builds on the Mpowerment Project “model” to mobilize YMSM in the community to decrease psychosocial barriers (e.g., reducing HIV stigma) and increase psychosocial facilitators (e.g., increasing social support for engaging in care, increasing literacy about HIV treatment) to support YMSM living with HIV in order to increase their engagement in care.


The MP model involves implementing the program’s original core elements for all YMSM regardless of HIV status, but for MP+ all the core elements have been adapted to also support engagement in care. In addition, two new core elements have been developed: the Positive Living Group and the Support Networks Group (both described in the MP+ Overview PDF below). Finally, we encourage the use of a Peer Navigator in the program.


Health and Wellness Series with Strong Hands Gym & Personal Fitness

The Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus have partnered with Strong Hands Gym and Personal Training on a six-month series to promote health and wellness for the black and queer community. Each month, we will focus of a workout plan, alternative medication, diet, or routine, to promote overall wellness. Participants will create short and long-term goals for themselves and the facilitators will help to establish strategies on how to achieve those during, and after the series.
Join us for this community event and learn how you can get more involved with creating true health equity for black men in Chicago.
If interested, register with the link below. https://forms.monday.com/forms/da419d55c9ab7dbfeb7631a174ca09ec?r=use1