Michael Terry Everett, MHS, is a Philadelphia native who has spent 15 years in human services, and is currently a Project Director of CISP at ETR & Associates. Michael and his husband who are new first time father’s own a small company called Intimacy & Colour. The work of Intimacy & Colour is inspired by the lives of African-American same gender loving men of color and their experiences with sexual health. Growing up in a dominant society who has historically refused to see these men resulted in pathology of unhealthy relationships. Intimacy & Colour is about re instituting emotional wellness, healthy communication, and intimacy into the lives of the vulnerable. www.intimacyandcolour.com
Christopher Evans is a native Houstonian. He is a graduate of The University of Maryland University College. He has 5 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 broadcast Robert Wesley-Branch radio show. He currently runs his own full time interior design business while still being fully active in community events that are central to the SGL community.
SAlaenor Faye London grew up in a family that taught her about faith in “feet on the ground” ways. The space for women in churches was, she felt, too small to hold the embodied existence of a fully actualized woman of God. She earned her Master of Divinity (M.Div) degree from Vanderbilt Divinity School in 2011 and was ordained for Christian Ministry by the Tennessee Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) on September 23, 2012 at Freedom’s Chapel Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) where she remains in ministry today. Rev. London’s expertise and prophetic voice continue to be sought by several national organizations and local faith and health communities. She answers through such commitments as the CoreAlign Speaking Race to Power Fellowship; in her association with the Center for American Progress Faith and RJ Fellowship; as a national spokesperson in the CAP Faith Zubik v. Burwell awareness campaign; as a commentator for local print news outlets and national blogs and journals; as well as in churches, educational institutions and other organizations throughout Memphis and across the state of Tennessee.
Blossom C. Brown is a trans-health advocate, HIV advocate, actress, Vlogger, motivational speaker and Greater Than AIDS Ambassador. She was the first openly transgender woman to graduate from Mississippi University for Women with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health Education. She has been featured in many projects including the Greater Than AIDS Transempowered Campaign and the Human Rights Campaign All God’s Children Campaign. She currently has spoken in colleges across the U.S. and is currently residing in Los Angeles, California where she will be continuing her education with a Masters.
Christopher Lane, MPH, acquired a position with the DC Department of Health in 2003 as a project coordinator to work on a national surveillance research project funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to study the sexual behaviors of high-risk individuals. This opportunity piqued his interest in research and expanded the opportunity work with vulnerable populations. Christopher also worked with LGBT youth of color in Washington, DC; where he was responsible for the creation and implementation of health programs. These programs consisted of tobacco prevention and cessation, HIV/STD prevention and mental health. Prior to his move to Washington, DC, he was a program director for a non-profit agency working with primarily youth of color in Mississippi. The agency received funding to implement after school programs in school districts that were in critical levels of being administered by the MS Department of Education. Ten schools were piloted and under Mr. Lane’s direction, an additional 15 schools were identified and funded, with successful outcomes in all schools.
Earl Nupsius Benjamin-Robinson is a Doctor of Health Science (DrHSc) candidate at Nova Southeastern University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine & Health Science. Earl is a public health practitioner with 15 plus years of experience. Most of this experience is in the areas of HIV/AIDS, Tobacco Prevention & Control, and Healthy Communities. Earl is the Co-founder of The Behavior & Community Health (BACH) Group, LLC and the Founder of BACH’s Capacity-Building, Resources, Opportunities, for Populations, Inc. (CROPs). BACH is a minority, population health consultation firm. CROPs is the 501(c)3 arm of BACH. It focuses on building the capacity of vulnerable populations. This past October, Earl and his husband, Michael Benjamin-Robinson, were the recipients of Forum For Equality’s 2016 Chairs Award. Earl believes that “they who do not cultivate their fields will die of hunger” – Botswana Proverb.
William “Liam” Caldwell is at the Founder and Creative Director for Will C Productions. Will C Productions was founded in 1997 in Washington, DC. William Caldwell started working in film in 2011 with a variety of short films and web series including: “Boi, Pull Your Pants Up”, “Whorizm”, “The Devil’s Playground”, “Damage Control”, and “Willology”. These media activites are designed to discuss the many issues that plagued the LGBTQ and MSM community as well as better educate the public about HIV/AIDS. Caldwell serves in many leadership capacities and have won awards for his work in the community. He is a graduate of Coppin State University and received his BS degree in Urban Art Productions. He is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated.
Gerald Terrell Gibson currently serves as Testing and Outreach Manager. He plans and implements Rapid HIV testing events throughout the Jackson MSA which include Madison, Hinds, Rankin, Simpson and Copiah counties. He also oversees the massive Condom distribution campaign which has been expanded from just clubs and bars to beauty salons, barber shops, clothing boutiques, some church organizations, and retail outlets. Lastly, he is co-coordinator for the Community Based Programs Educational component where they present on topics ranging from HIV /STD 101, Stigma, and Cultural Competency. He has done and currently does presentations all over the state in various settings from schools to churches and college and universities. Furthermore, he has presented at numerous conferences and community forums on various HIV/STDs education and LBGTI related topics. He holds a Bachelor degree in Criminal Justice from Alcorn State University and a Master degree in Sociology from Jackson State University. He has worked in the Public Health arena for approximately 8 years. Mr. Gibson has learned that no task is too small and every individual plays a pivot role in educating their community. When he is not working, he loves to workout, to read, to travel and to gain knowledge. His life motto is; Live Well, Laugh Often, and Love Much!
