Pride Guests 2017

"Dare To Be Different! I Am Who I Am!"

Speaker: Sir Christopher Charles Evans

Bio: Christopher Evans is a native Houstonian. He is a graduate of The University of Maryland University College.  He has five years of prior military experience.  Since 2000, he has facilitated seminars around the country for Pride events – ATB Los Angles, New Orleans, D.C., Houston Splash, Dallas Pride and many others.  He also conducts singles and married conferences for independent social and support groups as well as churches.  He has hosted his own radio show, for two years, on Pacifica Radio, 90.1 KPFT, “Black on Black,” in Houston, Texas.  He is formerly the principal facilitator for The Men’s Gathering of Houston and has been a member for over 10 years.  He previously was a principal facilitator for Houston based group “Brother 2 Brother.”  In addition, he has been awarded the Black Achiever’s Trendsetter award, The Violet Award for SGL and LGBT Leadership and is a special guest and co-host for the nationally broadcasted Robert Wesley-Branch radio show.  He currently runs his own fulltime interior design business while still being fully active in community events that are central to the SGL community.

  

Speaker: Anthony E. Fox

Bio: Anthony Fox is a PhD candidate in Counselor Education and Supervision at Walden University.    He holds a Master’s degree in Community Counseling from Jackson State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Management from Crichton College.

Fox has a total of twenty-eight (28) years of experience working in the Public Health and Health Care arena, of which, twenty (20) years of experience was in HIV Prevention and Care.  In these twenty-eight (28) years, has worked in many capacities across many sectors of the United States.  Currently, he serves as the Division Chief over the Capacity Building, Housing and Community Partnerships Division within the HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD, and TB Administration for the District of Columbia Department of Health.  Fox is responsible for the administration and oversight of all housing, training, partnerships, capacity building and technical assistance activities within the total administration. Most recently, he served as the Deputy Director for the Bureau of Chronic Disease at the Mississippi State Department of Health where he was responsible for the administration and oversight of all categorically funded chronic disease specific programs (i.e., cancer, diabetes, arthritis, heart disease and stroke). Fox has served as a Lead Trainer for the Mississippi Prevention Training Center where I provided training and technical assistance across the nation on evidence-base HIV prevention interventions.  In addition, prior to this position as the Capacity Building Assistance Manager, I provided training and technical assistance to community based organization on program design, implementation and evaluation.

He is currently licensed as a LGPC for the State of Maryland.  He is a member of the Maryland Counseling Association, a member of the American Counseling Association, the Association for Counselor, Education, and Supervision, the Golden Key International Honor Society, and Chi Sigma Iota Counseling Academic & Professional Honor Society International.  Throughout his entire journey, he has worked to empower, improve, and build up the African-American, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender communities.  Outside of his working relationship, he has volunteered thousands of hours to this cause.

 

Speaker: Kenneth Morrison (no headshot received)

Bio: Kenneth Morrison is best known as an “artivist.” He is a national poetry slam champion, a member of Sons of Baldwin Spoken Word Collective, a professor of literature at Maryland Institute College of Art, executive director of DewMore Baltimore and co-executive director of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Community Center of Central Maryland. He is also the author of Blood, Bricks and Dandelions, To Be Young Black and Gay.

 

 Speaker: P.J. Moton, LMSW

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Bio: Born in Tuscaloosa, AL, P.J. Moton is a 2013 graduate of Washington University’s George Warren Brown School of Social Work in St. Louis, MO where he earned his Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Children, Youth, and Families. PJ is also a 2011 graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN where he earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Sociology. During his undergraduate studies, PJ discovered a strong passion for the work conducted by non-profit organizations and from there he dedicated all of his time and efforts to serving underrepresented populations. While volunteerism has always been an important part of his life, he was really able to exercise this passion throughout his collegiate studies. Through these efforts, PJ was afforded the opportunity to combine his philanthropic work with his academic studies which produced his first publication with Meharry Medical College that provided a Culturally Appropriate Prostate Cancer Education Intervention to Low-Income African American Men. This research was published in the February 2013 Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.

