Dr.Carl Highshaw

Email: carl@amaad.org

With more than twenty years of nonprofit program and administrative management experience, Carl has served in several roles prioritizing the needs of Black communities. He formerly served as the Deputy Director of In The Meantime Men’s Group, developing and implementing a rapid HIV testing program as well as overseeing the administration of various health education and risk reduction programs designed for gay men of color.  Other roles include Contract Program Auditor in the Capacity Building Unit of the County of Los Angeles Division of HIV and STD Programs, Administrative Director of Long Beach Lesbian & Gay Pride, and Director of Community Outreach and Education for Los Angeles LGBT Center.

Carl completed his Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from Washington University in St. Louis and his Bachelor of Psychology from Western Illinois University. Carl has received Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Certification from L.A Training Institute for Drug and Alcohol Counseling as well as Human Resources Management Certification from California Statement University-Dominguez Hills.  Carl is currently pursuing a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) and anticipates completing his degree requirements by 2021.

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Gerald Garth

Chief Operating Officer (COO)

Email: gerald@amaad.org

Gerald Garth currently serves as Director of Operations, overseeing all programs and administration. In his role, he develops, implements, and evaluates processes, policies, programs, and strategies to address the uniqueness of the Black experience, particularly among youth, women, LGBTQ+ people, and other underserved communities through training, policies, advocacy, and team oversight.

Garth brings years of experience in finance, administration, and training.

In his role at AMAAD, Garth also oversees monitoring and evaluation, media and communications, staffing and training, and strategic partnerships and initiatives.

Darnell Green

Youth and Wellness Manager

Email: darnell@amaad.org

Darnell Green is a native of Cleveland, Ohio with a passion for building communities of color within the LGBTQ+ sector. Mr. Green believes that it is our “civic duty to stand in the gap for people who are underserved.”

Darnell Green is expanding his passion at The AMAAD Institute after 20 years of service in community-based organizations in Cleveland, Philadelphia, and Los Angeles. Mr. Green takes great pride in leading the fight for youth health

and wellness in South Los Angeles and is dedicated to training future leaders to carry the torch.

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Ted Booker

Manager of Housing Services

Email: ted@amaad.org

Theodore “Ted” Booker serves as the Reclaiming Innocence Project Housing Navigation Specialist at AMAAD Institute. He has more than 30 years of administrative, program management, housing, job development, and strategic planning experience in the social services and construction industries. In social services, he has worked in the capacity of Program Director, Job Developer, Program Manager, and Strategic Planner. In the construction industry, he has worked in the capacity of Placement Officer on the Expo Light Rail Project, Certified Payroll Analyst, and Contract Administrator. Twenty-five of those years have been delivering services in Service Planning Area 6 (SPA-6). Mr. Booker served on the original SPA Los Angeles County Service Planning Area Council participating in community organizing and consensus-building activities. Mr. Booker has worked with several target populations e.g., adult males, justice-involved youth and adults, families, and older adults 55 and older. Mr. Booker has completed a BA degree in Sociology from Cal-State Los Angeles, an Associates of Arts in Humanities and Social and Behavioral Sciences.

Jamar Moore

EHE Manager

Email: jamar@amaad.org

Jamar Moore, the native of Benton Harbor, Michigan, currently serves as the Senior Project Manager on the Ending the HIV Epidemic Project in collaboration with the AMAAD Institute and LAC +USC Medical Center Foundation, in partnership with the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Division of HIV and STD Programs for Los Angeles County. Moore’s goal is to oversee the conduction of community engagement, outreach, and mobilization throughout LA County to help support the goals and strategies of the five-year federal/national initiative, Ending the HIV Epidemic: A plan for America.

Through collaboration with local stakeholders and community partners, community members, and new voices in the community, the plan is to innovate, develop, organize, and sustain efforts to address HIV prevention and care-related issues.  Moore brings a wealth of knowledge in public health, HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, PrEP, and PEP access and services in Los Angeles County, along with a decade of experience in management, education, leadership, and community outreach.
Before his current role, Moore served at the AMAAD Institute as Policy Manager, leading the AMAAD Policy Alliance (APA), focusing on the agency’s tobacco control and prevention efforts through data collection, community education, coalition building, leadership development, and engagement and policy implementation.  Moore’s commitment was to help reduce tobacco use in outdoor areas in communities of color in Hawthorne and Downey, California.  This project was in partnership with Los Angeles County, Department of Public Health.

