The Women’s Connection established a Learning Exchange Circle (LEC) in year one to complement and enhance the work of the Task Force. The purpose of the Learning Exchange Circle is to convene cis- and transgender women of color who are living with and vulnerable to HIV to learn from one another, build their skills, and provide input and feedback on the plan as it is being developed. The Learning Exchange Circle will ensure invaluable input from local women of color living with and vulnerable to HIV in the creation of the plan to better address women’s needs, as well as build the skills and capacity of members to meaningfully participate in municipal planning bodies.

One of the group’s biggest accomplishments to date was recruiting and supporting the addition of 2 transgender women of color on the Chicago Area HIV Integrated Services Council (CAHISC). Now, the group has leadership for the first time ever across Chicago community planning groups with transgender women of color.


  • Recruit 10-12 cis- and transgender women of color living with and vulnerable to HIV to regularly participate in LEC
  • Host at least five – six bimonthly meetings per year
  • Conduct trainings to support LEC members becoming ambassadors for the program and to be champions for their communities
  • Draft session topics and trainers/guest speakers
  • LEC members to recruit attendees for community event through their social networks
  • Have increased representation of cis- and transgender women on community planning by assisting with the promotion of the planning groups


In order to further develop the skills of Learning Exchange Circle members, they have taken part in a number of trainings building knowledge around sexual health and professional development.

  • Sexuality training
  • Leadership, social media and work life
  • HIV 101
  • Condom training model
  • Trans 101
  • Advocacy, HIV and criminalization
  • Domestic violence: Intimate partner violence, Part 1
  • Take my hand: Women empowerment
  • Women and PrEP
  • PrEP4Love Project RSP trainings
  • Healthy relationships