Community Engagement Institute 2020


  • The Community Engagement Institute (CEI) is a half-day virtual symposium focused on issues related to health equity and social justice. The CEI examines the importance of why and how community engagement and collaboration are effective in social/behavioral research and essential in community building practices.

    This year's event, Sharing the Torch: Mobilizing Across Generations, includes meaningful conversation with Lauren Simmons, the youngest trader, only female, and second African American woman at the New York Stock Exchange.

    2020 Community Engagement Institute Goals:
    To exchange information, disseminate research, and share successful approaches to address health equity and community empowerment, and to connect community members and leaders, researchers, and philanthropic stakeholders in improving communities and environmental health.

  • * Scroll down for speaker biographies.

    Lauren Simmons

    Lauren Simmons

     

    A. Michelle Clemon, JD, MS, SPHR

    A. Michelle Clemon, JD, MS, SPHR

    T-Marie King, MAL, MDiv

    T-Marie King, MAL., MDiv

    Carlos E. Alemán, PhD

    Carlos E. Alemán, PhD

    Corey Wiggins, PhD, MSPH

    Corey Wiggins, PhD, MSPH

    Isabel Hope

    Isabel Hope


    Speaker Bios 

    Lauren Simmons, Keynote Speaker

    Lauren Simmons, Keynote Speaker: A 2016 graduate of Kennesaw State University with a bachelor’s degree in genetics and a minor in statistics, Simmons originally aspired to go into genetic counseling. She made a decision to put that on hold. What had not changed, however, was her passion to move to New York City, where networking led her to meet Richard Rosenblatt, the CEO of Rosenblatt Securities. Beyond her many qualifications, it was ultimately Simmons’ confidence that led Rosenblatt to take her under his wing as an Equity Trader. The job wasn’t completely hers; she still had to pass the series 19. This test has a pass rate of 20% in a class of 10. Lauren studied the book cover-to-cover for a month straight and successfully passed on her first try. 

    Lauren Simmons made history at 23 years old, becoming the youngest female on the floor and became the second-ever African American woman working as a trader at the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in 225 years. Since her story broke, Lauren Simmons has been featured in ABC, CNBC, CNN, and Fox to name a few. Lauren, "The Living Fearless Girl" Simmons has visited several countries sharing her story. Politico has named Lauren “The Women of Impact 2018.” 

    Lauren, the brand has been recognized by Hollywood, as AGC studio will be doing a film based on her life. Lauren is the executive producer on the project and Kiersey Clemons will portray her in the movie. Additionally, Lauren received endorsements from Invisalign, Ford Motor Company, Club Pilates and LinkedIn. Lauren is actively working on her first publication focused on women and millennials in finance. 

    A. Michelle Clemon, JD, MS, SPHR, Moderator

    A. Michelle Clemon, JD, MS, SPHR: An experienced employment and labor law attorney and consultant with a background in Human Resources executive management, Michelle Clemon received her undergraduate degree in History from Yale University and her law degree from Columbia Law School.  She recently earned a Master’s in Sport Management from the University of Florida, where her research focus was the intersection of elite athletes and social responsibility. Michelle is Principal/Owner of The Clemon Consulting Group, a consultancy which focuses on providing HR services (including contract review, workplace investigations and workplace assessments) for companies and individuals as well as providing career planning/transition training to college and professional athletes.   She is an adjunct instructor at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where she teaches a course on the African-American experience in sports.  She also presents and provides legal and historical analysis around sports-related issues, including the discussion around athletes and social activism.  A member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Michelle is an active community volunteer who has devoted her time and efforts towards organizations that address health care disparities for minority populations, including UAB’s O’Neal Comprehensive Cancer Center, The Slive Foundation for Prostate Cancer Research, UAB’s Minority Health and Research Center, and the American Heart Association.  She’s also a former board chair for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Vulcan Park and Museum and the Railroad Park Foundation. In addition to these endeavors, Michelle is a co-host of the podcast “Black Girls Vibe,” a podcast that approaches sports and leisure from the perspective of black professional women.

