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Johnathon Briggs
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Johnathon Briggs is a vice president at Public Communications Inc., a marketing communications firm with a specialty in health care, conservation and nonprofit organizations. He taps his knowledge of public health principles to help clients engage, educate and influence their audiences.

Prior to joining PCI, Johnathon was the chief officer of external relations for the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC), one of the nation's leading AIDS organizations. During his six years at AFC, he directed award-winning public awareness campaigns, secured corporate sponsorship and executed media relations strategies to advance legislative priorities.

In 2009, Johnathon led the development of “With Me Comes A Cure," a campaign designed to address the growing AIDS epidemic among African Americans and stress the importance of HIV vaccine education. The project was funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases HIV Vaccine Research and Education Initiative. He has also applied his strategic communication skills to the “Change My Story" HIV awareness project, which garnered the 2012 Edwin J. Shaughnessy Quality of Life Award from the Publicity Club of Chicago.

From 1996 to 2007, Johnathon worked as a journalist for The Chicago Reporter, the Los Angeles Times, The Baltimore Sun and, lastly, the Chicago Tribune, where he wrote about gentrification, HIV/AIDS and youth culture on the urban affairs beat.

Johnathon had the privilege of living in South Africa in 1998 during Nelson Mandela's last full year as president while volunteering as an editor at the Johannesburg-based magazine, Challenge: Churches and People. His freelance work and writings have appeared in The Source, Princeton Alumni Weekly and Timbooktu.com.

A Los Angeles native, Johnathon graduated from Stanford University with a double major in communications and African & African American Studies. He also holds a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from DePaul University where he studied mHealth, the practice of public health supported by mobile devices.

His postings are his individual views and do not reflect those of his employer or the clients he serves.

Entries by Johnathon Briggs

A Day That Even a Mother Could Love

(3) Comments | Posted April 13, 2010 | 2:15 PM

For the past 12 years, shortly after Mother's Day, scientists and AIDS activists have commemorated HIV Vaccine Awareness Day. It is likely perceived as an obscure observance by most Americans, but one that deserves our attention given this sobering reality: Twenty-eight years after the discovery of HIV, we still have...

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Chicago's Public Health Budget Gets The Flu

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2009 | 2:04 PM

By Johnathon E. Briggs and John Peller

With the ongoing economic recession, Mayor Richard M. Daley and City Council members unquestionably face agonizing choices to balance the city's 2010 budget.

While funding cuts and other budgetary reforms will undoubtedly be needed, some essential city services are too important to...

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The Politics of AIDS and Health Care Reform

(2) Comments | Posted September 23, 2009 | 11:44 AM

Two weeks after President Barack Obama delivered an impassioned address on health reform to the nation and a joint session of Congress, I sat down with David Ernesto Munar of the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Julie Davids of the Community HIV/AIDS Mobilization Project (CHAMP) to discuss how the Obama...

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The Cure on Black AIDS Day

(3) Comments | Posted February 6, 2009 | 2:58 PM

For the past nine years the seventh day of February has been set aside to highlight an ongoing crisis: the Black AIDS epidemic.

It's officially called National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (Black AIDS Day for short) and every year as it arrives I think to myself, "What will it take...

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Let's Talk About Jobs, Baby

(2) Comments | Posted February 2, 2009 | 11:06 AM

Not even the hip-hop trio Salt-N-Pepa could have predicted that their most ubiquitous nugget of pop culture advice ("Let's talk about sex, baby") would be used as a conservative strategy to derail President Barack Obama's $800 billion economic aid plan.

But as the Senate begins debate this week on the...

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Keep Voice Alive

(0) Comments | Posted November 20, 2008 | 1:30 PM

For tech-savvy teens fond of text messaging and Facebook, the Magic Marker-scrawled protest sign -- "DON'T MUTE THE YOUTH" -- was decidedly old school.

But there it was Saturday, taped to a door inside the offices of Youth Communication Chicago (Y.C.C.) , where a dozen teen writers...

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