Mazzoni Center Announces Stephen Glassman As Interim Executive Director

Stephen Glassman | Photo courtesy of the Mazzoni Center

Following the resignations of its CEO/executive director Nurit Shein and board president Dr. Jimmy Ruiz in April, the board of the Mazzoni Center announced on Monday that the nonprofit’s interim executive director will be Stephen Glassman, former executive director of the ACLU of Connecticut and former chairperson of the Pennsylvania Human Relations Commission. The organization says that Glassman “will focus on operations, finances, programming, development and other day-to-day issues during this critical transition period, until a permanent leader for Mazzoni is identified.” He will also be reporting directly to the board of directors.
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Meet the Activist Who Protested Mazzoni With an HIV Meds Strike

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. Photography by Louie Ortiz-Fonseca.

Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. Photography by Louie Ortiz-Fonseca.

Last Friday afternoon, after Mazzoni Center’s board of directors publicly reaffirmed its support of CEO/executive director Nurit Shein following a walkout by half of the nonprofit’s 138 full-time staffer members over concerns with her leadership, former Mazzoni employee and patient Abdul-Aliy Muhammad publicly vowed to refuse their HIV medication until she stepped down.

Just three days later, on Monday morning, Mazzoni announced a huge leadership shakeup — both Shein and board president Dr. Jimmy Ruiz had resigned. The organization has not commented on the reasons behind the board’s decision, but it would be hard to believe that Muhammad’s stance — which had already begun to gain national attention — had no part to play in the outcome. Read more »

More Than 60 Mazzoni Staffers Walk Out, Call on CEO Nurit Shein to Resign

Mazzoni Center staff members during a walkout. Photo by Ernest Owens

Mazzoni Center staff members during a walkout. Photo by Ernest Owens

A week after Dr. Robert Winn resigned as Mazzoni Center’s medical director following reports that he was the subject of an investigation, more than 60 full-time staffers of the nonprofit are now calling for executive director/CEO Nurit Shein to step down.

“Nurit Shein, resign!” said Anthony Leon, a youth education manager at Mazzoni, at the conclusion of a PCHR-mandated organization-wide training session on racial bias on Thursday morning. Staff members began to confront Shein over what they claimed was her lack of transparency surrounding the allegations against Dr. Winn and other internal issues. Former Mazzoni staff members were also present during the confrontation. Read more »

Mazzoni Center Staff Members Stage Walkout After Reports

Photo by Ernest Owens

Photo by Ernest Owens

On Tuesday afternoon, a day after G Philly reported that sources connected to Mazzoni Center claim that the organization’s medical director, Dr. Robert Winn, has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation, a group of the nonprofit’s employees participated in a protest walkout.

A heavy police presence shadowed roughly 30 staff members from Mazzoni’s headquarters at 21 South 12th Street to another Mazzoni office at 809 Locust Street. (The organization employs 139 people full time.) The walkout, organized by the Black and Brown Workers Collective (BBWC), included case managers, prevention facilitators, linkage-to-care assistants, and operational staff who departed their posts in response to a social media post made by BBWC co-founder and former Mazzoni staffer Abdul-Aliy Muhammad. None of Mazzoni’s medical providers participated. Read more »

Mazzoni Center’s Medical Director Is Under “Investigation,” Sources Claim

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center's website.

Robert Winn | Image via Mazzoni Center’s website.

After more than a week of rumors alleging that Mazzoni Center medical director Dr. Robert Winn has been absent from work without explanation, a Mazzoni spokesperson said on Monday that Winn is on “paid leave,” and two sources inside the organization further claim that he has been suspended pending the outcome of an investigation.

“Winn is currently on a paid-leave suspension during an … investigation,” said a staff member who works closely with Mazzoni’s medical department and who requested anonymity. “He’s been gone for at least a week, and oddly there’s been no blast email sent out to inform staff.”

“Winn is suspended and staff has not been made aware,” said a second staff member, who also asked not to be identified. “There is an investigation happening right now.”

Neither source would characterize the nature or cause of the investigation, nor explain who is conducting it. Read more »

Protesters Disrupt Mazzoni’s “Justice In Action” Awards Luncheon

Screenshot of Abdul-Aliy Mohammad reading a list of demands to Nurit Shein and Michael Weiss.

Screenshot of Abdul-Aliy Mohammad reading a list of demands to Nurit Shein and Michael Weiss.

“Nurit Shein, resign!” was the catchphrase a dozen members of the intersectional activist group Black & Brown Workers Collective (BBWC) chanted on Friday during the Mazzoni Center’s eighth-annual “Justice in Action” event at the Loews hotel in Center City.

After posting a Change.org petition calling for the Mazzoni CEO to resign amid controversy surrounding her remarks following the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations Gayborhood racism report, Friday’s protest was an in-person confrontation in which the BBWC handed Mazzoni board members a list of their demands and spoke to Shein in person. The demands included Shein stepping down, Mazzoni medical director Dr. Robert Winn resigning, and Mazzoni allocating nonrestricted​ funds to “support therapy and other infrastructure to help former and current staff that have had an increase in need for therapeutic care due to workplace violence.” Read more »

Change.Org Petition Calls for Mazzoni CEO, Medical Director to Resign

Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein.

Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein.

Two days after the Philadelphia Commission on Human Relations (PCHR) released its findings and recommendations on Gayborhood racism, community activists have created a Change.org petition alleging various types of misconduct at HIV/AIDS advocacy organization Mazzoni Center, which is being required by PCHR to provide its board and staff with training on implicit bias and the city’s Fair Practices Ordinance. Read more »

Philanthropy Friday: Nurit Shein On the Mazzoni Center

Every Friday we spotlight a local LGBT nonprofit in Philadelphia. This week, Nurit Shein on the Mazzoni Center, the hard-working local organization that aims to “provide quality comprehensive health and wellness services in an LGBT-focused environment.”

Nurit Shein, CEO of Mazzoni Center.

Nurit Shein, CEO of Mazzoni Center.

Who are you? I’m Mazzoni Center CEO Nurit Shein, and I’ve been with the organization since 1995. We are Philadelphia’s home for LGBT health, legal, and wellness services. After nearly 20 years I am still excited to get up and go to work every day, because there’s always something new and interesting to dive into. I’m proud of my dynamic and talented staff, who provide caring, quality services and programs to our clients and patients, and have an impact on 35,000 people each year.

When was Mazzoni founded? 1979

What’s Mazzoni’s shining moment, to date? There are so many individual moments that stand out over my tenure here, many of them simple but powerful interactions between staff and clients. But in terms of major milestones, something I am especially proud of was the opportunity we had in February 2012 to partner with The White House Office of Public Engagement (OPE) and the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS) in presenting the first White House LGBT Conference on Health. The daylong symposium featured remarks by Secretary of Health & Human Services Kathleen Sebelius, Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management John Berry, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, among others. It was the inaugural event in a series of conferences around the country specifically focused on LGBT Americans. It was truly a watershed moment, in terms of recognizing the importance of LGBT health. More than 300 health care professionals, community organizers, medical students, and community members from at least 22 states traveled to Philadelphia to attend the conference.

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