November 2017 Update: Grassroots Leadership is proud to sponsor the newly announced Donald Suggs Jr. Street Naming Project. The project seeks to to co-name a corner of East 6th Street, between Avenue A & B, in Manhattan’s East Village, "Donald Suggs Jr. Way" to honor the life and work of this brilliant community leader, media activist, writer, and long-standing East Village resident. Please see more here.
It's with a heavy heart that we pass along word that Donald Suggs, Grassroots Leadership's Media Consultant, passed away over the weekend at the far too young age of 51 in New York. The cause was an apparent heart attack.
Donald was an infectious character, and his biography was matched only by his laugh. Before joining Grassroots Leadership, Donald had been a senior editor at The Village Voice, and the former associate director of the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, or GLAAD. He also organized a campaign against homophobia in the music industry that was the basis for the British Broadcasting Company film by Issac Julien, "A Darker Shade of Black."
In 2001, he founded People Using Media to do Prevention, or the PUMP project, which taught young people from neighborhoods decimated by HIV how to do video production, then co-produced HIV prevention films with them. As a freelance writer, Donald Suggs wrote for publications ranging from The Advocate to The New York Times. He also had served as board chair for Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
Donald will be sorely missed in the Grassroots Leadership family and by many across the country, and especially in the East Village that he proudly called home for more than 25 years. Here's to you, Donald.
Update: The St. Louis American carried this obituary for Donald. In lieu of flowers, the family respectfully asks that donations be sent to Grassroots Leadership, P.O. Box 36006, Charlotte, NC 28236, or One Iowa Education Fund, 419 SW 8th St, Des Moines, IA 50309