R&B, Gospel Artist Geneva Renee to Headline Benefit Concert for Conference on Stigma and HIV

WASHINGTON – NBC Washington’s “Be a Voice VIP” contest winner Geneva Renee will headline a two-hour benefit concert at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 13, in the Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel, Sixth Street and Howard Place to raise funds for the third annual International Conference on Stigma: The Attitude that Spreads HIV.

Renee is an adult contemporary vocalist who has performed at the National Broadcasters’ Association’s gala honoring former President William Clinton in 2006 as well as sang at the 2009 Inaugural Ball for President Barack Obama.   Last month, she released her first CD, “Beautiful Wonder.”

The concert will also feature performances by the choir and dance troupe of Heritage Fellowship Church in Reston, Va. 

Concert proceeds will help fund the Center for Stigma at Howard University and the Stigma Conference, which will take place Friday, Nov. 30, in the Howard University Blackburn Center.

The free, all-day conference will feature notable HIV/AIDS scientists and clinicians such as Dr. Sohail Rana, a professor of pediatrics at the Howard University College of Medicine; Nick DeLuca, Ph.D, the Prevention Communication Branch Chief in the Department of HIV/AIDS Prevention for the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Others speakers include Jeanne White Ginder, AIDS activist and mother of Ryan White, a Kokomo, Ind., teenager who was expelled from middle school after he became infected with HIV from a blood transfusion; Dr. Gregory Pappas, director of the office of HIV/AIDS for the District of Columbia; Charles Stephens,  regional organizer for AIDS United; Daniel Montoya, deputy executive director for the National Minority AIDS Council; Priscilla Reddy, Ph.D., unit director of Health Promotion Research and Development Unit for the Medical Research Council in Cape Town, South Africa; Maria Alvarez, lead public health advisor for the CDC; Wardah M. Rajab-Gyagenda, Ph.D., director of research for the Publications and Innovations Islamic University in Uganda, and Dr. Chinkholal Thangsing, of the Touch of Hope Foundation in Gurgaon, India.

Cynne´ Simpson, an anchor at ABC News 7 and Howard alumna, will be the moderator.

Each year, the convention focuses on ways to combat the stigma associated with HIV, which can increase the spread of the diseases as carriers go into denial and fail to treat their illness and report it to others.

Workshop panels include “Youth,” “Faith Based Ministries – Challenges and Lessons Learned,” “Stigma in Immigrant Populations: African and Latino Perspectives,” “Designing Peer Driven Disclosure Focused Intervention as a Means for Addressing and Reducing HIV Related Stigma” and “Best Practices for Addressing and Eradicating Stigma: Lessons Learned from Research.” 

To register for the conference, or for more information, please visit http://www.whocanyoutell.org/

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