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Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans meets for first time since COVID pandemic

For the first time in nearly three years (due to the global COVID-19 pandemic), the Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV) was able to meet in person. VA’s Center for Minority Veterans (CMV) recently joined the National Association for Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) leadership and the National Association of State of Veterans Affairs (NASDVA) minority committee to discuss challenges, opportunities and unique needs of our minority and underserved Veterans.

“The pandemic slowed us down, but it hasn’t stopped us,” said Bobby McDonald, Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans (ACMV) chairman. “Partnering with the NAACP and NASDVA will help CMV and our Committee to develop a more vibrant and resilient advocacy network to serve our minority and underserved Veterans. It was momentous indeed.”

The ACMV is appointed by the VA Secretary, and it consists of Veterans who represent respective minority groups and are recognized authorities in fields pertinent to the needs of the minority group they embody. The Committee is charged with advising the Secretary and Congress on VA’s administration of benefits and provisions of health care, benefits, and services to minority and underserved Veterans.

The ACMV meets biennially to provide a detailed report to Congress outlining recommendations, concerns and observations on VA’s delivery of services to minority and underserved Veterans.

Prior to these meetings, the ACMV members will meet with VA officials, Veteran Service Organizations and other stakeholders to assess the Department’s efforts in providing benefits and outreach to minority and underserved Veterans. Committee members make periodic site visits and hold town hall meetings with Veterans to hear and address their concerns.

During the ACMV meeting, committee members met with VA leaders across VA such as Veteran Experience Office, Veterans Health Administration Health Equity Office, National Cemetery Administration, Veterans Benefits Administration, Center for Women Veterans, Office of Equity Assurance, and Intergovernmental Affairs. ACMV members also met with the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, and the Department of Labor, and the Office of Research and Policy, regarding the Black Veterans Research Project that is underway.

In the photo above, standing left to right: Michael Yaguchi, Nathan Tilton, Starlyn (Nathan’s service dog), Lisa Carrington Firmin, CMV Executive Director James Albino. Sitting left to right: Beth Townsend, Irma Cooper, Chairman Robert McDonald, Linda Singh and Warren Jones.

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