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OOOT Interactive Summit
Ending the Epidemic…For Whom?

The Black Women’s Health Imperative (BWHI) is a national non-profit organization dedicated to advancing health equity and social justice for Black women through policy, advocacy, education, research and leadership development.

Central to the organization’s mission is HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention. This is accomplished through a program called On Our Own Terms, which encompasses an informed network of organizations and experts who are focused on the prevention, care and treatment of HIV for, by and about Black cis and transgender women.

As a component of On Our Own Terms, BWHI will host an interactive one-day Summit in Washington, DC on Wednesday, September 4, 2019 from 10 am  – 4:30 pm at Shaw/LeDroit Park – Marriott Marquis Washington DC titled “Ending the Epidemic…For Whom?” The summit will feature panels and discussions that will foster opportunities for open dialogue among health professionals, community leaders and care providers about strategies to address educational, treatment and other barriers that can be leveraged to improve health outcomes.

USCA Pre-Conference Summit

September 4, 2019, 10:00 am – 4:00 pm
Capitol Room – Marriott Marquis – Washington, DC


Dr. Gail Wyatt


Black transgender women have one of the highest rates of HIV of any population in the U.S. By race/ethnicity, an estimated 44% of black/African American transgender women have HIV, compared to 26% of Hispanic/Latina transgender women, and only 7% of white transgender women. Despite the startling disparities, Black trans women are often overlooked and left out of the national conversation. This panel will cover some of the difficult conversations, including challenges in accessing HIV testing, treatment and care, stigma and discrimination as well as the resilience that is evident and needed through it all. Most importantly, this session will celebrate the triumphs of current movements that are happening virtually, and on the ground, that affirm that “Black Trans Lives Matter!”


Tori Cooper – Moderator
Evonné Kaho
Tiara Gendi
Kiara St. James


And A Child Shall Lead Them!!! So often in life, our young people are told what they need, how they need it and that they should be grateful for whichever way that suggested support may come. Opinions are often shared with regards to their sexual experiences, partner choices and navigating their lives in general. However, research points to a systematic lack of protection for Black girls and women, as evidenced by the disproportionately high rates of sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Join this panel of dynamic young people as they share their personal experiences journeying the world of sexual health. This new generation of leaders will also discuss how they are “Flippin the Script” to ensure that young black women feel empowered to have open dialogue about their sexual health with their partners and the autonomy to make decisions that protect their health.


Hydeia Broadbent – Moderator
Marnina Miller
Tiffany Nicole
Dr. Brittany Williams


Linda Goler Blount
Nakesha Powell


“Ain’t I A Woman?” words coined by Sojourner Truth, that have rung true throughout history to share that regardless of skin color, she, along with all Black women matter. Among all women, Black women account for the largest share of new HIV diagnoses, and the rate of new diagnoses among Black women is nearly 15 times the rate among white women and nearly 5 times the rate among Latinas. This candid discussion will touch on some of the historical missteps and the current state of sexual health and HIV outcomes for Black women. This dynamic panel will also cover what passing the torch to the next generation looks like and outline the collaborations, solutions, and policies needed in order to “End the Epidemic for Black Women”!!!


Valerie Rochester – Moderator
C. Virginia Fields
Dr. Bambi Gaddist


Linda Goler Blount

Evonne Kaho
Evonne Kaho


Hydeia Broadbent

Hydeia Broadbent – Moderator
Motivational speaker and HIV/AIDS Activist, Black AIDS Institute

Ms. Hydeia Broadbent spends her time spreading the message of HIV/AIDS awareness and prevention, by: promoting abstinence, safe-sex practices (for people who choose to have sex) and national HIV testing initiatives. Hydeia began her debut as an HIV/AIDS activist and public speaker at six years old and by 12, had appeared on many national television programs including Oprah, 20/20, Good Morning America, and “A Conversation with Magic Johnson” on Nickelodeon. Hydeia has also taken part in many of America’s talk radio programs including, The Michael Eric Dyson Show, Russ Parr Morning Show, and The Tom Joyner Morning Show. Broadbent is also considered a pioneer as the first African-American youth to speak up and speak out about the epidemic. Today, Hydeia is a distinguished international, public speaker and HIV/AIDS activist with a mission to educate people of all ages.

