Clark AtlantaUniversity Hosts
Annual LIFE AIDS Black Student Summit February 5-7
Students from across the country representing historically Black colleges and universities will converge on the ClarkAtlantaUniversity 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 VirginiaStateUniversity 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 Lenee Richards at LIFEAIDS@BlackAIDS.org or 804-605-3202.
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 Lenee Richards at LIFEAIDS@BlackAIDS.org or 804-605-3202. Visit online at www.BlackAIDS.org or become a fan of LIFE AIDS on Facebook and follow us on twitter: HBCUsfightAIDS.
About LIFE AIDS
LIFE AIDS (Leaders In the Fight to Eradicate AIDS), a mobilization initiative of the Black AIDS Institute, is the nation's only HIV/AIDS collegiate mobilization network, maintained primarily by Black college students, and exclusively targeting Black college students.
Founded in 2004, the mission is:
"to educate college students on the causes and effects of HIV/AIDS, and to create a comfortable context for dialogues about sex and sexuality in order to eradicate the disease and restore hope in our community."
About Act Against AIDS
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has launched a national domestic campaign for HIV/AIDS called "Act Against AIDS" that aims to contribute to reducing HIV incidence in the United States.
Act Against AIDS is a multi-year, multi-faceted communication campaign that is being planned and released in phases. Each phase, with its own unique objectives and target audiences, will utilize mass media and direct-to-consumer communication channels to deliver important HIV prevention messages in a manner designed to be compelling, credible, and relevant. Some campaign phases will influence knowledge and information-seeking behaviors, while other phases will influence complex prevention and testing behaviors.
About the Black AIDS Institute
Founded in May of 1999, the Black AIDS Institute is the only national HIV/AIDS think tank focused exclusively on Black people. The Institute's Mission is to stop the AIDS pandemic in Black communities by engaging and mobilizing Black institutions and individuals in efforts to confront HIV. The Institute interprets public and private sector HIV policies, conducts trainings, offers technical assistance, disseminates information and provides advocacy mobilization from a uniquely and unapologetically Black point of view. For more information, please visit www.BlackAIDS.org.