Students at the University of Tennessee's Memphis and Knoxville campuses said they were furious after hearing about the denial to use the university's Health Science Center for an African-American LGBTQ event concerning HIV awareness.
Tuesday, UT's Health and Science Center issued the following statement:
"The University of Tennessee Health Science Center's decision to deny use of the Student Alumni Center for the Tri-State African-American Community Summit was in error and based on a staff member's mistaken belief that policies and procedures on use of campus facilities were under revision. We welcome the opportunity to re-open a dialogue with representatives from the Community Summit."
The "Saving Ourselves" symposium is a four-day health education conference scheduled for June 6 - 9. Its focus is on the African-American gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community, health service providers, and clinicians in the tri-state area (Tennessee, Arkansas, and Mississippi) and covers a wide range of topics, including new clinical research, retention in care, the National HIV Strategy and the Affordable Care Act, and community strategies to address the HIV / STD epidemic among the African-American community.
Family Nurse Practitioner Corinne Rovetti with the Knoxville Center for Reproductive Health said, "Taking the responsibility and the leadership position to say if our educational institutions are not going to educate us we're going to educate ourselves and we're going to sponsor programs like this particular program that sounds absolutely fabulous."