This Black Gay Man Was Committed To Using His Passion and Talent To Fight HIV

The AIDS Memorial recognized Mario Cooper (February 8, 1954 – May 29, 2015) who had been HIV positive since the early 1990s, and died in hospice care after he had stopped eating because of depression.

“The story of this Black Gay man who was committed to using his passion and talent as a political strategist to advance the fight against HIV, particularly in African American communities is a inspiration to me as someone who strives to using my passion and skill in politics and government to save the lives of Black people and end the HIV epidemic.

Mario, an attorney by trade served as a staffer to President Jimmy Carter, Manager of the 92 Democratic National Convention, and staffer to President Clinton’s campaign. But more importantly, he used his access and influence to ensure that Blacks were not forgotten in the fight against HIV.

He spoke truth to power and challenged public health officials and white gay leaders in 90s who wanted to erase Black people from the HIV narrative and declare victory over the disease due the drop in new HIV cases in their communities. This despite the fact that at the time, AIDS was over taking homicide as the leading killer of young Black people in the United States.

Mario’s life and contributions to our community embodies a quote I love by Darnell L. Moore: “Privilege is like the space in a car, the more privilege you have the more space you have to pick someone up along the way.”

Mario thank you for picking up an entire community along your way and using your access to power, your gifts, and your talents to help fight for the lives of the marginalized, the oppressed, and the forgotten. All we can say now is job well done and that you have inspired countless others to continue the work you help start” by Devin Barrington Ward.

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— “Mario Cooper (February 8, 1954 – May 29, 2015) who had been HIV positive since the early 1990s, died in hospice care after he had stopped eating because of depression. . The story of this Black Gay man who was committed to using his passion and talent as a political strategist to advance the fight against HIV, particularly in African American communities is a inspiration to me as someone who strives to using my passion and skill in politics and government to save the lives of Black people and end the HIV epidemic. . Mario, an attorney by trade served as a staffer to President Jimmy Carter, Manager of the 92 Democratic National Convention, and staffer to President Clinton’s campaign. But more importantly, he used his access and influence to ensure that Blacks were not forgotten in the fight against HIV. . He spoke truth to power and challenged public health officials and white gay leaders in 90s who wanted to erase Black people from the HIV narrative and declare victory over the disease due the drop in new HIV cases in their communities. This despite the fact that at the time, AIDS was over taking homicide as the leading killer of young Black people in the United States. . Mario’s life and contributions to our community embodies a quote I love by Darnell L. Moore: . “Privilege is like the space in a car, the more privilege you have the more space you have to pick someone up along the way.” . Mario thank you for picking up an entire community along your way and using your access to power, your gifts, and your talents to help fight for the lives of the marginalized, the oppressed, and the forgotten. All we can say now is job well done and that you have inspired countless others to continue the work you help start” ― by Devin Barrington Ward . Monica Almeida/The New York Times . #whatisrememberedlives #theaidsmemorial #aidsmemorial #neverforget #endaids

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