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SisterLove records

 Collection
Identifier: SSC-MS-00684

Scope and Contents

The SisterLove records include administrative and program files from the founding of SisterLove to the early 2000s. Materials include correspondence; financial records; workshop materials, including surveys of participants; training manuals for the Healthy Love Party; pamphlets and handbooks; grant proposals; reports; audiovisual materials; project records; and a small amount of Women's AIDS Prevention Project (WAPP) records, a precursor to SisterLove. Particularly well documented are SisterLove's grant applications, their residential program for HIV positive women called "Love House," the Healthy Love Parties, the Women's HIV/AIDS Resources Project (WHARP), their programs in South Africa, and their outreach efforts.

In addition, there are materials related to other organizations who funded SisterLove, who worked alongside SisterLove on similar issues and projects, or who SisterLove was a member of, including SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective and the National Black Women's Health Project (now the Black Women's Health Imperative).

Dates of Materials

  • 1985 - 2007

Creator

Conditions Governing Access

This collection is open for use without restriction beyond the standard terms and conditions of Smith College Special Collections. Access to audiovisual materials may first require production of research copies.

Conditions Governing Use

To the extent that she owns copyright, Dazon Dixon Diallo has assigned the copyright in her works to Smith College; however, copyright in other items in this collection may be held by their respective creators. For reproductions of materials that are governed by fair use as defined under U. S. Copyright Law, no permission to cite or publish is required. For instances which may regard materials in the collection not created by Dazon Dixon Diallo, researchers are responsible for determining who may hold materials' copyrights and obtaining approval from them. Researchers do not need anything further from Smith College Special Collections to move forward with their use.

Biographical Note

SisterLove was the first women's HIV/AIDS organization in the southeastern United States. At a time when AIDS was considered a risk primarily for gay white men, SisterLove provided safe space for women, especially women of African descent, to confront the realities of living with the disease. Dázon Dixon Diallo initiated a collaboration with a local women's organization to improve access for all women and especially those of color. In 1987, the Women's AIDS Prevention Project (WAPP) was formed. In 1989, the lack of support for WAPP inspired Diallo to found SisterLove Women's AIDS Project with the help of WAPP's Women of Color Advisory Board. Three years later, in 1992, the organization's name was officially changed to SisterLove, Incorporated.

SisterLove began with education and outreach programs, starting with their Healthy Love Parties which were casual gatherings where women of color could discuss HIV/AIDS, their sexual behaviour, and their knowldege of safe sex. By adopting the self help process of the black women's health movement, SisterLove sought to encourage women to break through the stigma in southern culture against speaking up about sex and race. In the following years, SisterLove moved well beyond a prevention model. Using a human rights framework, the group combines women's empowerment with action on the multiple challenges and risk factors that women confront including housing, drug use, poverty and violence, as well as reproductive health and sexual rights. Their projects include HIV/AIDS housing, peer education, testing and counseling services, advocacy, and leadership programs.

In 1997, SisterLove became one of the sixteen founding members of the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Health Collective.

Seeking to learn from and work with other women in the African diaspora, Dixon initiated collaboration between SisterLove and a women's AIDS group in Johannesburg. In 1999, with funding from the Centers for Disease Control, she established the Thembuhlelo HIV/AIDS Capacity Building Project in Mpumalanga, South Africa. The Project combines women's empowerment with HIV/AIDS services and land reform efforts. SisterLove also provides training and assistance to other AIDS organizations around the world. In July, 2002 SisterLove established a satellite office in the Mpumalanga Province of South Africa to provide day-to-day oversight and management of their work in this country.

[source: SisterLove Website: http://sisterlove.org and Voices of Feminism bio note for Dazon Dixon Diallo]

Extent

9.667 linear feet (9 containers)

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

SisterLove is the first women's HIV/AIDS organization in the southeastern United States. The SisterLove records include administrative and program files from the founding of SisterLove to the early 2000s. Particularly well documented are SisterLove's grant applications, their residential program for HIV positive women called "Love House," the Healthy Love Parties, the Women's HIV/AIDS Resources Project (WHARP), their programs in South Africa, and their outreach efforts.

Arrangement

The collection is arranged roughly in the order it was received from SisterLove. Some rearrangement was done to put loose papers into folders, but overall, the structure of the records remains the same.

Physical Characteristics and Technical Requirements

As a preservation measure, researchers must use digital copies of audiovisual materials in this collection. Please consult with Special Collections staff or email specialcollections@smith.edu to request the creation of and access to digital copies.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Dázon Dixon Diallo began donating her papers, along with the records of SisterLove, to the SSC in 2011.

Appraisal

In 2020 when the collection was being processed, duplicate materials were removed. The processing archivist also removed employee payroll and hiring information.

Related Materials

For materials related to the Dazon Dixon Diallo (Founder and President of SisterLove), see the Dázon Dixon Diallo papers and the Dázon Dixon Diallo interview by Loretta J. Ross in the Voices of Feminism Oral History Project.

There is a small amount of material from when Lorretta J. Ross was on the board, which can be found in the Lorretta J. Ross papers. There is also some footage from SisterLove’s participation in the March for Women's Lives in the N'Dieye Gray Danavall video recordings.

For material related to SisterSong (SisterLove was a member organization), see the SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective records. The Sophia Smith Collection also holds the papers of many organizers involved with SisterSong, including: Luz Martinez papers, Loretta Ross papers, Luz Rodriguez papers, and Nkenge Touré papers. Voices of Feminism Oral History Project (see Ross; Rodriquez; Martinez; and Toure) also features SisterSong members. Additionally, SisterSong's work is very closely aligned with the Black Women's Health Imperative records.

Processing Information

In 2020, the Processing Archivist, Madison White, arranged and described the papers. The records which SisterLove sent were largely in labelled folders, grouped by topic or project, but there was a small amount of materials that were loose in boxes. Foldered materials were left with their original structure and titles, but loose papers were placed in folders and given new titles. After all the material was labelled and housed, the collection was condensed and described to reflect the work that had been done. The new file level content description is reflected in the finding aid.

Creator

Source

Title
Finding aid to SisterLove records
Status
Minimum Finding Aid (Completed)
Author
Madison White
Date
2020
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
English
Script of description
Latin

Revision Statements

  • 2017-07-26T17:48:24-04:00: This record was migrated from InMagic DB Textworks to ArchivesSpace.
  • 2020-09-22: Updated to include newly processed structure and added container inventory

Repository Details

Part of the Sophia Smith Collection of Women's History Repository

Contact:
Neilson Library
7 Neilson Drive
Northampton MA 01063