University of Rochester

Mental Illness and HIV/AIDS in the African American Community

October 31, 2012

DATE, TIME, AND PLACE: Friday, Nov. 2, 9 to 10:40 a.m. and 1 to 2:40 p.m., in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library on the University of Rochester's River Campus.

WHAT: Local experts in mental health and African-American communities will explore how mental illness influences the spread of HIV and AIDS among people of color.

9 to 10:40 a.m.
"Understanding and Overcoming the Stigma of Mental Illness in the African-American Community"

  • Lenora Reid-Rose, co-director of the Nathan Klein Institute Center of Excellence in Culturally Competent Mental Health and director of cultural competence and diversity initiatives at Coordinated Care Services, Inc.
  • Kathleen Plum, director of issues related to mental health disparities for the Monroe County Office of Mental Health
  • John Aceto, member of the Rochester Community Mobile Crisis Team and an HIV/AIDS mental health counselor and outreach worker for AIDS Rochester
  • Stephen Fielding, retired University of Rochester sociologist and currently the principal investigator for the evaluation of Monroe County Office of Mental Health's system of care grant
  • Melanie Funchess, director of community engagement for the Mental Health Association's Better Days Ahead Family Support Network

Moderator: Joanna Olmsted, dean of the School of Arts and Sciences

1 to 2:40 p.m.
"Double Duty: HIV/AIDS and Mental Illness—Additional Challenges for the African-American Community"

  • Jackie Dozier, program coordinator for the Minority AIDS Initiative of AIDS Care
  • Precious Bedell, community health worker at Strong Behavioral Health
  • Devon Stith, deacon at Mt. Olive Baptist Church
  • Rev. John Walker, Christian Friendship Missionary Baptist Church
  • Rev. Willie Davis, pioneer in advocating about HIV/AIDS prevention through the church
  • Delores Griffin, peer storyteller

Moderator: Ted Brown, historian of medicine, public health, and health policy at the University of Rochester

SPONSOR: The University's Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African American Studies along with the Department of Psychiatry and the Faculty Diversity Office. The symposium is part of the series, Revisiting Social Justice in Black America: HIV/AIDS, Mental Illness and Race Representation, and is made possible through funding from the University's Humanities Project.

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public.

FOR MORE INFORMATION: Contact Kate Fitzpatrick at 585.276.5744 or