    T. Marie King, MAL, MDiv

    T. Marie King, MAL, MDiv: An activist, speaker, trainer, and community consultant with nearly 20 years of service, education, and community experience. She travels to cities across the nation serving as an authentic voice for progression. King has spoken at various seminars, conferences and presented to more than 250 groups and organizations touching youth, college students, and adults. She consults with community and national organizations on diversity and inclusion challenges, grassroots efforts, and community healing and conversations. She joined Cortico, a non-profit 501(c)(3), in cooperation with MIT's Laboratory for Social Machines. King serves as Head of Alabama Local Voices Network; seeking to foster constructive public conversation in communities and in the media to improve our understanding of one another. King is a trained facilitator on Truth, Racial Healing and Transformation through the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and a faculty member with the Satyagraha Institute. She holds a B.A. in Urban and Global Economic Development from Beulah Heights University and M.A. in Leadership and Divinity from Luther Rice University. She recently published her first book, Six Simple Keys to Living a Lifestyle of Forgiveness.

    Carlos E. Alemán, PhD

    Carlos E. Aléman, PhD: Carlos joined the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama (¡HICA!} as its Deputy Director in July of 2018. Prior to joining ¡HICA!, Carlos was Assistant Professor of History and Director of the Latin American Studies Scholars Program at Samford University. His academic research specializes on Latino immigration. Carlos is committed to serving the Latino immigrant community and cares deeply about social justice and empowerment. In 2018, he decided to leave academia after 5 years at Samford to work directly with and serve the Latino community. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute and the WBHM Friends Board and previously served on the boards of ¡HICA!, Adelante Alabama Worker Center, Fiesta, and Greater Birmingham Ministries. A first-generation immigrant from Nicaragua, Carlos grew up in San Francisco. In 2002, he earned his B.A. in History and Latin American & Latino Studies from UC Santa Cruz. He received his Ph.D. in History from Michigan State University in 2012. Carlos enjoys spending time with his wife, Mercedes, daughter, Amelia, and their dog, Lulu.

    Corey Wiggins, PhD, MSPH

    Corey Wiggins, PhD, MSPH: In his role as Executive Director of the Mississippi State Conference for the NAACP, Corey Wiggins has been driven with a simple mission: to serve the community. Over his diverse career, Dr. Wiggins have focused on creating equitable opportunities through systems and public policy change. Previously, Dr. Wiggins served as Senior Vice President of Policy at Hope Enterprise Corporation and Hope Credit Union. At the Hope Policy Institute, his efforts focused on strengthening communities, building assets, and improving lives in economically distressed parts of the Mid-South. He has served as a public policy professional both as a Barbara Jordan Health Policy Fellow in the United States Senate and as a policy analyst for the Mississippi State Legislature and as a Visiting Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management at Jackson State University. His work in health advocacy has focused on ensuring that communities have all the resources including quality housing, education and infrastructure that supports healthy communities. Dr. Wiggins received the Dr. Montague Cobb Award from the National NAACP for his outstanding achievements in health policy advocacy and social justice. Dr. Wiggins completed his undergraduate studies at Alcorn State University and holds a Master of Science in Public Health in Health Policy, along with a PhD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Additionally, he has a certificate of nonprofit leadership from Boston College. He also has fellowship training through the Kaiser Family Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

    Isabel Hope

    Isabel Hope: A student activist from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Isabel has worked to organize young people for political change internationally since she was 13 and is currently studying political science and creative media at The University of Alabama. Isabel served as the Executive Director of Meddling Kids Movement, an international youth-led organization dedicated to promoting the work of grassroots youth organizers, from 2018 to 2020. She also organized the first-ever Alabama Youth Climate Strike to protest the Alabama state government's inaction on climate change along with 100+ other young people from around the state. Right now, Isabel is passionate about advocating for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people and young people as well as fighting for frontline communities against the climate crisis. She is proudly autistic and uses she/her pronouns.

  • To register for this event, there are two steps. (Step 1) Register within the form below, and (Step 2) follow the steps within your confirmation email to secure your free ticket on the event platform Accelevent.
    If you have any questions regarding your registration, please contact Ossie Vaughn at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

    2020 CEI Registration


  • Shauntice Allen, PhD, MA
    CEI Lead
    University of Alabama at Birmingham

    COMMITEE MEMBERS:

    Mercedes Morales-Alemán, PhD
    University of Alabama
    Cassandra Dove
    MS State Dept. of Health
    Mary Evans
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Max Michael, MD
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Meena Nabavi
    University of Alabama at Birmingham
    Lynette Parker
    University of South Alabama
    Chippewa Thomas, PhD
    Auburn University
    Lyord Watson
    The Penny Foundation & Tabernacle Baptist Church
  • For more information about the Community Engagement Institute, please contact:

    Shauntice Allen, PhD, MA

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.