BOSTON (January 24, 2013)— Just shy of the one year anniversary of one of the largest nonprofit mergers in Boston, Victory Programs has named renowned AIDS advocate LarryKessler as its new Director of the Boston Living Center, the agency announced today. Victory Programs’ Boston Living Center is New England’s largest community resource center for people living with HIV/AIDS, providing more than 40,000 meals per year to its 1,100 members. Mr. Kessler has worked as an HIV/AIDS advocate for more than 30 years and is best known for founding AIDS Action Committee of Massachusetts.
“LarryKessler is a living legend in the AIDS community,” says Mayor Thomas Menino. “He has advocated for people living with HIV/AIDS since the earliest days of the epidemic. Larry’s unmatched expertise will continue to broaden Victory Programs’ Boston Living Center’s presence, and bring much needed services and advocacy to even more people with HIV in Boston.”
Mr. Kessler brings years of unparalleled experience to Victory Programs, the Center, and its members. “LarryKessler is one of the most influential and inspiring leaders of our time,” says Victory Programs’ President & CEO Jonathan Scott. “As a charismatic community organizer and advocate, his mission for HIV prevention changed the lives and attitudes of generations. His persistent call for AIDS action brought him to the White House and the State House, yet even as a national spokesperson, he was committed to empowering the individual at home struggling with HIV disease.”
The Center offers dinners on Monday nights and lunches Tuesday-Friday to its members, relying on a network of volunteers to prepare and serve the meals. In addition to the meals program, the Center provides group and educational workshops, connections to healthcare, art and cooking classes, and holistic therapies. The Center is well known for its peer support model, which has been replicated in Ireland and Africa.
“Larry will bring the BLC to the next level,” says BLC Member Shirley Royster, who served on the Victory Programs board of directors with Larry until he stepped down to take the role as Director. “He has a long history of caring for the HIV/AIDS community in Boston, and the Boston Living Center will be a wonderful fit for him.”