AID Atlanta files federal suit against CDC over funding
In just a few months, transwomen will learn whether or not they will be able to apply to Spelman College. The college’s Board of Trustees is expected to take a vote at the end of this fiscal year, according to a statement issued to Georgia Voice from Spelman’s Office of Communications.
“The Spelman College Transgender Policy Task Force presented its recommendations to the Board of Trustees in late April,” the statement said. “We want to allow the full integrated process to come to a conclusion before commenting further.”
The task force was convened last fall as part of Spelman President Mary Schmidt Campbell’s commitment to expanding the college’s Title IX policies and practices. In a “welcome back” letter she wrote, Schmidt Campbell said it was one of two important such groups she planned to start.
According to the school’s website, the group was tasked with developing a policy recommendation “regarding the consideration of admission eligibility and enrollment of transgender students” at the historically black women’s college.
Task force members include Dean of Students Fran’Cee Brown McClure, interim Provost Myra Burnett, professors, students and alumnae.
“The task force’s comprehensive, inclusive and thorough process has thus far included: in-depth analysis of the legal and compliance issues related to Title IX and transgender students; numerous consultations with faculty, students, staff and alumnae groups; detailed reviews of existing policies at other women’s colleges; and examinations of the scholarly research and literature on gender identity,” the school’s statement said.
Nonprofit AID Atlanta clapped back at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on May 11, filing a lawsuit after CDC pulled the plug on funding its HIV prevention programs earlier this year.
Nicole Roebuck, executive director for AID Atlanta, said in a news release they were “quite frankly perplexed” by the CDC’s actions.
“AID Atlanta acted as a trusted and highly regarded partner with the CDC under a six-year agreement, operating HIV prevention projects targeting young men of color who have sex with men,” Roebuck said in a news release. “At no time during this period has the CDC expressed any concerns or criticisms of AID Atlanta’s HIV prevention programs or its abilities to manage such programs and federal resources.”
The lawsuit files motions for damages and injunctive relief against the CDC and wants the court to overturn the agency’s decision to deny its grant awards, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The lawsuit asserts the CDC “mismanaged a critical funding opportunity and impermissibly denied funding to a long-standing partner fighting HIV/AIDS.”
Roebuck said the group has been awarded long-term funding for HIV testing, education and prevention at least five times since 2004. According to the AJC, the funding would have allowed AID Atlanta to continue its community-based programs that focus on HIV prevention and testing among black gay and bisexual men ages 18 to 28. When funding was halted, AID Atlanta immediately stopped its Evolution Project program that aided this target population, and laid off four staff members.
AID Atlanta submitted an application to receive “high impact HIV prevention funds” to replace an existing CDC grant scheduled to end on March 31. The organization was denied renewal of that prevention and testing services contract, the AJC reported.
In the news release, AID Atlanta executives said the CDC “acted in an arbitrary, capricious and illegal manner when it refused to renew” the organization’s funding contract, which “will result in thousands of fewer HIV test being performed in Atlanta and that will only worsen an ongoing public health crisis among minorities in that community.”