INDIVIDUAL | Inducted 1992

He has committed himself since the 1970s to serve the needs of the African American gay and lesbian community. He also developed and presented educational programs for gay and lesbian youth dealing with sexuality and health.

Richard Lee Gray was born and raised on the southside of Chicago. He graduated from John Marshall Harlan High School and the University of Illinois. He is currently studying for a graduate degree in social work with a concentration in counseling gay and lesbian minority youth.

Richard has been involved in AIDS education in the African American community Chicago as an openly gay African American male for over 12 years. His activity and openness has been in the context of the emerging crisis of AIDS and healthcare in the black community.

A major early contribution was his participation in the development and implementation of a two year citywide survey of the health needs of African American gays and lesbians. This represented the first attempt in the City Chicago to specifically address the heath needs and concerns of a population that historically has been neglected. Although the results of this survey are over eight years old, the findings are just as relevant today as when the data were collected.

His leadership and dedication has included being a cofounder of Kupona Network an agency providing HIV education and support services to the African American community.

For the last 4 years Richard has presented a program called “AIDS and Other Matters” on the westside of Chicago at John Marshall Metro High School. This innovative program is presented to freshman medical students and is designed to make HIV disease and AIDS relevant within an African American context as it relates to the issues of healthcare and sexuality.