The three day conference features panel discussions, a film screening of the documentary, ‘The Other City’, and a discussion called "Beyond a National AIDS Strategy: Next Steps in the Fight Against HIV/AIDS in Black America". Dionne and Reggie Smith are featured as a part of the "Positive Families Breaking Silence and Fighting Stigma" panel discussion which will be moderated by Linda Villarosa.
Ms. Villarosa has been covering HIV/AIDS and African American women since her first article in Essence magazine in the mid-80s. Twenty years later, she wrote a front-page story for the New York Times on black women and HIV. The director of the journalism program at the City College of New York in Harlem, Linda is contributing to a PBS/Frontline documentary about AIDS in the African American community that will air next summer.
Reggie Smith is an HIV positive motivational speaker and holistic health practitioner. Together with his wife Dionne (HIV negative), he created the national campaign Wellness, Awareness, and Recovery (W.A.R.) to diminish stigma around HIV and increase awareness about the needs of families affected by the virus. Mr. and Mrs. Smith work with many local, national and international organizations to spread the word of hope and prevention, including African American advocacy groups, AIDS service organizations, drug recovery programs, and churches. They are currently featured in a national campaign for Greater Than AIDS, a broad coalition of public and private sector partners united in response to the AIDS crisis in the United States, in particular the severe and disproportionate epidemic among Black Americans and other heavily affected groups.
The conference is sponsored by the Act Against AIDS Leadership Initiative and the Red Pump Project. The panel also features a mother and son; Teresa & Marteniz,, as well as a daughter and father; Yolonda & Bobby, who also have HIV positive/negative relationships that reflect the diversity of how we are all affected by HIV. The discussion will focus on how the African American community will deal with prevention from, and healing with HIV as we continue to work to stem the tide of this epidemic.
The conference will be powered in social media by TheRedPumpProject.com.
Follow discussion on Twitter @ #CBCFHIV.
Commentary will be made on Mr. Smith's weblog the next week at www.reggiesmith770.com
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Sharing our strength, hope and experiences in order to promote Wellness, Awareness and Recovery (W.A.R).