OUR TEAM HAS GROWN: WELCOME THE NEWEST ADDITIONS TO THE SOUTHERN AIDS COALITION STAFF!
The Southern AIDS Coalition is growing! In order to effectively serve our partners and communities, we realize that we need more capacity. We are excited to announce our newest team members, who are each advocates who bring a deep connection to the South, rich experience, and talent to their roles. Please welcome them to the SAC Team!
Health Policy Associate
Jason joins the Southern AIDS Coalition (SAC) following his tenure with a public hospital in Dallas, Texas, as a Peer Recovery Navigator. In his role as a Peer Recovery Navigator, Jason created educational and non-clinical support for young men, ages 17–34, who are living with HIV. Jason also helped to establish a support group for clients focused on topics including emotional, mental, and physical health. Jason is also a former educator and knows the importance of education and advocacy for those who are in need. The Southern United States has become the epicenter of HIV and it is Jason’s goal for others to become aware of this issue and help end the stigma associated with getting tested and receiving proper treatment. In Jason’s new role with SAC, he is looking forward to making an impact in his community and in the South to assist in ending the HIV and STI epidemics.
Working with SAC will align with Jason’s values because he recognizes the importance of promoting accessibility and systems to aid in the prevention, treatment, and care along with everyone having access to quality health care and services that are essential to maintaining a quality standard of living. Jason is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, and currently lives in Dallas, Texas. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Business Management from the University of Phoenix, St. Louis Campus. In Jason’s free time, he loves to travel, watch movies, bowl, enjoy the theater, listen to podcasts, loves live music, painting, and writing poetry. Jason is also a “paw”rent to his dogs, Leo and Reiger.
“[I] RECOGNIZE THE IMPORTANCE OF PROMOTING ACCESSIBILITY AND SYSTEMS TO AID IN HIV PREVENTION, TREATMENT, AND CARE. WE NEED POLICIES THAT ENSURE EVERYONE HAS ACCESS TO QUALITY HEALTH CARE AND SERVICES THAT ARE ESSENTIAL TO MAINTAINING A QUALITY STANDARD OF LIVING.”
“[I] value hearing the voice of the community, being an advocate, and identifying determinants of health that create barriers.”
Capacity Building Associate
Sierra is a native of Memphis, TN, currently based in Murfreesboro, TN. She graduated from Middle Tennessee State University (MTSU) with a Bachelor of Science in Health Education-Community and Public Health and a Minor in Biology. Currently, she is working to attain her Master of Public Health at MTSU.
With 5 years of experience in HIV and STI prevention, her work began in 2016 at the Tennessee Department of Health before transitioning to Vanderbilt University Medical Center-Southeast AIDS Education and Training Center (SE AETC). As an Associate Program Manager, she implemented the Southeast Practice Transformation Expansion Project (SEPTEP) managing to successfully train and provide technical assistance to 16 health centers in high-risk areas from the Southeast-Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. This work is published in HRSA’s 2019 Ryan White HIV/AIDS Biennial Report. In addition, she participated as a committee member on the Ending the Epidemic Nashville-Community Education & Stigma committee.
Sierra comes to the Southern AIDS Coalition from the Metro Nashville/Davidson County Public Health Department where she carried out the work for Ending the HIV Epidemic Nashville. She is honored and delighted to bring her passion for HIV/AIDS, skill, and knowledge to SAC to contribute to the work of Ending the HIV Epidemic in the South. She values hearing the voice of the community, being an advocate, and identifying determinants of health that create barriers. Through training and technical assistance, she plans to collaborate and build relationships to successfully carry out and achieve the work of EHE.
Last but not least, she is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., serves on the Southwind High School Class of 2011 Alumni Scholarship Committee, and her hobbies include kickboxing, coaching cheer and dance, and traveling.
COMPASS Program Manager
“The South is most impacted by HIV due to a history of racial, social and political inequity. Ending HIV in the South requires a holistic approach that centers a person’s overall well-being and health and addresses the intersectionality of HIV stigma.”
“I am overjoyed to join an organization that has historically led the fight to end the HIV epidemic in the South. As a woman living with HIV in the South, this fight to me is personal. I am deeply committed to issues that directly impact PLWHIV…”
Community Outreach Coordinator
Marnina Miller is a Human Rights Activist that currently resides in Houston, Texas. Her expertise revolves around HIV Advocacy, Queer Community Engagement, Language Justice, and Body Positivity. She fell in love with Activism after joining Positive Organizing Project, a movement that trains People Living With HIV on how to become Effective HIV activists. She currently serves on the Board of Directors at the Positive Women’s Network-USA (PWN-USA). She is also a graduate of the PWN-USA’s Public Policy Fellowship. Marnina received her Associate’s Degree in Political Science from Southwestern Michigan College. She is a Youth Ambassador for Youth Across Borders where she spends time at Montaña de Luz which is an orphanage for Children Living With HIV in Honduras. She is also the Co-Chair for the Texans Living With HIV Network, and a recipient of the Violet Award; which recognizes LGBTQ advocates in Houston, Texas. At NMAC she is the graduate of the Inaugural Building Young Leaders of Color (BYLOC) leadership training and a Youth Council Facilitator for the Youth Initiative Program.
Marnina is also a feature writer for the international online publication Life and Love with HIV where she is dismantling the stigma of women; developing, maintaining, and pursuing a healthy sex life one blog post at a time Marnina has been a board member of The Mahogany Project Inc. since 2020 where she is also a cohost of the In Living Colors Podcast. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her family and practice restorative yoga. Ms. Miller has this to say about joining the SAC Staff, “I am overjoyed to join an organization that has historically led the fight to end the HIV epidemic in the South. As a woman living with HIV in the South, this fight to me is personal. I am deeply committed to issues that directly impact PLWHIV that include but are not limited to; language justice, meaningful involvement of PLHIV, economic justice, racial justice, youth organizing, and LGBTQ+ inclusion.”
Recently, Marnina joined the group of advocates discussing HIV history and Education with DaBaby. Read more here.