Healing Our Land, Inc. And The Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus Convene 'Prevention Is Power' Community Forum
Healing our Land, Inc.(HOLI) and The Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus (MBLC) are calling on members of the community to attend a special forum to respond to “An Added Burden: The Impact of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic on Communities of Color in Massachusetts,” made public last Dec., 1, World AIDS Day by The Massachusetts Department of Public Health. It will be held from 6-9 p.m. and also offers free on-site rapid HIV testing from 5-9 p.m. on Dotwell’s mobile clinic.
Hosted by Rep. Gloria L. Fox, MBLC Vice-Chair and moderated by Min. Franklin Wendell Hobbs, the forum will include a panel of elected officials, HIV/AIDS community experts, Faith leaders and members of the community at large to discuss a full-scale perspective on HIV/AIDS and its impact on communities of color in Massachusetts, as outlined in the ground-breaking report issued by The Commonwealth on World AIDS Day 2007.
“Under the theme ‘Prevention is Power’ lives a reminder that our community is devastated by this terrible disease. It is within our power to talk about it, encourage more people to get tested, get informed, get involved and get treatment if they are HIV positive,” said Rep. Fox.
“This disease is 100% preventable, and only if we break silence and stigma will we get to the root causes and stop new infections,” she added.
Members of The Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus were tested for HIV publicly last year at The State House on National HIV Testing Day as part of a call for communities of color to get tested for HIV on or after that day.
Healing Our Land, Inc. and the Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus Present:
Prevention is Power, a response to “An Added Burden: The Impact of the HIV/AIDS Epidemic on Communities of Color in Massachusetts”
Panel Participants (Moderator, Minister Franklin Wendell Hobbs):
- Larry Day, AIDS Action Committeeof Massachusetts
- Ms. Iris Rivera, Community Activist
- Nancy Owens, African American, Consumer, Activist
- Darnell Williams, President/CEO, Urban League of Eastern Mass
- Douglas Brooks, MSW, Vice President, Health Services, Justice Resource Institute (JRI)
- Rev. William E. Dickerson II, Greater Love Tabernacle
- Imam Forrouq, Mosque for the Praising of Allah
- Mary Pusculli, Harvard Medical School & Brigham & Women’s
- Alfredo Hernandez, Latin American Health Institute
- Vanessa Sasso, Boston Medical Center HIV Services Manager
- Edwin Cruz Perez, Dotwell
- SusanMacNeil, Executive Director, AIDS Services for the Manadnock Region
- Charito Suarez, TransCEND, Cambridge Cares About AIDS
- Shaka McPherson , Boston Youth Organizing Project (BYOP)
- Representative Bryon Rushing extends Response and Closing of Panelists Session
AGENDA: (begins at 6:15 p.m.)
State Representative Gloria Fox, Vice-Chair, Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus
Rev. Dr. Keith L. Magee, President
Healing Our Land Inc., Ministry
Ms. Teresa Burroughs-McNeal
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
Phyamus youth dancers
Introduction of Panelists
Marvin Venay, Executive Director
Massachusetts Black Legislative Caucus
Minister Franklin Wendell Hobbs, Executive Director
Healing Our Land, Inc.
Minister Franklin Wendell Hobbs
AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is the state’s leading provider of prevention and wellness services for people vulnerable to HIV infection. It provides services to one in six people in Massachusetts living with an HIV diagnosis. These services include HIV counseling and testing; needle exchange; mental health counseling; housing assistance; and legal services. AIDS Action works to prevent new HIV infections, support those affected by HIV, and tackle the root causes of HIV/AIDS by educating the public and health professionals about HIV prevention and care; and advocating for fair and effective HIV/AIDS policy at the city, state, and federal levels. Founded in 1983, AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts is New England’s first and largest AIDS service organization. Learn more at www.aac.org.