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March 27, 2014 / Rebekah Seder, Editor

Celebrating a special milestone at the Washington AIDS Partnership

This year marks Channing Wickham’s 20th anniversary with the Washington AIDS Partnership. It is always important to recognize such a milestone, but in this case it is especially important. Channing hasn’t just been doing this work for 20 years, he’s been making a difference. It is our pleasure to thank Channing for all that he has done and to showcase what others have to share about his impact.

Channing’s visionary and strategic leadership has changed the lives of thousands of people living with HIV and the nonprofits that serve them. By creating the HIV Report Card and the outstanding AmeriCorps program, and providing deep support to nonprofits as approaches to care have changed, he has made an enormous difference. Channing is the hero of this compelling collaboration, and as the Partnership’s founder, the Meyer Foundation and I are profoundly grateful!
Julie L. Rogers, President and CEO, the Eugene and Agnes E. Meyer Foundation

DC Appleseed has been working closely with Channing since 2003, when he first approached us with the idea that we investigate why DC was leading the nation in the incidence of HIV/AIDS cases and recommend specific steps for addressing the crisis. This led to the issuance of DC Appleseed’s major report on the issue in August 2005, and also to our annual report cards on the subject – the eighth of which we issued last November. This work has helped transform and dramatically improve the city’s response to the epidemic. None of this would have happened without Channing’s leadership, commitment, and support. Not only was it his idea that we do this work, but the work could not have been accomplished without his continuous advice and guidance.
Walter Smith, Executive Director, DC Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, Inc.

One of the many memorable moments with Channing that stands out was the day I handed him a check for $5.8 million, the largest check I’ve ever held, to secure the AIDS Drug Assistance Pipeline, one of our most innovative collaborations between the Washington AIDS Partnership and the DC Department of Health. This project saved millions of dollars that would otherwise have been returned to the federal government and ensured that thousands of District residents living with HIV would continue to receive their medications. It would not have been possible without Channing’s vision and commitment. We’ve continued our partnership with the DC Female Condom Project, which received more than $1 million in foundation funding for women’s health and HIV prevention; Positive Pathways, a Social Innovation Fund national demonstration; and our continuing efforts to help community providers in the District build capacity and grow in the new health care landscape. I cannot imagine the progress we’ve made in the city on HIV without Channing. He has made and continues to make an invaluable and enduring contribution to the District’s response to HIV. On a personal note, I treasure his insight and inspiration, our idea brainstorming lunches, and our friendship. Congratulations, Channing, on 20 extraordinary years!
Michael Kharfen, Senior Deputy Director, D.C. HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis, STD & TB Administration

Channing has been a partner to AIDS United for decades. From the early days of the National Community AIDS Partnership to the evolution to the National AIDS Fund to the merger that is now AIDS United, Channing has been a true partner in this work to this organization and our team. Whether it be through AmeriCorps, Access to Care, or Community Restructuring, partnering with WAP has been critical to our success. As new initiatives were developed and new alliances formed, the Washington AIDS Partnership has always been among the first we call for development and execution. This is, in no small part, due to Channing’s leadership. Channing has been a leader in the field and a friend to this organization for the past two decades. We’re in it to end it—and, with Channing as a leader and partner in this work, we will.
Vignetta Charles, Ph.D., Senior Vice President, AIDS United

Thank YOU Channing for your long standing commitment to the issue of women and girls affected by HIV. You provided our very first real investment grant: it came at a time when we felt like no one was hearing our cries for support or even cared that we were part of this epidemic. Your love, support, and investment sent a clear message that someone cared and it opened the door for other funders to follow suit. Thank YOU.
Pat Nalls, Founder/Executive Director, The Women’s Collective

In a city flooded with professional do-gooders, returned Peace Corps volunteers, AmeriCorps members, a record number of interns, and a general population of aware and concerned citizens, it’s not easy to feel like you are contributing to something legendary or one-of-a-kind. Those who work with Channing Wickham as part of the Washington AIDS Partnership AmeriCorps team have no choice but to hold their head high. For 18 years, Channing has led groups of 10+ young people in one of the most memorable years of service in their lives. Personally, I know that the mentorship I gained from Channing gave me the confidence to take my life across the country in pursuit of an advanced degree. Yet his own spirit, energy, support, compassion, consideration, friendship, and professionalism is what drew me back to DC and eventually work at one of the agencies where he places AmeriCorps members. I will do whatever it takes to stay within two degrees of Channing Wickham, as it’s pretty obvious that his “touch” goes a long way to making a program successful, fulfilling, and, often, possible.
Brittany Walsh, Washington AIDS Partnership 2008-2009 AmeriCorps Team Alum

Over the years, I have seen how passionately Channing leads the work of the Washington AIDS Partnership. He is committed to addressing the problem in our region, to mentoring and inspiring the AmeriCorps volunteers, to forging critical partnerships and to working with local philanthropy to maximize impact. Congratulations, Channing on 20 meaningful years.
Tamara Copeland, President, Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers

Channing Wickham is one of the most effective executives I know. It has been a pleasure and a huge learning experience for me to work with him over the past 20 years. The effort to overcome and eventually eliminate HIV has been long and sometimes discouraging. Yet Channing has stuck with it. His optimism, opportunism, and hard work have ensured that the Washington AIDS Partnership has remained in the forefront of the work, regionally and nationally. I look forward to seeing it through – with Channing at the helm.
Wilton C. Corkern, Jr., Chair, Washington AIDS Partnership Steering Committee and a Trustee of the Corina Higginson Trust

The Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers’ Board of Directors, the Washington AIDS Partnership’s Steering Committee, and the WRAG and WAP staff congratulate Channing on his longstanding service and commitment to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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