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Lanelle P. Laws, AMFT

Behavioral Health Therapist

Email: lanelle@amaad.org

Lanelle has a passion for empowering, encouraging, and elevating women & men of color. She strives to “change the narrative” on how mental health is implemented and viewed within underserved communities. She has modernized evidence-based practices to fit current needs. Lanelle is trained in trauma-informed care and harm reduction.

Lanelle current serves as Behavioral Health Therapist on Project imPACT.

She prides herself on meeting people where they are to help individuals to be the best whole person they can be.

Anthony Singleton

Human Resources & Employment Training Coordinator

Email: anthony@amaad.org

Anthony is responsible for facilitating all key HR functions, programs, and trainings. In his role, he works to support AMAAD's policies, processes, and practices. He also supports administration through recruitment and onboarding, administrative responsibilities, reporting, and IT.

Committed to organizational development and success, he also builds implements workforce development and job readiness for staff and program participants.

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Kenneth Martin

Manager of Housing Services

Email: kenneth@amaad.org

As Manager of Housing Services, Kenneth oversees The House of Resiliency and the Mike Gipson House, two of AMAAD's transitional and permanent housing facilities.  With a strong background in property management coupled with a passion for advocating for the underserved in the community, Kenneth brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to our housing program.  From participating in the Los Angeles Homeless count to navigating our program participants to safe permanent housing, Kenneth is dedicated to helping end homelessness in our community.

In his role, Kenneth also leads linkage and navigation of the direct services efforts of AMAAD.

Christopher Webb

Media Coordinator

Email: chris@amaad.org

Christopher Webb became the lead Outreach Specialist for AMAAD in March 2018. He is now also the lead on the Communications Team. Raised in the Bay Area is where he found his love for community work. An organization called E.O.Y.D.C. (East Oakland Youth Development Center) is where it all started with his position as a Youth Counselor that evolved into a Dance Instructor position. There Chris learned patience and the need for positive Black role models in education and authority. He is excited to serve his community in South La to empower his peers to create healthy opportunities for themself. His drive came from living in the Bay Area and experiencing homophobia and lack of opportunities for LGBTQ+ people of color. Chris is determined to change the status quo of South La for the better.

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Clarence Wade

Resident Advisor

Email: clarence@amaad.org

Clarence Wade serves as the Resident Advisor for the House of Resiliency. He quotes:

I get to build bridges for young minorities who look like me. Connecting this demographic with an opportunities to regain their resilience, employment readiness, and a variety of necessary resources. As Resident Advisor I’ve become apart of a team who advocates for minority’s experiencing barriers, from being homeless to having stability. As a staff member of the AMAAD Institute, I get to help replace barriers with bridges.

Dale Hughes

Manager of Fiscal Administration

Email: dale@amaad.org

Dale Hughes supports all of AMAAD's programs, services, and locations. He brings years of substance use and recovery support experience and is also a licensed substance use counselor as well as a certified HIV counselor/tester.

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Ryan Sample, ACSW

Behavioral Health Therapist Team Liaison

Email: ryan@amaad.org

Ryan Sample, ACSW has a dedicated commitment to serving the LGBTQ+ communities, families, men, and women of color. He is a native of the east coast with over 10 years of experience ranging from Juvenile/Adult Reentry, Child Protective Services, HIV Prevention, Counseling, Youth Services, and Intensive Case Management. Through personal development, Ryan is committed to supporting an individual’s journey to discovering their authentic self. He understands that change is not and has not been made easy for many men and women of color. Trained in evidence-based practices of motivational interviewing, harm reduction, and trauma-informed care, he strives to offer education on how to “trust the process” even when it does not feel good within self-discovery. Through individual and group therapy, he hopes to strengthen the perception of being African-centered by building rapport, uplifting Black spirits, strengthening bonds among communication, family, African culture/traditions, and individual self-worth.

Nina Barkers

Manager of Transgender Equity

Email: nina@amaad.org

Nina Barkers is the Manager of Transgender Equity for the AMAAD Institute. She has been serving the LGBT community for over 8 years ranging from (HIV prevention, counseling, linkage, education, and advocacy). In this position, she orchestrates overall program execution, communication engagement, and coordination of events.

In her role, she works organizationally across programs to lead monitoring and evaluation as well as data analysis and reporting.

She is grateful for the opportunity to keep elevating the culture she represents.

