“If not you, who? If not now, when?”
Phill Wilson, the keynote speaker at this year’s AIDS Science Day, got the most applause when he exhorted his audience to do more to help community groups in New Haven.
“People from places like Yale and Harvard and Princeton are the people who run the world,” Wilson said, speaking at the School of Public Health in April. “Use your privilege to make a difference.”
Wilson, the founder of the African American AIDS Policy and Training Institute, said AIDS takes thousands of lives a day, yet the international community has not offered a response commensurate with the epidemic. Action must be local as well as global, he said.
“There is something wrong with institutions like Yale that exist in poor communities like this,” he said, “if they don’t use their resources, their influence, their talent to strengthen the infrastructure of the organizations that live and die in their shadow. Community programs in New Haven should never have a shortage of evaluators, organizational-development folks, grant writers, researchers, website designers, policy analysts. … If not you, who? If not now, when?”