On Friday January 27, 2017 our communities lost a valued leader, friend and mentor. Surrounded by friends, Glen Brown passed away after a battle with liver disease.
Perhaps best known as a founding member, strategist and activist for AIDS Action Now!, Glen also played a vital role in building the organizational structure of the HIV/AIDS community. He provided advice on strategy planning, policy development and governance to dozens of organizations (including OHTN). Flip chart at the ready, his quick intelligence, humour and even temper served many of us well, guiding our organizations and our stakeholders to create effective plans for our futures.
Glen stepped in as interim leader for key HIV, LGBT and social justice organizations including PASAN, the AIDS Committee of Toronto, Pride Toronto and Street Health. He also led the Canadian AIDS Treatment Information Exchange from 1996-99 during its transition to a national service providing vital, life-saving information about emerging treatments to people living with HIV.
Even when dealing with the minutia of non-profit management, Glen always acted with a commitment to social justice and broad-based engagement. He truly believed that we were stronger, when all of our voices were heard. On an individual level, he mentored many, who will contribute to the life, strength and diversity of our communities for years to come.
There will be a community memorial and celebration of Glen’s life and work later in the year.
Image of Glen Brown at an AIDS Action Now demonstration in 1992. Photo credit: Jake Peters.