Senator Mark Leno, Black Brothers Esteem Founders to be honored at Tribute

SAN FRANCISCO, August 15, 2016—Senator Mark Leno, representing the 11th Senate District of California in the California Senate, has been named by San Francisco AIDS Foundation to receive the Cleve Jones Award for excellence in the fight against HIV/AIDS. Long-time HIV activist Cleve Jones will present the award to Senator Leno on September 17 at the annual San Francisco AIDS Foundation Tribute Celebration held at San Francisco Armory. 

“Senator Leno has, time and time again, proven his commitment to many issues our organization stands behind,” said Joe Hollendoner, CEO of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. “He has authored legislation to further the rights of LGBTQ members of our community, including the groundbreaking marriage equality Assembly Bill 849 in 2005. We look forward to celebrating the many ways that Senator Leno has used his political positions to protect the health and rights of those most affected by HIV/AIDS.”   

Senator Leno has proven himself to be a tireless champion for the wellbeing of marginalized people in California. Throughout his tenure in the Senate, and previously on the California State Assembly and on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, Senator Leno has authored key legislation protecting vulnerable populations including homeless young people, people living in Ellis Act-protected housing, and victims of violent crime. He has also authored groundbreaking legislation supporting transgender people, to ensure that they have equal access to health care and are protected from discrimination at work.  

The Cleve Jones Award is named in honor of Cleve Jones, human rights activist and a co-founder of San Francisco AIDS Foundation. One of the first to recognize the threat of HIV/AIDS in 1981, Jones was also a creator of the NAMES Project AIDS Memorial Quilt. His activism spans four decades and will impact the fight against HIV transmission for generations to come.

San Francisco AIDS Foundation program founders of Black Brothers Esteem (BBE) will also be honored at the event with the Community Excellence Award. BBE founding members are Mario Benton, Maurice Cole, Darius Dickens, Andrick Hardy, James Langford, Norman Tanner, Martial York, and Jamal Bey.

BBE is a community program that supports and empowers African American men who are gay, bisexual or same gender loving. This year, BBE celebrated its 20th anniversary with an Anniversary Gala, an art exhibition in San Francisco Public Library’s Skylight Gallery, and a proclamation from the city. 

The San Francisco AIDS Foundation Tribute Celebration is supported by program sponsor Gilead Sciences and supporting sponsors Chevron, Google and Morrison Foerster. More information about the Tribute Celebration is available at

About San Francisco AIDS Foundation
No city experienced epidemic levels of HIV faster than San Francisco. At San Francisco AIDS Foundation, we work to end the epidemic where it first took hold, and eventually everywhere. Established in 1982, our mission is the radical reduction of new infections in San Francisco. Through education, advocacy, and direct services for prevention and care, we are confronting HIV in communities most vulnerable to the disease. We refuse to accept that HIV transmission is inevitable. More information about the foundation is available at

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