Diverse & Resilient Mourns the Passing of Longtime Advocate Ronnie Grace
November 10, 2023
It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Ronnie Grace, a cherished member of the Diverse & Resilient family, who left us on Thursday, November 9th, surrounded by loved ones. Ronnie, an integral part of our organization for over 17 years, has been a beacon of strength and inspiration in the LGBTQ and HIV communities for nearly two decades.
Ronnie’s journey with Diverse & Resilient began in 2006 as a program participant, and his dedication and passion led him to become a crucial member of our team. Ronnie joined Diverse & Resilient in 2012 as a coordinator for the HIV testing program. His exceptional contributions quickly elevated him to lead coordinator for both the HIV and STI testing programs. In addition, Ronnie facilitated the agency’s support group for women of trans experience, Sister Helping Each Other Battle Adversity (SHEBA).
In 2020, Ronnie took on the role of lead Peer Navigator for the agency’s HIV Peer Navigator Program, further showcasing his commitment to serving the LGBTQ and HIV communities. Throughout his tenure, Ronnie garnered numerous awards for his tireless work, participating in HIV and LGBTQ anti-stigma campaigns and serving on various boards, including the Wisconsin HIV and HCV Statewide Action Planning Group (SAPG) and the City of Milwaukee Commissioner on Domestic Violence Sexual and Assault (DVSA) Commission.
Ronnie’s impact extended beyond professional achievements. He founded and facilitated GROWN UPS, an empowerment and support group for men living with HIV, demonstrating his dedication to creating safe spaces for the underserved and underprivileged LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities of color.
Known affectionately as “Uncle Ronnie,” he was more than a colleague – he was family. Ronnie’s warmth, kindness, and unwavering support left an indelible mark on all who had the privilege of knowing him. His recent feature in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel highlighted his incredible journey from his Mississippi roots to becoming a beloved Milwaukee activist.
Ronnie’s legacy will continue to inspire and guide us as we strive to uphold the values he championed – advocacy, mentorship, and unwavering support for the LGBTQ and HIV-affected communities. Diverse & Resilient extends our deepest condolences to Ronnie’s family, friends, and all those whose lives he touched. In honoring Ronnie’s memory, we recommit ourselves to the pursuit of equality, justice, and resilience.