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Letter to the Editor

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My name is Alden Bell and I can remain silent no longer and must come forward to clear up any confusion caused by a message in October's issue of BLACKlines concerning Adodi. The message referred to a group of 'upstarts' and a group attempting to use the Adodi name.

I will share a little of my background so it will be clear that I did not just arrive on the scene. I have lived all of my life in Chicago, and have been active and involved in many causes for more than 30 years. The list of organizations I have worked with include The Community Renewal Society, The Children's Home and Aid Society, Reading for the Blind, Stop AIDS, Kupona Network, Lesbian Community Cancer Project—just to mention a few. I have attended some of the initial meetings of Affinity, BLACKlines and of course Adodi here in Chicago when they were organizing and getting started.

The message in last month's BLACKlines [a paid advertisement] also mentioned that Adodi Chicago Midwest, Inc., had no link or connection to any group or organization representing itself as Adodi. I, however, and the Adodi brothers who embrace their principles are linked and connected with all Adodi brothers across this country partly because our principles, which we believe in whole-heartedly, encourage us to be. I am today in part a culmination of experiences and inspirations from my past involvement with Adodi. For example: I believe that I cannot be fully male unless I allow the women in my life to be fully female.

Therefore, I examine daily how I am being sexist. I acquired this view after meeting Victor Pond, who in my opinion is a champion for women's rights. My views on abortion changed after meeting David (Yes) Carter of Ann Arbor, Mich., who could have been aborted but was adopted. I have been inspired by bold courageous activists like Earnest Hite; visionaries like Max Smith who wrote 'In the Year 2000' in Joe Beam's In the Life; creative spirits like Jim Smoote and Israel Wright; Michael O'Connor, a champion for political empowermen; all who are Adodi brothers. I am not an upstart and I stand shoulder to shoulder with other Adodi brothers who have given back to the community.

I have most of the Adodi archives for the Chicago group so the following information is verifiable. The Adodi brothers here in Chicago organized and started meeting in 1996 under the name Adodi Chicago. I was elected, by majority consensus, president. We experienced, for a new organization, extremely good attendance and growth. We have met under no other name until 2002, and at the monthly meeting held on April 16, 2002 the name, Adodi Chicago was still being used. Many brothers only learned of the new name in August of 2002 and were unaware that this name change meant that they had lost all decision-making power with the organization, as inferred in the [advertisement] in last month's BLACKlines.

We, Adodi Chicago, have been and continue to be one organization meeting on the first Saturday of each month at The Task Force located at 1130 S. Wabash suite 404 from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. because no one brother can decide to cancel what many others have started years before. The reputation of Adodi in Chicago today is clearly built on the hard work and commitment of many since 1996. For a listing of all calendar events, you may call 312-458-9584 or access the yahoo group 'menofadodi.'

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