J. Lloyd Allen
PhD Candidate, University of Georgia School of Social Work — Atlanta, GA
J. Lloyd Allen is currently a PhD student in the School of Social Work at the University of Georgia where he is currently studying the impact of citizenship as it relates to Black Gay and Bisexual men and their relationship to other gay and bisexual men, as well as heterosexual men. His academic interests are will focus some on the notion of citizenship and the Black LGBT individual with special emphasis on the notion of gender norms surrounding masculinities, HIV, gender performance, and ultimately how these socially constructed norms impact Black gay and bisexual men mentally and emotionally. Mr. Allen received his BA in Psychology from Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville Virginia, and his MSW from Florida International University in Miami, Florida.
Josephine Ayakoya is a Master in Public Health candidate at Emory University, in the Rollins School of Public Health. She is second-year student in the Behavioral Science and Health Education Department, where she is on the Health Education track. Her academic and professional interests include infectious diseases (especially HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis and malaria) as well as the sociocontextual determinants of health disparities. Josephine is particularly interested in planning, developing, and evaluated health programs domestically and internationally in under-resourced communities. She is second-year student in the Behavioral Science and Health Education Department, where she is on the Health Education track.
Devin Barrington-Ward is a public health advocate residing in Washington, DC. Currently, Devin serves as the Health Equity Fellow for the National Coalition of STD Directors (NCSD) overseeing the organization’s work on reducing stigma in public health practice and eliminating health disparities among marginalized populations, including Black and Latino MSM. Prior to joining NCSD, Devin’s career was spent working for numerous elected officials on variety of social justice and public policy issues affecting marginalized communities, including HIV/AIDS. While living in Georgia, Devin served as the Chief of Staff to Georgia State Representative Keisha Waites (D-Atlanta) — the second African American lesbian to be elected to any state legislature in the country. During his time with Representative Waites, Devin worked with government officials and HIV advocates from across Georgia to eliminate the state’s ADAP waiting list by successfully putting pressure on conservative lawmakers and the Governor to increase funding for the program.
Regional STD/HIV/Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator for the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV Program — Baton Rouge, LA
Ty-Runet Bryant has a long history of advocacy with HIV/AIDS affected populations and a strong passion to increase awareness and support of preventative health measures and programs for disproportionately affected communities. She is currently the Regional STD/HIV/Pregnancy Prevention Coordinator for the Louisiana Office of Public Health STD/HIV program. Ty received her B.S. from Loyola University New Orleans and a Master of Public Health in International Health and Development from Tulane University. Ty served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mozambique and collaborated on multiple HIV/AIDS advocacy initiatives with both National and International Development Organizations to address health disparities in HIV/AIDS affected communities.
She continues to advocate for HIV/AIDS Prevention efforts in Louisiana through the coordination of regional and statewide prevention efforts. She also remains active in HIV/AIDS advocacy and research through The American Public Health Association (APHA) and The National Peace Corps Association. Ty is personally and professionally committed to global awareness and prevention of the epidemic.
Harm Reduction Coalition — New York, NY
Hadiyah Charles is an advocate and grassroots women’s health and infectious disease activist that works closely and extensively on policy and advocacy issues with people living with HIV/AIDS, their families and communities. Her ultimate goal is to educate those beyond the HIV and HCV “community” about biomedical combination HIV and HCV prevention strategies. Ms. Charles is involved with educating communities at large about the importance of other biomedical prevention tools such as vaccine research and pre and post-exposure prophylactics, as these are all part of a comprehensive response to ending the HIV epidemic to which she is personally and professionally committed.
She holds a BA in Accounting form the University of the Virgin Islands and a Master of Arts in Women’s Health from Suffolk University in Boston MA.
