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Normal Anomaly Launches Project Liberate: A Leadership Program for the Black, Queer+ Community

On World AIDS Day, Project Liberate is imagining a better, more equitable future through empowering its community’s Black, queer+ leaders


HOUSTON, TX. Dec. 1, 2021 The Normal Anomaly Initiative, Inc., a Houston-based nonprofit dedicated to centering Black, queer plus people to overcome barriers and end stigma and problematic narratives, announced the launch of their latest initiative, Project Liberate, to commemorate World AIDS Day. Project Liberate is a 6-month community development project supported through the ViiV Accelerate Initiative.


This year’s World AIDS Day theme is “Equitable Access, Everyone’s Voice,” a vision and mission that has resonated with Normal Anomaly’s work since its inception. From its founding five years ago, Normal Anomaly recognized the lack of support or services available to Black, queer plus people in Houston.


“HIV doesn’t just affect the Black, queer+ community, but there is a disproportionate amount of Black and Brown individuals living with HIV. We have come a long way since the discovery of the virus, yet the stigma still persists and its impacts are felt through socioeconomic and sociocultural factors,” said Ian L. Haddock, Founder and Executive Director of the Normal Anomaly Initiative. “This non-traditional program aims to end the epidemic through empowering the possibility of ownership and autonomy, as well as giving greater control to Black, queer plus persons in their community ecosystem.”  


To amplify the voices of those traditionally pushed to the margins, Normal Anomaly built a space to not only focus on the digital storytelling of Black, queer plus persons, but to also build an infrastructure of mobility for those they represent. 


Project Liberate is a leadership program that helps build sustainability for the most marginalized communities by providing education, tools and resources to the Black, queer plus community. It is funded by ViiV Healthcare’s Accelerate Iniative, ViiV Healthcare’s commitment to support community-driven solutions to address HIV stigma and close gaps in care for Black gay, bisexual, queer, and trans men across the U.S. Project Liberate aims to liberate its community through advocacy, as well as rebuilding and redefining our society. 


The project will launch, relaunch and build up to 20 brands, organizations and businesses in the Black, queer plus space in and around Houston. It will begin with a three-month intensive with capacity building workshops where cohorts will learn the foundational elements of businesses and nonprofits, financial planning, pitching and relationship building. Participants will work towards a capstone project in the final three months where they launch or relaunch their organizations amongst community, family and the city of Houston in May 2022.  


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About Normal Anomaly – Founded by Ian L. Haddock in June 2016 in Houston, Texas as a storytelling blog, The Normal Anomaly Initiative has grown to become a Houston staple in the community-based social advocacy world dedicated to the forward mobility of all black, queer people.  In March 2021, The Normal Anomaly opened the BQ Plus Center for Liberation, a Black, Queer led center located in Houston.