Clark Atlanta University to Host Annual LIFE AIDS Black Student Mobilization Summit February 5-7
Black Youth Represent 70% of New HIV/AIDS Cases in U.S.
January 19, 2010
Students from across the country representing historically Black colleges and universities will converge on the Clark Atlanta University campus on February 5 to 7 for the annual LIFE AIDS Black Student Mobilization Summit. The summit is sponsored by the Black AIDS Institute and the Magic Johnson Foundation in conjunction with the Act Against AIDS campaign, a CDC HIV/AIDS public awareness campaign.
The goals of the Summit are to increase awareness of the magnitude of the AIDS epidemic in Black communities; increase knowledge, decrease misinformation, and dispel myths about HIV/AIDS among Black college students; and to educate and train Black students to be AIDS activist and leaders on their respective campus.
"In 2006, Black youth made up a shocking 70 percent of new HIV cases among youth in the United States. As far as I'm concerned, this frightening statistic says it all," says Bridgette Brundidge, a sophomore at Virginia State University planning on attending the Summit. "If you are a Black student, what else do you need to know to attend this Summit?"
The three-day event will kick off at 6:00 pm on Friday with a mini film festival and dinner held in the Cornelius L. Henderson Student Center on the AUC campus. The festival is free and open to any student with a valid college I.D. -- reservations are required.
The Summit will include workshops on social networking, planning and organizing AIDS awareness and testing events on college campuses, and working with the media. Students attending the Summit will also be provided with tools to help them integrate the Act Against AIDS campaign into their programs.
"The LIFE AIDS Summit is an opportunity for young Black leaders to learn how to empower themselves and motivate their peers to get involved in the fight to end the AIDS epidemic in our communities," says James Norris, a senior at DePauw University and one of the event organizers.
On Saturday night, LIFE AIDS will sponsor a reception and special performance of Beyond the Diagnosis, a series of one-act plays, explores the predicament of HIV/AIDS patients and the struggles endured by their families, loved ones, caregivers and medical professionals. The reception and performance are free and open to the public. To RSVP, please contact the Black AIDS Institute at LIFEAIDS@BlackAIDS.org or 213-353-3610 ext 120.
Sunday's sessions will focus on action. Each student will be asked to make a personal commitment to do something on their campus to raise HIV/AIDS awareness on their campus and mobilize their peers.
"Peer to peer is the best way to organize and mobilize college students," says Lenee Richards, LIFE AIDS conference organizer. "That is why the LIFE AIDS summit is such an important event." Members of LIFE AIDS recognize that HIV/AIDS affects Black Americans at a disproportionate rate. In view of this fact, the goal of LifeAIDS is to mobilize Black college students in leading the fight to eradicate the disease. LIFE AIDS seeks to inform and educate Black college students on the causes and effects of HIV/AIDS; foster comfortable dialogue on issues germane to sex, sexuality and HIV; encourage members of our community to know their status; and finally to become involved in our various communities, leading others in the fight to eradicate AIDS. LIFE AIDS strives to insure that Black college students never become complacent thus remaining at the forefront of progressive movements benefiting the Black community in its entirety.
For additional information about LIFE AIDS, to register for the conference, or to RSVP for the Friday night film festival and/or the performance of Beyond the Diagnosis, please contact the Black AIDS Institute at LIFEAIDS@BlackAIDS.org or 213-353-3610 ext. 120. Visit online at www.BlackAIDS.org or become a fan of LIFE AIDS on Facebook and follow us on twitter: HBCUsfightAIDS.
This article was provided by Black AIDS Institute. Visit Black AIDS Institute's website to find out more about their activities and publications.