Client Care Consultant/Speaker/Advocate — Fort Lauderdale, FL
Karen Creary is a Client Care Consultant/Speaker/Advocate located in Fort Lauderdale, FL. Professional committees/boards as well as certifications includes, Co-Chair Florida Department Health Bureau of Communicable Disease Advisory Board, Ryan White Part A Planning Council, Ryan White Part A Chair of Membership, Ryan White Part A Executive Committee, Florida Department of Health Black AIDS Advisory Group, Co-Chair of the Black Aids Treatment Network (BTAN), 20/20 Leading Women’s Society, Alcohol Substance and Mental Health Planning Council. Her certifications include WILLOW Training, SISTA Training, VOICES/VOCES, 500, 501, Rapid Testing and HIPPA. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Commucare as Secretary. Karen is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Public Health.
Angel Luis Hernandez
Orocovis, Puerto Rico
BA Accounting. Experienced Information Systems, Billing Coordinator and Admissions Supervisor. Knowledgeable of healthcare regulations. Certified HIV Prevention Counselor and Community Educator. In the last five years Angel has been participating in educational sessions on HIV issues, activism and advocacy efforts. He received scholarships as Community Educator to attend national and international conferences. Ángel has also participated in the National Quality Center’s Training for Consumers on Quality. Committed and enthusiastic HIV advocate with emphasis on greater involvement of people with HIV. Ángel is a believer in reaching out to communities of color and translating the complexities of HIV into lay terms. For more from Ángel, read his piece in ACHIEVE magazine, Stepping Up With an Open Heart, and this profile in Plus magazine.
Member of the District of Columbia Development Center for AIDS — Washington, DC
Ebony Johnson has been involved in HIV research and care for over a decade. She is a member of the Adolescent Medicine Trials Network CAB, Connect 2 Protect, Pediatric AIDS Clinical Trials Group Community Constituency Group, International Maternal Pediatric Adolescent AIDS Clinical Trials Group ICAB and the Women’s Interagency Health Study.Most recently, Ebony became a member of the District of Columbia Development Center for AIDS. She has championed HIV research, with specific focus on inclusion of women, young people and persons living with HIV. She delivered presentations at the International AIDS Conferences in Mexico and Vienna, the United States Conference on HIV/AIDS, the CDC Prevention Leadership Conference, VOICES conference and a myriad of other fora.
Event and Operations Manager at The National Black Justice Coalition — Washington, DC
Venton Jones currently resides in Washington, DC. Prior to his work in Washington, DC, Venton was a strong advocate in his hometown of Dallas, Texas, serving in a number of leadership roles, including President/Founder the non-profit organization, DFW Pride Movement. He received his B.S in Community Health from Texas A&M University and his M.S. in Health Care Administration from The University of Texas at Arlington.
Using his public health background and work in the community, Venton strives to increase HIV prevention and awareness in the African American community (particularly youth), advocate for LBGT equality and promote positive public health and socioeconomic outcomes for Black gay men.
Executive Director at The Afiya Center for HIV Prevention and Sexual Reproductive Justice — Dallas, TX
Marsha Jones lives in Dallas, TX is co-founder and Executive Director of The Afiya Center HIV Prevention & Sexual Reproductive Justice.; Marsha is a professional speaker most proficient in topics around engendering empowerment, self-sufficiency and self-identified values among women specifically black women. She’s a graduate of the Black AIDS Institute’s African American HIV University (Science and Community Mobilizing Fellowship Program), Tynsdale Theology School and is currently holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology.
Drawing on more than 10 years experience in HIV/AIDS arena she organizes and mobilizes grassroots community efforts advocating on behalf of issues such as homelessness, poverty and accessible, quality living for all people, especially those living with HIV specifically women of color.
For more from Marsha, she’s quoted in this piece from AfrotainmentTV.
