WASHINGTON – Today, Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-CA), Chairwoman of the House Committee on Financial Services, issued the following statement on the passing of Archbishop Carl Bean.

“Archbishop Carl Bean was not only a talented artist, devoted religious leader, and community organizer; he was my dear friend and an outstanding person. He was someone who worked every single day to make this world a better place. His role in awakening America to the AIDS pandemic cannot be overlooked or overstated.

“I was first educated about how HIV/AIDS was tragically impacting young African Americans by Archbishop Carl Bean, who made this his life’s work. Archbishop Bean took me to a place called “Catch One” in Los Angeles and introduced me to several young African American men who were abandoned by their families due to their diagnoses. It was then that I, along with a few community members, began to help Archbishop Bean to create a new Minority AIDS Project.

“Not only did we work together on his Minority AIDS Project, but we also worked to initiate funding in the federal government’s budget to address the cause at the national level. When we first started out, we were able to secure an allocation of $156 million for the national Minority AIDS Initiative, and I’m proud that Archbishop Bean was here to see that the allocation has grown to over $400 million for this year alone. I know that he is so proud of what we have been able to accomplish.

“In all the years we’ve spent working together, there was never a day in which his kindness and loving spirit did not shine through. He was a wonderful human being and will be sorely missed. In this difficult time, I send my heartfelt condolences to his family, friends, and loved ones.”