Rev. Russell E. Thornhill was born and raised in the Bronx, New York where his family currently lives. He is the son of Oscar and Connie Thornhill who have been married for over 65 years. His teen years were spent in Middletown, Connecticut where he lived with his Grandmother and graduated from Woodrow Wilson High School. After graduation in 1972, Thornhill traveled with the international casts of Up With People for four years living with over 200 families on three continents in a student cultural exchange experience. This was the beginning of his life in community engagement.
In January 1990, Thornhill joined Unity Fellowship of Christ Church on Jefferson Blvd in Los Angeles. He was deeply moved by the affirmation linking Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender people in a relationship as children of God with an eternal home in the kingdom. Thornhill began volunteer work with Minority AIDS Project in the Buddy program. Thornhill also founded and volunteered with the Street L.I.F.E. Ministries serving the homeless on the streets of Los Angeles.
Through the teachings of Liberation Theology and the Social Justice work of HIV/AIDS through Minority AIDS Project, they provided fertile ground for Thornhill’s community enlightenment.
Thornhill left a 25-year corporate career to establish grounding in the cause for justice with the African American LGBT community. He began working at Minority AIDS Project in 2000 as Program Coordinator for HIV/AIDS awareness among African American, same-gender loving men, women and people of Trans experiences. His work included community engagement with the Los Angeles County HIV planning councils, Gay men’s support network and a host of other community activist activities.
As the CEO of MAP, his vision is to expand and incorporate additional medical and psychosocial services to support the needs of underserved communities serving people of all ages and diverse backgrounds. MAP will seek to create a poly-functional medical-psychosocial services facility to accommodate the expanded services and personnel, with an emphasis on youth and young adults in community.
Thornhill holds a BA in Liberal Arts with a non-profit concentration and a MA Degree in Organizational Management from Antioch University. Thornhill also holds an MA in Theological Education from Claremont School of Theology.
Thornhill is the proud Gay father of four children and ten grandchildren.
Roberto J. OlivoProject Director; Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
After more than two decades of fighting HIV discrimination, substandard HIV care for people of color, HIV related substance abuse, various types of HIV-addiction, HIV-related depression and anxiety, rejection from our society and others HIV-correlated ailments, my work in the HIV community is still unfinished. As Director of Programs at Minority AIDS Project my priority is to ensure that our agency provides care and prevention services to HIV-infected individuals and members of our community at high risk of contracting HIV with the highest quality possible.
Wilbert C. Jordan, MD, MPHMAP, Chief Medical Advisor
I treated my patient in 1979, and in 1981 called him for follow-up, saying I know what you have. Thus, I have been involved in HIV from the beginning. That includes three terms on the original Los Angeles county Commission on AIDS which I chaired for two years; and being involved with the original HIV Planning Council and the subsequent merger with the Commission. Outreach has been an interest and the Focused Intervention outreach model that I created at OASIS has been used by GSK as its Act4Life national campaign, as well as being cited by CDC and HRSA.
Because of this model, we continue to see 1- – 12 new clients per months, and many with CD4 counts above 400. In 2000 I was awarded the US Surgeon General’s Award for my work in outreach and for my Focused Intervention model. In 1984 I founded the OASIS clinic at the King-Drew Medical Center.
Further interest includes expanding services for adolescents and transgender clients and further developing our community advisory boards. The latter will be composed of a Women’s group, a Transgender support group and the Adolescent support group, and the Client advisory Committee. All have been established and are meeting. My participation on a national level includes consultants to several pharmaceutical companies; having termed off the DHHS Guidelines Committee; being on a CDC advisory committee for outreach to Black MSM’s and being PI to three CDC sponsored projects with the National Medical Association. Locally that translates into me sending letters to 4400 local primary care providers asking them to test their patients for HIV. Through this we have identified 23 – 104 patients annually. These are insured. A project to identify the un-insured involves identifying the zip codes with the highest rates of HIV, STD, and teenage pregnancy in the Second District, then mapping out those zip codes and having effective outreach/testing programs in those areas.
Mike JonesHuman Resource Director, Program Manager