Former US Surgeon General Supports Local Fight Against AIDS

Former US Surgeon General Jocelyn Elders will address HIV/AIDS prevention at the Urban League Young Professionals Middle Tennessee ( ULYP MT) National Day of Service, June 25, 2005 at Meharry Medical College West Basic Science Center.

Jocelyn Elders, former U.S. representative for public health, will partner with Middle Tennessee’s chapter of Urban League Young Professionals and the Meharry Center of Health Disparity Research in HIV as a keynote speaker for HIV/AIDS awareness. ULYP MT’s National Day of Service (NDOS) is a program that is geared toward educating the African American community about the dangers of the spread of HIV/AIDS. And Elders, known for her controversial approach to sex education and other related issues will highlight the discussion about this dangerous and growing epidemic in the African American community.

“More than 80 percent of all new AIDS diagnosis are among women of color. HIV is a complex, multifaceted disease that affects all of us in one way or another and requires a cutting edge and unorthodox approach to get the point across. Elders approach towards the subject makes her a great fit for NDOS,” states Mekeila Cook, Meharry HIV/AIDS researcher and NDOS 2005 chairperson.

Joining Elders will be Damaries Cruz, a HIV educator for Broward County Health Department in Fort Lauderdale Florida. NDOS will consist of a day long conference from 8am to 5pm consisting of seminars, breakout sessions, and panel discussions. The breakout sessions will be separated by gender and age groups beginning with youth (ages 10-15), young adult (16-30) and mature adult (31 and above).

These discussions will be led by some of Nashville’s most influential health care experts and professionals. Breakfast and afternoon refreshments will be provided. Free HIV testing will be provided by Nashville Metro Public Health Department and First Response Center throughout the conference.

The National Urban League Young Professionals sponsor the National HIV/AIDS awareness program in support of the League’s Health and Quality of Life Empowerment agenda. The programs target minorities between the ages of 15-40 striving:

To deliver focused education to young professionals about the enormity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic

To Promote volunteer service among African American professionals in support of HIV/AIDS Awareness

And encouraging young professionals to get educated, get tested, get treated, and get involved

The Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream. The Urban League Young Professionals of Middle TN is an auxiliary organization of the Urban League of Middle Tennessee, serving under the leadership of President and CEO Rosalyn Carpenter.

For more information or to register for ULYP MT ’s National Day of Service please log on to or contact Krystal Bonner (901) 270-3638. To find out more about National Urban League Young Professional and its initiatives log onto

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