Tori Cooper – Moderator
Health & Equity Consultant
Executive Director, Advocates for Better Care Atlanta

Ms. Tori Cooper holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Human Services. Ms. Cooper previously worked at CBOs in metro Atlanta, Georgia. Tori is a staunch advocate for the Trans and HIV communities and travels across the country providing education to providers, clinicians, consumers, students and communities of every size and scope. She created the Hour of Power which is an empowerment group that meets twice monthly for the trans, gender nonconforming communities and allies. The HoP recently celebrated its second anniversary. She is a National Trainer, Subject Matter Expert (SME), facilitator and consultant with the CDC. She is a National Trainer for NMAC’s Building Leaders of Color (BLOC)  advocacy training program. She is Executive Director and Founder of Advocates for Better Care (ABC Atlanta, LLC) which seeks to further her mission of education, empowerment and opportunities for marginalized people. She is also an ordained Deacon at Tabernacle Baptist Church under the pastorate of Bishop Dennis A. Meredith. Tori has received numerous awards and honors for her work, but she measures true success when the people she serves achieve viral suppression, when they master new life skills and achieve health and financial equity.

Tori Cooper
C. Virginia Fields, MSW

Virginia Fields, MSW
President and CEO, National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS

Virginia Fields, MSW has been the President and CEO of the National Black Leadership Commission on AIDS, Inc. (NBLCA) since 2008. She brings to the position over eighteen years of experience as an elected official in New York City, where she won widespread praise as a consensus builder around important city, state and national policy issues. Mrs. Fields was at the forefront of community battles in the early 1980s to secure housing for people living with AIDS. As Manhattan Borough President, she was instrumental in the allocation of millions of dollars for programmatic support to community-based organizations and educational institutions, borough-wide. In 2005, Mrs. Fields was a Democratic candidate for Mayor of New York City, becoming the first African American woman to seek that office. In 2008, she was appointed to the New York State AIDS Advisory Council by then Gov. David A. Paterson. In 2011, Mrs. Fields was appointed to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Region II Health Equity Council, one of ten across the nation addressing health disparities and social determinants of health. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Social Work, Mrs. Fields served as an adjunct lecturer at New York University’s Silver School of Social Work. She is a recipient of numerous awards, citations and honors of distinction for her leadership on education, health, community and economic issues

Bambi Gaddist, DrPH
Executive Director, Wright Wellness Center

Dr. Bambi W. Gaddist is co-founder and currently serves as CEO of the South Carolina HIV Council, a 501 (c) 3, non profit HIV prevention organization, including the Wright Wellness Center, a sexual health treatment facility located in Columbia, South Carolina.  Dr. Gaddist received her Bachelor of Science from Tuskegee University in the area of Physical Education and Health, a M.S. in Physical Education Administration/Health from Indiana University, and completed Doctoral studies in the areas of Human Sexuality and Family Life Education at the University of South Carolina. Bambi has committed the past 35 years of her professional life working in the area of human sexuality with a specific focus on HIV/AIDS and STI community level mobilization, behavioral intervention and research, technical assistance/capacity building, and the elimination of other health disparities.  Dr. Gaddist serves as Treasurer of the National Black Women’s HIV/AIDS Network, Board Member of the Southern AIDS Coalition, and served as Chair of the South Carolina HIV/AIDS Care Crisis Task Force from 2006-2012.  Mrs. Gaddist is also a  published author and consults with a host of national and local organizations including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Minority AIDS Council, ViiV Healthcare Community Advisory Board, and Gilead Sciences, to name a few.  She was selected as a CNN Hero during 2008 and featured on CNN/Essence Magazine’s “Recapturing The Dream” during August 2009.

Bambi Gaddist
Tiara Gendi

Tiara Gendi
Health Impact Specialist, Washington DC Department of Health
Steering Committee member, Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP)

