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.
With a focus on education and housing as key social determinants, and through advocacy and mobilization of the public and key leadership, we seek to inform the development of all public policies that have known health impacts. We hope thereby to expand the scope of what is traditionally considered health policy to a Health in All Policy.
Using tools such as Health Impact Assessments and Racial Impact Assessments, we will enhance efforts to achieve health equity by proactively addressing underlying causes of health inequities.
Michael Scott,Chief Equity Officer/President/Co-Founder
Community Organizing and Collaborative Convening Strategist
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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Adrienne Starks, Chief Operating Officer
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.
Dr. Starks was also a Meyerhoff Graduate Fellow while at UMBC. Dr. Starks is currently an IRTA Postdoctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Health in the National Cancer Institute. Her postdoctoral research focuses on addressing the disparities of aggressive tumors found in breast and prostate cancer for African Americans.
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.
Currently serving as an Operations Specialist with the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), she focuses her efforts in the areas of community and economic development, affordable housing, chronic homelessness, and the integration of health and housing policy. Carol is co-leading HUD’s Public Housing Health Initiative, an interagency partnership with the National Institutes of Health and the Bureau of Primary Care/HRSA designed to integrate public health and health care in public housing communities. Recently appointed Sustainability Officer in the Office of Sustainable Housing and Communities, she is a member of a national team responsible for providing education, building public-private partnerships and articulating HUD’s goals for sustainable and livable communities. Carol has been acknowledged for her work as the recipient of numerous awards including: Salzburg Fellow, selected to study the Social and Economic Determinants of the World’s Public Health in Salzburg, Austria; recognized by the Maryland Daily Record as one Maryland’s Top 100 Women for her fundamental justice activism in the areas of health, education and housing; and recipient of the Excellence in Government Fellowship sponsored by the National Partnership for Public Service.
Biographical information will be included soon.
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.
At Morgan, Dr. Sydnor serves as Site Director for the W.K. Kellogg Health Scholars program – Community Based Participatory Research track. Dr. Sydnor received her B.S. in Psychology from Morgan State University and her doctorate in Public Health from Johns Hopkins University. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Honor Society.
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Biographical information will be included soon.
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 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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