Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith “When I see anybody who suffers with AIDS, I don’t see them as other, I see them as an extension of myself.” Dr. Michael Bernard Beckwith’s life is a living testament to building an all-inclusive spiritual community, one that includes those infected with and affected by HIV/AIDS. In the 1970s, …

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Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, ll

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Rev. Edwin C. Sanders, llFaithful The church founded by Reverend Edwin C. Sanders, II has been called a lot of things—the AIDS church, the crack church.  But one thing you won’t hear it being called is a church without compassion. That’s because the Metropolitan Interdenominational Church of Nashville, Tennessee, welcomes all of God’s children. …

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Hill Harper

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Hill Harper “I’m proud to be among the growing number of people on the forefront.” He could be talking about his work motivating young Black men, his efforts in the struggle with HIV/AIDS, or his own career, but Hill Harper is a man who would rather talk about others than himself. Maybe that’s one …

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Philip Reed

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Philip Reed “I have not been a saint,” was Phil Reed’s response when asked whether or not he was shocked after being diagnosed with HIV. Sure, he went through the expected depression and panic, but after surviving the first six months, he moved on and never looked back. That was 1981. Indeed, Philip Reed moved …

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Jenifer Lewis

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jenifer Lewis Jenifer Lewis is passionate about AIDS. The actress and entertainer has lost over 200 friends to the disease, dating back as far as 1979, when she visited a sick producer in the hospital and was told by her mother, who was also one of the attending nurses: “Put a mask on. We …

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Duane Cramer

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Duane Cramer In 1986, his father died of AIDS, a fact the family did not openly discuss with the world. In 1996, he found out that he himself was infected with HIV, a fact he did not then openly discuss with the world. In 2006, he’s a living, thriving example of an openly HIV-positive …

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Ron Dellums

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} U.S. Congressman Ron Dellums (Retired) Global Hero During his nearly three decades as a member of United States House of Representatives, one of Ron Dellums’s proudest achievements was helping to bring down apartheid in South Africa by acting as the visionary leader of congressional efforts to end American support for the racist regime. Still, …

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Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Thomas Dexter “T.D.” Jakes The pandemic is running rampant in the Black community. Some want to talk about it, some don’t, and the topics of sex, homosexuality and drug use only cloud reality and incite fear. What would you do? What would Bishop T.D. Jakes do? Why, take the HIV/AIDS test. It may have …

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Sonya Lockett

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Sonya Lockett “We’re treating a disease of the 21st century like it’s 1950,” she says. If anyone should know, it would be a woman who was raised in small-town America. Sonya Lockett grew up in Baton Rouge, La., a place she calls “fabulous,” and adds, “It’s very Southern with a big emphasis on family …

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Jerry Lopes

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{artsexylightbox}{/artsexylightbox} Jerry Lopes Jerry Lopes is a hero in a very Herculean struggle. As a small number of corporations swallow up more and more of the world’s media outlets, the quest for coverage of the issues affecting the African Diaspora becomes an epic one. Enter the American Urban Radio Networks, the largest vehicle for reaching …

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