Global-Lo­cal Con­nec­tion for LGBT Rights event stirs up con­ver­sa­tion

GA Voice - - Georgia News -

The Board of Direc­tors of AID At­lanta an­nounced on Oct. 30 that James Hughey will be re­sign­ing as CEO af­ter less than nine months at the helm. AID At­lanta Di­rec­tor of Client Ser­vices Ni­cole Roe­buck will be tak­ing over as act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor.

“Hughey led the or­ga­ni­za­tion through a fi­nan­cially dif­fi­cult era in 2015, turn­ing it around to be­come a more stable en­tity fi­nan­cially and op­er­a­tionally,” read a state­ment re­leased by AID At­lanta’s board. “He, or­ga­ni­za­tional lead­er­ship and staff and the Board of Direc­tors, helped shep­herd the or­ga­ni­za­tion through an af­fil­i­a­tion with the AHF Fed­era- tion, a con­sor­tium of AIDS ser­vice or­ga­ni­za­tions (ASOs) and com­mu­nity groups com­mit­ted to HIV/AIDS ed­u­ca­tion, preven­tion, ad­vo­cacy, med­i­cal treat­ment and sup­port for un­der­served pop­u­la­tions across the United States. The re­cent af­fil­i­a­tion of the two or­ga­ni­za­tions has ex­panded the re­sources for HIV-pos­i­tive pa­tients in Metro At­lanta, in­clud­ing the abil­ity to pro­vide more test­ing and to get more peo­ple into care.”

Roe­buck, a 15-year vet­eran of the or­ga­ni­za­tion, said, “We are com­mit­ted to get­ting 100 per­cent of all pos­i­tive Ge­or­gians into care re­gard­less of their abil­ity to pay for those ser­vices.”

Hughey took over from for­mer CEO Jose Diaz, who re­signed in Fe­bru­ary due to health rea­sons af­ter one year at the helm. AID At­lanta be­came an af­fil­i­ate with AIDS Health­care Foun­da­tion in June, with Hughey telling Ge­or­gia Voice that “sig­nif­i­cant debt” was one of the rea­sons.

When the pro­gram­ming board of the LGBT In­sti­tute at the Na­tional Cen­ter for Civil and Hu­man Rights walked out of its Au­gust meet­ing, it car­ried a list of three ar­eas to fo­cus on in the years ahead: crim­i­nal jus- tice and safety, ed­u­ca­tion and em­ploy­ment, and pub­lic health and well­ness. On Nov. 2, the In­sti­tute held its first pub­lic event ad­dress­ing those ar­eas, The Global-Lo­cal Con­nec­tion for LGBT Rights.

The event, which drew roughly 100 peo­ple, fea­tured a wide-rang­ing panel dis­cus­sion with Mandy Carter, co-founder of South­ern­ers On New Ground and the Na­tional Black Jus­tice Coali­tion, and Ruth Messinger, pres­i­dent and CEO of Amer­i­can Jewish World Ser­vice. It was mod­er­ated by In­sti­tute pro­gram­ming board mem­ber Tim’m West.

If many aren’t fa­mil­iar with the Amer­i­can Jewish World Ser­vice and won­der about its in­clu­sion in such an event, it helps to know that it is the fourth-largest U.S.-based fun­der of in­ter­na­tional LGBT work.

Carter pro­vided a re­gional and na­tional per­spec­tive and Messinger pro­vided a global per­spec­tive on LGBT rights; the lo­cal per­spec­tive was pro­vided by those in at­ten­dance.

The evening’s con­ver­sa­tion cov­ered an ar­ray of top­ics, in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to anti-LGBT laws across the world, bul­ly­ing, the school-to-prison pipe­line, Black Lives Mat­ter, Trans Lives Mat­ter, the role of so­cial me­dia in ac­tivism, HIV/AIDS and LGBT el­ders.

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