NMAC to Work With Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings to Build Support for Minority AIDS Initiative

NMAC has joined with Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings to build Congressional support for needed changes to the Minority AIDS Initiative (MAI) under the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Program. Dr. Cummings will work with NMAC’s Strategic Partnerships and Policy division to advocate for improvements that are critical to the success of the federal plan to End the HIV Epidemic.

The MAI was created in 1998 in response to growing concern about the impact of HIV/AIDS on racial and ethnic minorities in the United States. It provides new funding designed to strengthen organizational capacity and expand HIV-related services in minority communities.

Dr. Cummings leads Global Policy Solutions, a policy firm that makes policy work for people and their environments. Her areas of expertise include health, social insurance, income security, education, women’s issues and youth civic participation.

A former adjunct professor in the Women in Politics Institute at American University, she has also served as the vice president of research and programs at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF), senior resident scholar at the National Urban League, chief of staff to former Congressman Charles Rangel (D-NY), professional staff on the House Ways and Means Committee, and as a CBCF legislative fellow in the office of former Congressman Melvin Watt (D-NC) among other positions.

“I’m delighted to work with NMAC to help them elevate the historic importance of the Minority AIDS initiative,” said Dr. Cummings. “We are now in the fourth decade of the HIV/AIDS crisis and black and brown people are a majority of all new HIV diagnoses. Because progress in prevention and treatment has been shamefully uneven by race and ethnicity, the racial equity strategy embedded in the original MAI remains a priority for the nation.”

“We are thrilled to be working with Dr. Cummings,” said NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata. “‘Her expertise, experience, and familiarity on Capitol Hill will be a tremendous asset to NMAC as we work to make critical changes in the Minority AIDS Initiative. For the federal Ending the Epidemic plan to succeed, it must prioritize communities of color, as they still bear the biggest impact of HIV. Through increased funding of MAI and a return to its original mission to support HIV service organizations led by people of color, federal leaders can take a big step toward ensuring the plan’s success. That will be a big and potentially controversial step, so Dr. Cummings’s assistance will be a critical part of our efforts to make it happen.”

NMAC leads with race to urgently fight for health equity and racial justice to end the HIV epidemic in America. Since 1987, NMAC has advanced our mission through a variety of programs and services, including: a public policy education program, national and regional training conferences, a treatment and research program, numerous electronic and print materials, and a website: www.nmac.org. NMAC also serves as an association of AIDS service organizations, providing valuable information to community-based organizations, hospitals, clinics, and other groups assisting individuals and families affected by the HIV epidemic.