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’Noah’s Arc’ star, Jesse Jackson highlight AIDS event

by Andrew Davis
Thursday Feb 12, 2009
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A packed crowd at Amira Restaurant Lounge, 455 N. Cityfront, noshed on hors d’oeuvres, met several people in quick succession-and witnessed appearances from a TV star and a world-renowned minister.

On Feb. 5, the Chicago Black Gay Men’s Caucus, Test Positive Aware Network ( TPAN ) and the Chicago Department of Public Health were among those hosting an event that promoted National Black HIV/AIDS Awareness Day.

Things started off with dozens of men taking part in speed-dating rounds. Then, the Rev. Jesse Jackson ( who surprised many with his appearance ) spoke to the audience, and stressed the need for unity to fight HIV/AIDS. Illinois Department of Public Health Director Damon Arnold, M.D., then talked passionately about HIV/AIDS funding and gave a moving account about meeting a fashion designer who ultimately died of the disease.

What followed was the main event as Jensen Atwood-Wade from the Noah’s Arc TV series and the movie Noah’s Arc: Jumping the Broom ( now on DVD ) -asked questions in a "dating game" panel discussion that had psychotherapist Boris Thomas, TPAN’s Keith Green and research scientist Grady Garner, Jr. ( The emcee, Rainbow PUSH’s Tommy Bennett, was the actual "prize." ) However, instead of the usual Dating Game questions, Atwood tossed more thoughtful inquiries that covered everything from jealousy to sexual compatibility.

Copyright Windy City Times. For more articles from Chicago's largest GLBT newspaper, visit www.windycitymediagroup.com

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