Dec. 16, 2003 – Delegate Donna M. Christensen was among nine persons of African descent recognized at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles on Saturday night for their work in the field of HIV/AIDS awareness and response.
Among the others honored as "Heroes in the Struggle" were singer Patti LaBelle, former Congressman Ron Dellums, and the Rev. Edwin C. Sanders II, guest speaker at the Dec. 5 gospel concert in observance of World AIDS Day at the Church of God of Prophesy on St. Thomas.
Also recognized were Dr. Robert Scott, Sylvia Drew-Ivie, the Rev. Rae C. Lewis-Thornton, Saundra Johnson and South African treatment activist Zackie Achmat.
Viacom Inc., parent company of Black Entertainment Network and United Paramount Network, received this year's corporate award, with a special tribute to the BET and UPN television programs "Girlfriends," "Half & Half," "One on One," "The Parkers" and "Soul Food."
Christensen was cited for her work as chair of the Health Braintrust of the Congressional Black Caucus.
At the event, Christensen said in a release, a photographic exhibition of the heroes and heroines recognized in the two preceding years was unveiled. The exhibition, sponsored by the Black AIDS Institute, will tour to colleges across the country in 2004, she said.
The "Heroes in the Struggle" presentations were made at a gala reception and silent auction to benefit the institute. For more information, visit the Black AIDS Institute Web site.
Christensen noted in the release that she was able to attend the event only because a congressional trip to Haiti had been canceled "in light of protests on that island nation." She was scheduled to return to the territory on Monday for the yearend holidays.

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