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November 26, 2004

Newspaper, five individuals receive Voices award

Cleveland--The Gay People�s Chronicle is among the six recipients of this year�s Voices Against the Silence awards, given annually by the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland to those individuals or institutions who have helped �break the silence� of HIV in the past year.

Also receiving awards are Jerome Littlejohn of Cleveland, Dr. Sana Loue of Cleveland, H. Paul Schitzgebel of Canton, Isis Tiffany Soul-Lamar of Cleveland, and Kevin Sullivan of Columbus.

Receiving special awards this year for their contributions as policymakers and policy advisers are Cleveland City Council Ward 17 member Matt Zone, and Theresa Lang Coaxum, Health and Human Affairs advisor to U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones.

The Chronicle received the award for their long-standing involvement in HIV/AIDS and LGBT causes and events, and also �the leadership they have demonstrated through the annual �World AIDS Day� issue of the newspaper,� said Earl Pike, executive director of the Taskforce.

�As far as we know, the Gay People�s Chronicle is the only major metropolitan LGBT newspaper that creates and remains committed to an annual AIDS issue,� Pike added. �It�s always extraordinarily well done, and serves as a continuing reminder that HIV and AIDS were, and still are, a central challenge to the survival of LGBT people.�

Jerome Littlejohn is a person living with AIDS who has been outspoken and publicly active since the 1980s. He has represented the needs of people with HIV/AIDS in testimony to members of the United States Congress, volunteered at Camp Sunrise, and helped countless ill friends through home visits and assistance with daily chores.

Sana Loue, J.D., Ph.D., MPH, is associate professor of epidemiology and biostatistics at Case Western Reserve University. Through community-based research and advocacy for marginalized communities, Loue has made enormous contributions to social justice for the poor, people of color, sexual minorities, women, and other disenfranchised communities. Recently she founded the Center for Minority Public Health on Cleveland�s West Side, and has functioned as an advisor to the Beyond Identities Community Center.

H. Paul Schwitzgebel has been on the front lines of AIDS activism for more than a decade, serving as a local authority on AIDS care and prevention, and, as a hospital chaplain, teaching his colleagues about AIDS and the lives it affects. A resident of Canton, he is active in AIDS Interfaith Ministries.

Isis Tiffany Soul-Lamar has been a tireless AIDS educator who significantly advances the community�s understanding of the needs of transgender people, encouraging health officials and at-risk individuals to adequately address the impact of the epidemic on them. She is also a community resource to younger transgender people, helping them find resources, stability, and a sense of purpose in their lives.

Kevin Sullivan is the executive director of the Ohio AIDS Coalition, the only statewide advocacy organization by and for people living with HIV. He has traveled the state and regularly visited Washington to advocate for high-quality treatment for all infected persons, and has led the Ohio AIDS Coalition through significant growth and expansion.

The awards will be presented at a dinner ceremony on Thursday, December 2, at 6 pm at Windows on the River, 2000 Sycamore Ave., on the west bank of the Flats. This year�s keynote speaker is Marla J. Gold, M.D., professor and dean in the Department of Health Management and Policy at the Drexel University School of Public Health in Philadelphia.

The Voices Against the Silence awards were initiated in 2000, and have since evolved into a community process that involves open nominations and committee-selected awardees. Previous winners have included AIDS Funding Collaborative chair Cathy Lewis; Dr. Michael Lederman of University Hospitals; community activist Gil Kudrin; Vic Gelb; Dr. Victoria Cargill; U.S. Rep. Stephanie Tubbs Jones; Dr. Robert Kalayjian of MetroHealth Medical Center; U.S. Rep. Sherrod Brown; community activist Michael Abdenour; Cleveland Mayor Jane Campbell; Matthew Kirlough, DDS and attorney Michael Goldberg.

Previous keynote speakers for the annual awards ceremony have included Pulitzer Prize-winning science writer Laurie Garrett; Jeanne White, mother of Ryan White; and Michael Cunningham, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Hours.

Judy Price is the development director of the AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland.

 

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