McClaurin with Shirlynn LaChapelle, MNBNA President  
  MNBNA Website

This is an excerpt of a speech delivered at the first annual "Springing Towards Health Gala" of the Minnesota Black Nurses Association on March 9, 2013 at the Crowne Plaza Minneapolis North, Brooklyn Center.

In 2000, I was part of an historic panel organized by the Congressional Black Caucus on Black Health. At the time, I was a Diplomacy Fellow at USAID just returning from a trip to South Africa. During that trip, one particular agency predicted the number of deaths that would be attributed to HIV-AIDS, and the thousands of Black South African children who would be left orphaned as a result.

 McClaurin  with Vusumuzi (L) & Nothando Zulu  of Black Storytelling Alliance at MN Black Nursing Gala
The numbers were staggering, and I felt tremendous empathy for South Africans, especially Black South Africans, who were the most affected. Little did I know that we would be facing our own HIV-AIDS epidemic in the United States; one that would disproportionately impact African Americans and Latinos, especially African American and Latino heterosexual women who have the fastest growing rate of contracting HIV-AIDs today. We were also celebrating the establishment of the National Center on Minority Health and Health Disparities. 
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 McClaurin with her sister, Reece Bell
Original Post 21 March, 2013, Insight News