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Background

Beginning in July 2021, the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and the Youth Advisory Council (YAC) merged and was renamed the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Research Consultants (DEI RC). This conglomerate comprises twelve individuals living across the United States with varying levels of education, professional, and lived experiences. The DEI RC are part-time UNC-Chapel Hill employees. The group convenes virtually once a month and checks in weekly via a messaging application for business. This workgroup receives mentorship, professional development, and valuable working experience in the research field.

The BATLab would like to acknowledge the former staff members who led and facilitated the Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and Youth Advisory Council (YAC) at various points from 2016 – 2021 before the DEI RC merge. Thank you to Karina Soni, Drew McGee, Afua Osei, and Skye Wilson. We sincerely thank them for their exemplary service.

The DEI RC’s Role

The DEI RC provides consultation on diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives, research materials and processes, and social media trends within various studies in the Behavior and Technology Lab (BATLab) at UNC-Chapel Hill. Additionally, members have the flexibility to create audio, visual, and written content that is available to participants in different research studies, and they assist with participant engagement in forums.

Goals

The short-term goals are to continue expanding content creation and dissemination efforts, increasing group diversity, building and strengthening community partnerships, and maintaining consistent advisement on study designs.

Structure

The formation of this group is unique in that many, if any, research institutions have not yet progressed in utilizing this approach. The BATLab has sought out and hired young professionals that reflect the target demographic of the studies, which, in turn, enhances the projects and cultivates a reciprocal working relationship for folx from marginalized backgrounds.

Adrian Williams, M.S. (they/them)
Adrian Williams, M.S. (they/them)

The DEI RC is supervised and managed by Adrian Williams, M.S. (they/them)Adrian earned their B.A. in Sociology and M.S. in Counseling Psychology. In addition to their role in the BATLab, Adrian, owns a small business, Cabrera-Williams Consulting Inc. Adrian is in the process of becoming a licensed therapist and received hours towards licensure by counseling at the LGBTQ Center OC in Orange County, California, and in the Val Verde Unified School District in Perris, California. Additionally, Adrian has worked in a Womxn’s Center and as a Title IX administrator. Adrian has expertise in the following subjects: diversity, equity, and inclusion, counseling, LGBTQ+ populations, womxn, project management, and workplace harassment and discrimination.

Adrian’s professional and educational background demonstrate their commitment to creating positive societal change. They have earned certificates in Diversity and Inclusion, Inclusive Excellence, Women’s Leadership, and Interprofessional Education and have training in mental health, trauma-informed practices, and racial equity. Adrian has public speaking experience and has spoken at many prestigious conferences and universities. In whatever capacity they serve, they aim to make everyone around them better and inspire folx to pursue the evolution of their best self holistically.

Meet the DEI RC

  • Xavier Ramos is involved with the Latinx Caucus of the HIV/AIDS Network Coordination’s (HANC) Legacy Project, and the AIDS Foundation of Chicago (AFC) on the Long-Acting HIV Treatment & Prevention Policy Project.
  • Sandra Agola is slated to graduate with her undergraduate degree in May 2022!
  • Joshua Espada was accepted into graduate school and is pursuing a Master’s in Public Health with a specialization in Community Health.
  • Abraham Johnson moderated The Future of HIV Biomedical Prevention panel in September 2021.
  • Joshua Espada was accepted as a presenter for the 2021 GLMA Annual Conference on LGBTQ+ Health.
  • In May 2021, Tia Sadler was selected by the Delaware Valley Legacy Fund to be honored as the 2021 Youth hero.

We’re hiring! Apply here to become a member of the DEI RC!

To connect with the DEI RC, contact Adrian via email: adrian_williams@med.unc.edu.