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Education and Empowerment

Interim Provost Wheeler Honored for Work on HIV/AIDS

ALBANY, N.Y. (March 22, 2017) – Interim Provost Darrell P. Wheeler was honored by The Red Door Foundation (TRDF) for his work on HIV/AIDS prevention and intervention.
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Darrell P. Wheeler (Photo by Paul Miller) 

Wheeler was one of six people who received the 2017 Flame Thrower Award on March 14 from TRDF, an organization dedicated to changing the stigma around HIV/AIDS and increasing awareness in the African-American community.

A formal ceremony will be held in June in Jackson, Mississippi, during the organization’s Saving Ourselves Symposium, an annual conference designed to educate, encourage and empower the Black LGBT community.

Wheeler, UAlbany’s interim provost, senior vice president for academic affairs and vice provost for public engagement, was previously dean of the School of Social Welfare. He has also held academic positions at Hunter College, Columbia University and the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.

His research work focuses on HIV prevention and intervention in the African-American gay, bisexual and transgender communities, and serves to advance the use of data and evidence in developing innovative programs and policy initiatives. His work has been funded by key health organizations, including the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Wheeler is vice chair of the Presidential Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS and president of the US Board of the National Association of Social Workers. He has served on the Office of AIDS Research Advisory Council and 2015 was named one of the 30 most influential social workers alive.

“The honorees hail from different backgrounds and represent the pioneers of social justice within the black LGBTQ community,” said Marvell Terry II, founder of TRDF. “Their works from the past, in the present and yet to come speak with an unapologetic voice to empower our communities that seek and deserve equality and equity. With deep respect, I am humbly honored to embolden their work as an example of true leadership and service to and for us all.”

Five other people who work on HIV/AIDS in the African-American community, particularly in the South, also were honored with Flame Thrower Awards.

They are Gina Brown, a regional organizer with the Southern AIDS Coalition; Keith R. Green, doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago studying the implications of
antiretroviral-based prevention approaches; Tonya Green, the director of Social Services and program manager for the Ryan White Program at Southeast Mississippi Rural Health Initiative; Trina Scott, program Manager for Health Communications and Media Partnerships at Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington; and Cedric Sturdevant, an AIDS advocate working with Magnolia Medical Clinic in Greenwood, Mississippi and AIDSWatch Mississippi.

Also honored was MUSED Magazine Online, an award-winning digital destination for news, opinion, life and culture for modern black gay men.

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