Founder and Executive Director at Sexual Health Education Research & Outreach — Oakland, CA
Nichole Little is the Founder and Executive Director at Sexual Health Education Research & Outreach (SHERO), a community sexual health and personal development network located in Oakland, California. As a member of AVAC’s PxROAR, Nichole incorporates biomedical HIV prevention information as well as information related to the clinical trials process into HIV 101 trainings and workshops throughout the Bay Area. A large component of the trainings and workshops is to collect community concerns around PrEP and Microbicides as possible interventions potentially available in their communities. SHERO’s philosophy is to train the trainers (popular opinion leaders) to mobilize the community as we address the WHOLE COMMUNITY including members of Faith-based, LGBT, collegiate/social and the heterosexual women communities.
Steven-Emmanuel Martinez is an Afro-Latino Brooklyn native. He graduated from Hampshire College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Public health and is currently working on his Masters at Brown University’s School of Public Health. He resides in Providence, Rhode Island and is working on a multi-platform project that profiles HIV-positive Black and Latino gay and bisexual men.
Kieta D. Mutepfa
Senior Community Health Program Representative at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA — Los Angeles, CA
In December of 1993, while on winter break from college, Kieta visited the Carl Bean Hospice in Los Angeles, CA. Her mentor’s friend was dying of complications of AIDS, and he was the first person Kieta met at Carl Bean. Kieta immediately began volunteering at Carl Bean visiting patients who were unable to benefit from treatment regimens available at that time yet sharing laughs and learning chess from patients who demonstrated significant improvements. Since her time at Carl Bean, Kieta has worked directly and indirectly with persons living with HIV. Kieta has volunteered and worked in the field in Nashville, the District of Columbia, Los Angeles, as a Peace Corps Health Volunteer in Mozambique, and currently in her role as an HIV Community Liaison for a global pharmaceutical company. Kieta spends her free time volunteering with various charities including ESYNOLA and Girl Scouts. Kieta has been a member of PxROAR since 2011.
Kirk D. Myers
Chief Executive Officer at Abounding Prosperity — Dallas, TX
Kirk D. Myers is the founding Chief Executive Officer and an ex-officio Board member of Abounding Prosperity, Inc. The agency’s mission is to address health disparities among Black men including gay, bisexual and Transgender male-to-female individuals and their families living in Dallas County, Texas. In fulfilling this mission, Mr. Myers has drawn upon his extensive networks in the Black gay community such as his leadership in the Texas Black Gay Network and the Community Planning Board as well as the City of Dallas LGBT Task Force.
A tireless advocate for Black gay men, Mr. Myers’ activism and community mobilization has focused attention on the issues of equity and service pertaining to the eradicating the disproportionate impacts of HIV/AIDS on Black communities, in particular.
Coordinator of Healing Faith at Imani Community Church — Oakland, CA
Rob Newells currently serves as Board Chair for AIDS Project of the East Bay and is an active member of the Bay Area State of Emergency/Black Treatment Advocates Network and the East Bay HIV Faith Collaborative. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, an alumnus of both the University of Southern California and the Pacific School of Religion, and a licensed Baptist minister. He became involved in HIV outreach and education at AIDS Service Agency of North Carolina where he helped start The Brothaz Network (a program designed specifically for black MSM) in 1999. He gained valuable experience working in the Technical Assistance & Training and Communications Divisions at the National Minority AIDS Council, and, in 2009, developed a faith-based HIV prevention and treatment advocacy and education program at the Imani Community Church in Oakland, California. A 2011 African American HIV University Community Mobilization College Fellow, Minister Rob has been affiliated with AVAC’s PxROAR program since 2012. He was profiles in POZ magazine in May 2017.
Founder and Lead Consultant at Silver Creek Strategies — Cleveland, OH
Julie Patterson is founder of Silver Creek Strategies – closing public health gaps in Northeast Ohio through technical assistance, strategic community partnerships and training. She is also adjunct instructor for both the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences and the Master of Public Health Program in the School of Medicine at Case Western Reserve University.
Julie has been involved in the fight against AIDS for over 20 years in Seattle, Washington, and now in the Greater Cleveland area. She is currently chair of the Case Medical Center/University Hospitals’ AIDS Clinical Trials Unit’s Community Advisory Board (CAB), a former community co-chair of the Cuyahoga County HIV Prevention Regional Advisory Group, and a founding member of the Case/UH ACTU’s Biomedical HIV Prevention Committee.
