Pastor holding a bible

The Black PRAISE Study

Research Team: Winston Husbands (principal investigator), Marvelous Muchenje-Marisa, Nicole Greenspan, Valérie Pierre-Pierre, Jelani Kerr, Liviana Calzavara (co-PI), Wangari Tharao (co-PI), Orville A. Browne, Henry Luyombya (coordinator)

What is this research about?

Black PRAISE* is evaluating an intervention to reduce HIV-related stigma among Black church congregations in Ontario. The intervention is based on previous research with Black community stakeholders in Toronto (2004-2007) and was developed through extensive consultations with pastors from Black congregations in Toronto, Peel Region and Ottawa.

The Black PRAISE study takes a social network approach that focuses on the collaborative development of the intervention with the key stakeholders. It engages pastors and their congregations in developing resources and deciding how and when they are rolled out. Planned resources will include:

  • a booklet for distribution among the congregations to promote informed, critical understanding of HIV,
  • the development of a common sermon for pastors to deliver to their congregations about compassion and social justice, and
  • a video that allows pastors and congregations to learn about stigma from those who are directly affected by it

The process of creating these materials encourages participants to reflect on their beliefs and values. The impact of this intervention on HIV stigma will be evaluated by surveys of the congregations at baseline, post-intervention, and 3-month follow-up. In addition, the team will assess how the intervention was received among the congregations by interviewing a pastor and two congregants from each church.


Black PRAISE is funded by a grant from the Canadian Institutes for Health Research. Winston Husbands is a Senior Scientist at OHTN, and Henry Luyombya also holds as OHTN staff position as Research Coordinator for the Black PRAISE Project.

*PRAISE: Pastors Raising Awareness and Insights of Stigma through Engagement

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