The House of Blahnik regretfully announces the passing of Robert Keith Burns (Legendary DJ Robbie Rob Blahnik). Burns, 36, passed away in Philadelphia, in the early morning hours of Thursday, December 8, 2011. “It is with heavy hearts and tearful eyes that we write this announcement,” says Damon L. Humes, Founder and Overall Father of Blahnik. Burns devoted nearly 15 years of his life advocating for a social justice framework in the analysis of disparities regarding HIV prevention and care services in communities of color, especially among Black gay men.
Robert K. Burns joined the House of Blahnik in the of Summer 2003 and immediately began to positively influence the House of Blahnik, its’ members and the entire House/Ball community until his last day. “Robert and I worked hand-in-hand to conceptualize and implement many of Blahnik’s past and current initiatives (retreats, the annual scholarship and leadership development activities), because we both believed in the value of family and the House/Ball community at large,” said Humes. In addition to serving as the Executive Director of the COLOURS Organization (Philadelphia, PA), Burns served as the Executive Director of the House of Blahnik (2005 through 2009) where he coordinated the community health promotions, national mobilization efforts and the academic advancement initiatives.
“I mourn the passing of my brother, friend and colleague,” said Kevin E. Bynes (Chair, House of Blahnik Board of Directors). “Rob went above and beyond to ensure that all around him felt welcomed” added Bynes. The House of Blahnik leadership will coordinate with the Burns family to plan his home-going service. Additional information on the home-going service of Robert Keith Burns will be disseminated via the COLOURS Organization. The House of Blahnik respectfully requests that all cards, floral arrangements and donations be sent to COLOURS, Inc. (112 N. Broad Street, 3rd Floor, Philadelphia, PA. 19102).
Two additional articles featuring Robert Burns:
from 2010 – Philadelphia Gay News: http://epgn.com/bookmark/10691582/article-Family+Portraits:+Robert+Burns#.TuDKaES8fQ4.facebook <http://epgn.com/bookmark/10691582/article-Family+Portraits:+Robert+Burns#.TuDKaES8fQ4.facebook>
from 2001 – Scene Magazine, Cleveland: http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/hell-to-pay/Content?oid=1477961 <http://www.clevescene.com/cleveland/hell-to-pay/Content?oid=1477961>