Larry Cook, Atlanta
Born in Nashville TN and now lives in Atlanta GA, Larry Cook was diagnosed HIV positive in 1997 and has been an active part of HIV-AIDS causes since 2005. Larry feels there is a strong need to make a difference for those who are living with and are affected by HIV/AIDS. Larry joined #NFHAAD as he wants to do his part to be a part of this groundbreaking event.
“Maybe just maybe people will get the message about HIV-AIDS stigma, and injustice”.
Erin Donovan, Baltimore
Erin Donovan is in her 7th year as the Executive Director of HopeSprings, an organization that seeks to awaken, equip, and engage the faith community, by building capacity within HIV Service Providers, utilizing thousands of volunteers annually from 120+ churches throughout the Baltimore Region.
Donovan is on the Johns Hopkins Center for AIDS Research Community Participatory Advisory Board, sits on the Mayor’s HIV/AIDS Commission for the City of Baltimore co-chairing the Faith work group, and on the Board of the Presbyterian AIDS Network.
She has a Bachelors in Cultural Anthropology from Vanguard University and Masters in Organizational Leadership from Eastern University. She also is adjunct instructor with the College of Business and Leadership at Eastern University.
She is passionate about the power of the local faith community to do great things and loving people where they are.
“I am joining this day because the faith community working together is an unstoppable force speaking hope and healing to the world!”
Sravan Duggaraju, DC
Sravan Duggaraju is a Salesforce professional living in Washington DC area and helps organizations to setup Nonprofit Success Pack (NPSP) for Salesforce. He was part of a Hindu organization to teach about the principles of Sanatan Dharma to youth and younger generation through cultural and classroom programs. During his college years Sravan participated in polio vaccination camps and blood donation camps as part of the National Service Scheme (NSS).
Sravan is participating in NFHAAD because:
“HIV is not a simple medical problem, it becomes more of a behavioral and moral issue. I believe faith centers and faith leaders can play greater role in educating about healthy living and building Stigma free, inhibition free communities.”
Bryan Jones, Cleveland
Bryan has been living with AIDS for 34 years and has been an advocate/activist for 15 years. He is currently working overtime to modernize HIV Criminalization laws in Ohio. He is Muslim and a board member of RAHMA. Bryan is a firm believer in National Faith HIV/AIDS awareness day because:
“Faith Institutions has been the foundation of our nation. People turn to these institutions for direction and they have guided many communities through troubling times so HIV /AIDS should be no different. All faiths together can work towards creating safe spaces together.”
Deondre Moore, Houston
Deondre is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville,Texas, obtaining his bachelors of Business Administration with my major inHuman Resource management. On April 21, 2014 at the age of nineteen, he was diagnosed with HIV on his college campus. After his diagnosis, he decided that he would dedicate most of my time to help his community and peers to get the necessary education on HIV and prevention.
Deondre became an official Greater Than AIDS ambassador after joining their SpeakOut Campaign in 2015. Since then, he has used this platform to do outreach not only in his community or across the state of Texas but as well as across the nation. Due to his hard work The Kaiser Family Foundation and Greater Than AIDS recently selected him out of the seventy ambassadors across the nation to become a part of the SpeakOut advisory committee.
In July of 2015 & 2016 Deondre was selected to become a part of the National Minority AIDS Council's Youth initiative as a Youth Leader. Youth leaders play a key role in the United States Conference on AIDS, and Deondre helped lead their 60 second challenge campaign. Which promotes the 60 second rapid HIV test.
In 2016, Deondre became one of the official spokesperson for Janssen Pharmaceuticals, by way of their “Positively Fearless” Campaign. Which is a campaign that celebrates and promotes Black Gay men, living their lives out and proud of who they are, even when faced with being HIV positive.
“My reasoning for becoming an ambassador for NFHAAD is because I believe that my faith has always been part of my healing, and because of that, I believe it’s important that people feel welcomed and supported by their faith based organizations.”
Priya Kaur Narang, DC
Priya Narang was born and raised in Maryland, and belongs to the Sikh faith. She is active in the Sikh community where she is involved in community service projects, particularly focusing on youth development.
Priya graduated cum laude from the University of Maryland, College Park with a B.S. in Community Health. She promoted healthy living for students through the University Health Center’s peer education program, HEALTH Works which focuses on wellness, stress management, mental health, and body image. After being a peer educator for a year, she went on to be the wellness intern for the program and has developed a passion for health promotion and education.
She is now excited to start her year of service with FoodCorps, and will be working to improve healthy food education, engagement, and access among vulnerable children in Washington DC.
“I am participating in NFHAAD because I want to spread awareness and start a dialogue surrounding HIV/AIDS to eliminate stigmatization, and I believe it is possible when we all work together.”
Sholom Yitzchak Neistein, Miami
Sholom Neistein was born in Miami and raised in the Jewish faith. He studied at Florida International University double majoring in Biological sciences and Psychology. He is the co-founder of “Humans refusing to be enemies”-a non-profit organization that brings interfaith and war torn communities together. He is also involved with Black Lives Matter and Dream defenders in the Miami area. Sholom joined NFHAAD because:
” To ensure the stigma stops we must have interfaith dialogue with one another about HIV survivors.”
Sultana Ocasio, New York City
Sultana Ocasio is a second generation Puerto-Rican New Yorker and Muslim. Since 2013, she has been the executive director of the Muslim Women’s Institute for Research and Development (MWIRD), joining her experience with the Muslim community and charitable organizations. MWIRD serves the most vulnerable, especially those suffering from poverty and food insecurity. MWIRD works to prevent the spread of and destigmatize HIV in the Muslim, Latino, and Black American communities and in all ways these communities intersect.