Meet Our Team

Meet our team of multidisciplinary faculty, staff, and students.

Learn more about our partnerships

Ruqaiijah Yearby

CO-FOUNDER

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR,
CO-DIRECTOR OF EQUITY & POLICY

Ruqaiijah Yearby, JD, MPH, is a Professor and member of the Center for Health Law studies at Saint Louis University School of Law.

Expertise:
Health disparities and civil rights laws; health equity and health justice framework; structural, political, and social determinants of health; bioethics; racial equity frameworks and tools.

Highlighted Work
“Assessing Legal Responses to COVID-19”

Keon Gilbert

CO-FOUNDER

CO-DIRECTOR OF EQUITY & POLICY

Dr. Keon Gilbert, DrPH, is an Associate Professor at Saint Louis University’s College for Public Health and Social Justice, in the Department of Behavioral Science and Health Education. 

Expertise: 
Health disparities; social capital; African-American men’s health; health promotion and disease prevention interventions for chronic diseases.

Highlighted Work: 
“Racism: Science and Tools for the Public Health Professional”

Kira Banks

CO-FOUNDER

DIRECTOR OF HEALING JUSTICE

Kira Banks, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology at Saint Louis University, an APA-accredited Clinical Psychology doctoral program. 

Expertise:
How discrimination impacts mental health; training models for helping professions to promote equity and cultural humility; intergroup relations.

Highlighted Work: 
“Is Your Company Actually Fighting Racism, or Just Talking About It?”

Amber Johnson

CO-FOUNDER

DIRECTOR OF COMMUNITY RESEARCH ETHICS

Amber Johnson, PhD, is an Associate Professor in the Department of Communication at Saint Louis University. Johnson is also the creator of The Justice Fleet ™, a mobile social justice museum that fosters healing through art, dialogue, and play.

Expertise:
Humanizing equity; narratives of identity; social justice in digital media, popular media, and everyday lived experiences; relationship between healing justice and equity.

Highlighted Work
“African American Communication: Examining the Complexities of Lived Experiences

Michelle Rolfsmeyer

PROGRAM DIRECTOR

Michelle Rolfsmeyer has extensive experience in non-profit and social service work, both as a frontline worker and program manager. She has dedicated her career to supporting vulnerable communities, and is excited to be a part of the Institute’s work and mission.

Expertise: 
Program administration, development and collaboration; child and family services; frontline worker selection, support, and training.

Crystal Lewis

HEALTH EQUITY AND POLICY FELLOW

Crystal Lewis, JD, MPH, has several years of social justice and legal experience. She is currently working on projects with the Institute which include: Racism as a Public Health Crisis, Worker Rights during the COVID-19 pandemic, Pregnancy Discrimination in the workplace, and Wage Pass Through laws for Direct Care workers. 

Expertise: 
Public health law; policy surveillance and legal epidemiology; legal research; multidisciplinary collaboration.

Charysse Gibson

BIOSTATISTICIAN

Charysse Gibson, MPH, MA, works in the areas of data, statistics, programming, geospatial information systems, and technology at the Institute to serve and empower communities. 

Expertise: 
Biostatistics and epidemiology; geographic information systems; community development and racial reconciliation; intercultural relations.

Candice Murdock

GRADUATE ASSISTANT

Nia Sumpter

GRADUATE ASSISTANT