Holmes World AIDS Day observance receives award

Holmes World AIDS Day observance receives award

The Madison County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., is the recipient of several awards of distinction presented during the sorority's 90th Southern Regional Conference in Kissimmee, Florida. During the Southern Regional Conference, more than 3000 Delta women gathered to celebrate their sisterhood, service, and scholarship. The Madison County Alumnae Chapter received five awards and one of those was a Distinguished Service Award for the World AIDS Day observance held on the Ridgeland Campus of Holmes Community College on Dec. 1, 2015. This program was a collaborate effort between the Social/Science and Behavioral Sciences Department and two committees of the sorority: Physical & Mental Health and International Awareness & Involvement committees.

Jennifer Riley, the chapter's president said, "The Madison County Alumnae Chapter is very excited about the work that they are doing in Madison County to benefit so many people in the community.  Indeed, we are extremely proud of the chapter's partnership that has been established with Holmes Community College in bringing awareness of HIV/AIDS to the student body and look forward to partnering in future events on campus."

This is the chapter's second award earned from partnering with organizations on campus. They previously received an outstanding recognition for their partnership with the Paralegal Department and the Social/Sciences Department on Human Trafficking.

World AIDS Day is an annual event, always held on Dec. 1 that provides an opportunity for people worldwide to unite in the fight against HIV while showing support for people living with HIV and remembering those who lost their lives. The World Aids Day event held at Holmes last year, themed "Getting to Zero," featured panelists Mauda Monger, program director for Mississippi AIDS Education and Training Center at UMMC, and Gerald Gibson, prevention outreach manager at My Brother's Keeper nonprofit.

Othor Cain, director of communications for Mississippi Faith in Action, introduced the panelists and helped guide the discussion. The "Getting to Zero" theme meant working toward zero new HIV infections, toward zero discrimination pertaining to the topic, and zero AIDS-related deaths. The speakers encouraged the 70 plus Holmes students (and instructors/staff) in attendance to get tested annually and help break the stigma surrounding HIV.

The Madison County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta plans to collaborate with Holmes to host a similar event this year.