Richmond Rainbow Pride holds prayer vigil on World AIDS Day

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by Mike Kinney

Over 30 members of the community united on a chilly Saturday night at Richmond Civic Center Plaza to commemorate the 4th Annual World AIDS Day Prayer Vigil.

Held in remembrance of family and friends who have lost their lives because of AIDS, Richmond’s event featured representatives of local organizations such as Richmond Rainbow Pride, the Lambda Democratic Club, the Rainbow Community Center, Soulful Softball Sunday and Black Women Organized for Political Action.

This year’s vigil honored and celebrated the life and times of Richmond community leader and organizer Duane Chapman, who died on Oct. 30 after battling a long illness.

Chapman was the co-founder of the Richmond Rainbow Pride organization along with along with Cesar Zepeda. Chapman wore many other hats as a community advocate, most recently as a fixture on the city of Richmond’s crime prevention team.

RELATED: Community mourns death of longtime advocate Duane Chapman

“He was at the forefront here in Richmond,” Zepeda said. “Duane was always there helping out.”

Members of Chapman’s family attendance the remembrance.

“From his family and the from the community, everybody loved Duane,” said Michelle Milam, crime prevention manager for the city.

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