Sam Aldave
Sam Aldave
Sam (they/them/he/him) is a trans masc nonbinary graduate student who has spent the majority of their life in the Tar Heel State (North Carolina). After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2010, he taught elementary school in Charlotte, NC before obtaining a master’s degree in education policy & management from Harvard University in 2014. Following a few years as a teacher coach and trainer, Sam chose to pursue their spiritual calling and enrolled in their current Master of Theological Studies program at Duke Divinity School. When he can find down time, Sam likes to hang out and play with his dog, Bud, spend time with his two partners, Heidi & Margo, chat with friends, read and write poetry, make music, bike, and, of course, enjoy a good Netflix or Hulu marathon.

Lynwood Best
Lynwood BestCommunity Engagement is a division of the Neighborhood Improvement Services Department. The City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department (NIS) works to preserve and improve quality of life conditions for Durham residents. NIS encourages active participation in decision making dialogue, public policy, and neighborhood redevelopment.

Candis Cox

Candis CoxCandis Cox joined Equality NC’s C4 board in 2016, where she serves as the secretary as well as sitting on the executive committee. Candis also sits on the board of the LGBT Democrats of Wake County and previously on the board of The Crape Myrtle Festival. Candis hold a BA in Sociology from NC State university. Candis has worked helping to develop inclusion policies for numerous Triangle and national organizations. As the sole transgender person to have met with Gov. McCrory regarding HB2, Candis has received significant media attention, which she uses to educate others on the need for inclusion and improving the lives of transgender individuals. She has been featured on outlets such as CNN and MSNBC, lending a transgender voice and perspective to issues. Candis’ personal time is spent enjoying the two things she loves, her family and travel.

Vanity Reid Deterville
Vanity Reid DetervilleVanity Reid Deterville is a recent graduate of the College of Charleston. She obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science major concentrating in Public Policy and is a native of Charleston, SC. As a West Indian descent transgender woman of color from the south, she stands at the intersections of the LGBTQ+ and Black communities and has asserted how she must approach spaces and social issues with a very critical perspective. As an advocate for the LGBTQ+ community, she is ending a two-term board member position as the Charleston Pride Director of Diversity from 2018-2919. She served as a Senior Undergraduate Assistant at the Avery Research Center for African American History and culture in the Spring of 2020. On January 13 2020, she was featured on CNN’s “New Day” morning segment for their inaugural “Pulse of the People” voter’s panel on which she offered her criticisms and support of the 2020 Democratic Presidential candidates in order to exercise her political knowledge beyond the classroom walls. As a Facilitator in the “Transformative Teaching Collective” she stands by restorative and healing justice, social change and professional development for marginalized communities like the LGBTQ community and communities of color. She has recently transitioned into the nonprofit workforce as the new Gender Resource Advocacy and Support Programs (GRASP) Program Director at the LGBTQ Center of Durham, North Carolina.

Kendra Johnson
Kendra JohnsonKendra R. Johnson joined Equality North Carolina in May 2018. She is a native of Little Rock, Arkansas, where she previously worked to advance fairness and equality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as the State Director for the Human Rights Campaign. In her work to promote equity, Kendra has focused on building a better, more equitable South that is strengthened by diversity, safe schools, inclusive institutions and welcoming communities.

Kendra has been a lifelong volunteer and activist, including founding the first lesbian/bi-sexual support group at Spelman College in the 90s and volunteering communications services for Brazil’s first historically black college. She recently joined the ranks of Forever SONG after serving as the Southerners on New Ground (SONG) board chair for 6 years and on the board for 11 years. Kendra currently serves on the board of the Griffin-Gracy Educational Retreat and Historical Center, the brainchild of trans revolutionary, Miss Major Griffin Gracy.

She previously worked in bi-lingual communications in Brazil for 14 years as a writer, editor and translator at that country’s top financial newspapers, Gazeta Mercantil and Valor Economico. Kendra is a proud graduate of Spelman College and holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Arkansas at Little Rock. Since returning to the nonprofit sector, Kendra has served as the Interim Executive Director of Women’s Project and the Lead In-Person Assister Guide at Better Community Development during the rollout of the Affordable Care Act.

Fan Li
Fan Li
Fan Li’s main research interest in statistical methodology is causal inference, that is, designs and analysis for evaluating treatments and interventions in randomized experiments and observational studies, and their applications to health studies (also known as comparative effectiveness research) and social sciences. My primary methodological foci in causal inference includes propensity score methods, heterogenous treatment effects, post-treatment selection, difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity designs, and Bayesian methods. I also have done some work in statistical methods for big and complex data (such as genomics and neuroimaging data), with an emphasis on developing advanced Bayesian models. In addition, I have some expertise on missing data.

Rebby Kern
Rebby Kern is a nonbinary person of color working to create more inclusive climates for LGBTQ youth and young adults. Rebby has worked for LGBTQ youth-focused organizations serving youth nationwide and locally in the Charlotte region. Rebby oversees the Rural Youth Empowerment Fellowship creating platforms for youth organizing in rural areas to create change and progress for their communities. Rebby is a statewide and nationally certified trainer for K-12 school staff and youth-serving professionals offering best practices and policy guidance to garner inclusive climates in schools for youth.

Roxana Picazo
Roxana Picazo
Roxana Picazo is a trans woman serving at El Centro Hispano as LGBTQ specialist. She provides leadership, respect, visibility, integration and to advocate for the transgender rights. Roxana also participates in different boards like Lincoln Community Health Center and SHAC-GACC TO to ensure the transgender community are getting the right health treatment like Prep and Hormone Therapy. She also connect people to legal assistance and mental health.

Pilar Rocha-Goldberg
Pilar Rocha-GoldbergPilar Rocha-Goldberg, MPH, is the President and CEO of El Centro Hispano, Inc. Her work includes providing direction and leadership, implementing strategic goals and objectives, and ensuring that the fiscal and legal responsibilities of El Centro Hispano are met. In addition, Rocha-Goldberg represents El Centro Hispano in the community and advocate for the Latino community.


Constance Stancil
Constance StancilCommunity Engagement is a division of the Neighborhood Improvement Services Department. The City of Durham’s Neighborhood Improvement Services Department (NIS) works to preserve and improve quality of life conditions for Durham residents. NIS encourages active participation in decision making dialogue, public policy, and neighborhood redevelopment.


Nia Wilson
Nia Wilson
SpiritHouse is a multigenerational Black women- led cultural organizing tribe with a rich legacy of using art, culture and media to support the empowerment and transformation of communities most impacted by racism, poverty, gender inequity, criminalization and incarceration. Since 1999, we have worked from our home base in Durham, North Carolina, to uncover and uproot the systemic barriers that prevent our communities from gaining the resources, leverage and capacity necessary for long-term self-sufficiency.