The Oprah of Baltimore

Just before Thanksgiving I had a chance to interview Rev. Debra Hickman, co-founder of Sisters Together and Reaching, Inc. (STAR), a Baltimore non-profit dedicated to helping women with HIV. I nicknamed her the Oprah of Baltimore not only because she is helping those in need, but because she has lots of Oprah-esque catch-phrases, such as “I’m not perfect, I’m just striving to be,” and “Be forward focused, not past possessed.”

She teaches others to not say, “Woe is me,” but instead to look to the right or the left of you to see someone else who has a greater need.

A big proponent of holistic healing, she describes using spirituality to help women: “It’s about touching the core of another person with your own core – the real you.”

A startling statistic I found while doing background research for this interview: in 2008, there was one case of HIV for every 49 African American women in Baltimore City. One in 49!  Baltimore ranked tenth in estimated AIDS diagnosis rates of U.S. major metropolitan areas.*

So glad we have organizations like STAR combatting this issue.

To read more about Rev. Hickman (and STAR), read my profile of her here.

*According to the Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

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