February 16, 2010
Philadelphia HIV, Mental Health Activist Norman Baker Dies
Norman Baker, a longtime HIV/AIDS activist who served as president of the Philadelphia AIDS Advocacy Coalition and volunteered with ActionAIDS and Philadelphia FIGHT, died at the Keystone Hospice House in Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania, Philadelphia Gay News reports. He was 58.
In the 1990s, Baker helped review how well the Philadelphia school districts implemented condom-availability programs, and he participated in numerous ACT UP demonstrations to increase HIV/AIDS education and funding. In addition, as a member of the Philadelphia Mental Retardation Public-Awareness Committee and the Association for Retarded Citizens of Pennsylvania, he advocated for mental health issues and for disabled people’s human rights.
“Norman knew a lot about advocacy,” said Jane Shull, executive director of Philadelphia FIGHT. “He respected no boundaries and would just call anyone––he’d call the governor. And that attitude got people to talk to him, and he was able to really influence people.”
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