Part One: Full Panel Discussion, Say Their Name Memorial & People of Color Affinity Group Discussion
Part Two: White Affinity Group, Report Back Session & Healing Message
Trangender Emergency Fund of Massachusetts
Chastity Bowick is a New England-based activist, civil rights leader, and transgender health advocate. She is currently Director of the Transgender Emergency Fund, the leading agency for transgender communities in Massachusetts and she is committee member of the Massachusetts Transgender Political Coalition which is an organization dedicated to ending discrimination based on gender identity and gender expression.
Director of Prevention
Dwayne Steward is currently the Director of Prevention at Equitas Health in Columbus Ohio, not-for-profit community-based healthcare system, one of the nation’s largest HIV/AIDS, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning (LGBTQ) healthcare organizations. Prior to Equitas Health, Dwayne served as the Director of Community Affairs at Fenway Health, in Boston MA. He was the inaugural LGBTQ Health Advocate for the City of Columbus Public Health Department and was also the founding HIV Testing Coordinator for the Greater Columbus Mpowerment Center at AIDS Resource Center Ohio. He is the founder and director of the Make It Better Foundation, a national bullying prevention program. He’s been published in the New York Times Bestseller “It Gets Better: Coming Out, Overcoming Bullying and Creating a Life Worth Living” and the textbook anthology “Students, Teachers & Leaders Addressing Bullying in Schools.” Dwayne is also a journalist who received a Bachelor of Science in Journalism from Ohio University. He was an editorial writer for The Boston Herald, a former senior columnist at PRIZM magazine and the founding cohost of the LGBTQ news/entertainment radio talk show “Queer Minded.” He’s served countless hours on serval local and national boards dedicated to creating spaces where nuanced discussion and strategic community building concerning racial inclusion are at the center of the national LGBTQ rights movement.
Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Social Justice
Professor of Practice, Simmons University School of Social Work
Gary Bailey, DHL, MSW, ACSW - Among other notable achievements and appointments throughout his distinguished career, Professor Bailey is the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Social Justice in the College of Social Sciences, Policy and Practice (CSSPP) at Simmons University, Professor of Practice at Simmons University School of Social Work, and has a secondary appointment at the Simmons University School of Nursing and Health Sciences. In 2009 Professor Bailey was appointed by Governor Deval Patrick to serve on the board of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA); he was reappointed in 2013 for a term ending in 2019. In 2017 Prof. Bailey was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker as a member of the Massachusetts LGBT-Q Youth Commission. He was a member of the AIDS Action Committees (AAC), Inc. Advisory Council, and the AIDS Action Committees Program Committee. Professor Bailey is a Scholarly Stakeholder, LGBTQ Patient and Family Advisory Council, Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and is a consultant to Fenway Health’s Department of Behavioral Health. Professor Bailey serves as a mentor in the Diversity Scholars Leadership Program (DSLP), which supports emerging health professionals from under-represented minority communities who seek to be leaders in the movement to eliminate health and other inequities and the achievement of social justice
Originally from Southern California, Alexia Núñez is a Boston-based iOS developer with Grub Hub's Enterprise team. She has worked on iOS software for almost a decade and has contributed to apps from brands such as TMZ, CW, The Ellen DeGeneres Show, LifeLock, 8x8 and more. Her transition on the job at LifeLock has made Alexia an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
Vice President, Pride
Brian Gonzalez is the Vice President for ALPFA Pride, an LGBTQ+ committee within ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals For America) Boston, he is also the Marketing Manager for Humanyze—a workplace analytics company in the Boston area. He previously served as the assistant director for international marketing at Berklee College of Music where he was also the co-chair for Berklee's LGBTQ+ ERG.
Lawyer, Policy and Budget Advisor
State of Massachusetts
Mark Martinez is a Policy and Budget Advisor in the Office of Senator Patricia D. Jehlen. Mark grew up in Western Mass and has worked on policy on the national and state level. Mark received his Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from Western New England University and his Law Degree from Northeastern University. In his current role his policy area focuses are economic development, housing, criminal justice and the environment. He is an alum of the Boston Chapter of the New Leader’s Council and a current member of the Boston SPARK Council, which advises the Mayor’s Office on City policies and programs affecting 20- to 34-year-olds and engages this demographic in opportunities for civic engagement
Vice President of Health Strategies
American Heart Association
Benjamin D. Perkins, mDiv is currently the Vice President of Health Strategies for the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association. He has worked in the public health field for fifteen years, nine of those years at Fenway Health’s Fenway Institute, specializing in HIV prevention research and education t
o communities vulnerable to HIV infection. Benjamin received his Master of Divinity degree from Harvard Divinity School in 2000 and is an ordained minister in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ).
