FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
April 14, 2014
CONTACT: Peter Van Delft
Sheriff Steven W. Tompkins recently attended AIDS Action Committee’s 25th Anniversary Bayard Rustin Community Breakfast at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Dorchester.
The Bayard Rustin Community Breakfast is part of a tradition that commemorates and celebrates the life and work of Bayard Rustin, one of the unsung heroes of the Civil Rights Movement. Created by the AIDS Action Committee twenty–five years ago, the Breakfast celebrates the roles of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people from communities of color in the fight against AIDS.
The breakfast, which featured a short film about Rustin’s life and societal impact, also included a keynote address by Boston NAACP President Michael Curry, music by NBC’s “The Voice” finalist Jamar Rogers, the presentation of the Bayard Rustin Award for Courage and the Belynda Dunn Award of Recognition, a dance performance, and an acting skit. A presentation about the evolution of HIV/AIDS treatment was delivered by Dr. Theo Hodge, who spoke about the myriad of advancements that have transformed a diagnosis of HIV from an almost certain fatality to a survivable and manageable illness.
Following closing remarks from outgoing AIDS Action Committee Executive Director Rebecca Haag and her incoming replacement, former State Representative Carl Sciortino, Sheriff Tompkins spoke about the man for whom the breakfast is named and the importance of the work that is being done by AIDS Action Committee.
“This breakfast serves as a great reminder about one of our country’s true champions of civil rights and social justice,” said Sheriff Tompkins. “His civic engagement and social activism blazed a trail that was followed not just by the LGBTQ community, but by all people interested in the cause of human rights.”
“I am very happy to be here at the breakfast in support of AIDS Action and the work that they do on a daily basis,” continued Sheriff Tompkins. “Many of the issues that are being spoken about here today – addiction recovery, healthcare and counseling, housing and employment for those in need of it – are the very same kinds of issues that we in the Department face while delivering programming and services to those in our care, custody and control. These things are critical to all of us in order to lead productive, successful lives in our communities.”
For more information about the Bayard Rustin Community Breakfast and about AIDS Action Committee in general, visit: www.aac.org.