Windy City Media Group Frontpage News

THE VOICE OF CHICAGO'S GAY, LESBIAN, BI, TRANS AND QUEER COMMUNITY SINCE 1985

home search facebook twitter join
Windy City Times 2023-12-13
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
Donate

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  IDENTITY

AIDS Activist Robert Ames Remembered
2006-04-01

This article shared 4356 times since Sat Apr 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


By D. Kevin McNeir

It might be a cliché but Chicago AIDS activist Robert Lee Ames, Jr., 41, 'fought the good fight' with grace, style and hope until recently taking his last breath. And as friends, family and those with whom we worked continue to attest, his dedication to HIV/AIDS education and prevention is why so many refer to his life and the legacy that he leaves as the product of a true trailblazer.

Ames's work as an activist, community organizer and leader started in 1990 when he began volunteering at South Side Help Center, first as a prevention specialist and later moving up the ranks to organizational specialist.

In fact, it was a combination of his zeal and the training he received under the center's founder and director, Betty Smith, which led him to an opportunity to work with the founding board members of Taskforce AIDS Prevention. As Taskforce grew, he began to volunteer and offer his expertise in many areas.

When Taskforce looked for its first executive director, Ames was tagged as the person for the job and, under his tutelage, the agency expanded, becoming one of the city's leading providers of HIV/AIDS and related services to people of color on Chicago's South Side.

During his funeral service, many of his friends spoke about the effect he had on our community and their lives.

'Where would we be without the leadership of Robert Ames?' asked the Rev. Alma Crawford, senior pastor of Church of the Open Door. 'We must take on the responsibility of the work for which he was known and respected—teaching and training others in HIV/AIDS education.'

Co-pastor and principal officiating minister, the Rev. Thom Ford, referred to Ames in his eulogy as a trailblazer. 'Like those who came before him and were known as trailblazers, Robert [ Ames ] believed in the vision of a better quality of life for those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS,' Ford said. 'And he led his life with that vision as his primary calling. Even during the latter stage of his illness, he would often get out of his bed to go work on a proposal or a grant. He just refused to stop.'

Ames' mother, Lauretha Ames, sat down with Identity to talk about her son. 'What do I remember most about my son?' she asked. 'He was a real person—very giving and determined who had more than just good intentions. He sought ways to educate himself so he would know what he was talking about and he surrounded himself with people who had knowledge and were doing quality things for the community.'

'The real gift he gave us was a lesson in how to collaborate successfully with other agencies,' said Betty Smith. 'He brought four organizations together to establish MOCHA [ Men of Color HIV/AIDS ] and when we all first met at the table we did not know one another. But to Robert that didn't matter. What did matter was that we were all working to provide our people with HIV/AIDS education, training and prevention techniques. He was a champion in the fight against AIDS.'

South Side Help Center has established an award in Ames's memory—the Robert Ames Award for Excellence in Community Service.


This article shared 4356 times since Sat Apr 1, 2006
facebook twitter google +1 reddit email

Out and Aging
Presented By

  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

NATIONAL School items, HIV/AIDS activist dies, Nex Benedict, inclusive parade
2024-03-01
In a new survey, the Pew Research Center asked public K-12 teachers, teens and the U.S. public about the ongoing scrutiny placed on classroom curricula, mainly regarding race and LGBTQ+ identities, ABC News noted. Among other ...


Gay News

Advocates call for increased HIV funding amid state's 'disappointing' pattern of flat funding
2024-02-27
Governor JB Pritzker's proposed 2025 budget has no increase in HIV funding, continuing a years-long pattern of flat spending toward tackling the epidemic in Illinois. Pritzker outlined his $52.7 billion budget for the 2025 fiscal year ...


Gay News

HIV criminal laws disproportionately impact Black men in Mississippi
2024-02-21
--From a press release - A new report by the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that at least 43 people in Mississippi were arrested for HIV-related crimes between 2004 and 2021. Half of all arrests in the state ...