Program Director, Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study (PHACS) Data & Operations Center
Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
Liz Salomon, EdM began her career working in special education and discovered her love of research at the Harvard Graduate School of Education where she focused her studies on education for social and political change and qualitative and participatory research.
Liz discovered her love of the field of public health and HIV research when she joined the Research and Evaluation Department at Fenway Community Health in 1998. There, she worked with increasing levels of responsibility on HIV vaccine, medical adherence, primary and secondary prevention, community needs assessment, and microbicide acceptability studies.
Currently, Liz is the Program Director for the Data and Operations Center of the Pediatric HIV/AIDS Cohort Study at the Harvard School of Public Health — a project that examines the long-term impact of exposure to HIV and antiviral therapies in children, adolescents and young adults who were born to mothers living with HIV in 21 sites across the US.
Liz is a registered yoga teacher (RYT) and was trained in mindfulness-based stress reduction at the University of Massachusetts Medical School Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Healthcare, and Society. Outside of work, Liz loves to spend time with her partner and teen aged twins, ride her bike, swim, and practice yoga.
Blachford-Cooper Research Director and Distinguished Scholar
The Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law
Kerith is a social and psychiatric epidemiologist whose work focuses on documenting and reducing health inequities that impact sexual and gender minority (LGBTQ) populations. She is committed to altering the landscape of adversity and opportunity for the most marginalized LGBTQ communities through collaborative activities that impact the social determinants of health. Kerith has been supported by NIMHD to conduct community-based participatory research with LGBTQ youth of color and by NICHD to train scholars in LGBTQ population health research. She earned her doctorate from the Harvard School of Public Health and MPH from the Boston University School of Public Health. Her publications appear in the American Journal of Public Health, Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, and Psychological Medicine.
Hope Central Church
Laura Ruth grew up on the south side of Atlanta, GA, a preacher’s kid, in the Christian Church, Independent, part of the Restoration Movement. She has always had a sweet and deep relationship with God. In her words, she is “a spiritual pilgrim who practices in a Christian way.” In her ministry, Laura Ruth has developed a reputation as a strong preacher and a creative worship leader. She possesses a compassionate spirit and a contagious sense of joy.
Hope Central Church is called to create counter cultural community as taught by Jesus where we care for each other body and soul, where our liberation is bound together with equity as our north star, and where we can fall into respite and renewal.
Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Development
American Heart Association, Greater Boston
Jay Blackwell, Greater Boston’s Executive Director and Senior Vice President of Development for the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association, has been a leading non-profit professional for nearly three decades. Jay began his career with the Association in 2001 as a Senior Director for Corporate Events in Boston, and has worked in progressively senior roles including National Development Consultant, Metro Executive Director and Vice President for Development, and traveling Executive Director – with work in various markets across the nation, including Chicago. Jay also spent time at the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Illinois Chapter. Prior to his time with the American Heart Association, Jay was at AIDS Interfaith Network in Dallas as Associate Executive Director from 1993-2001. Jay holds a BS in Economics and Finance from Union University, and a Master of Divinity from Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. Jay is “dad” to Ollie a six year old Schnorkie and enjoys travel, reading, theater, cooking, and plays piano and organ as well as being a member of the choir at Old South Congregational Church.
Director of Outreach and Development
Reina Ysaguirre-Boersma has volunteered for 13 years at several Pride organizations including Boston and Bellingham, WA serving in various capacities in organizational management, strategic planning and fundraising. Previously, Reina worked in development at Housing Opportunities Made Equal, Inc., Buffalo, NY, a civil rights agency that advocates for fair housing where she was able t
o bring new streams of funding to the organization. She also worked as a manager at Rumors Cabaret, an LGBTQ+ nightclub in Bellingham. In her community involvement in Washington State, she worked on the campaign to pass Referendum 74 to legalize same sex marriage.