NMAC, the national HIV/AIDS advocacy organization focused on fighting the HIV epidemic among communities of color, has named U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and Housing and Urban Development Secretary Marcia Fudge as the recipients of its 2021 Capitol Hill Champions Awards.
The organization, which concentrates its efforts on bending the curve of new HIV infections among communities of color and connecting HIV-positive individuals with treatment, issued its inaugural Capitol Hill Champion Awards last year, honoring House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and U.S. Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), the co-chair of the Congressional HIV/AIDS Caucus, for their longstanding records of supporting legislation and funding to curb the epidemic.
Pelosi, last year’s recipient of the John Lewis Good Trouble Award, will present Waters with this year’s Good Trouble Award, which is bestowed upon a recipient who, like the late Georgia congressman, champions human rights and demonstrates a dedication to ensuring racial equality.
As a state legislator in the 1980s, Waters introduced legislation to address the HIV/AIDS epidemic’s effect on Black communities, and in Congress, established the Minority AIDS Initiative, which expanded prevention, screening and treatment efforts among at-risk communities in order to reduce disparities disproportionately impacting racial and ethnic minorities.
The Elijah Cummings Award for Minority Health Equality, named after the late Baltimore congressman, will be presented by his widow, Dr. Maya Rockeymoore Cummings, to Fudge, a former congresswoman, for her efforts to combat homelessness and racial disparities affecting homeowners as HUD Secretary, and her support for funding to combat the HIV/AIDS epidemic while in Congress.
Both awards will be presented during a virtual event in December, the details of which have yet to be finalized.
“NMAC’s mission is to lead with race to end racial inequities in health care that prolong the HIV epidemic,” NMAC Executive Director Paul Kawata said in a statement. “Chairwoman Waters and Secretary Fudge have dedicated their years in public service to those same goals. It is a great honor to recognize these amazing women for their commitment and service to our nation and to our goal of ending the HIV epidemic.”
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