Leadership Institute, September 5, 2018, Orlando, FL

*No government funding will be used for the Leadership Institute

These are confusing political times. New issues pop up every week. It’s difficult to separate our emotions from what’s good for the movement. Sometimes it doesn’t seem real. After a year of living in the new Washington, and at the request of Cynthia Carey-Grant from WORLD, NMAC is bringing back its Leadership Institute on Wednesday, September 5th, the day prior to the start of USCA. This year’s meeting will focus on How to Survive During Difficult Political Times. The Institute is for Executive Directors and HIV and STD Directors. Registration information will be posted online in March so please mark your calendar now. Our movement needs to talk, build mutual strategies and continues its important work to end the epidemic.

It might get worse before it gets better. 2018 may force some difficult discussions. I don’t know the answers. What happens if to pay for tax reform with significant cuts to discretionary nonmilitary funding? What happens if they cut entitlement programs? Medicaid is the largest payer of care for People Living with HIV. When you overlay the midterm elections, it is impossible to know which way this will go.

It could become easy to pick us apart when fighting for crumbs. People are rightfully very concerned. Now more than ever our movement needs leaders who can both fight and collaborate. Unfortunately, these qualities are not usually found in the same person. The Institute is a place to learn both how to have difficult conversations. Our leadership may be tested in ways that hasn’t happened since the early days of the epidemic. Money has a way of changing the discussions. Hopefully this will not come to pass.

NMAC invites new and long-term leaders to plan the Institute. Interested folks should drop an email at pkawata@nmac.org. All the work will happen via email and conference calls. You will need to cover your own travel and hotel to the Institute. This is a short-term project that will end in September 2018.

Like the DEFCON system, NMAC is considering coding our language so the field understands our level of concern. When everything is important, nothing becomes important. Most of the times we share the information because we want to inform the field. We are looking at a coding system so communications, e-newsletters, webinars, conferences, and printed materials set the right tone. We need to balance reality and not paralyze the field.

Phase 1: Thought You Should Know
Phase 2: Slightly Concerned
Phase 3: This May Be A Problem
Phase 4: This Is A Problem
Phase 5: DEFCON 1

“Collaborate and Fight” needs to be our movement’s mantra. We have to work with the Trump Administration to insure necessary services for people living with HIV continue. But what do you do when nobody is listening? This year’s Leadership Institute is looking for leaders who understand the collaboration is ideal, but we will fight if necessary. Let’s hope it’s not necessary.

Yours in the struggle,

Paul Kawata
Executive Director