2A • oo Thursday, August 17, 2006 Grassroots effort to reduce AIDS in U.S. Continued from page 1A Citing statistics fix>m the Centers for Disease and Control, Wilson said that there are 650,000 black peo ple in the U.S. living with AIDS - a little more than half of all cases nationally “We are here this afternoon to launch a national Black mass AIDS mobilization with a goal of reversing the epi demic in black America by 2011, just five years fi-om now,” Wlson stated. “We real ize this is an ambitious goal - some mi^t say unrealistic. We believe anything less would be immoral.” One by one, after explain- ir^ how their organizations would contribute to the war on AIDS, the leaders each signed a large poster board patterned after the original U.S. Declaration of Independence on a brown, weathered paper background with Old English lettering. Bond said although the NAACP has been in the fight since 1998, they know they must do more. He said the NAACP would send dele gates to every future International AIDS Conference, provide HIV screenii^ at all seven of its regional conferences and at the national convention and lobby for the reauthorization of the Ryan White Care Act, federal legislation that pro vides funding for, among other things, uninsured HIV patients. The NAACP’s newest ini tiative, Bond said was to heavily promote mandatory HIV testing on prisoner’s entering and exiting America’s coirectional facili ties. ‘^We can’t accept that healthy men and women enter our systems for short stays on minor charges or longer staj^ for serious charges and then are released with a death sen tence finm which there is no pardon or parole,” he said. Sandra Goodrif^e, director of Health- Quality of Life pro grams for the National Urban League, said the civil ri^ts group would also launch more testing pro grams and would participate actively in World AIDS Day and the National Day of Service. Understanding that black women have started to become infected with HIV/AIDS at rapid rates, Cheryl Cooper, executive director of the National Council of Negro Women, said they would use their resources and join with the Coalition of 100 Black Women and the Black AIDS institute this year to reach out to Black women. 'TJhbdievably 68 percent of women newly infected with HIV are Afiican American women, our women,” Cooper said- Pemessa Seele, founder of the Balm in GUead, explained that while stigma and rduc- tance to discuss HIV and AIDS in black churches stiH exist, her oiganization has 2006 ‘doll test’ results similar Continued from page 1A school program supported by HBO. The video taped doll test resulted fix)m a col lection of writings Davis had compiled on issues of importance to black girls in her high school. In that writing, she noticed that com plexion was a recurring theme. ‘T knew what my fiiends were going throu^. These standards of beauty just kept coming up,” Davis said in an interview with NNPA News Service. “I thought it was an issue that needed to be exposed more, although at times it seemed too taboo to talk about. But I thov^t a film would just put it aU out there and cause discussion.” In realizing that so many dark-skinned girls have been told that lighter or whiter skin is more beautiful, Davis decided to drive home her point by condircting the doU study ‘You could tell these people about the stan dards of beauty that are forced on young girls all you want to. But they won’t get it until you show them,” she said. And that, she did. The children are finm a Harlem daycare cen ter. And 15 of the 21 children surveyed pre ferred the white doU over the black one, a result that has astoimded many Clark and his wife Mamie Phipps Clark, also a psychdogist, conducted the doll study in 1950 that showed how racial segregation destroyed the self-esteem of black cliildren. The Clarendon County, S.C., experiment involved 16 black children, ages 6 to 9. They were asked their perception of a white doll and black doll. Eleven said the blade doH looked ‘bad;” nine said the white doll looked “nice”. The test results influenced the U. S. Supreme Court to hold school segregation to be uncon stitutional in the 1954 Brown v. Board of Education of Tbpeka, Kans. case. Arguing against the separate-but-equal doctrine in 1952, Thurgood Marshall, then an attorney for the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, dted Clark’s work as proof of the doc trine’s damage to the self-image of black chil dren. On May 17, 1954, Supreme Court Chief Justice Earl Warren announced the court’s decision to desegregate schools in Brown v. Board of Education. Clarlfs doU test was one of his dtations as proof of the psychological dam age on black children. The Davis test shows that psychology has not changed very mudi at aU. “I’m really not shocked, I am sad to say,” says Julia Hare, a San Frandsco psychologist. “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re going to keep getting what you’ve always had. Our children are bombarded with images every day that they see on television screens and on coffee tables either the %ht- skinned female that everybody is pushing or they give preference to the dosest to white your school! . Shop and dine to earn points for your school. Each dollar spent between August 1 and September 30 equals one point for the school of your choice. The top three schools , with the most points will win cash prizes. Bring receipts to the Mall Office to add points to your school’s total. See the Mall Office or call 704.S68.1265 for details, A special thanks to our sponsors: Wiggins Construction Co. of Monrtx, All American Roofing, Nova Lightii TVopical Creations, Perryscapes Landscaping and Mechanical S>stem8. E A S T L A N d;;^m all www.eastlandmall.com united thousands of congre gations across the nation. “I am happy to say that we have not done all that we can do, but we’re going to do more,” Seele said. She said the most recent gain is the AME, AME Zion and CME churches signing on with Balm in Gilead to have health coordinators for every Episcopal district in the U.S. In the black media, National Newspaper Publishers Assodation News Sei'vice Editor George E. Cuny pointed out that NNPA syndicates a edmnn by PhUl Wilson and has provided extensive coverage of the pandemic. Speaking after one panelist admitted that he was openly gay Curry said, “I am a straight black man and the issue is not whether one is straight or gay The issue is whether we’re going to save lives.” Waters,, who is known for her in-your-face stjie, indud- ing being an advoc ate for nee dle-exchange programs and being vocal about the ineffec- tivoness of the U.S.’s “absti nence only” polides, said that when it comes to AIDS, she’s actually been too mild. “I’m taking the gloves off Fm not so nice about this any more,” she said. Waters also stressed the importance of HIV testing in the corrections system and said she is fighting on Capitol Hill to make that happen. She also said that in addition to the need to reauthorize the Ryan White Caie Act, money for another massive federally funded AIDS program - the Minority AIDS Initiative — is also dwindling while tiie need is growing. Waters said the initiative got as much as $156 million in 1999 but fundir^ was st^- nant during the Bush admin istration. She and 119 mem bers of Congress are cunent- ly pushing to appropriate $610 million to the initiative. to properly care for blacks, Hispanics, Asian and Native Americans struggling with the disease. She also pointedly chal lenged the pharmaceutical industry, urging them to assume a more active role in combating HIV and AIDS, But before any government or corporate support can take place. Waters explained it starts with individual com mitments. “Get your heads out of the sand and understand you are just as vulnerable as anybody else,” she said. “First, take responsibility so that we can demand fixim others that they take responsibility” Celebrating "70" Years.... McCrorey YMCA Needs You! Help bring history to life, by sharing your past. • Were you a member? • Have old photos? • Participtaed in events? • Have old articles • Did you attend meeting? • Did you volunteer? 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