TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Florida A&M University’s (FAMU) Student Health Services and the Student Government Association Office of the Surgeon General along with other departments and organizations have collaborated with local, state, and community based organizations to observe the 7th Annual National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Thursday, February 7, at 11 a.m. on The Set.
FAMU and Leon County Health Department will be present a certificate of recognition to Ronald Henderson, statewide minority AIDS coordinator with the Florida Department of Health. Henderson is co-author of the report Silence is Death: The Crisis of HIV/AIDS in Florida’s Black Communities. Following the award presentation, there will be a balloon release and a health fair.
Saturday, February 9, at 6 p.m. in Lee Hall, Sometimes I Cry, a one-woman play starring Sheryl Lee Ralph is scheduled. Admission is free for FAMU, FSU and TCC students and $7 for the general public.
Written, directed and performed by Ralph, Sometimes I Cry is a complex and thought-provoking play that illustrates the heartbreaking, yet inspiring real life stories of culturally diverse women whose lives unravel as they cope with their HIV/AIDS reality. Ralph uses her remarkable talent to poignantly bring these women to life in a way that touches the heart leaving audiences deeply moved and encouraged to know their status.
Original Dreamgirl, Sheryl Lee Ralph, is an acclaimed veteran of film, television and the Broadway stage. Her award winning body of work includes creating and originating the role of Deena Jones on Broadway in the landmark musical Dreamgirls, which earned her both a Tony and Drama Desk Award Nomination for Best Actress. After Dreamgirls, Ralph turned her attention to music, television and film.
“In Leon County, there are eight times as many African Americans infected with HIV than whites,” said Tanya Tatum, director of FAMU’s Student Health Services. “Students, faith and civic leaders, educators, health professionals, parents, and families must work together to take action, and stop the assault of HIV on those they love, reach, or serve. On this important HIV/AIDS Observance Day, I urge all African Americans to get involved in the fight against HIV, know the facts, get tested and encourage others to be tested. Help put an end to this preventable disease.”
For more information on National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day events, contact FAMU’s Student Health Services at (850) 599-3777.
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