Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2020-02-19
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor

  BLACKLINES

West Side Activists Celebrates 70th
by D. Kevin McNeir
2002-10-01

facebook twitter google +1 reddit email


A group of well-wishers as diverse as the many interests and issues for which she has championed throughout her life honored West Side legend Brenetta Howell Barrett recently at Malcolm X College. The celebration not only acknowledged her 70th birthday, but also highlighted the cause that consumes many of her waking hours--improving the quality of life for those living with HIV/AIDS.

Indicative of the kind of life she has lived and her concern for others, Barrett asked the birthday party be held as a benefit for the Pathfinders Prevention Education Fund HIV/AIDS program (PPEF). PPEF provides prevention education services in several of Chicago's West Side communities and near western suburbs for youth, adults, people with disabilities and seniors. And Howell, the consummate activist, stands at the helm as the executive director of the program.

Lora Branch, who works for the City of Chicago, was on hand for the celebration.

"Brenetta's work unquestionably makes her a pioneer, especially in light of who she is, what she has done in the past and the institution that she has become," Branch said. "It means a lot to have her doing work on behalf of those living with HIV/AIDS on the West Side. Who else is so widely respected in the broader context of city politics and human rights? Who else can recall the kind of efforts she led on behalf of our former mayor, the late Harold Washington, and yet talk so unabashedly about the needs of gays and lesbians?

"Pathfinders is very quietly making a difference in the lives of so many in our city--we need a community on the West Side to embrace them and celebrate their accomplishments."

In recent years, Barrett has focused her organizing skills, activism and advocacy in the battle against HIV/AIDS discrimination--sexual and gender. And her focus, she says, is to increase public awareness, promote prevention education and develop broader community planning regarding HIV/AIDS.

A steering committee member of the Coalition on Adolescent Risk Reduction, she is also a member of the Walgreen's Community Advisory Task Force. During the evening's celebration, in addition to enjoying a wonderful meal, champagne toasts and a large, icing-covered birthday cake, Barrett made presentations to John Stroger, president, Cook County Board of Commissioners, and Mac Alexander, owner, Mac's Records and MacArthur's Restaurant. Other awards went to several public citizens for serving as advocates for people living with HIV/AIDS and for noteworthy support of Pathfinders' prevention efforts.

"I met Brenetta back in 1968 or '69," said John Hatch, a former Chicagoan who is now a published author living in California. "She was hard to stop once she became an advocate for your cause. And during the Harold Washington years, she really kept his office in line. She's always been one who wanted only the best for her people."

In her 52-year career, Barrett has blazed pathways in the areas of social justice, civil and human rights, political and economic empowerment the poor and people of color, community services and civil liberties. At one time she served as a cabinet member for Gov. Dan Walker and Mayor Harold Washington. Many West Siders remember her outstanding contributions in minority business development from her years as an employee with the Chicago Economic Development Corporation (CEDCO). After only two years there, she organized the West Side Builders Association (11967)--the first successful group of Black construction workers in the city.

Today, she has turned her attention to Pathfinders--an HIV/AIDS prevention program that provides advocacy services for the city's East and West Garfield and Lawndale communities and for the Austin community.

As her daughter, Dr. Cynthia T. Henderson, explained, "she has implemented approach that emphasizes empowerment and personal capacity building as key elements of HIV/AIDS prevention."

While she chose to greet her many guests rather than be pulled away for interviews, it was clear that Barrett remains committed to making a difference in the lives of people of color--and she's not stopping for a long celebration, not as long as men, women and children continue to die from the plague we have come to know as AIDS.


facebook twitter google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

'Love Out Loud' ball Feb. 8 2020-02-05 - In Demand Entertainment and CSU Royal Court are presenting the Love Out Loud Ball on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2-10 p.m., at Chicago State ...


Gay News

Conference on AIDS changes name to Conference on HIV 2020-02-04 - Feb. 3, 2020 - NMAC announced today that the name of the United States Conference on AIDS will be changed to the United ...


Gay News

Season of Concern has new board president 2020-01-29 - Season of Concern—the Chicagoland theater community's fundraising effort that provides compassionate care to those in the theater community who are experiencing the effects ...


Gay News

WORLD Swiss votes, HIV+ pilot, Indonesian raids, Dutch beauty expert 2020-01-21 - On Feb. 9, Switzerland residents will decide on extending the scope of anti-racism legislation to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, according to ...


Gay News

NATIONAL Presidential candidates, HIV news, Seattle LGBTQ bars, Tom of Finland 2020-01-21 - Presidential candidate Tom Steyer was baffled by his own comments he previously made on protecting the health of LGBTQ asylum seekers when asked ...


Gay News

IDPH welcomes new HIV section chief 2020-01-14 - The Illinois Department of Public Health ( IDPH ) announced its new HIV section chief, Andrea Perez. Perez will play a crucial ...


Gay News

Federal court upholds injunction preventing discharge of HIV+ airmen 2020-01-10 - ( Richmond, VA, January 10, 2020 ) — Today, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit upheld a lower court ruling ...


Gay News

Mayor, CDPH announce decline in HIV diagnoses 2019-12-23 - On Dec. 23, Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and the Chicago Department of Public Health ( CDPH ) announced that new HIV diagnoses in ...


Gay News

AIDS Garden Chicago supporters celebrate Keith Haring sculpture installation 2019-12-20 - AIDS Garden Chicago supporters gathered Dec. 20 at the 2.5 acre lakefront garden site south of Belmont Harbor near the location of the ...


Gay News

Community turns out for World of Chocolate 2019-12-10 - About 1,000 Chicagoans and other visitors showed up at Revel Fulton Market in the West Loop for AIDS Foundation of Chicago's annual World ...


 



Copyright © 2020 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.