It was also in Nashville that PJ became very active in the LGBT community. PJ began volunteering with Nashville’s Mpowerment program Young Brothers United throughout his matriculation at Fisk. While in graduate school PJ continued his work with non-profit organizations in a variety of different areas targeting underserved youth. PJ has designed programs in the areas of College Access, Community Mental Health, Community Mobilization and much more. With 9 strong years in the field of HIV/AIDS research, prevention, and care, specifically focusing on Black MSM, PJ has become recognized as a leader among the millennial generation of game changers with regards to the epidemic. PJ currently serves as Special Projects/Programs Manager for Abounding Prosperity, Inc. in Dallas, TX where he continues his work in program design, management, and research. PJ also serves as Development Director for Dallas Southern Pride, which is the official host of Dallas’ Black LGBT pride celebrations. Recently, PJ started his own non-profit consulting company Indigo Alchemy Services, Inc. that focuses on capacity building and sustainability for non-profits operated by or serving minority populations.

 

 Speaker: Linda Dixon Rigsby

Bio: Linda Dixon Rigsby serves as the health law director at the Mississippi Center for Justice, a position she has held since November 2008. Prior to joining the Center, she was the assistant secretary of state for elections for the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office, where she previously held the position of senior attorney and director of elections training and education. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Southern University at New Orleans and her law degree from Mississippi College School of Law. Linda is a member of the Mississippi Bar and the Magnolia Bar Association. She serves on the Southern AIDS Coalition Board of Directors, the steering committee of the Southern HIV/AIDS Strategy Initiative and the Mississippi Sickle Cell Foundation Board.

 Speaker: Cedric Sturdevant 

Bio: Cedric Sturdevant has been working in the field of HIV prevention for ten years. He started as a volunteer with Magnolia Medical Clinic (MMC) in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 2006 where he participated in health fairs and health summits to assist in pre and post counseling for rapid HIV testing.

Cedric is an advocate for HIV, working with and training HIV-positive people to be an advocate for themselves and others through a program called AIDSWatch Mississippi, and co-founder of Mississippi Positive Network [MSPN]. Cedric is also the organizational co-chair for Black Treatment Advocates Network [BTAN] Mississippi. For eight and half years, Cedric worked as a Project Coordinator at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 dedicated to the reduction of health disparities throughout Mississippi by enhancing the health and wellbeing of minority and marginalized populations. During his time at My Brother’s Keeper, locally referred to as MBK, Cedric has had the opportunity to share with others the importance of HIV prevention, education and awareness.

Presently, Cedric works with the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation under CARE4ME Services/The SPOT programs, as Program Manager of The SPOT. The SPOT (Safe Place Over Time) is dedicated to providing services and opportunities to young men that focus on wellness, empowerment, and leadership. Over Time, The SPOT will become a Safe Place for young men to openly discuss issues and challenges to improve their quality of life and to promote the concept of self-worth.

In addition to working with Community Base Organizations, Cedric has been featured in a several documentaries such as “” which focuses on the plight of individuals living with HIV in the Deep South, Mississippi Deep South Public Broadcast Network’s Southern Remedy: HIV in Mississippi, The Silent HIV Crisis Sweeping the American South by Vice Media’s TONIC and The New York Times Magazine’s “America’s Hidden HIV Epidemic” by Linda Villarosa. Cedric has also been featured in various public service campaigns spreading knowledge and awareness of HIV. Cedric embodies and takes to heart his personal philosophy, the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about the things that matter.”

Speaker: Sy’ria Synclaire’

 

