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Coalition Co-Chairs 

Leah Freeman

DeMarcus Jones

Leadership

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Coalition Co-Chair

Leah holds an Associate's degree in Health Sciences and is committed to raising awareness about HIV prevention and education. HIV is still such a stigmatized and misunderstood medical condition in which people are unaware. Leah believes in the power of education and community engagement to create positive change and combat stigma and discrimination. Leah has worked in the Information Technology (IT) field for the past 8 years and is a certified yoga instructor. Leah promotes health and wellbeing through physical and mental discipline that combines yoga postures, breathing techniques, meditation, and mindfulness. Leah believes in the mantra, Movement is life! It doesn’t matter about your race, age, or education, what matters is when we move and work together, we can achieve so much more. In her spare time Leah enjoys dancing, traveling, and spending time with her family.

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Coalition Co-Chair

DeMarcus Jones is the Prevention Studies Coordinator at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, TN.  He is a native Memphian and co-chair of Headliners Memphis, a grassroots organization created to holistically empower Memphis LGBTQ+ communities through HIV awareness, advocacy, entertainment, mobilization, and education. He completed his studies at the University of Memphis with a Bachelor of Professional Studies with a minor in Marketing Management. He currently serves on the board of directors of Mid-South Pride, member of the Community Advisory Group for HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) and member of the Community Advisory Group for Southern AIDS Coalition, and member of Connect 2 Protect based in Memphis, TN. With over 9 years of experience in working HIV prevention and community engagement, his mission is to continuously engage, mobilize, and create healing spaces for LGBTQ individuals of color.

We’re proud to be a group of movers and shakers.

Meet the Team: Meet the Team

Key People

THMC Advisory Board

Lashanda Salinas

Lashanda Salinas, a native of Hartsville, Tennessee, has been living with HIV for over 25 years. She is an active member of the Tennessee HIV Modernization Coalition, a Health Not Prisons advocate, and a member of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Council of Justice Leaders.

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Dewayne Murrell

Dewayne Murrell is a founding member of the Tennessee HIV Modernization Coalition and Executive Director of The PAIGE Inc., a Black LGBTQIA social justice organization. Dewayne has been named as a "Hidden Gem" for his leadership, advocacy, and community building in the Greater Memphis area.

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Robin Lennon-Dearing  

Robin Lennon-Dearing, PhD, MSW, BSW is professor of Social Work at the University of Memphis. I conduct research on the effect of HIV criminal laws on vulnerable and marginalized populations and the impact of these state-level HIV policies on people living with HIV. I am a co-founder of the Tennessee HIV Modernization Coalition which has the goal of updating Tennessee’s HIV criminal statues to reflect current science.

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More Advisory Board Members Coming Soon!

Coming soon!

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Meet the Team: Meet the Team

Lashanda Salinas

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Shero of the Month: Lashanda Salinas

December 2023

Lashanda Salinas, a native of Hartsville, Tennessee, has been living with HIV for over 25 years. She is an active member of the Tennessee HIV Modernization Coalition, a Health Not Prisons advocate, and a member of The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Council of Justice Leaders. Her advocacy started after facing an unjust HIV prosecution under Tennessee's criminal exposure to HIV statute, placing her on the sex offender registry.

Lashanda is the first person to have sex offender registration requirement terminated as a result of the passage of Senate Bill 807 and House Bill 832.



A Go Fund Me account has been established to support Lashanda in her advocacy work.

Meet the Team: News
Meet the Team: Team Members

Team

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