Consultant — College Point, TX
Carlos Pavão is currently pursuing his Doctor of Public Health at Texas A&M University’s School of Public Health. He has been involved in the evaluation, development and the provision of health promotion and healthcare services for over eighteen years with a special emphasis on serving the underserved including racial and ethnic minorities and hard to reach populations. He has extensive experience in planning and implementing, capacity building, planning for sustainability, and evaluation of public health and healthcare programs in HIV and substance abuse prevention, mental health promotion, tobacco control, healthy school initiatives, and cardiovascular health and nutrition education.
Member and Former Chair of the Red Ribbon Alliance — Tallahassee, FL
Jeffrey Pope is pro bono consultant located in Tallahassee, FL.; Member and former chair of the local Ryan White Consortium. At the state level: representative for the Florida Prevention Planning Group and Co-Chair of the Florida Statewide Consumer Advisory Group. At the national level: National Minority AIDS Council (NMAC) TEAM Navigator.
He maintains the websites www.maaction.org and www.capitalcityaidsnetwork.org on behalf of the MAACA Peer Navigator Program, which he helped found, and partners with MAACA and various community groups on HIV/AIDS awareness day events. Jeffrey holds two Bachelor of Science degrees from the University of Illinois.
Lindsay Roth, MSSW is a long time community organizer working with people who use drugs and sex workers. Lindsay is now with the Woodhull Freedom Foundation, a Washington-D.C-based NGO that works to affirm sexual freedom as a fundamental human right. She also organizes with the Sex Workers Outreach Project-USA, a collective of sex workers and allies committed to ending stigma and violence towards those in the sex trade.
Matthew Rose is currently the Policy Associate for NMAC. He is responsible for NMAC’s policy and advocacy portfolio. He supports and works to develop and implement NMAC’s policy positions on federal appropriations and authorization legislation related to HIV/AIDS and health disparities. Before his time at NMAC, Mr. Rose worked for the Black AIDS Institute in the Training and Capacity Building Department. While there his work centered around increasing the capacity of partner organizations and community members to understand, engage, and utilize HIV sciences and to mobilize their local communities. His work with communities has focused empower individuals to understand the complicated regimen that is health, healthcare and health sciences to make informed decisions about their lives and to improve their health outcomes. AVAC’s Vaccine AIDS Resource Group working to help support the development and implementation of a safe and efficient HIV vaccine.
Executive Director at Gay Men of African Descent (GMAD) — New York, NY
Vaughn Taylor-Akutagawa is a dedicated and experienced social activist, entrepreneur and community researcher. His educational and experiential background has found him working in the fields of medicine, dance, publishing and social entrepreneurship. Mr. Taylor-Akutagawa’s 20 years of practical experience as a professional in the field of social services gives workshop attendees practical insight into various cultural and ethnic groups that form the basis of contemporary American society. Mr. Taylor-Akutagawa is known for designing, developing and delivering ethnocentric programs in most of the Western states with large non-White populations. He understands community mobilization, coalition building, capacity building and individual inspiration. Currently working in New York City, Mr. Taylor-Akutagawa is the Chief Executive of Imhotep Solutions. Imhotep Solutions is a burgeoning ethnocentric consultancy dedicated to making men’s health matter by focusing on the multidimensional man. Highlights of his career include being an alumnus of CDC/ASPH Institute of HIV Prevention Leadership, working with Cornell University and CDC on concept mapping the term and praxis for syndemics. Mr. Taylor-Akutagawa is also employed as the HIV and Older Adults Technical Assistance Manager for AID Community Research Initiative of America (ACRIA).
