NEW ORLEANS - Dr. Denese O. Shervington, co-founder and president of the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) will give the keynote address at the "NOLA's Gangsta: HIV/AIDS in the Black Community event on Friday December 3, 5pm-8:30pm at Xavier University in the UC room 205.
Xavier communications instructors Dr. Kimberly Johnson and her honors Public Speaking class are presenting the event. “IWES is our community partner and they have done an excellent job educating us on the HIV/AIDS epidemic right here in Louisiana,” said Johnson.
“They have been a tremendous help and it’s been an awesome partnership. We’ve all been learning a lot.”
The class’s theme was speaking about HIV and Aids in the Black community. The course incorporated a service learning project into the curriculum and IWES provided information and presentations to the students. As a result, Johnson’s students will utilize the public speaking skills learned in class to present a campaign strategy for IWES. Three teams of students have worked on campaigns with the goal that IWES will further develop one of the three campaigns to replace or run concurrent with their current campaign. “They’ll be using their persuasive skills and strategies to pitch the campaigns.”
Following the keynote speaker there will be four breakout sessions on HIV prevention campaign strategies, living with HIV/AIDS, and Healthy Relationships, and persuasive including panel presentations on questions of policy by Dr. Wendy Haijjar’s honors class. A short screening of IWES’s documentary films SEXfessionals, S.honda T.akes I.niative, Stress’n and Youth Voices will follow.
Why the unusual name for the program? Gangsta is the street name for HIV and AIDS,” Johnson explained. “We first heard that description from guest speaker, Gina Brown. Attendees will hear more about this nickname on December 3rd.
This event is targeted to students at Xavier and the larger community,” said Johnson. “Louisiana ranks fourth in HIV/AIDS cases in the country, so it certainly affects us all.” The event is free and open to the public.
About the IWES
The Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies (IWES) was founded in 1993 in response to health disparities among women of color. IWES is a national nonprofit community based organization headquartered in New Orleans, Louisiana
IWES is dedicated to improving the physical, mental, and spiritual health and quality of life for women of color and their families, especially those who are socio-economically disadvantaged.