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AIDS Activist, Family AIDS Network, Inc.

Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters



If ever a person has been able to use personal adversity for the greater good, you are that person. Since 1991 when you discovered that you were HIV positive, you have been instrumental in taking an abstract, "faceless" disease and personalizing it for thousands of Americans. By turning your experience into an opportunity to educate others, you have increased the awareness about HIV/AIDS and its impact on individuals and their families and helped to change widely-held misperceptions and stereotypes often associated with the disease. Through the Family Aids Network, Inc., which you founded, you have spent countless hours speaking to community groups, health care providers, educators, students and government officials. Your poignant and heartfelt speech at the 1992 Republican National Convention was heard by millions of television viewers as you spoke of the need for compassion for the victims of this disease and for greater efforts in AIDS prevention and treatment. By becoming a spokesperson for this cause, you continue your family's long traditions of civic and philanthropic involvement. Although your time is heavily scheduled on behalf of the AIDS cause, you still devote attention to the other priorities-- raising your two sons and creating original works of art. Both demonstrate your ability to create and nurture as a reaffirmation of life. In recognition of your efforts to bring awareness, compassion and healing to the cause of HIV/AIDS and for your accomplishments as a nationally acclaimed artist and devoted mother, the University Of Detroit Mercy is proud to present you with this Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree. Commencement, University of Detroit Mercy, May 15, 1993.

University of Detroit Mercy

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