Executive Leadership

The Baltimore PLACE MATTERS Team, a diverse collection of community organizations, public, quasi-public, and private agencies is committed to a collaborative approach toward furthering the Health Equity Movement. Through work with policymakers, public and private organizations, and local citizens, we seek to engender a new paradigm of thought that promotes health equity and the elimination of health inequities while using the framework of the Social Determinants of Health.

Michael Scott,Chief Equity Officer/President/Co-Founder

Community Organizing and Collaborative Convening Strategist

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A WK Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow through the National Cohort for Racial Equity and Healing. Scott is a social entrepreneur, a recovering merchant banker, a community organizer, an intelligence-operative for community and an investment banking advisor for the under-served, charged with building beloved community.

He’s a Husband, dad, Morehouse Man and graduate of the London School of Economics.

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His areas of experience in addition to finance include politics and policy, and education non profits like the Cradle to College Pipeline Inc., and Pursuing and Acquiring a College Education Initiative which he ran with legacy children and civil rights groups and major academic and research institutions . His primary interest and focus is creating systems change which increase the environment for and the number of positive life options and opportunities for underserved communities which he does now primarily though Equity Matters, and its representative of the Baltimore team to the PLACE MATTERS Movement–one of the 16 teams and 20 county/city sites across the country established by The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies Health Policy Institute, and funded generously by Kellogg, NIH and CDC.

Adrienne Starks, Chief Operating Officer

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Adrienne Starks is a native of Birmingham, Alabama. She completed her PhD in Biological Sciences at the University of Maryland Baltimore County. Her doctoral work had an emphasis in quantitative genetics and aging in Drosophila melanogaster, the fruit fly.

Calvin Harris Jr., CPA, Chief Financial Officer

Calvin has over 20 years of “C-suite” level experience in working with organizations of various sizes. His diverse career began at the international accounting firm Arthur Andersen, and includes Chief Financial Officer roles at The Council for Excellence in Government and Aeras Global Foundation, and Controller-level roles at The United Nations Foundation, NeighborWorks America and Morgan State University.

Calvin currently serves as the National President (i.e. Chairman of the Board) of the National Association of Black Accountants, Inc. (“NABA”). NABA, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit, is the premier association for African Americans and minorities in business-related fields. Calvin is also on the Board of DC Doors, a Washington DC charity providing housing assistance to the immigrant population, serving as Treasurer. Calvin was named one the nation’s “Top 100 Most Influential People in Accounting” by Accounting Today in both 2010 and 2012. Licensed as a Certified Public Accountant in the State of Maryland, Calvin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree, with honors, in business administration from Morehouse College and is the former National Treasurer of the Morehouse College Alumni Association.

Carol Payne, MSN

Carol Payne’s expertise and professional interests include bringing together diverse groups in solution-oriented dialogue to promote community empowerment and build public trust.

Geri Peak

Biographical information will be included soon.

Kim Sydnor

Kim Dobson Sydnor, PhD is the Dean and an Associate Professor in the School of Community Health and Policy Department in the Department of Behavioral Health Sciences at Morgan State University.

Todd Vanidestine

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Biographical information will be included soon.



Team Members


Dr. Lawrence Brown

Dr. Lawrence Brown is an activist, global health consultant, and Assistant Professor of Public Health at Morgan State University.  He studies the role of race, masculinity, and disinvested neighborhoods with regard to their impact on health.  His research explores the intersection between history and public health.

Tahira Mahdi

 Tahira Chloe Mahdi, M.A. is a Ph.D. candidate in Human Services Psychology at the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC), with a concentration in Community and Applied Social Psychology.  She is also a media personality and cultural activist whose work encompasses consultation and arts advocacy in the Baltimore-Washington metropolitan region.  Her research examines issues that arise in university-community engagement, as well as issues that affect graduate students’ academic and career outcomes.

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Arts, media, community empowerment, and academics have always intersected in Tahira’s career. She is the Vice President of Take Me Out to the Go-Go Media and has a career history of touring nationally as a speaker and workshop facilitator for Black women’s civic and faith-based organizations. In addition to authoring two books on the intersection of spirituality and everyday social problems in young Black women’s lives, she has worked in programming, promotions or as on-air talent for Washington, DC and Baltimore area radio and television stations WPGC FM 95.5, Heaven 1580AM, WIAV-TV Channel 58, and WXYV-FM (Baltimore’s former V103).

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