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Hampton University PRSSA Helps Raise Awareness about Sickle Cell Anemia

April 25, 2012

HAMPTON, Va.— The Hampton University Chapter of the Public Relations Student Society of America (PRSSA), in association with the Scripps Howard School of Journalism and Communications’ senior capstone class, hosted a Sickle Cell Awareness seminar on April 11. The seminar was coordinated in an effort to assist the Sickle Cell Association of the Peninsula (SCAP) in bringing attention to the disease, and to help gain more exposure for SCAP. According to the U.S. National Library of Medicine, sickle cell anemia is a disease in which red blood cells form an abnormal crescent shape and can cause painful episodes that affect the bones of the back, the “long bones” and the chest. The disease is much more common in people of African and Mediterranean descent.

“I think it’s a really good thing because a lot of black community members don’t know that there are people in our community who suffer from it. [Sickle Cell is] not just something you can see, so unless you really know someone, you typically wouldn’t know [whether or not they’re affected by it],” shared Jasmine Jackson, a student at Hampton University. Having inherited the disease from her parents, she stressed the importance of awareness. “It’s also important to know because if you have the trait you could pass it on to your children and not know, so it’s important to get tested. That’s what happened to me; both of parents had the trait and didn’t know, so it came as total shocker,” said Jackson.

The Sickle Cell Awareness seminar took place in the Student Center during what the University calls ‘Twelve to Two’, which occurs Monday through Friday between the hours of 12 and 2 p.m. Complete with a DJ, the festive music and party-like atmosphere always attracts mass numbers of students looking for a break between classes.

“Twelve to Two is one of the largest events that takes place on campus almost daily, where students can house large-scale events, such as this Sickle Cell awareness seminar, in order to draw attention to an important cause,” said Chad Harris, vice president of HU’s PRSSA Chapter. “Also, this gives PRSSA a chance to bring attention to our organization, and gives us a chance to grow.”

This event informed students about the disease and encourage them to bring more awareness to the disease by raising money and promoting blood donations. Complete with trivia, PSAs and testimonials, the event worked to increase support and followers on SCAP’s social media sites, as well as motivate others to do their part in helping the organization.

 

About PRSSA – Hampton University Chapter
Founded in 2001, the PRSSA HU Chapter is the essential organization for students looking to enter into the field of public relations. PRSSA membership benefits include scholarships and awards; internship, job and professional development opportunities; in addition to the chance to gain invaluable experience before entering into the workforce.

About The Sickle Cell Association of the Peninsula (SCAP)

The Sickle Cell Association of the Peninsula is a non-profit organization based in Virginia. Since its establishment in 1972, the organization has been geared toward the education of Sickle Cell Anemia. For more information, please visit www.orgsites.com/va/pasca.

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Contact:

Paige Delaney

Chapter Secretary

Phone: (708) 703-0526
Email: paigedelaney@ymail.com