CHICAGO March 7, 2011 — The AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) announced today its appointment of Keith Green, founding member of the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus and former director of Project PrEPare, to the newly-created post of Director of Federal Affairs.
"We are excited and proud to have Keith join our organization," said AFC President/CEO David Ernesto Munar. "Keith's energy, passion and insight will be invaluable as we monitor the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy."
Although he is new to the organization's staff, Green has maintained a long-standing relationship with AFC. He has been an active participant at AFC Lobby Days, and has played an instrumental role in securing the organization's continued support of the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus.
Diagnosed with HIV nearly 18 years ago, at the age of 17, Green has been involved in treatment advocacy and prevention for nearly a decade. His worked begin with Positively Aware magazine, where he served as Associate Editor for the treatment education journal while earning both his bachelor's and master's degrees in Social Work.
Upon completing his master's study at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Green accepted the position of Project Director of Project PrEPare — a trial of the Adolescent Trials Network (ATN) run through Stroger Hospital of Cook County in Chicago. The trial was designed to explore the acceptability and feasibility of a pre-exposure prophylaxis trial among young men who have sex with men. Additionally, Green also worked in the hospital's Adolescent/Young Adult Clinic (AYAC) as a mental health practitioner.
"My experience with Project PrEPare and with working in AYAC caused me to more fully understand the need for a deeper level of advocacy on behalf of the population most impacted by HIV in our city and our nation — Black gay and bisexual men," Green said. "Our needs are incredibly deep and complex and oftentimes only touched upon on a surface level. The AIDS Foundation of Chicago has a reputation for stepping outside of the box and getting to the core of the problem. I am both honored and privileged to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing group of people and to be involved in creating change on the individual, community, and structural level for not just Black gay and bisexual men, but for all populations disproportionately impacted by this epidemic."
In his new role of Director of Federal Affairs at the AIDS Foundation, Green will be largely responsible for monitoring the implementation of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy and leading advocacy efforts to ensure that appropriations follow the epidemic.
"It's imperative that Black gay men be present and active in this fight," said Green, who started in his new post on Feb. 22. "I am excited to join the ranks of a host of fierce Black gay policy advocates — such as Ernest Hopkins with the San Francisco AIDS Foundation and Cornelius Baker who heads up the National Black Gay Advocacy Coalition. Many of these great men have served as mentors for me for many years, and I'm really fortunate to have the opportunity to work more closely with them."
Aside from his work with Positively Aware and with Stroger Hospital, Green has been actively involved in mobilizing the Black gay and bisexual community of Chicago to address the HIV epidemic. He has served as Secretary/Sergeant-at-Arms and Policy/Advocacy Chair for the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus, where he recently organized Meet and Greets with Chicago mayoral candidates for Black gay and bisexual men, and created a "Conversations" series that bring this population together to discuss issues relevant to the community and create action steps around them.
As a spoken word artist, Green was also the creator and star of the Caucus' "I know. Do you know?" social marketing campaign, which featured a hip-hop song and music video sponsored by the Chicago Department of Public Health.
Green maintains a regular column in Positively Aware, and has done freelance writing for the Black AIDS Institute as well as TheBody.com. He is currently a Ronald E. McNair Scholar and his work has been recognized by the Chicago Windy City Black Pride (Same Gender Loving Male Award 2010), PrideIndex.com (Outstanding Service — Male 2010), POW-WOW Chicago (King Poet, 2008), and Northeastern Illinois University (Student Award of Excellence).
Green also serves as an adjunct instructor in the Social Work program at Northeastern Illinois University, where he teaches Social Welfare Policy and Research Application in Social work.
>> Keith R. Green Joins AIDS Foundation of Chicago