D.C. Gospel Singer Teams Up With NBLCA to Promote AIDS Awareness
By Candace Y.A. Montague
April 11, 2011
Local rising gospel star Tre Thomas announced last week that he would be working with the D.C. chapter of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS (NBLCA) to promote AIDS awareness. The announcement comes after a recent AIDS conclave involving local church leaders and city leaders. Thomas will be working with the D.C. affiliate of NBLCA on reaching younger generations to inform them about AIDS.
Thomas, who attends Metropolitan Baptist Church in Northwest, said he wanted to use his music to help NBLCA reach it's goal. "I know a couple of pastors that are involved with NBLCA. My pastor, H. Beecher Hicks, Jr, is involved. I thought it would be a really great idea for me to partner with them and try to use my platform to bring awareness, especially to people my age." Will his music make a difference? Thomas feels it will. " The way I write and the way I approach music tends to get the attention of people. So while I have their attention, I can use my platform to bring their attention to what HIV/AIDS is and how to protect themselves against it."
Reverend Frank Tucker, senior pastor of First Baptist Church in Northwest and chair of the D.C. affilliate of NBLCA, said he is happy to have Tre Thomas on board. "We're excited about his commitment and expressions to utilize his talent to help us address this problem. [Tre's] talents will enable him to bring together young people. It will make it possible for us to communicate with them and to reach out. We hope he will help with fundraising and also to help dispel the stigma around HIV/AIDS."
NBLCA is planning to empower people more about AIDS and get them involved. Tucker explains that the conclave gave NBLCA a chance to get commitments from local leaders in the District, Maryland and Virginia to support NBLCA's efforts to end the epidemic. "We got service providers to make a committment together to utilize our resources to eliminate HIV/AIDS. We're looking forward to the pastors speaking to their congregation. We want an educational program where we can provide training for members of the congregation to become advocates. We want to have testing locations in the community. We will be pushing elected officials and directors of the health community to have a policy of mainstreaming and educating people about HIV/AIDS. We want to encourage the jurisdicitions to utilize the resources that are already there to make housing available to people who need it. It has to be a community wide effort."
As for Tre Thomas, he looks forward to a continuous partnership with NBLCA. "Whatever they do, I want to be a part of and whatever I do I want them to be a part of as well."
For more information about Tre Thomas, click here.
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Candace Y.A. Montague
Candace Y.A. Montague has been learning about HIV since 1988 (and she has the certificates from the American Red Cross to prove it). Health is a high priority to Candace because she believes that nothing can come of your life if you're not healthy enough to enjoy it. One of her two master's degrees is in Community Health Promotion and Education. Candace was inspired to act against HIV after seeing a documentary in 2008 about African-American women and HIV. She knew that writing was the best way for her to make a difference and help inform others. Candace is a native Washingtonian and covers HIV news all around D.C. She has covered fundraisers, motorcycle rides, town hall meetings, house balls, Capitol Hill press conferences, election campaigns and protests for The DC Examiner.com and emPower News Magazine.
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