(EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is reprinted with permission from “Style Weekly.” Felicia Bowman Chandler, a former South Boston resident, was featured in the magazine’s The 2019 Top 40 under 40.)
When asked during her annual review at Health Brigade what her greatest accomplishment was, Felicia Bowman Chandler said it was seeing how well her clients were doing.
This from a woman who was one of 20 in the country chosen to be a Black Women Ambassador using social media to reach black women about HIV and sexual health.
In May this year, she presented Breaking the Silence: an African-American Women’s Guide to Preventing HIV at the National Conference on Social Work and HIV/AIDS in Washington.
As young as 16, Bowman knew she wanted to start her own nonprofit, and Speak Glamher, founded in 2018 to encourage women to take control of their sexual health, was the result.
Last year she also created the annual She Is Me, I Am Her community walk commemorating National Women and Girls HIV Awareness Day.
Bowman remembers the women in her family as go-getters, owning businesses and involved in community work. The lessons stuck.
“Seeing them taught me the importance of giving back,” she said.
Committed to giving a voice to women of color living with HIV and dismantling the stigma associated with it, Bowman mentors social work students at Health Brigade, formerly the Fan Free Clinic, teaching them to tune into patients.
As a facilitator in the Communities in Service program at Armstrong and Thomas Jefferson high schools, she encourages young women to take control of their sexual health.
“They’re our future and when I can’t do this work anymore, they’ll be out there doing it.”