Focus on Memphis Series: Combating HIV Epidemic in Memphis

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute for Social Change will host an online discussion titled “Combating the HIV Epidemic in Memphis.” As part of our newly created “Focus on Memphis” series, panelists will discuss HIV stigma and discrimination in the African American community, living with HIV, and ways to reduce the risk of getting HIV and/or other STIs. The event will be lived streamed on the Hooks Institute’s Facebook page on October 19, 2021, from 6-7 pm CST. The panel will be moderated by Hooks Academic Research Fellow Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer.

While this event is free and open to the public, attendances are encouraged to RSVP for the event here.

Below are the panelists:

Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer

Dr. Shemeka Hamlin-Palmer is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Healthcare leadership at the University of Memphis. Along with her teaching, she has dedicated the past 15 years to working, partnering, and collaborating with CBOs, health care organizations and other academic institutions to reduce the impact of health disparities, including HIV/AIDS, substance abuse, mental health, cardiovascular disease, obesity, and cancer in minority populations throughout the United States.

Juanita Davis

Juanita Davis, a pioneer in HIV prevention education, is the Director of CARE4ME Services of the Jackson Medical Mall Foundation. She has participated in research projects and served as co-investigator and is the co-author of several publications regarding African American adolescents and HIV/AIDS. Her work includes working with the early development of the BART (Becoming a Responsible Teen) Program, Syphilis Elimination in the South, and the American Red Cross Prevention Skills curricula. She served as a trainer of trainer for many of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s effective interventions. Throughout her career, Ms. Davis has received numerous awards and citations for her prevention efforts such as the Recognition and Appreciation Award from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services for her vision and insight in addressing the health issues of African American adolescents. She has served on various committees and boards such as the African American Advisory Committee for the National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors and the co-chair of the Mississippi Community Planning Group for HIV Prevention (Mississippi HIV Planning Council).

Cedric Sturdevant

Cedric Sturdevant, Co-Founder, Co-Executive Director, and Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention Branch at Community Health-PIER has been working in the field of HIV for 14 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 became an advocate for HIV in 2007 working with and training HIV-positive people to be an advocate for themselves and others through a program called AIDSWatch Mississippi. Cedric is also the co-founder of Mississippi Positive Network [MSPN] and Community Co-Chair of The Mississippi HIV Planning Council [MHPC]. Cedric has been featured on the documentary “Deepsouth” which focuses on the plight of individuals living with HIV in the Deep South, the New York Times Magazine and has been featured in various public service campaigns spreading knowledge and awareness of HIV.

Eddie Wiley

For 15 years, Eddie Wiley has worked across the Southern United States to combat HIV stigma and health disparities particularly within communities of color. His training centers around health literacy, stigma reduction, cultural humility, and trauma-informed approaches. As a presenter at local and national conferences, Eddie has been able to speak of his experiences as a person living with HIV in addition to an HIV service provider. Eddie began his career as a 3MV facilitator. Since then, he has served in a host of roles throughout his career. Eddie is excited to serve as the Shelby County Ending HIV Epidemic Initiative Coordinator for the TN Department of Health in Memphis. He is also the Principal Consultant for Maverick Consulting. As a consultant, he has developed training curriculum, managed the social media channels, and facilitated the HIV/AIDS Bureau’s Community of Practice.

In 2015, Eddie co-founded The Headliners, which is a group of community members and service
providers working together in a collaborative model to disseminate HIV information through
novel methods. He also served as the co-chair for the Shelby County HIV Care and Prevention
Planning group for two years in addition to serving on the Tennessee Community Planning
Group. Eddie received his Masters of Public Health in Social and Behavioral Sciences from the
University of Memphis and a B.A. in English and Communications from Philander Smith College.

DeMarcus Jones

DeMarcus Jones is the current Protocol Outreach Assistant for Prevention Studies at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN, and current co-chair of Headliners Memphis. As a native Memphian, he completed his studies at the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Professional Studies. With over 7 years of experience in working HIV prevention and community engagement, his mission is to continuously engage, mobilize, and create healing spaces for LGBTQ individuals of color.”

About the Benjamin L. Hooks Institute

The Benjamin L. Hooks Institute implements its mission of teaching, studying, and promoting civil rights and social change through research, education, and direct intervention programs. Institute programs include community outreach; funding faculty research initiatives on community issues; implementing community service projects; hosting conferences, symposiums, and lectures; and promoting local and national scholarship on civil and human rights. The Hooks Institute is an interdisciplinary center at the University of Memphis. Contributed revenue for the Hooks Institute, including funding from individuals, corporations, and foundations, is administered through the University of Memphis Foundation, a 501(c)(3) organization. For more information, please visit the Hooks Institute.