PLDI Managers Tara Jewal (Ontario AIDS Network) and Marc Seguin (Pacific AIDS Network) met James Watson host of the podcast The Positive Effect to discuss how peer leadership is essential to the community.
James Watson introduces the episode as follows:
Our response to the HIV epidemic would not be nearly as successful without the effective leadership of people living with HIV. And that’s just a fact. And I’m going to propose that there may be nothing more important for our community right now than building the next generation of leaders. Lots of dynamic and smart people with rich stories have stepped up and stepped into roles of leadership over the years. But is it enough? Are we fostering enough HIV positive leaders to sustain and champion the response to the years to come? Greg Szekeres has wrote in his paper “Leadership development and HIV/AIDS,” and I’m going to paraphrase here, that although strong leadership of people living with HIV may not always guarantee success of HIV and AIDS programming, it has become clear that without effective leadership, progress and success is almost impossible.
He goes on to say that a leadership vacuum is approaching. And this paper was written in 2008. So I wonder, is a leadership vacuum upon us? Is it already happening? On our program today, we’re going to explore what leadership for people living with HIV looks like and hear about some of the really great work being done to develop the next generation of leaders in Canada. There are many forms and constructs of leadership building, but on today’s program, we’re focusing on the Peer Leadership Development Institute, or PLDI. It’s a really exciting grassroots program founded by the Ontario AIDS Ntwork in 2006. And it has now expanded to British Columbia, with the support of the Pacific AIDS Network, and into Quebec, in partnership with COCQ-SIDA, the Coalition of Quebec community organizations fighting against HIV/AIDS. My very special guests today are Tara Jewal, the Provincial Manager of PLDI in Ontario, and Marc Seguin, the Provincial Manager of PLDI in British Columbia. Welcome, both of you, to pozcast.