Chioma Nnaji, MPH, MEd is a long time community health activist in the Greater Boston area. Currently, Ms. Nnaji is the Program Director at the Multicultural AIDS Coalition (MAC) in Boston, the largest AIDS serving organization in New England exclusively dedicated to mobilizing communities of color to end the HIV epidemic. As a Program Director at MAC, she organizes communities of color to address root causes underlying the epidemic; develops programs and interventions for people living with and impacted by HIV/AIDS; advocates for policy changes; applies anti-racist and cultural competency frameworks to training public health and clinical professionals; and establishes community-academic research projects that are ‘for, by and with’ the people most impacted by inequities.
Specifically, she developed and currently manages the Africans For Improved Access (AFIA) Program – an HIV prevention and screening program targeting African immigrants and refugees in Massachusetts. AFIA is known nationally for developing culturally appropriate interventions, community mobilization strategies, and advocacy platforms. Most recently, AFIA launched a national partnership to mobilize community members, organizations, health providers and policymakers for the establishment of an HIV awareness day for African immigrants on September 9th – National African Immigrant and Refugee HIV and Hepatitis Awareness (NAIRHHA) Day. Ms. Nnaji is trained in ethnographic research and community-based participatory research. As co-Principal Investigator and Community PI, she conducted a survey-based project to assess barriers to HIV testing for foreign-born and US-born Blacks (2010-2011), a pilot study focused on developing the African Health Cup (soccer tournament that includes HIV education, HIV testing and health screening) into a sustainable, evaluable intervention that increases HIV awareness and testing among African immigrant men (2012-2013), and is currently conducting a survey-based study on African immigrants and health literacy and a photovoice project addressing HIV stigma among African immigrants. At the MAC, she also oversees Community Health Nexus, MAC’s capacity building and technical assistance program targeting providers and small minority CBOs/FBOs and Be the Generation, MAC’s community education program on biomedical HIV prevention research.
In addition to CCPH, she serves on the Board of Akwaaba Health Clinic – a free health clinic in Worcester, MA – and the Nigerian American Multi-Service Association (NAMSA). She has a Master’s degree in Public Health – International Health from Boston University and a Master’s degree in Education – Curriculum & Instruction from Boston College. Currently, she is working towards a PhD in Global Inclusion and Social Development at the University of Massachusetts Boston. Ms. Nnaji is passionate about her work and is committed to bringing the voice and needs of communities of color to the table of health policy, research, and service delivery in a way that utilizes community assets and respects cultural values.