The Institute for Positive Living's Open Book Program

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We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AIDS
Declaration of Independence
Unanimous Decision


Check Us Out—
Here's Our Message about HIV/AIDS

PSA by Boys II Men Ambassadors from Williams Prep
PSA Created by Boys II Men at Williams
PSA by Boys II Men Ambassadors from Lawless Gardens.
PSA Created by Boys II Men at Lawless Gardens
Boys II Men perform 50 facts

Performance of
“50 Facts about HIV/AIDS”

Cover of We Declare!
Highlights from the book We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AIDS





We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AIDS
Jacket for Declare It

Pictured is the book jacket from We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AID, created the young men in the 2009/2010 Boys II Men Ambassadors program.

Here is the Preface from the We Declare! Freedom from HIV/AIDS book:

This book, We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AIDS, is the work of boys, ages 11 to 15, who participated in an HIV/AIDS prevention program funded by the Illinois Department of Health.

When children are engaged in the types of learning experiences that produce a book that makes individuals think about how they live, that’s an excellent return on our investment. When children are enrolled in programs that give serious thought to how they can best serve their participants, that is also an excellent return on our investment. And when they attend schools that think long and hard about the best way to educate, that, too, is an excellent return on our investment. The young men who created this book were involved in all three of these examples of excellent investment.

The youth who wrote We Declare!—Freedom from HIV/AIDS are now Ambassadors for the Prevention of HIV/AIDS. As their writing shows, they take their Ambassador duties seriously.

We Declare is worth reading. The youth call on their peers, parents and other adults to live responsibly. They express their concerns and show their compassion. They demonstrate an understanding of how HIV/AIDS’ threatens communities now and will be a continued threat to their future if we are not willing to become each other “keeper.” They point out the consequences of irresponsible behavior and challenge each of us to step up and speak out.

As I read their Declarations of Independence, I was reminded of the importance of the efforts that are made at the Department of Health to ensure that people in the State of Illinois have the information and resources they need in order to know that living HIV/AIDS free is not just a dream. These declarations also affirmed my faith in the ability and willingness of Illinoisans to make their own declarations and to actively participate in making our state as free of HIV/AIDS as is humanly possible.

There is a saying; “Out of the Mouths of Babes” that expresses how much I value the words written by each of the youth who contributed to We Declare!. And, I declare to them and to each of you that the Department of Health will continue its efforts to engage, educate and advocate for the prevention of HIV/AIDS.

Marrice Coverson
President, Institute for Positive Living

Our Declaration of Independence for Life without HIV/AIDS

We, the Williams Prep Academy Middle School Vikings and members of the Male Mentoring Project: Hold these truths to be self-evident that African-American children, in our community and all over the United States, are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. To secure our rights, we declare ourselves independent from HIV/AIDS.

HIV/AIDS is destructive to our community. It is our right to abolish it and lay the foundation so all of us can live responsibly
and stay healthy.

Therefore, we declare that:

Our human rights have given us enough power to take a stand against the spread of HIV/AIDS.
We can have happier lives if we do not have to worry about getting a disease that will kill us or require us to take medication for the rest of our lives.

We have the right to live a full life to the oldest age possible.

We want to be able to spend our lives with family, friends and other loved ones having fun and pursuing our dreams without the threat of a virus.

 We want to be able to trust our partners to never do anything that will threaten our unalienable rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

We have the right to be HIV/AIDS-free and will do everything we can to make sure HIV/AIDS is not passed from one generation to another.

We also declare that anyone who has HIV/AIDS:

Will be treated the way every human has the right to be treated including making his or her life as full of love as possible.
Will have all of the medical care they need.

We, the Vikings write our names on this document on the 5th day of May in the year of two thousand and ten. This is our pledge to live safe and responsible lives with the help of our parents, other family members, our teachers, our coaches and other adults who say they love us.

Unanimous Decision

Don’t mess with AIDS
because AIDS will mess
with you.  

DeAndre Buie
5th Grade

All day, everyday, people get it.
It takes 2—a dude and a chick—
to get an STD. And it takes
2—a dude and a chick to prevent
an STD. 

Prevent HIV and AIDS.

Group poem

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