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NBJC Statement on the Departure of White House ONAP Director, Douglas Brooks


Washington, DC – The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) released the following statements in response to the announcement that White House Director of the Office of National AIDS Policy (ONAP), Douglas Brooks, will be leaving the Obama Administration:

“After two incredible years of leading our nation’s efforts to combat HIV/AIDS, the NBJC family is saddened to learn that Director Douglas Brooks will be leaving the Obama Administration. However, we are forever grateful for his service, not only to our nation, but to his own community. As the first openly gay, HIV-positive Black man to hold this post, Director Brooks has led ONAP with grace, humility and unyielding strength, while working to ensure that those most impacted and at-risk for HIV/AIDS have access to the tools they need to combat this disease,” said Sharon Lettman-Hicks, NBJC Executive Director and CEO. “Under Director Brooks’ leadership, our federal government updated the National HIV/AIDS Strategy in 2015 by focusing efforts on the needs of minority communities, gay and bisexual men, women of color—including transgender women—and other groups disproportionately impacted by HIV/AIDS. An important success that must be recognized is the expansion of the role of PrEP or pre-exposure prophylaxis medication under the strategy to aide in the prevention of HIV negative people from contracting the disease. He also led efforts to make early and frequent testing for HIV a key tenet of public policy to move our nation closer to achieving a world where new HIV infections are rare. We at NBJC salute the tenure of Director Brooks and wish him the very best in his future endeavors as we know he will continue to be a true role model for our community that lives at the intersection of racial justice and LGBT equality.”

“Director Brooks has been such an inspiration and mentor for me as an advocate for the empowerment of Black LGBT people and people living with HIV/AIDS. Throughout his time leading ONAP, he has made centering the lives of the most marginalized a key focus of the Obama Administration’s efforts,” said Venton C. Jones, Jr., NBJC’s Program Officer for LGBT Health and Wellness Initiatives.  “Opening the White House to so many groups that have been excluded from the policymaking process—yet have been the most impacted by HIV/AIDS—is a Brooks legacy that will continue to advance us to a place where HIV/AIDS is uncommon in our communities and stigma no longer prevents us from reaching an AIDS-free generation in our lifetimes. As such, Director Brooks has unapologetically advocated for resources to be directed toward Black communities—especially to reach the Black gay/bisexual men and transgender women population—who continue to represent the majority of new HIV infections in our country, annually. Because of his leadership, our nation is more equipped and able to end the continued spread of HIV/AIDS by providing vital tools like PrEP and access to life-saving treatments for those of us living with HIV. I am forever grateful for his unparalleled leadership.”

The National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC) is a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and same gender loving (LGBTQ/SGL) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS.