Area Clergy and Religious Leaders to Host Ground breaking Summit to Combat HIV/AIDS

(Syracuse,NY) The Black Leadership Commission on AIDS SBLCA) of Syracuse will host the first Clergy and Community Leaders Summit on Friday, June, 18 2010.

The Clergy and Community Leaders Summit will bring together a broad cross-section of religious leaders and ministry workers from all denominations including Christians, Muslim, Jewish and others to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The all day conclave will be held at Sheraton University Hotel and Conference Center will commence from at 8:00AM and conclude at 4:30PM “We are pleased to break down walls and create an environment to support within the faith community to support families and individuals living with and affected by HIV/AIDS, “says Rev. Chauncey Brown, President, of the Syracuse Black Leadership Commission on AIDS. “Workshop facilitators will lead discussions on the special role of religious leaders in overcoming stigma and discrimination, concerns of clergy in addressing HIV/AIDS, and public policy advocacy”, says Brown.

The conclave’s keynote speaker will be Rev. Dr. Raphael Warnock, Senior Pastor of the historic Ebenezer Baptist Church , the home church of The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The event is free and open to the public. Those interested in attending are urged to register by contacting Ms. Xica Cage 315 679 3971. Seating is limited.

The goal of the Conclave is to build the capacity of religious leaders and lay persons to address this issue from the pulpit, establish HIV/AIDS ministries, and to engage clergy to become foot soldiers in the advocacy efforts to fight the epidemic in the Syracuse region’s communities of color.

Workshop facilitators will lead discussions on the special role of religious leaders in overcoming stigma and discrimination, concerns of clergy in addressing HIV/AIDS, and public policy advocacy.

There has been an increase in the number of newly identified cases of HIV in men under the age of 25 in Onondaga County . Officials are now reporting a total of ten newly infected individuals including three teenagers. All of the men self-identify as being men having sex with men (MSM) or as being bisexual. These newly diagnosed HIV positive individuals are primarily from communities of color.

The BLCA of Syracuse is dedicated to educating, organizing, and empowering Black leadership; clergy in particular.