The Association of Latino Men for Action (ALMA) and Vida/SIDA held a night of pride and culture ("una noche de orgullo y cultura") at the Institute of Puerto Rican Arts and Culture March 3.
The event was attended by about 100 people who came to hear book readings by three prominent Latino gay authors (Charles Rice Gonzalez, Alfonso Ramirez and Jesus Ramirez-Valles), peruse a gay art exhibit and participate in a silent auction.
Julio Rodriguez, board president of ALMA, and Juan Calderon, executive director of Vida/SIDA, welcomed the crowd and thanked them for attending. Then master of ceremonies, Paul Lopez introduced each author to the crowd.
First up was Rice-Gonzalez, who read from his young adult novel, Chulito. Then Ramirez read his chapter in the anthology From Macho to Mariposa: New Gay Latino Fiction. Ramirez-Valles read from his book, Companeros: Latino Activists in the Face of AIDS.
ALMA's mission is to empower Latino Gay Bisexual and Questioning men by providing support, advocacy, and leadership opportunities, through Innovative cultural programming.
The mission of Vida/SIDA Bartolo Hernandez de Jesus HIV/AIDS Initiative (a project of the Puerto Rican Cultural Center) is to educate, advocate and empower Chicago's Puerto Rican/Latino community by promoting culturally responsive health care/resources that enable health affirming behaviors and attitudes.
See www.almachicago.org and prcc-chgo.org/vidasida/ for more information on both organizations.