Tiara Gendi is a Human Rights defender and Trans Activist with bi-continental experience in the fields of human rights and trans diverse community building in Africa (Zimbabwe) and here in the USA. She is a Health Impact Specialist with the Department Of Health in Washington DC Helping to create and implement measures to increase uptake and access of health care services within the LGBTQ+ communities in the DMV and also serves as a Steering Committee member for the Black LGBTQIA+ Migrant Project (BLMP). Her background covers volunteering as a data capturer at GALZ (Zimbabwe), documenting the services attained by organizational and community members, coordinating and mobilizing the Transgender and Intersex group within the organization. Tiara also did voluntary work with T.R.E.A.T (Transgender, Research, Education, Advocacy and Training) as a baseline survey assistant, documenting the experiences of trans diverse individuals in accessing sexual reproductive health and rights, human rights violations from the community and the law enforcement authorities, family relations and also personal well-being of this key affected population in eight towns within Zimbabwe. Having been a peer educator, buddy group member, peer grant reviewer and also an LGBTQ+ youth leader, Tiara is also a 2016 Mandela Washington Fellow who has worked on Trans Equality as an International and Immigration Fellow in the US with Trans United  and a Youth Fellow at SMYAL. Currently working towards building Stronger and Visible communities for Black LGBTQ+ Migrant Project (BLMP) , When not doing community organizing and advocacy work, Tiara is an artist who can be found doing creative writing and/or onstage  performing Poetry, monologues to theatre.

Evonné Kaho
Jackson, MS

Evonné Kaho is a transgendered spiritual activist and educator. As a Black Trans woman and survivor of domestic violence, Evonné struggles everyday against intolerance, pain and injustice with an open heart. She holds a B.A. degree from Alcon State University and a Master’s in Business Administration,Technology and Management, from the University of Phoenix. Evonné is the founder and CEO of the first Black Transgender nonprofit in the state of Mississippi, Love Me Unlimited 4 Life, an interdisciplinary organization that offers resources, education, counseling and support to Mississippi’s LGBTQ community and those living with HIV.

She serves on the National Advisory Board of Positively Trans, a project of the Transgender Law Center, the Jackson MS Medical Mall HIV Planing Committee, Positive Women’s Network, Mississippi State Lead and is a co-founder and active member of SHERO, (Sister’s Helping Every woman Rise and Organize), and mother of a teenage daughter.

Evonné’s latest labor of love is materializing as she is in the process of establishing a shelter for LGBTQ and HIV positive youth and adults affectionately named, Evonné 4EverCaring. 

Evonne Kaho
Marnina Miller

Marnina Miller is a Michigan native currently residing in Houston, Texas. She fell in love with Activism after joining Positive Organizing Project a movement that trains People Living With HIV on how to become Effective HIV Activist.  This out and proud, Black Queer young woman facilitates trainings on Anti-Stigmatizing Language, Effective Leadership, Sex Positivity, and Community Organizing. At Positive Women’s Network-USA she currently serves on the Board of Directors. She is also a graduate of the PWN-USA 2018 Public Policy Fellowship. Marnina is a Youth Ambassador for Youth Across Borders where she spends time at Montaña de Luz which is an orphanage for Children Living With HIV in Honduras. She is also the Co-Chair for the Texans Living With HIV Network, and a recipient of the Violet Award; which recognizes LGBT advocates in Houston. At NMAC she is the graduate of the Inaugural Building Young Leaders of Color (BYLOC) leadership training and a Youth Initiative Scholar. Marnina is also a feature writer for the international online publication Life and Love with HIV where she is dismantling the stigma of women; developing, maintaining, and pursuing a healthy sex life one blog post at a time. 

Tiffany Nicole
Tiffany Nicole

Tiffany Nicole is a Registered Behavior Technician and Social Worker, certified voluntary Pre-Kindergarten teacher, and provides supportive services to other children such as LGBTQ youth. In 2017, Tiffany was selected to join the National Minority AIDS Coalition (NMAC) Youth Initiative program, where she received mentorship and intensive training on public speaking and engagement in HIV activism and was awarded the “Youth Highlight Award,” for her contributions towards empowering other young people thriving with HIV. She has spent the last 2 years researching and engaging HIV advocacy and activism from a Reproductive Justice lens. Tiffany was also a former Social Ambassador for The, an online information site dedicated to telling the stories of folks living with HIV and providing comprehensive and factual information on HIV/AIDS. One of her most popular stories “Why I made a sex contract,” talks about the unique barriers she faced as a young woman who had to navigate outdated laws and social stigmas around HIV creatively and safely to avoid any harmful outcomes. Tiffany still utilizes her experiences growing up with HIV to help improve outcomes for other Black women living with HIV and is currently looking into opportunities to build programs around financial literacy, economic empowerment and generational wealth in marginalized and lower income communities.

