Keith Cylar was more than an advocate; he was a pioneer, a friend, a son, and someone who used drugs. He was not afraid to ACT UP, finding inspiration in the stories of the people that surrounded him during a time of crisis in NYC. He was the voice of so many who did not have the courage to speak up and fight for themselves. He found himself at the forefront of the AIDS crisis in the late 80’s and early 90’s, often going face to face with the powers that be, fighting for the lives of folks the government did not seem to care about. Never one to back down from a fight, he spoke truth to power in a time where many were afraid to be vocal. Keith helped build Housing Works from the ground up, empowering his peers who used drugs to take ownership and add input toward the programs and policies that would ultimately affect them. An avid cannabis user, Keith would be ecstatic to know that Housing Works Cannabis Co was the first legal dispensary to open in the state of NY, something many have fought for and have spent time incarcerated for. To honor Keith, we’ve made it one of our missions to pay it forward to folks who were impacted by the war on drugs by giving them opportunites to learn and grow in this industry. Keith passed away in 2004 due to complications from AIDS, but his legacy will forever live on in the lives of the people that he fought for throughout his activism. We are honored to have had Keith as a member of our family and to highlight his legacy this Black History Month.