Justin T. Rush, J.D., is a seasoned Policy, Government Affairs and Health Equity professional currently serving as the Nicholas Rango Fellow for the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), primarily overseeing the organization’s Black Gay Men’s Portfolio. It is through this role that Justin provides technical assistance to health departments on how to better engage Black gay men/MSM and lead to more equitable health outcomes within the community. Prior to joining NASTAD, Justin garnered years of rich policy and government affairs experiences, beginning as a grassroots political organizer at the age of 11, and it was at this age that Justin’s love for policy and advocacy was born. Justin would go on to achieve a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Mississippi School of Law leading to clerkships at the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office-Criminal Prosecution Division, the Mississippi Secretary of State’s Office-Policy & Research Division and serving as a Press Secretary for the Mississippi Chapter of Organizing for America. In addition, Justin brings years or rich experience after serving as Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to New York State Senator José M. Serrano, during which time he implemented the East Harlem LGBT Task Force working to reduce stigma in local communities, support access to treatment and care in the East Harlem and the South Bronx and create awareness around the issues affecting the New York City transgender community.
Darwin Thompson is a proud graduate of Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. He currently serves as the Director of Programs for NAESM, Inc. a national non-profit specializing in health disparities for marginalized populations. Mr. Thompson specializes in issues related to HIV prevention with populations who are disproportionately affect by HIV. In his current role Mr. Thompson oversees the organizations community based programs, manages logistics on grant applications, evaluates programs, and serves as the Conference Director for NAESM’s annual leadership conference. Mr. Thompson is trained in several CDC behavioral interventions including Mpowerment, dUP, Couples HIV Counseling and Testing, and Many Men Many Voices (3MV). Before his current role at NAESM. Mr. Thompson worked in DC as a Dean of Students for DC Public Schools and managed corporate partnerships for a nonprofit specializing in housing and healthcare for homeless populations. When Mr. Thompson is not working he spends his time refereeing both high school and college basketball where he has officiated several championship games with the highlight being the 2013 VISAA State championship game.
Randevyn Pierre serves as the Southern Regional Coordinator for The Center for Black Equity. Pierre has worked in HIV/AIDS treatment, care and prevention programming for the past 8 years. He has worked closely with the Georgia Department of Public Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He holds a Master’s degree in Business Administration from Colorado Technical University. Working alongside various community leaders and organizations, Randevyn’s public health efforts have helped to expand HIV testing, awareness and other prevention activities in the Southeast Region of the United States. As a result of his work experiences, Randevyn has developed diverse skills in the design and implementation of innovative community action, mobilization, grant development, programming and disease prevention through the use of media, art, marketing and special events.
Rameses Frederick is a marketing specialist, social engager, and HIV/AIDS advocate. In 2009 he founded UrbanSocialites magazine to inspire and to celebrating the journey for the best lifestyle of the GLBT community. As a result of being a media voice of the GLBT community he has been honored to be on the Fulton/Dekalb Jurisdictional HIV Prevention Planning Group, Emory Hope Clinic Community Advisory board and Evolution Project Safe Space advisory board. He is currently a Health Promotion Specialist for Mercy Care HIV prevention team in Atlanta, where he developed a social network targeted strategy for black gay men and MSM named Get Hip Get Connected. Get Hip to Health, Get Connected to all the resources to a healthy lifestyle is currently its third year of innovative community HIV prevention and linkage to care. Rameses continually uses is marketing skills and HIV prevention knowledge do develop awareness campaign to educate gay black men to live a health lifestyle. He is currently working with NAESM developing “Are You PrEP” education campaign utilizing social event while advocating sexual health awareness.
Nicole L. Beckwith is a public health coordinator for the NC CAPUS (Care & Prevention in the United States) project with the NC Division of Public Health Communicable Disease Branch. She has a Master’s degree in Public Administration from NC Central University and a BS in Public Health from the University of NC at Greensboro. Nicole has worked for more than 15 years in public health, working not only in HIV/AIDS care/ prevention & education but also in other programs such as the Period of PURPLE Crying, childhood obesity, diabetes, physical activity, early intervention, pregnancy prevention & education and state wide special projects on health disparities with the NC Health and Wellness Trust Fund. When asked what she enjoys most about public health, she said she enjoys most; leading, working with and collaborating with others on discovering ways to better inform, educate, and involve the public on things that will improve their health & wellbeing and the health & wellbeing of others they care about, ultimately achieving better outcomes that will save lives. When she isn’t working in public health, Nicole enjoys dabbling in work that will refine her entrepreneur skills which she hopes to flex in the very near future in the real estate business and in the more distant future in the small home daycare business.