Valerie L. Rochester, MPA
Vice President for Program Strategy, AIDS United

Valerie L. Rochester has over 30 years’ experience providing programmatic, administrative, and technical support services in the public health field.  In June 2017, Valerie became Vice President for Program Strategy at AIDS United, a leading national HIV grantmaking, capacity building and policy/advocacy organization in Washington, DC.  There she guides the organization’s expansive program portfolio and its grantmaking efforts investing in communities affected by the HIV epidemic.  Prior to joining AIDS United, Valerie was Director of Programs & Training with the Black Women’s Health Imperative, where she led the organization’s national programmatic responses to address racially and gender-based health inequities; managing health initiatives addressing the priority health issues of diabetes, breast and cervical cancers, HIV/STIs, obesity, and chronic disease prevention.   As a public health strategist, Valerie recognizes the importance of engaging and mobilizing communities to help bring about improved health outcomes and has applied these approaches to her work with local, Federal, national, and state agencies.  She has also served on the board of directors of numerous national and community-based organizations, including her current tenure as a board member of the National Minority AIDS Council, where the holds the position of Treasurer.  Because of her commitment to addressing health inequities in communities of color, Valerie was awarded the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Hero Award in 2002 at the annual Congressional Black Caucus Health Braintrust, presented to her by former Congresswoman Donna Christensen.  

Valerie Rochester
Kiara St. James
Co-Founder & Executive Director, New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG)

Kiara St. James, Is a community organizer and public speaker. She has been instrumental in changing shelter policies that were discriminatory towards the Trans community, and presented workshops concerning marginalized communities at the International AIDS Conference in Vienna, Austria and the United Nations, as well as at other conferences and academic institutions.  For the last 17 years Kiara has also been coordinating meetings with legislators to discuss the importance of passing Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act, a bill that will enrich the lives of all New Yorkers through creating culturally affirming spaces. and was finally Legislated into Law January 15 2019 Kiara is the Founder and current Executive director of the New York Transgender Advocacy Group (NYTAG inc), A grassroots  501c-3 non-profit organization, that is Trans-led and intent on creating new opportunities for the Trans community, through various partnerships and sustainable innovative initiatives. Kiara believes that fight now should be about Equity and shifting of resources to better address income disparities.

Brittany M. Williams, Ph.D.
Co-founder #CiteASista & #SisterPhD

Brittany M. Williams, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized speaker, higher education scholar, and aspiring activist. As a proud millennial, Dr. Brittany encourages sex positivity and Black women’s sexual health empowerment on and offline. Her current research includes Black college women’s attitudes and barriers to HIV prevention and sexual wellness in college and issues of Black women’s career development and equal pay. Dr. Brittany is a co-founder of two award-winning digital communities #CIteASista and #SisterPhD. She is a proud personal PrEP user and advocate.

Gail E. Wyatt, PhD
Professor, Dept. of Psychiatry & Biobehavioral Sciences
UCLA Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior
Director, UCLA Sexual Health Program
Director, Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities
Associate Director, UCLA AIDS Institute

Dr. Wyatt, Clinical Psychologist, is a board certified Sex Therapist and Professor of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Behavior at UCLA. She directs the Center for Culture, Trauma and Mental Health Disparities and is an Associate Director of the UCLA AIDS Institute. Dr. Wyatt has published well over 250 publications, written six books and has provided Congressional testimony 10 times. “Stolen Women” will be mentioned in her presentation today. Dr. Wyatt guest edited the May 2017 issue of Psychological Trauma: Theory, Research, Policy and Planning, including research conducted for the first time by South Africans of color. She and her team just completed an implementation study of the culturally congruent Eban Intervention for HIV discordant couples and with a colleague, adapted the protocol for South African couples. She and Dr. Harolyn Belcher co-edited a special issue on mentoring students of diverse backgrounds in the 2019 issue of the Journal of Orthopsychiatry. Dr. Wyatt and her team also have four training grants that include implementation science into new research. She is currently using the UCLA Life Adversities Screener in implementation science research and has three women centered interventions to reduce HIV, STI and reproductive health risks for women of color currently running in Los Angeles County. In 2016, she recently received the Chancellor’s Award for Diversity and Inclusion and in 2017 received the Lifetime Achievement Award of the American Psychological Association for her work on the effects of trauma on mental health. She has been married to Dr. Lewis Wyatt for 54 years, has a son, two granddaughters and a daughter who is an angel. 

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