Marvell L. Terry, II is an advocate and grassroots organizer living in the South. He was diagnosed in 2007 with HIV and speaks openly about his status in hopes of erasing stigma. He is the Founder and Executive Director of The Red Door Foundation, Inc.—a community-based organization working in Memphis and the Tri-State Area to address HIV. Under his leadership for the last two years—without any grant funding— Marvell organized and executed the Saving Ourselves Symposium, a conference focused on health outcomes for Black gay men and bisexual men living in the South. Marvell currently serves as the Secretary for The Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative (YBGLI), a national movement of young Black men addressing issues disproportionately affecting his peers, with a particular focus on HIV prevention, care and treatment. Marvell’s regional and local involvement include being a part of the Tennessee HIV Community Planning Group, Tennessee State Department of Health’s MSM Taskforce and the Shelby County Ryan White Part A Quality Management Committee.
Community Education and Recruitment Manager at the New York Blood Center/Project ACHIEVE — New York, NY
DaShawn Usher currently works at the New York Blood Center – Project ACHIEVE as the Community Education and Recruitment Manager. Since 2007, DaShawn has worked in the field of HIV prevention and has extensive experience in recruiting, program coordination, community mobilization and social media. Prior to working at Project ACHIEVE, DaShawn worked at the Research Foundation of the City University of New York (RFCUNY) Center for HIV Educational Studies & Training (CHEST) as a Recruitment Coordinator where he was responsible for recruitment efforts for National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and National Institute of Health (NIH) funded research projects. DaShawn received his Bachelor of Science in Mass Communication with a concentration in Public Relations with a double minor in Global Studies and Writing from Middle Tennessee State University.
Study Coordinator at Fenway Health — Boston, MA
Mudia Uzzi is a Study Coordinator at The Fenway Institute in Boston. In this role he supports in the research and coordination of Fenway 500, a project exploring HIV risk behaviors and the acceptability of home-based HIV testing within a cohort of men who have sex with men and transgender women in the Boston area. Through the PxROAR program, Mudia helps to raise awareness and encourage discussions about PrEP, microbicides, Treatment as Prevention, HIV vaccines and biomedical HIV prevention research to gay and bisexual men. Mudia integrates his interest in research, evaluation and biomedical HIV prevention by collecting and analyzing data on a range of domains during the workshops, forums and retreats he implements through the PxROAR program.
Pamela Amie Valera
Assistant Professor at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health — New York, NY
Dr. Valera trained in community social work, criminal justice and HIV prevention. She focuses on research related to social vulnerabilities among men who have sex with men (MSM) and individuals involved in the criminal justice system, HIV prevention and cancer-health disparities. Dr. Valera’s research focuses on the intersectionality of social health inequalities across class, gender and culture. She uses rigorous community-based participatory approaches to answer complex research questions.
Cassie is a pleasure-centered sexual health educator in Chicago, IL. Currently, Cassie provides client-centric, low-threshold focused care as the Youth Health Benefits Counselor at the Broadway Youth Center, an organization that works with LGBTQIA youth experiencing housing instability. As the Youth Health Benefits Counselor, Cassie talks with and enrolls young people in healthcare and supports the continued education and linkage to care with PrEP and PEP (for more on that work, click here). Cassie also serves on the Transgender Health Task force, helping to provide healthcare resources and support for trans folks.
Lisa Diane White
Director of Programs at SisterLove, Inc. — Atlanta, GA
Lisa Diane White is the Director of Programs at SisterLove, Inc. Founded in 1989, Sister Love is the oldest nonprofit in Georgia dedicated specifically to the education, prevention and support needs of women at risk for HIV infection and AIDS. Lisa has been working with the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases HIV Vaccine Research Education Initiative’s Local Partnership program since its launch in 2006. Its goal is to increase awareness of the need for an HIV Vaccine (as well as Microbicides and Pre- and Post-Exposure Prophylactics) in African American communities most affected by HIV/AIDS; improve the public’s knowledge and attitudes toward clinical trials and research and enhance the partnership between community and HIV clinical trial researchers and foster an environment that supports clinical trial volunteers.