Founding Members


  • Gary English
  • Steven Fullwood
  • Kenneth T. Jones
  • Robert Miller, Jr.
  • John Mitchell, Ph.D.
  • Michael Roberson
  • Ron Simmons, Ph.D.

    Dr. Simmons is the CEO of Us Helping Us, People Into Living, Inc. in Washington, D.C. Some of his duties include: responsible for organizational development and administration, fiscal oversight, grant writing, community and corporate relations. His professional interests include HIV prevention programs and services, community development and empowerment, self-conception and behavior change.

    Contact: info@bgrg-international.org

  • George Smith, Ph.D.
  • Darrell Wheeler, Ph.D.

    Darrell P. Wheeler PH.D., M.P.H., ACSW; Dean at Loyola University Chicago's School of Social Work. Dean Wheeler's collegiate education began at Cornell College where he received his Bachelor of Arts in Sociology. At Howard University he received his M.S.W. in Health and Mental Health. He then went on to The University of Pittsburgh and was granted a M.P.H. in Health Administration as well as his Ph.D. in Social Work.

    Dr. Wheeler's teaching career began as an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, then moving on to New York to teach at Columbia University, before joining the faculty at the Hunter College (CUNY) School of Social Work. He was also a visiting Assistant Professor at the University of California, San Francisco. While at Hunter, he received Full Professorship and finished his time there as an Associate Dean for Research and Community Partnerships. Prior to his academic career, Dr. Wheeler worked in community-based social service programs, psychiatric hospitals, and had a private practice in psychotherapy.

    Dr. Wheeler's research interests include the overall research agenda and publications focused on the identification and exploration of individual and communal resiliencies in HIV prevention and intervention, with particular emphasis on African American and Black gay, bisexual and transgender communities.

    In addition to teaching Darrell is also heavily involved in various grants targeted around HIV/AIDS prevention, planning, testing, and training, sits on Editorial Boards, belongs to several professional associations, has an extensive presentation and panel schedule.

    Dr. Wheeler is a member of, and has held nationally elected positions in, the American Public Health Association and the National Association of Social Workers. Selected recent scholarship has included the following publications:

    * Bond, L., Wheeler, D. P., Millett, G. A., LaPollo, A. B., Carson, L. F., & Liau, A. (2009). Black men who have sex with men and the association of down-low identity with HIV risk behavior. American Journal of Public Health, 99(S1), S92-S95.

    * Wheeler, D. P. (2009). National Health Line: Mounting social work response to the worsening HIV epidemic in Black communities. Health & Social Work, 34, 156-159.

    * Wheeler, D.P. (2008). Methodological issues in conducting community-based health and social services research among urban Black and African American LGBT populations. In W. Meezan and J. I. Martin (Eds.), Handbook of Research with Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Transgender Populations (pp. 300-314). New York: Routledge.

    Contact: deanwheeler@luc.edu

  • Leo Wilton, PhD.

    Leo Wilton is an Associate Professor of Human Development in the College of Community and Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Binghamton. Dr. Wilton is a founding member and immediate past chair of the Black Gay Research Group. His primary research interests include health disparities (primary and secondary HIV prevention); community based research and evaluation; and Black psychological development and mental health. Dr. Wilton's scholarly research on the AIDS epidemic focuses on the intersectionality of race, gender, and sexuality, as situated in macro-and -micro-level inequalities in Black communities, both nationally and internationally. His international research focuses on the socio-cultural contexts of HIV-related health disparities health in the African Diaspora.

    The overall objective of Dr. Wilton's scholarly research program has been to focus on the impact of socio-cultural factors that influence sexual/drug-risk and protective behavior and mental health for Black men who have sex with men (MSM) in urban communities. His research interests examine socio-cultural factors that provide the basis for the development of culturally grounded HIV prevention interventions for Black MSM. Dr. Wilton is a recipient of the Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Teaching in the State University of New York (SUNY). He completed a PhD degree in counseling psychology at New York University, predoctoral clinical psychology fellowship in the Department of Psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine, a three-year postdoctoral research fellowship in HIV behavioral research and evaluation at New York University, and a postdoctoral summer fellowship in the Empirical Summer Program in Multi-Ethnic Research at the University of Michigan.

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