I hate when people in our community say, "Oh, I'm so old." Much of the work that we've been doing for the past few decades with AIDS is so that people can get old.
A. Cornelius Baker has gone from arts to advocacy, from the White House to Whitman-Walker, and is ready for more.
via Metro Weekly, by Will O'Bryan
Peruse A. Cornelius Baker's résumé, and you might get more than you bargained for. Sure, you knew he worked for the George H.W. Bush administration or that he once headed the Whitman-Walker Clinic. You may even be familiar with his work for former Councilmember Carol Schwartz (R-At Large).
You might not be as likely to know he's serving as the national policy advisor for the National Black Gay Men's Advocacy Coalition, or working as communications advisor and project director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative. Baker is the board chair of the Black AIDS Institute. He works with Us Helping US and the Campaign for All DC Families. That he's a trustee with Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS, might be a bit more obvious -- after all, in school he was a self-professed "theater queen." He started political life as a Republican and is now a happily registered Democrat. And by the way, the "A." stands for Antonio.
On and on. The Baker file is thick.
"It's important to meet one's obligations," he says plainly, "to your family and your society. I do what I can. Sometimes I do it well, sometimes I don't. But it's really important to make the effort."
And although he wasn't able to make much of an effort to mark National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day Feb. 7, instead trying to make his way back to D.C. from work-related meetings in San Francisco amid the mid-Atlantic's blizzard, the message of the month -- Black History Month -- certainly isn't lost on him.
"Whether it's Martin Luther King Day or National Black HIV/AIDS Awarness Day or Black History Month, it's important to reflect on who we are as a people, where we come from, what our goals and visions are, and of course to celebrate our families and our progress. But I think it's also important to find ways to keep the work moving forward, to keep the progress moving forward. Our obligation while we're here is really to make things better for the next generation. That's something during this month to really commit ourselves to."
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