Dr. Leandro Mena is a physician with specialty training in infectious diseases. He has more than 12 years of experience in clinical and epidemiological research in the area of sexually transmitted infections (including HIV), with special interest in the dynamics of transmission and the role that social determinants of health play in perpetuating these epidemics in sexual and gender minority populations.
Dr. Mena currently supervises a research team dedicated to clinical and epidemiological research, and serves as the medical director of the Crossroads Clinic (STD/HIV clinic in Jackson, Miss.), the only publicly funded exclusive STD/HIV clinic in the state, and Open Arms Healthcare Center, a community based clinic that offers primary care services with an emphasis in the health care needs for LGBT populations in Jackson, MS.
Dr. Mena is an associate professor of Medicine, Infectious Diseases at UMMC. He earned his medical degree from the Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, and his MPH from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine in New Orleans, La.
Joshua Agee received his Bachelor of Science in Biology degree from Tougaloo College May 2015. He plans to attend medical school and specialize in infectious diseases. While excelling in academics, Joshua also found time to participate in different research projects. . Living in the Jackson Metro Area has made him more aware of the alarming rates at which Young Black Men who have Sex with Men (YBMSM) are being infected with HIV.
Last year, Joshua worked as an Outreach Recruiter with the University of Kentucky’s College of Public Health and the University of Mississippi Medical Center on a collaborative effort on the Better Sex with Latex (BSL)/ Focus on the Future (FOF) project. BSL/FOF is a clinic based, safer sex program for YBMSM funded by the National Institute of Health (NIH). The research study is aimed to reduce the risk of STD and HIV transmission among YBMSM. Joshua’s work as an outreach recruiter was the primary inspiration in him seeking to become an Infectious Disease Physician. He hopes to help accelerate improvements in HIV prevention and care while reducing disparities among under-served populations. For him working with BSL has been an eye-opening experience, highlighted by the need of innovative prevention methods powered by increased education and strong leadership in the YBMSM community.
Joshua currently works with My Brother’s Keeper as the PrEP coordinator. As coordinator he educates individuals about PrEP, assesses their risk of contracting HIV, and navigates insurance issues with the patients regarding PrEP.
Cedric Sturdevant has been working in the field of HIV prevention for ten years, starting out as a volunteer with Magnolia Medical Clinic (MMC) in Greenwood, Ms. in 2006. While at MMC, he attended health fairs and health summits with MMC where he gained experience in pre and post counseling when rapid HIV testing was given.
As an advocate for people living with HIV, Cedric works with and trains HIV positive people to be an advocate for themselves through a program called AIDSwatch Mississippi. In addition, he serves as an organizational co-chair for BTAN Mississippi.
Over the past eight years, Cedric has had the opportunity to work at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. and gain a wealth of knowledge and experience in HIV/AIDS and STD’s health related concerns. As a Project Coordinator for My Brother’s Keeper, Inc. as a Project Coordinator he has shared with others the importance of HIV prevention, education, and awareness, being featured in several national campaigns, magazine interviews, and visual media projects such as the documentary Deep South which shines light on HIV in the deep south region.
Reginald Stevenson is a community leader, and performing artist from Jackson, MS. He remembers asking God, “What is my purpose?” He made it clear that it is to use his talents to help others. Mr. Stevenson is a Patient Navigator at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc.). His job is designed to increase access to and engagement in supportive HIV care and prevention services among HIV positive Black MSM and Transgender Women. The growth of the LGBT community as a whole is very important to him. Mr. Stevenson utilizes his recourses to introduce the community to new advances in HIV, through a program he created, The A.L.L.S.T.A.R.S. (Amazing Leaders Loving Self Through Acquired Resources for Success). This program is a support system that allows its participants to be empowered and educated in a safe space. It promotes excellence in the performing arts with emphases on people of color, as well as heightening the awareness of LGBT community in a cultural art form, and produces advocates that reflect the African American LGBT experience. In addition to his work with MBK, Mr. Stevenson is involved in his community through many other organizations. Mr. Stevenson serves as the Vice-President of Delta Delta Xi Fraternity, Inc. This is an organization for the African American LGBT with Men community. It allows MSM to be active in providing services of support and community building in our community.
Dr. Anika Bell is a Medical Science Liaison for ViiV Healthcare, focusing on scientific information surrounding HIV and AIDS. Previous to working in HIV, Anika served in the same role with GlaxoSmithKline in the movement disorders, epilepsy, and migraine disease state arenas. She received her Doctor of Pharmacy Degree from Xavier University College of Pharmacy in New Orleans. She then went on to complete a residency in pharmacy practice at the VA Medical Center in Tucson, Arizona where she completed research on the use of Niacin in Diabetic Patients and the effects on glycosylated hemoglobin. At the completion of her residency program, Dr Bell went on to practice in many areas of pharmacy including retail, clinical and subacute care/geriatrics. Dr Bell is formerly a Clinical Assistant Professor at Xavier University in New Orleans with instructional focus on Electrocardiology and Physical Assessment and prior to joining ViiV worked as a clinical liaison in Respiratory for Sanofi-Aventis.