Extending the message of World AIDS Day 2010 another week, California State University, Dominguez Hills welcomes Academy Award-winning actor Lou Gossett Jr. to campus on Tuesday, December 7, for “Our Community, My Awareness,” a special community dialogue about HIV and AIDS. The talk will take place from 5:15 to 7 p.m. in the ballroom of the Loker Student Union.
Gossett will be speaking about the impact of HIV/AIDS on communities of color, highlighting the importance of a united community response through strong leadership and community involvement. The actor who received an Emmy Award for his role in the historic television miniseries “Roots” and an Oscar for “An Officer and a Gentleman” has used his star status over the years to speak out on a number of issues affecting minorities. He is the founder of Eracism Foundation, which focuses on eradicating racism and social ignorance and fostering tolerance and cultural awareness with children.
While strides have been made in the fight against HIV/AIDS, tens of thousands of people become infected every year. Of particular concern is that new HIV diagnoses continue to rise among men and women of African and Hispanic descent, and that many individuals of color still regard HIV as a threat only to white and gay, lesbian, bi and transgender (GLBT) populations.
Relevant Statistics (from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
- While blacks represent approximately 12% of the U.S. population, they account for almost half (46%) of people living with HIV in the US, as well as nearly half (45%) of new infections each year.
- The rate of new HIV infections for black men is about six times as high as that of white men, nearly three times that of Hispanic/Latino men, and more than twice that of black women.
- The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic women is nearly four times that of white women. The rate of new HIV infections among Hispanic men is more than double that among white men, with gay and bisexual men particularly affected.
- New CDC data reveals that the U.S. HIV/AIDS epidemic is at least 40% larger than previously believed and growing by between 55,000 and 58,000 infections a year.
Located in an area of Los Angeles County with large African American and Hispanic populations, and with a student body reflective of its community, CSU Dominguez Hills is pleased to serve as the venue for this important topic.
World AIDS Day takes place on Dec. 1 every year and is marked with memorials and talks to raise awareness about AIDS. At CSU Dominguez Hills, a number of campus organizations are planning activities that day.
“Our Community, My Awareness” is co-sponsored by Student Health & Psychological Services, the Multicultural Center, the Office of Student Life, Toro Productions, Student Activities/Cultural Programs Commission, and the Golden Toro Idea Program.
For more information, contact (310) 243-3195.