Gay News

'West Side Story' gets a sex-positive spin with new burlesque show
2024-02-19
In partial observance of National Condom Day, which was Feb. 14, Los Angeles-based AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF) presented A West Side Story Burlesque at the Harris Theater for two hour-long performances on Feb. 17. The show, ...


Gay News

$200,000+ raised at AIDS Foundation Chicago's World of Chocolate Fundraiser to fight HIV/AIDS
2024-02-13
--From a press release - (Chicago, IL) More than 950 guests gathered at Chicago's famed Union Station (500 W. Jackson) for Chicago's Sweetest Fundraiser, AIDS Foundation Chicago's (AFC), World of Chocolate on Friday, February 9. ...


Gay News

THEATER Dot-Marie Jones talks Goodman production, 'Glee,' 'Bros'
2024-02-12
Running through Feb. 18 at the the Goodman Theatre, the production Highway Patrol works with a script conceived entirely from Emmy-winning actor Dana Delany's (TV's China Beach) digital archive of hundreds of tweets and direct messages ...


Gay News

Munar prepares to step away from Howard Brown leadership
2024-02-11
After 10 years of leadership at Howard Brown Health, President and CEO David Ernesto Munar has decided to step down from his post on Feb. 29. Munar, who'd previously been president and CEO of AIDS Foundation ...


Gay News

Chicagoans indulge in a World of Chocolate
2024-02-11
AIDS Foundation of Chicago hosted its 2024 World of Chocolate celebration the evening of Feb. 9 at Union Station. Top chocolatiers from across the city allowed guests to sample numerous confections, hors d'oevres and libations for ...


Gay News

Pritzker Military Library to close in July, move to Wisconsin
2024-02-08
On Feb. 7, the Pritzker Military Museum & Library announced that it is closing its downtown Chicago location on July 27 and moving to an archives center in Wisconsin later this year, according to The Chicago ...


Gay News

National Black Justice Coalition commemorates National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day
2024-02-07
--From a press release - WASHINGTON — Today, Feb. 7, marks National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day (NBHAAD). In commemoration, Dr. David J. Johns, CEO of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC), a leading Black LGBTQ+/same-gender ...


Gay News

SAVOR Chocolatier Uzma Sharif on being part of World of Chocolate
2024-02-03
AIDS Foundation Chicago will hold its annual World of Chocolate event on Friday, Feb. 9, at 6 p.m. at Union Station, 500 W. Jackson Blvd. Attendees will embark on a global tour of chocolate—but there will ...


Gay News

ART Champaign display looks at the Midwest Black lesbian experience
2024-02-03
In Illinois, archival photos are the centerpiece of a new display at the Krannert Art Museum focusing on the Black lesbian experience in the Midwest, IPM reported. The new solo exhibition by St. Louis-based artist Jen ...


Gay News

Leather Archives & Museum announces 2024 Fetish Film Forum
2024-01-27
--From a press release - CHICAGO, Illinois—After a wildly successful inaugural year, including a 10-film series at the Leather Archives & Museum and a 5-film series at FACETS, the Leather Archives & Museum is thrilled to announce the continuation of Fetish ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Wis. report, gender dysphoria, HIV research, Stonewall exhibit, gay CEOs
2024-01-19
A new annual report from Wisconsin's Office of Children's Mental Health shows that the state's minors—especially girls, children of color and LGBTQ+ youth—continue to struggle with anxiety, depression and thoughts ...


Gay News

WORLD Activist honored, marriages in Estonia, Madrid law, trans sports item
2024-01-05
Video below - The National AIDS Commission (NAC) recently honored Caleb Orozco—a leading figure in the fight for LGBTQ+ rights in Belize—for his instrumental contributions to the national HIV response, BNN reported. According ...


 


Copyright © 2024 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.

All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 
 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS







Sponsor


 



Donate


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Advanced Search     
Windy City Queercast      Queercast Archives     
Press  Releases      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast      Blogs     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam     
Privacy Policy     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.