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MVA Co-Founder to Congress: This is the Moment to Regain Trust & Confidence of Minority Veterans

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In Testimony Before Joint Committees, MVA Lays Out Major Policy Priorities to Protect Vulnerable Veterans

WASHINGTON, DC (March 3, 2021) – Today, Minority Veterans of America (MVA) Co-Founder and Executive Director, Lindsay Church, presented testimony before a joint session of the House and Senate Committees on Veterans’ Affairs on MVA’s policy priorities. In a first for the committees, MVA was one of four new Veteran Service Organizations (VSOs) to participate whose main focus is on serving minority veteran communities.

“MVA is honored to have had the opportunity to present our testimony on behalf of our membership and the entire minority veteran community during today’s hearing. We are grateful for Chairmen Takano and Tester’s invitation to participate as it signals the Committees’ intentional inclusion and focus on the issues most prevalent to our country’s marginalized and underserved veteran communities,” said Lindsay Church. “We were glad to see the positive reaction and thoughtful questions from both sides of the aisle on how best to improve care for all veterans and to make the VA a more welcoming place for minority veterans who have often felt excluded. Today’s hearing was the first time that our members were truly able to see themselves represented at the table during these critical conversations. MVA’s participation was powerful and was a testament to just how much representation matters. Bringing organizations like MVA into this process is an encouraging first step, and we look forward to the Committees’ continued actions in the spirit of equality for all veterans.”

They continued, “In our work, we proudly represent the unique needs of veterans of color, women, LGBTQ, and religious minorities. Altogether, MVA’s membership accounts for tens of thousands of years of military service, the perspectives of which have only just begun to be heard by those who craft legislation and develop care infrastructure. In an era where our military is growing increasingly more diverse, we urge Congress to consider a mindset shift and to begin examining existing and potential systems and frameworks through a lens that centers and prioritizes the minority veteran, including addressing economic disparities, resolving systemic injustices for minority veterans, and addressing healthcare disparities by creating a more equitable VA. We have found that where a system is designed to serve the most marginalized first, it will innately, and more effectively, serve those that experience more privilege.”

You can watch the full hearing here.

To learn more about MVA’s policy priorities, visit: https://www.minorityvets.org/policy.

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Minority Veterans of America (MVA) is a non-partisan, non-profit organization that was designed to create belonging and advance equity for underrepresented veterans, such as womxn, people of color, LGBTQ, and religious minorities. The organization aims to transform the narrative of the American veteran by building an interconnected community, fostering a greater understanding of our memberships’ identities, and serving minority veterans through the development of targeted programming and advocacy. For more information, visit www.minorityvets.org.

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