Jacquelyn Clymore currently serves as the State HIV/STD Director in the Communicable Disease Branch, North Carolina Division of Public Health. She oversees the HIV/STD Prevention and Care Unit, along with the North Carolina AIDS Drug Assistance Program (ADAP), and represents North Carolina as a member of the National Association of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD) and serves on the Executive Committee. She has played a key role in securing three major grants in the past three years for the state which will help build infrastructure and strengthen treatment and linkage to care for clients living with HIV disease. Ms. Clymore received a degree in English from Vassar College and a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to her work at the state, she served as the Executive Director at the Alliance of AIDS Services-Carolina, and also as Program Director, Director of Client Services and Housing Director for the Alliance, starting in 1990.
Jimmy Leon Gibbs is a native of Raleigh, North Carolina. He was educated in the Wake County Public School System before attending both Fayetteville State University where he majored in Voice and North Carolina State University where he majored in Mass Communication. He has travelled all over the world being an advocate for HIV/AIDS concerns. He is an HIV/ AIDS educator and has taught others about this disease for more than 20 years. He has been a columnist for a local newspaper, television show creator, producer, and host, voice judge, and advocate for the arts sitting on boards and committees where his interest is drawn to. He has worked for both Marriott and IBM working in business controls and audit readiness. He was called into the ministry by God to serve as a Chaplain and minister to other and has completed more than 1500 hours of Clinical Pastoral Education which is equivalent to more than 4 units of clinical care. He works On- Call shifts at the local hospital and works with a pastor and congregation at Good Shepherd UCC in Cary, NC. Both his grandfather and great-father were called to this most important work of serving God and serving others. Gibbs is now the Chaplain-Elect at the AIDS Community Residence Association.
I have been the HIV arena for about 11 years beginning in 2004. During my time in the field I have held many positions: 2005-2013 worked as a HIV Prevention Specialist at Catawba Care (ASO) of Rock Hill, SC and there I did the following; HIV testing and counseling, VOICES Facilitator, 3MV Many Men Many Voices facilitator, served on the SC state MSM workgroup, Healthy Relationships Co-Facilitator, etc. Currently he is employed with Quality Home Care Services with the PowerHouse Project of Charlotte, NC as a Public Health Strategist. My main objective here is linking newly diagnosed clients to care thru ARTAS as linkage coordinator. I am also one of the Safe Space facilitators that provides insight to newly diagnosed clients that are ready to engage into medical care. I also facilitate Healthy Relationships to clients who are ready to discuss the stressors surrounding HIV disclosure through a decision making process. He is also a member of the Charlotte TGA Quality Management Committee which ensure a system of care that best meets the needs of people living with HIV/AIDS through Charlotte TGA.
Quinton Harper studied journalism and political science at UNC-Chapel Hill, where he received the Martin Luther King, Jr. Award for his service and leadership in the National Black AIDS Mobilization Movement. As a political organizer and AIDS activist, Quinton has inspired and mobilized communities at the national, state and local level. He currently works as Community Organizer for the NC AIDS Action Network. Quinton is a published journalist, has lived in Carrboro for five years, and sits on the Board of Directors for the local Orange Water and Sewer Authority. His heroes are the angelic troublemakers Bayard Rustin, Pauli Murray, and his late aunt, Minnie Harper. Quinton enjoys reading historical biographies, writing poetry, and playing with his dog, Nala. He is a self-described “foodie” and music junkie.
Madison is the Director of the Office of Community Outreach, Dissemination and Education (CODE) at the UNC Center for AIDS Research. Madison connects the CFAR to communities and community agencies. She actively aids CFAR investigators in translating research results back to the community, organizes HIV/AIDS educational activities and courses, and works with grassroots organizations to build health equitable partnerships with local communities. Madison organizes and works closely with Community Advisory Boards, coalitions, action groups, and serves on Triangle Empowerment Center’s Advisory Board. Outside of the CODE Office, Madison co-directs 2 community-based organizations, teaches classes on paradigms of social change and analyses of social and institutional power, and works to build communities of resiliency, equity, and interdependence. She is an active community organizer around housing justice and labor exploitation in Carrboro. What she loves most is building relationships.
