ELIZABETH, NJ - The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is partnering with the Hyacinth Foundation to present 'Leadership Hyacinth', a two-day advocacy training course for community leaders who want to increase their awareness and advocacy efforts. 'Leadership Hyacinth' also marks the launch of the Union County 'End the Epidemic' public awareness campaign, aimed at increasing participation in advocacy efforts for HIV/AIDS, STI & Hep C.

The free training program will be held on May 18 and 19, from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, at the Warinanco Sports Center, located in Warinanco Park at One Park Drive in Roselle.

Seating is limited and preregistration is required and available by visiting ucnj.org/lgbtq.

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'Leadership Hyacinth' is organized by the Union County Office of LGBTQ Affairs in partnership with Hyacinth Foundation. Upon completion of the program, participants will attain fluency in federal and state HIV / AIDS strategies and policies, and they will be able to use science-based evidence to communicate effectively on broad public health issues, including presentations to policymakers at the local, state and federal level through letters, email, phone calls and face to face meetings. 

"It's critically important that the voices of the communities impacted by HIV be heard by legislators and state leaders. Leadership Hyacinth empowers individuals to find their voice and share their stories so that decisions about them are made with them at the table. We are thrilled that Union County has shown its commitment to ending the HIV epidemic, as it will take all of us, working together, to end this epidemic,” said Kathy Ahearn-O'Brien, Executive Director, Hyacinth.

Presented as part of Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella’s 2020 special initiatives, the Union County 'End the Epidemic' HIV / AIDS awareness and advocacy campaign will include a series programs and resources for community leaders and organizations in communities throughout Union County.

Union County’s Office of LGBTQ Affairs, under the Department of Economic Development, was established by the Freeholder Board in 2018 and is the first and only county government office of its kind in the State of New Jersey. The Office provides a platform for leadership and collaboration to support equality, and serves as a catalyst for advocacy, awareness and action on current and emerging issues that impact the lives of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer individuals.

For more information about the Office of LGBTQ Affairs, call Danni Newbury, Coordinator, at 908-527-4742, contact dnewbury@ucnj.org or visit ucnj.org/LGBTQ.