A. Cornelius Baker is Keynote Speaker for Civil Rights Lecture and Luncheon

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United States Representative Luis V. Gutierrez named as Honorary Chair
September 14, 2000

(CHICAGO, September 14, 2000) — National authority on HIV and AIDS policy A. Cornelius Baker will deliver the Bon Foster Memorial Civil Rights Lecture next month, at a time when discrimination and health threats to American and international communities demand attention, Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund said Wednesday.

United States Representative Luis Gutierrez is the honorary chair for this annual event, which draws hundreds of attorneys and activists for the lesbian and gay community and those living with HIV/AIDS. Congressman Gutierrez has a long history of working to end discrimination against lesbians and gay men. As a member of the Chicago City Council, he was a driving force behind the law to ban discrimination based on sexual orientation.

Baker’s Bon Foster lecture for Lambda will examine the work against AIDS and AIDS-related discrimination within the broader spectrum of civil rights struggles nationwide. The luncheon will be held at the Palmer House Hilton on Friday, October 20.

Baker is the executive director of the Whitman-Walker Clinic in Washington, D.C. Whitman-Walker is a non-profit lesbian and gay community health organization and is the primary AIDS service organization in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area. Whitman-Walker runs a Legal Service Program, which works with a broad group of civil rights and legal services organizations, including Lambda, on shaping HIV/AIDS policy. It is the only comprehensive provider of legal services to people with HIV/AIDS in the Washington, D.C. area.

Baker previously was the executive director of the National Association of People with AIDS (NAPWA) and also served in the White House and participated in key committees of the federal Centers for Disease Control. He has been honored by the National Lesbian and Gay Health Association by being a recipient of the Diego Lopez award for leadership in HIV/AIDS advocacy. Recently, Baker was the first recipient of American Foundation for AIDS Research’s Award of Courage for Organization Building.

Lambda Board Member Jack Schwab and long-standing Lambda supporter, Sue Connolly of The Northern Trust Bank – one of the Luncheon’s corporate sponsors – are co-chairs of the event.

Matthew Roberts, regional director for Lambda’s Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, said, “From the international reports out of Durban, South Africa, to the rising rates of HIV-infection in people of color communities in the United States, we know that the AIDS crisis rages on. Baker’s lecture will give us a 21st-century perspective on this crisis and on how to fight AIDS-related discrimination.”

Said Lambda Executive Director Kevin Cathcart “In our determination to end AIDS-related discrimination, we are inspired by Baker’s accomplishments.” He added, “It is an honor to welcome him as a speaker at this lecture.”

Recent speakers for Bon Foster include Billie Jean King and Coretta Scott King. Billie Jean King drew on her own experience fighting sexism in sports and reaffirmed her unconditional support for lesbian and gay equality, particularly focusing on lesbian and gay youth. Coretta Scott King spoke of her experiences fighting discrimination through her work with the civil rights movement and affirmed her unconditional support for lesbian and gay equality.

The lecture is named in honor of Bon Foster, a Chicago attorney who died of AIDS in 1991, and whose generosity aided the creation of Lambda’s Midwest Regional Office. He is remembered as a forthright and intelligent advocate and an outspoken opponent of intolerance.

Media is asked to RSVP by October 15. Sponsorship begins at $500, tickets begin at $100. For further information contact Alissa Rowan at 312-663-4413.

WHAT: HIV/AIDS expert A. Cornelius Baker delivers the keynote address at the Bon Foster Memorial Civil Rights Lecture and Luncheon benefitting Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund WHO: Hundreds of attorneys, community leaders, and supporters of Lambda’s civil rights work on behalf of lesbians, gay men, and people with HIV/AIDS

WHEN: Friday, October 20, 2000; VIP reception begins at 11:00 a.m., luncheon and lecture begin at 12 noon WHERE: The Palmer House Hilton, 17 East Monroe Street, Chicago TICKETS: Tickets begin at $100. Reservations may be made by calling the Lambda office at 312-663-4413; tickets may be charged over the phone


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Contact: Matthew W. Roberts 312-663-4413 x31
Alissa Rowan 312-663-4413 x 29


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