EXCLUSION IS THE ISSUE

November 5, 2014

To the Editor:

I was disappointed that Duncan Osborne’s article on the exclusion of the executive directors of Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) and the MOCHA Center from the 63-person task force charged with developing a plan to reduce new HIV infections statewide ended with two sentences that seemed designed to support the decision to exclude GMAD (“GMAD, Upstate Mocha Center Don’t Make Cuomo AIDS Task Force,” Oct. 30). The sexual harassment charges noted by Osborne were thoroughly investigated by GMAD’s Board of Directors and found to be without merit. The “continuing” financial challenges alluded to by Osborne are no different than those experienced by many small nonprofit organizations.

In less than two years as executive director, Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa, and his staff, along with GMAD’s Board of Directors, have made substantial progress in bringing organizational expenses in alignment with revenues by relocating to less expensive, but larger office space, by systematically reducing outstanding debt, and by developing new revenue sources.

Rather than include unconfirmed, speculative information in the style of a “parting shot” regarding the reasons for GMAD’s exclusion from the task force, the article would have been more accurate if it had remained focused on what is known about the decision regarding task force membership and GMAD.

Kevin McGruder

Secretary

GMAD Board of Directors

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