Alicia Aroche is a Research Associate for Community Engagement and a member of the Engaging Richmond community-academic partnership at the Center. Her work involves projects including early childhood education, housing redevelopment, trauma-informed community building, as well as support of parent engagement within the context of participatory research and faculty best practices in community-engaged research. Previously, Alicia served as Community Engagement Advocate for Bridging Richmond, a cradle to career regional collaborative, where she worked on projects funded by The Community and Lumina Foundations and the Jesse Ball duPont Fund. Her experience in higher education administration, coaching and mentoring are applicable to improving community-engaged research and supporting community members in their path to empowerment. She is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a Bachelor's Degree in Mass Communications and a Master's Degree in Education.
Christopher Rashad Green is a community activist and organizer, who joined Engaging Richmond in the spring of 2017.
Christopher’s work has focused on educating the public about issues such as mass incarceration, voter registration, reform and empowering communities economically and politically. An inspiration to many, he has served in various roles with organizations such as the New Virginia Majority, Family Representative of Council (FRC) of the VCU East Marshall Street Well Project.
On August 15, 2016 Christopher had his voting rights restored allowing him to vote for the first time in over 20 years. In his free time, Christopher enjoys reading, sports and spending time with family and friends.
Leah Gregory is a resident of the East End community and has been a part of the Engaging Richmond team since 2016. Leah is a recent graduate of MPH/MSW dual degree program at Virginia Commonwealth University. As a social worker, she understands the complex challenges of underserved populations and the health disparities they experience. She is interested in social justice advocacy for health care issues such as HIV/STD prevention, sexual and relationship health, community planning, healthy food security and access, and global community health issues. She hopes to contribute to new and innovative ways to increase health and wellness in communities, especially those impacted by these issues. Her past experience includes work with individuals experiencing homelessness/housing policy, free clinics, in-home counseling/mental health support, individuals living with HIV, survivors of sexual assault/domestic violence, and individuals experiencing substance abuse. Having worked hard to fund her own undergraduate and graduate education, Leah is aware of the many challenges facing others. She is inspired to be an advocate for social change and community involvement, including being an active member of her sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. In her free time, she likes to cook, travel to new places, meet new people, listen to music, exercise through yoga and Zumba, and watch her spouse play soccer.
Chimere Miles is a resident of the East End Community and founding member of Engaging Richmond when the group formed in 2011. Chimere is passionate about opportunities for children and has volunteered with many groups and organizations, including Richmond Public Schools Early Head Start/ Head Start as the Policy Council Chairperson, the Richmond Public School Truancy Committee, and Richmond Promise Neighborhood. She also serves as a facilitator and participated in training for mental health first aide. She has also done work with Perter Paul Development Center with the Strengthening Families Program. Chimere has an Associate’s Degree in Allied Health and Science, and her previous work experience includes patient care work and medical administrative duties. One of her favorite characteristics of the East End is how neighbors feel like family. In her spare time, Chimere enjoys baking and spending time with her family.
Emily Zimmerman is a senior researcher and assistant research professor at the VCU Center on Society and Health. She has worked for several years on community engagement projects in Northern Virginia, including a locally funded Promise Neighborhood initiative, neighborhood-level social indicators, and various community engagement projects. She recently finished work on an NIH funded project to provide community health equity reports for eight areas of the United States participating in the Place Matters initiative. She also specializes in survey research, data analysis, public program/service utilization, and disadvantaged populations with a focus on child welfare and other social needs. Dr. Zimmerman has performed research for Federal, county and city governments, private organizations, non-profits, foundations, United Way, and several universities. Dr. Zimmerman has a B.A. in English and a M.S. in Social Research from Hunter College, and Ph.D. in Sociology from the City University of New York.