Ron Simmons, Ph.D., the brilliant Washington, D.C.–based educator and activist dedicated to Black lives and HIV/AIDS prevention, died at George Washington University Hospital on Thursday, May 28, 2020, following a long battle with prostate cancer. He was 70 years old. Simmons was best known for his 24 years of transformative work with Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc.—an organization dedicated to improving the well-being of Black gay men and reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS throughout the entire Black community—which he led as president and CEO until 2016.
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The one song that comes to mind is “I Know I Can” by NAS. There is not a particular line that inspires me, but more like the whole song. It is about overcoming a drug dealer’s life, addiction, and life on the streets.One lyric that sticks out is the chorus “I know I can be what I want to be,and if I work hard at it I’ll be where I want to be.”