Bio: Sy’ria Synclaire’ is a native of Baton Rouge, La., she was raised by her parents, Sally & Leroy Jackson. She graduated from Belaire Magnet High School, afterwards she then entered Georgia Tech. University where she received her Associate’s Degree in Mass Communications. She began Entertaining in 1995 in her hometown of Baton Rouge, La. As she grew and developed as an entertainer opportunities became available to where she was afforded the privilege to work with some of the Nation’s best Female Impersonators and on some of the most Legendary Stages that supported the Art Form of Female Impersonation for years. Moving to Atlanta, Ga. is where the ‘entertainer’ blossomed. In 2000 Sy’ria was introduced to Brotherhood Inc. and this agency was interested in assisting the Transgender population of the Greater New Orleans Area. There is where she was trained and educated in HIV/AIDS Prevention, Education, and Policy by the Centers of Disease Control, as a Peer Educator. As Sy’ria traveled the country entertaining audiences she felt as if there was more that she could contribute to her community. In 2002, Sy’ria relocated to New York, there she was landed a full time job with People of Color in Crisis which was a Brooklyn Based Non-profit Organization whose target Population was the LGBT Community as a Health Specialist. Since then her passion has grown tremendously. In 2015 Syria has aided Brotherhood INC. with the daily operation of “The Dollhouse” a safe haven for Gender Non-Conforming and People of Transgender Experience. As of today Syria is a Program Coordinator for Tulane University in Pediatric Medicine and she has been fighting to aide those individuals that are willing to put their health as a priority.

Speaker: Tridai A. Taylor, PhD

Bio: Dr. Tridai A. Taylor, a residing native of Jackson, Mississippi, is a proud author, motivational speaker and CEO of Taylor Mark Consulting, LLC, a talent development consulting practice focused on leadership, coaching, and professional development training solutions. With more than 12 years of experience in people and talent development, Tridai is also a devoted transformation coach who enjoys helping others to uncover their individual greatness in life using self-analysis tools to create balance and intrinsic motivation. Tridai holds a bachelor of arts degree in communication studies from Mississippi State University, a master’s in adult education from Jones International University of Colorado, and a post master’s teaching certificate and doctor of philosophy degree in adult education from Capella University. In addition, as a Certified Practitioner in Myers Briggs Personality Types through Myers Briggs Foundation and a Certified Practitioner in Emotional Intelligence through Multi Health Systems Inc., Dr. Taylor conducts seminars to help clients to develop their psycho-social skills to enhance communication, self-awareness, decision making, and tools to cope with life’s challenges.

Dr. Taylor devotes much of his time volunteering for various altruistic causes within his local community, but also enjoys helping ordinary people to discover their passions in life through their purpose. One of his published quotes, “You can change your life by redefining who you are,” is a personal mantra he lives by daily in his pursuit of helping other to become the best expression of themselves.

 Speaker: Malaysia Walker

Malaysia Walker is a native of Jackson, MS and can attest to the hardships faced within the Transgender community. She enjoys makeup artistry, clothing design, sewing, and drawing. Malaysia has been known to wear many hats; professionally she is Coordinator of the Transgender Education& Advocacy Program of Mississippi with the ACLU of Mississippi, Makeup Artist, and Designer. “A true woman holds many titles!”

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Speaker: Antwone D. Williams

Bio: Antwone D. Williams, originally from Winston Salem, North Carolina was raised in a single family home with his mother. Antwone spent his early years investing time volunteering at shelters, soup kitchens and at the Young Men’s & Children Association (YMCA). As a youth, Williams established a passion for working with people who didn’t have family or moral support by allowing them to be who they were and being open to talk as well as listen to their stories. Since graduation, He has spent most of his career in public service in the DC, Maryland, Virginia area. Antwone received his Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Saint Augustine’s University in 2011. Mr. Williams has several years of experience working as a Case Manager for the District of Columbia Government Long Term Care Department as well as the leading agency “Us Helping Us”. There he spent most of his time advocating for clients through testing initiatives, group therapy sessions as well as referrals.

Williams joined NAESM Inc. as a Non-Medical Case Manager/ Linkage Counselor in 2017. Since relocating to Atlanta, Georgia, Mr. Williams works diligently to meet the needs of his clients by providing a multitude of resources, emotional support in a positive LBGTQ friendly atmosphere. Mr. Williams provides advice and assistance to empower clients to access a variety of necessary services that support medically related outcome measurements making it easier than ever for a person to stay connected to their HIV care team. In this role, he provides counseling, emergency housing therapy sessions around treatment adherence and guidance through services inside and beyond NAESM’s walls.

“Advocacy isn’t for glory or recognition. Advocacy is making sure that glory and recognition is afforded to us all.”