Born and raised in the heart of North Philadelphia, Shawn P. Torres Jr., is currently a candidate for a Masters of Divinity from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York - focusing on the intersections of Spirituality and Sexuality, while bringing Public Health into the conversation. His HIV activism began after graduating from Benedict College in Columbia, SC when he was hired at Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services. At PALSS, Shawn worked as a Linkage to Care Coordinator and Consumer Navigator. He had other roles in the agency which included implementing interventions and support groups for children, HIV+ men, and sero-discordant couples.
Being HIV+ himself, he takes the work of advocacy and education very seriously. He is currently employed with Safe Space in Queens as an MSM Outreach Worker and the Heat Clinic in Brooklyn as a 3MV facilitator. Also, he is active in the HIV support group at St. Luke AME Church in Harlem, where he serves as the Youth Minister.
As a licensed and ordained minister, his diligent work is around reducing harm, removing shame, making the gospel come alive, and creating safe spaces for ALL communities of people; especially our youth who identify as LGBT/SGL.