Dr. Barbara Johnston is a physician and is the Clinical Coordinator of the Early Intervention Clinic at Lincoln Community Health Center. Prior to returning to her native North Carolina in 2013, she worked with patients with HIV/AIDS in New York City for 30 years, including 13 years as head of the HIV clinic at St. Vincent’s Hospital. While there she worked on a Transgender task force to improve treatment throughout the hospital, and worked with Gay Men’s Health Crisis, the New York State AIDS Institute, and other organizations on issues of concern to the LGBT community. In Durham she is an active participant on Partnership for a Healthy Durham STI/HIV Committee, and working on a new Committee campaign to increase HIV status awareness called “Durham Knows.”
Dr. Jolly is Associate Professor in the Department of Health Education at North Carolina Central University, where he teaches courses on healthful living, planning health promotion programs, and public health policy. He has been involved in numerous several research and service projects in the field of HIV/AIDS, including LinCS 2 Durham (an HIV prevention project focusing on Black young adults in Durham), Project STYLE (a research effort to get young African American men who sex with men tested for HIV and help those who test positive get into care and stay in care) and Project SAFE (NCCU’s HIV/STD peer education program). Prior to teaching Dr. Jolly spent over 15 years working in public health, largely in the field of HIV/AIDS. He served as the first Head of the North Carolina State AIDS Control Branch, the first Manager of the North Carolina AIDS Training Network, and Director of the American Social Health Association’s CDC Hotlines Project Office, where he coordinated the CDC National AIDS Hotline, the CDC National STD Hotline, and the CDC National Immunization Hotline. Dr. Jolly received his doctorate in health behavior and health education from the UNC School of Public Health.
Dennis S. Massenburg is the Founder/Senior Pastor of The Fellowship365 Church of the RDU of North Carolina.
Dr. Ogle is a Clinical Infectious Disease Specialist who has dedicated the majority of her career to providing comprehensive medical care to infants, children, adolescents and adults living with HIV / AIDS. She also has a special interest and training in sexually transmitted infections in children and adolescents while working in Detroit, Michigan and North Carolina as well. Dr. Ogle is currently the Medical Director of the Northern Outreach Clinic which provides comprehensive medical care for adolescents and adults living with HIV/AIDS in the most rural, isolated communities in the state. Dr. Ogle continues to push the envelope in the rural community as the only HIV provider to establish free HIV and Syphilis screening in rural county jails since 2005. Dr. Ogle and her team has expanded services to provide screening and treatment for persons dually infected with Hepatitis C as well as Hep C mono infection.
Dr. Ogle passionately advocates for her patients living in rural, indigent isolated areas of North Carolina because she holds the belief that these patients deserve the same access to quality medical care as those living in urban areas. She is actively expanding the HIV practice to provide a warm, non-judgmental and welcoming environment for transgender people living with HIV in rural NC. Providing hormone therapy and coordinated HIV care for the transgender population has been a welcomed service.
Blake A. Rowley is a Manager of Health Equity and Prevention at the National Alliance of State & Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD). He provides direct and peer-to-peer technical assistance to state health departments on issues related to Black and Latino men who have sex with men, youth and women. Prior to his time at NASTAD, Blake worked at the Fenway Institute as a Senior Epidemiology Research Associate and Peer Health Navigator on the HPTN 061 – Brothers study. Blake currently serves as Chair of the Young Black Gay Men’s Leadership Initiative and also a member of the HPTN Black Caucus. Blake is a University of Michigan – Ann Arbor alumnus, where he graduated with a B.A. in English literature with a focus in African American literature and gender studies.
Dr. Arlene C. Seña is an Associate Professor of Medicine with the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina (UNC) at Chapel Hill. She is also an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Department of Epidemiology, UNC Gillings School of Global Public Health. In addition to her appointments at UNC-CH, Dr. Seña is the Medical and Laboratory Director at the Durham County Department of Public Health in Durham, N.C.
