Cedric Sturdevant, Co-Founder, C0-Executive Director and Director of HIV/AIDS Prevention Branch at Community Health-PIER has been working in the field of HIV for 14 years. He started as a volunteer with Magnolia Medical Clinic (MMC) in Greenwood, Mississippi, in 2006 where he participated in health fairs and health summits to assist in pre and post counseling for rapid HIV testing.
Cedric became an advocate for HIV in 2007 working with and training HIV-positive people to be an advocate for themselves and others through a program called AIDSWatch Mississippi. Cedric is also the co- founder of Mississippi Positive Network [MSPN] and Community Co-Chair of The Mississippi HIV Planning Council [MHPC].
From August 2008 to February 2017, Cedric had the opportunity to work as a Project Coordinator at My Brother’s Keeper, Inc., a private, nonprofit, 501(c)(3) in Jackson, Mississippi dedicated to the reduction of health disparities throughout Mississippi by enhancing the health and wellbeing of minority and marginalized populations. During his time at My Brother’s Keeper, locally referred to as MBK, Cedric has share with others the importance of HIV prevention, education, and awareness.
From February 2017 to August 2018, Cedric had the opportunity to work as a Project Manager at Jackson Medical Mall Foundation [JMMF] under the CAER4ME Services/The SPOT programs, as manager of The SPOT [Safe Place Over Time]. The SPOT provides services and opportunities to young men that focus on wellness, empowerment, and leadership.
Cedric has been featured on the documentary “Deepsouth” which focuses on the plight of individuals living with HIV in the Deep South, the New York Times Magazine and has been featured in various public service campaigns spreading knowledge and awareness of HIV.
From September 2018 to September 2020 Cedric had the opportunity to work as Outreach Specialist at AIDS Services Coalition [ASC] PIER Outreach in Greenville, Mississippi. ASC-PIER provides services to men and women living with HIV, rapid HIV testing, and PrEP education and referrals, as well as the LGBTQ community in the Mississippi Delta.
On October 1, 2020, Community Health-PIER became its own entity a dream Cedric had since He started working in the field of HIV. His dream of coming back to the Mississippi Delta to service the people in the area.
Cedric embodies and takes to heart his personal philosophy, the quote by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., “Our lives begin to end the moment we become silent about the things that matter.”
Gloria Sturdevant is a seasoned strategist who works with community organizations, small businesses, nonprofits, farmers and the community at large to help them develop a strategy and plan that create sustainability and healthy communities. She is a certified life and wellness coach who is committed to changing the health statistics of underserved vulnerable populations living in the Mississippi Delta and other low income areas of the state. She has mentored young people all of her adult life and is dedicated to empowering and challenging everyone she works with, to live their fullest potential purposefully. As a life and leadership coach, she has empower hundreds of young adults and continue to empower those she come into contact with to become leaders by engaging them in strategic conversations that challenged them to rise above beliefs and circumstances that does not serve them. She also lead the charge of offering healthy living through healthy relationship, and personal development workshops that build confidence and create purposeful paths that leads to healthy and successful living.
As a community organizer with the Children’s Defense Fund, Gloria Sturdevant worked with Rural Farmers and USDA to rebuild trust and establish a new relationship that would both help farmers participate in the programs offered by USDA and heal damaged relationships between black farmers and USDA. With over 25 years of experience in community organizing, she has helped build numerous successful coalitions in diverse communities. . She has worked to organize over 3000 women, youth and farmers to engage in conversation about economic and social justice in their community. Worked with community leaders and local schools to build community and school gardens. Organized and trained high school and college students to facilitate intergenerational engagement with older farmers and senior citizens to help address technology concerns. Organized and managed the Advancing New Generation Career Choices in the Sustainable Agriculture Sector in Mississippi Delta Counties. Gloria believes that local agriculture is an important part of developing health communities.
Gloria work for the District Attorney’s Office as Youth Director and Coordinator for the Weed and Seed program started her professional career. There she worked in a high crime community with at risk youth. Under her leadership attendance grew from 5 youth participants to over 30 in just two weeks and continued to grow throughout the duration of her time served. She was promoted to the interim Program Director and continue to develop programs and write grants to sustain the program in both Greenville, and Metcalfe, MS. . From there she started her work as director of the Mayersville Freedom Schools, the first Freedom School under the Children’s Defense Fund in the state of Mississippi.
Gloria was raised with three other siblings by a single mother who worked two full times jobs most of her childhood life. Living in a community who looked after one another, she came to understand that a heathy community consisted of trust, love and discipline.. She believes that a community who works together can overcome any obstacle and continue to grow. She has 3 children one of whom, the oldest, was killed when he was 21, and 3 grandchildren. Throughout her life Gloria has met challenges with optimism and hope. Gloria contributes her success and ability to thrive post traumatic situations to developing and maintaining a high emotional quota. Healing and strengthening your emotional equity is key to success and she believes it is under rated and underutilizes. She believes that there is always common ground, and by providing tools through workshops, training relationship building, locally sourced foods, and strong partnerships we can find ways to reach that common ground together and build strong alliances for healthy families and communities.