Chicago resident, HIV/AIDS activist and author Rae Lewis-Thornton is one of three finalists selected for General Motors’ Our Town, Our Heroes program due to her work as a powerful AIDS activist and public health crusader. Lewis-Thornton is also a recipient of the British Academy Golden Tweet Award in Public Service for 2010 and the 2011 CBS Chicago Most Valuable Blogger in Medical, Health and Fitness. Beginning Sept. 4, the public is encouraged to vote for their favorite hero at DrivingtheMidwest.com through Sept. 18. The winner will be announced Sept. 19.
Lewis-Thornton was nominated by her friend, Markeeda Spencer, for her unending crusade to educate and challenge audiences to take control of their own lives and health. Spencer writes in her nomination, “Rae uses her personal life as an example that AIDS is a non-discriminatory disease, challenging the most common myths and stereotypes surrounding HIV. She is a selfless hero who is on a mission to help save lives.”
General Motors launched the Our Town, Our Heroes program in 2011 to recognize and reward unsung heroes who are inspiring and empowering others in their local communities. Every month, the program will narrow down the nominations and open voting of the featured finalists to the public to select the winner. The hero and his or her nominator will receive a one-week loan of an all-new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle and a full tank of gas. New to the program this year, the winning hero will also receive $500 in gift cards, and the second place hero and his or her nominator will each receive a one-week vehicle loan.
“Rae’s courageous use of her own struggle with AIDS to educate and motivate the public is truly heroic,,” said Brian Goebel, General Motors North Central Region Communications Manager. “We’re honored and thrilled to share Rae’s story not only with her fellow residents in Chicago, but with the rest of the state as well.”