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How Advocates can use the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD) to Further Local Tobacco Control
ASH and our partners at AATCLC and the DC Tobacco Free Coalition are hosting a training webinar on the Convention on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination (CERD). The United States is up for review in August (which occurs only every 5 years) and provides an opportunity for advocates to request that the CERD committee call on the United States government to take steps towards health equity and protect the health of African Americans by accelerating menthol bans. The webinar will give an in-depth explanation of how to participate in the reporting process, the oral statement to the committee, and the subsequent communications around the report. The webinar will also cover how this report can be used as a tool to accelerate local advocacy on menthol in the U.S.


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Charles Debnam
Fiscal Agent Representative @DC Tobacco Free Coalition, Deputy Chief Executive Officer @Community Wellness Alliance and Special Projects Manager @AATCLC
Charles Debnam, BA, MCHES, CTTS, CACII is the Deputy Chief Executive Officer with the Community Wellness Alliance located in the heart of the District of Columbia. Mr. Debnam is responsible for the oversight of all health and wellness programs while building sustainable partnerships with community advocates and stakeholders. Mr. Debnam has over 30 years of Public Health work. He has led many health related research initiative East of the River and led a campaign to look at the effects tobacco has on HIV medications. He is the past Chair of the DC Tobacco Free Coalition. Through his work to end tobacco use, Mr. Debnam remains committed to working with people with HIV/AIDS and those wishing to quit tobacco use. Charles holds a degree in Business Management from Fisk University. He is a Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) a Certified Tobacco Treatment Specialist (CTTS) and a Certified Addictions Counselor (CAC).
Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy
Managing Attorney @Action on Smoking and Health (ASH)
Kelsey Romeo-Stuppy has been working on global tobacco control since 2013. As Managing Attorney, Kelsey leads ASH’s programs on human rights and criminal law. She also advises ASH on other legal issues. Kelsey has received commendation for her legal research, writing, and advocacy: she recently was the lead author on two articles published in the British Medical Journal’s Tobacco Control 30th anniversary edition, and an article Kelsey wrote on Tobacco and Human Rights in Latin America was published in the American Bar Association’s International Law News and was subsequently chosen by another ABA Publication, GP Solo Magazine, to be included in a “Best of the ABA” feature issue. Kelsey strives to always continue learning and has completed numerous continuing education programs including earning a certificate from Georgetown Law’s O’Neill Institute Summer Program on Health Rights Litigation.
Carol McGruder
Co-Chair @African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council
Carol McGruder is a founding member and co-chair of the African American Tobacco Control Leadership Council (AATCLC). She also served as co-chair of the cessation track planning committee for the National Conference on Tobacco or Health Conference (NCTOH) 2009. Ms. McGruder was a planning committee member and presenter for the 2008 California Department of Public Health (CPDH) Tobacco Control Conference, “A Community Under Siege: The State of Black California and Tobacco Use.” She co-founded BlacksForProp86.org, a grassroots initiative that garnered national attention in its efforts to support the passage of California’s Proposition 86.