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News: Advocacy

“Our legacy is our people”: Celebrating the legacy of the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus

July 1, 2021

By Bailey Williams I n the summer of 2005, party promoters, bar and bathhouse owners, government representatives, community leaders, health providers and Black gay, bisexual and same gender loving men convened at what was formerly the Ramada Inn on 47th Street and South Lakeshore Drive to...
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Coming out and how it led me to advocacy

June 8, 2021

By Danie  Muriello  Everyone in the LGBTQ+ community has a coming-out story. I am a 69 -year-old transwoman, and I’d like to share just the beginning of mine. A little more than six years ago on a very ordinary Sunday afternoon, I was leisurely reading the paper, something I did almost every Sunday. One of the sections I really liked ...
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End of Session Report: 2021 State Legislative Session

June 7, 2021

By Timothy S. Jackson, AFC Director of Government Relations With a final gavel at  3:10 a.m., the 102nd Illinois General Assembly adjourned its Spring session on Tuesday, June 1, 2021. B lending the traditional bill debate from legislators on the Senate and House floors with new virtual committee hearings  and COVID-19 precautions,  the  hybrid...
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AFC and IL HIV Action Alliance celebrate Illinois Senate voting to end criminal penalties against people living with HIV

May 25, 2021

Today, the Illinois Senate voted to approve  House Bill 1063 , which would end criminal penalties against people living with HIV (PLWH). Under current law, PLWH face the threat of arrest, prosecution and incarceration even if they do not transmit HIV to another person. Additionally, PLWH may face longer sentences simply because of their HIV status.  “We are thrilled the Illinois...
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Senators Villivalam and Villanueva commend Illinois Senate for passage of the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act

May 21, 2021

SPRINGFIELD, IL -- Today, the Illinois Senate voted to approve Senate Bill 818, the Keeping Youth Safe and Healthy Act, legislation that will establish the requirements for public and charter schools that decide to teach comprehensive personal health and safety education (grades K-5) and comprehensive sexual health education (grades 6-12) in Illinois. “Everyday students across Illinois...
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How Judy has used empathy and advocacy to embrace living with HIV

May 11, 2021

By Ella Shapiro  When you talk to Judy Brown, it is immediately clear that the 69-year-old Chicagoan is passionate about advocating for the people around her. Every day, Judy commits herself to helping others and has been doing so since she and her husband tested positive for HIV in 1993. Judy is an active member of AIDS Foundation Chicago (AFC)’s Ryan White community advisory...
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How Roy found new purpose through advocacy

May 6, 2021

Meet Roy Ferguson: AFC board member  By Ella Shapiro  One of Roy Ferguson's greatest pleasures in life is spending time with his granddaughters.  Every morning the 70-year-old Chicagoan and his partner, Michael, each take one of their youngest granddaughter’s hands and walk her to school. The pair’s eldest granddaughter just got onto her high school’s...
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George Floyd's murderer found guilty; AFC pledges continued action to end systemic racism

April 20, 2021

The jury in the murder trial of Derek Chauvin has returned guilty verdicts for the Minneapolis police officer who murdered George Floyd in May 2020. Chauvin was found guilty of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. George Floyd’s death reignited a nationwide movement to reform policing and law enforcement practices, systems that were developed to...
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Advocate with AFC during Virtual Advocacy Week starting Monday, April 19

April 16, 2021

By Coleman Goode  The dictionary definition of community is “a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common.” I like to think of community as a social group with commonalities such as norms, religion, values, customs or identity — basically, you all want the same thing for yourselves. The term “community mobilization”...
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How telehealth services have made it easier for Milani to attend therapy

April 1, 2021

By Ella Shapiro  Before the COVID-19 pandemic, Milani Varela, 33, used to take the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) twice a week to a clinic where she attended individual and group therapy sessions. When her clinic closed to support social distancing, Milani's therapy sessions moved to Zoom. This let Milani sleep in later, save money on transportation and reduce her risk of exposure...
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