Dr. Seña has over 15 years of experience in public health, clinical trials and epidemiological studies in sexually transmitted infections (STI), including HIV. She provides medical supervision for the STI/HIV control programs at the Durham County Department of Public Health, which involve clinical and community outreach to provide STI/HIV testing and education for underserved and high-risk populations in the community. Her primary research interests include syphilis, involving both HIV-negative and HIV-positive individuals in the U.S. and abroad. In 2012, she began her participation in the UNC-South China STI Research Training Course, and is coordinating a translational syphilis study in Guangzhou, China. She is also a co-investigator for the North Carolina HIV Linkage to Care Project, and serves as a consultant for the N.C. State HIV Bridge Counselor program, which provides assistance to link newly diagnosed HIV-infected patients and those who are lost-to-care with an HIV provider.
Dr. Seña completed a fellowship with the Association for Teachers in Preventive Medicine/ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in STD/HIV prevention in 1997, and worked with the CDC Division of STD Prevention, Epidemiology and Surveillance Branch. She is a consultant for the CDC STD Treatment Guidelines. She currently serves on the Editorial Board for other infectious disease journals.
Rev. Savalas R Squire Sr, the Interim Pastor of the Gethsemane Hope Missionary Baptist Church of Winston-Salem and a “Positively Speaking” Advocate with the North Carolina AIDS Action Network, is an author, HIV/AIDS activist, ordained minister, and is regarded as one of the most insightful and effective communicators of social justice, particularly from the Christian perspective. Rev. Squire has many years of experience as an Associate and Senior Pastor, as well as years of leadership experience in the area of Church Music. He has also served his community as Branch President of the NAACP (Davie County, NC), founding board member of the Davie Advocacy Center, Outreach Team member for the national Healthy Churches 2020 conference sponsored by The Balm in Gilead Inc, member of the Ministers Conference of Winston Salem and Vicinity, as well as service within other local community groups. He has been heard weekly on local and internet radio as well as the featured speaker on a number of occasions, with topics centered around developing effective, relevant and socially conscious ministry efforts in a changing and diverse society. He and his wife, Angela, along with their children live in Winston Salem, North Carolina.
Kareem A. Strong, Director of Programing for Different Roads Home (DRH) brings 23 years of experience in areas of Prevention, Education and Consumer Services for individuals with chronic illnesses and health disparities. Kareem is honored to be a part of the DRH vision. The vision and mission of DRH to implement innovative support services that is non-existent within our community. He possesses compassion and love for all people which is expressed through his dedication to the betterment of society as a whole.
Anthony Williams is a driving force behind any project he produces. His passion for film has been burning since he was a young lad, fully developing as the years rolled on. His dedication for the arts of film and theater are prevalent along with his assertiveness and will to do whatever it takes to make a project the best it can truly be. Anthony continues to spend his time writing and developing new television and film content while working on network television shows, independent films, and web content material. With almost 15 years of training and experience, Williams intends to put all of his knowledge to use, creating a successful career and opportunity for himself and others all while creating unique films that stick in the minds of everyone that sees them.
David Alain Wohl, MD is a tenured Associate Professor of Medicine in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina (UNC). He is Site Leader of the UNC AIDS Clinical Trials Unit at Chapel Hill, Director of the North Carolina AIDS Education and Training Center (AETC) and Co-Directs HIV Services for the North Carolina state prison system. In 2014 he became Co-Director of the UNC-Duke-Clinical RM Ebola Response Consortium. Dr. Wohl’s research aims to optimize the treatment of HIV including identification of most effective therapeutic approaches and minimizing adverse effects of therapy. He also is active in investigations focused on the nexus between incarceration and the HIV epidemic – work funded through R01 grants from NIDA and NIMH. He has chaired several related AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) and independent studies and receives NIH funding for his corrections related research, including a K24 mentoring award. As part of the response to the 2014 Ebola outbreak in West Africa, Dr. Wohl has helped lead UNC and Duke clinical research efforts to identify and test interventions for Ebola Virus Disease in Liberia and Sierra Leone. Dr. Wohl serves as a member of the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) HIV treatment guidelines panel and leads its adverse events subcommittee. In addition to his research and administrative activities, Dr. Wohl maintains a large HIV continuity clinic at UNC and sees patients at the NC state prison.