Donald McVinney (photo via MySpace)

Rest In Peace and Power Don McVinney

Yesterday, we received the news that we lost a very special member of the Harlem United family. Don McVinney wasn’t only a long-time staff member, he was a beloved supporter, advocate, and friend to staff and clients alike.

We are all deeply shocked and saddened by his untimely death. It will take significant time for the reality of his passing to sink in for many of us.

I first met Don when I joined Harlem United in 2010. He and I taught HIPAA and confidentiality trainings together, and I quickly grew to respect and admire him. I watched the way he interacted with staff and clients, and the passion he had for his work was palpable.

The impact of Don’s work in the Harm Reduction and social work communities is so far-reaching. Tributes are pouring in from the many organizations and individuals who were forever changed by his unique skill and love for imparting knowledge to others, including a wonderfully moving statement from the Harm Reduction Coalition.

Compassionate, caring, wise, witty, creative: these are just some of the words I would use to describe Don. He was one of a kind, and we are all better for having known him.

Rest in peace and power, Don. You and your legacy will never be forgotten.

In solidarity,

Jacqui Kilmer
CEO, Harlem United