GO Proudly Presents: 100 Women We Love, Class Of 2020

Oni Blackstock

Photo by Estella Yu.

“It is critical to understand the role of intersecting systems of oppression such as racism, homophobia, and transphobia, as the LGBTQ+ community cannot achieve liberation until all LGBTQ+ people are able to live their lives to their fullest potential,” says Dr. Oni Blackstock, Assistant Commissioner for the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of HIV. For Blackstock, creating equity within the LGBTQ+ community means making sure that everyone is included — especially more marginalized groups. That’s one of the reasons she works now for the New York City Health Department’s Bureau of HIV: to ensure people with HIV and those most at increased risk of catching HIV are thought about and cared for. Blackstock does this by overseeing the city’s response to the HIV epidemic in a variety of ways, including supporting hospitals, community organizations, and grassroots organizations; providing HIV testing, prevention, and treatment services; and advocating for positive public policy changes to increase access to those services. Blackstock has worked hard to embed a commitment to racial equity and social justice in all programming and services, which is critical to ending the HIV epidemic among all New Yorkers, and she’s also passionate about racial equity and social justice. As a Black queer woman, Blackstock is honored to be in a visible position for younger folks “who are queer, Black or Brown, and/or self-identified women” and is proud that her identity has opened doors and made connections — only making her career more fulfilling. —IL

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