As both a celebration of the 15th anniversary of the groundbreaking film Kevin's Room and in honor of National Black/HIV AIDS Awareness Day, the Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus alongside event sponsors the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) will hold a Feb. 7 screening of the film at the Baton Show Lounge in Chicago's River North neighborhood.
Kevin's Room, created by Lora Branch when she worked at CDPH, along with Sharon Zurek of Black Cat Productions, is centered upon an impassioned health counselor who hosts a support group for gay, Black men and the issues and conversation it spurs.
"Kevin's Room was the first time that we spoke of what was happening in our community from a health perspective but in a very innovative way," Chicago Black Gay Men's Caucus Chair David Dodd told Windy City Times. "It was put out to create awareness around HIV and its impact on our community but it still resonates today because our communities are still impacted by the disease. They are still battling and managing HIV and it is still a struggle for all communities of color."
With the campaign vitriol from President Donald Trump morphing into an unbroken and unilateral series of executive actions, Dodd believes that stakes in that struggle will only be heightened with the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the decimation of the Affordable Care Act.
"We have to be a part of the solution and figure out how we can come together for our communities who are hardest hit and ensure that we are calling out Congress against what is happening," Dodd said. "We are in a critical time and we have to be a part of this fight."
Dodd added that the screening will feature a discussion with Branch ( also an executive producer ) alongside cast members.
"We're going to be talk about the work that was happening 15 years ago and how it is translating in 2017," he said.
There will also HIV testing and meningitis vaccinations available.
For more information, visit ChiBlackGayCaucus.org .