MINISTER. ACTIVIST. HUMAN RIGHTS ADVOCATE. COMMUNITY LEADER. Eric received his call to ministry in 1998 at the age of 16 while reciting the renowned “I Have a Dream” speech during a Dr. King Day program at church. However, he ran from his calling because of the internal battle between his faith and sexuality that raged deep inside his soul. It wasn’t until 2009, at the age of 27 that Eric accepted his call and told God, YES…Send me, I’ll go!
Eric’s passion for activism and social justice was sparked shortly being diagnosed with HIV at the age of 23. His own diagnosis and hunger for justice resulted in him founding Red Elephant AIDS Awareness and Prevention (REAAP) in 2013. REAAP is a nonprofit organization that raises awareness about the impact HIV/AIDS has on the Black and Faith Based community in Central Indiana. Eric decided to make it his life’s mission to promote HIV/AIDS awareness as well as educate people, young and old alike, about HIV/AIDS and how it affects African Americans. He feels that it is his duty and responsibility to expose the truth, confront the stigma, and break the silence that surrounds HIV/AIDS in the Black community.
Through REAAP, Eric has been fortunate to conduct HIV/AIDS workshops and provide free HIV testing at churches across Central Indiana. He also provides training and guidance to clergy on how to discuss the topic of HIV/AIDS in a culturally sensitive yet effective way. Eric believes that having open, honest and candid dialogue about HIV/AIDS is one of the most effective ways to engender a culture of acceptance and positive change.
Eric is an advocate for justice, liberty and equity for all. In 2015 he found himself on the frontline fighting for his rights and rights of the LGBTQ community when Indiana lawmakers proposed Senate Bill 101, titled the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). This lead to him partnering with the grassroots, social justice organization D.O.N.T. S.L.E.E.P. (Deconstructing Oppression Now Through Solidarity Liberation Empowerment Equity and Perseverance) and lending his voice to other significant movements like #BlackLivesMatter.
Eric’s commitment to social justice and the “religious outcast”, particularly his LGBTQ brothers and sisters, led him to launch his blog in 2018.Through his blog and other social media platforms, Eric engages dialogue around the intersection of faith and sexuality as well as LGBTQ inequity, intolerance and HIV/AIDS stigma in the church and greater community.
Eric studied Sociology and African-American Studies at Indiana University in Bloomington, IN and began his Seminary journey at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, IN in 2016.
Eric is currently writing his memoir, titled Memoirs of a Recovering Church Boy: My Journey to Freedom. He hopes to publish by Spring of 2019.