|“Delta Focus: A Spotlight on Sexual Health” is a grassroots conference for the community to consider and gain insight on topics affecting the sexual health of Black men in the Mississippi Delta and surrounding areas. This conference seeks to expand the skills and awareness of community health professionals through interactive workshops, thematic plenaries, and community listening sessions.
Delta Focus is convened by Cedric Sturdivant of the Southern AIDS Coalition, and Linda Nicole Stringfellow of F.A.B.R.I.C., Inc.—two individuals who have led dynamic and community-driven efforts to increase HIV/AIDS prevention and reduce health disparities in the Mississippi Delta region. Widener University’s Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative and the Center for Human Sexuality Studies will work with Cedric and Linda to provide event workshop content and technical assistance.
The organizers solicit Delta State University to contribute as a presenting sponsor through an in-kind space rental. This limited engagement has the potential to provide tremendous benefit to the university community, particularly students, faculty, and staff in the humanities, nursing, and social sciences. Delta Focus will feature curated content tacks for DSU students who express an interest to engage more comprehensively with public health and sexuality themes that affect populations at societal margins. The conference organizers will arrange for logistics, including staffing and food services.
Widener University, founded in 1821, is an independent, private university that serves a diverse student population of more than 6,500 students through its eight schools and colleges that offer liberal arts and sciences programs and professional and pre-professional curricula. The University’s mission is to secure recognition for its unique academic environment, innovative approaches to learning, active scholarship, and preparation of students for responsible citizenship. Widener University is a model and pacesetter among higher education institutions with a proven commitment to provide an enriching academic environment, develop individuals with an appreciation for and dedication to service and leadership, and generate positive change within society through its genuine concern for the welfare of the global community.
Widener University’s Center for Human Sexuality Studies (CHSS) is the largest training center for students in Human Sexuality in the United States. As such, it houses one of only two doctoral programs in Human Sexuality Studies at a fully accredited university in the United States. Our graduates are pioneering sexologists who play leadership roles as clinicians, educators, and sexuality researchers. Since 1999, when the human sexuality program moved to Widener from the University of Pennsylvania, we have thrived, grown in national recognition, increased the quantity and diversity of students, and expanded the type of degree programs offered. With over 375 active students, CHSS prepares future and current professionals to teach, consult, provide counseling and therapy, and conduct research in a variety of settings on complex issues related to human sexuality. Students utilize a bio-psycho-social model to gain a comprehensive understanding of the development and practice of human sexuality through the lifespan, within specific social, cultural, and political contexts.
Cedric Sturdevant has been working in the field of HIV prevention for ten 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 is an advocate for HIV, working with and training HIV-positive people to be an advocate for themselves and others through a program called AIDSWatch Mississippi and co-founder of Mississippi Positive Network [MSPN]. Cedric is also the organizational co-chair for Black Treatment Advocates Network [BTAN] Mississippi.
For eight and half years, Cedric worked as a Project Coordinator at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a private, nonprofit, 501(c)3 dedicated to the reduction of health disparities throughout Mississippi by enhancing the health and wellbeing of minority and marginalized populations. During his time at My Brother’s Keeper, locally referred to as MBK, Cedric has had the opportunity to share with others the importance of HIV prevention, education, and awareness.
Presently, Cedric works with the Southern AIDS Coalition, as Executive Director of the Greenville Center. The organization is dedicated to providing services and opportunities to young men that focus on wellness, empowerment, and leadership.
Javontae Lee Williams M.P.H.
Javontae is an Applied Research Scientist at the Interdisciplinary Sexuality Research Collaborative, Widener University in Chester, Pennsylvania. He manages a grant-funded sexuality education project for Black men in Baltimore MD and Jackson MS. Additionally, He conducts research exploring the racial, gender, age, and cultural factors that influence black men’s health, particularly about well-being and aging. Javontae is known as a dynamic speaker nationwide, and his work has been featured in popular media outlets like National Public Radio, Philly Weekly, and TheBody.com among others.
Tracie Gilbert Ph.D.
Dr. Gilbert is an educator, writer, and researcher, with nearly 25 years’ experience working with urban youth, young adults, and their advocates. She received her Ph.D. with the Center for Human Sexuality Studies at Widener University while serving a 6-year tenure as the Health Resource Center Coordinator at the Family Practice & Counseling Network, in Philadelphia. Her dissertation was a grounded theory on the lived experience of sexuality among African Americans, from which she created a multi-layered, culturally-centered epistemological model of sexual development. Generally, her research explores sexuality and its intersections with race and other African American social phenomena.