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Ron Jackson

Peer Housing Navigator

Email: ronald@amaad.org

A native of Watts, Ronald Jackson has work in the community for more than 30 years and in the field of HIV/AIDS and office administration for more than 25 years. I began long ago when people were afraid to touch or deal with anyone with HIV or AIDS. He’s currently working on his BA in Human Services at CSUDH. Ronald has joined the AMAAD's Reclaiming Innocence team as the Peer Navigator. He brings to the table his knowledge of the community in which we serve and his ability to connect on a personal level with the participants and partners he serves

Tyrone Thompson

Community Education and Engagement Team Lead

Email: tyrone@amaad.org

Tyrone Thompson serves as the Policy Coordinator I at the AMAAD Institute. As a native of Los Angeles Ca, Tyrone has always made it his personal goal to advocate, support, and serve his community. In awe of how AMAAD has taken the lead in supporting the LGBTQIA+ community of color, Tyrone was pleased to join the AMAAD team. In his role, Tyrone takes a personal stand in supporting AMAAD's tobacco control and prevention efforts through data collection, community education, and coalition building.



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Housing Navigator

Email: faith@amaad.org

IamFaith is a proud United States Navy Veteran, who activism work is what lead them to the role of the Housing Navigator for Resilient Solutions. They bring lived experience with wisdom and a foundation of unshakeable belief that as a collective team, we can achieve all things. IamFaith is determined to create opportunities for all but has desired focus to add help for transgender, nonbinary, intersex humans.  They are passionate about facilitating the access of resources to humans which will allow them to acquire stability of housing, employment while improving mental, physical, spiritual, and financial well-being. They are in a state of gratitude for the opportunity to work with a team of humans with a common goal to help our community.

John Vernon

Recovery Specialist/ Resident Advisor

Email: john@amaad.org

John Vernon the new Recovery Specialist for AMAAD Institute. Has worked and lived in Washington, DC with Whitman Walker Heath which services LGBTQ in Metro and Southeast side of DC which is totally services for men of color. I did Client Intakes, Outreach, HIV Counseling, Testing, and Referral Services. Received my Certificate in Drug Counseling from Catholic Charities Institute and attend the University of District of University, for two years pursuing a bachelor's degree in social work. Upon leaving Washington, DC in 2011, I relocated to Atlanta, Ga, and became involved with Aid Atlanta as a volunteer who services the LBGTQ community people of color throughout the southern states where that has no services for people of color with HIV and other services. I returned to Los Angeles, Ca in 2015 and got totally involved in the LGBTQ community through volunteer work which led to paid positions. Set on the Board of Directors for Center for Health Justices and the Advisory Board of Black Aids Institute.
I'm excited about joining AMAAD Institute as a Recovery Specialist bringing expertise and fresh ideas to this organization that's truly in South Los Angeles serving the people of color and the LGBTQ+ community.
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William Buckhalter

Community Engagement & Trainning Coordinator

Email: william@amaad.org

William Buckhalter’s life reads like an epic adventure filled with struggles, strength, loss, courage, and triumphs. From his life experiences, William has uncovered his life’s purpose, discovered the power that lies within, and recovered his authentic self.  

William Buckhalter serves as the Community Engagement & Training Coordinator for the Ending HIV Epidemic (EHE) project. His passion to inspire and spread unconditional love while motivating others to create a better life, community, and a better world can be seen through his efforts of preventing new HIV transmissions using proven interventions, responding quickly to HIV outbreaks while delivering prevention and treatment services to individuals in the Los Angeles County.

William received his BS in Psychology from Liberty University in 2018 and is currently enrolled at North Central University for his MSW. 

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Dezire Gregory-Highshaw

Data & Evaluation Specialist

Email: dezire@amaad.org

With a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, & being a credentialed Applied Behavior Analysis Technician, Dezire comes to us with a passion for community engagement & outreach; there is a certain drive in her that allows her to feel as though she has a duty to serve the community, specifically the racial & financial demographic of the individuals that we serve every day.


Her role will emphasize keeping track of the data, with an emphasis on the specificity of the different forms of data that come in & out of AMAAD every day.


Donald Wilson

Health Educator/ Outreach Specialist

Email: donald@amaad.org

Donald Wilson is one of our newest Health Educator/ Outreach Specialists.  he plans is to help the community by linking them to services and programs that help their current needs while developing young leaders. His goal is not only to help the displaced in the community but to grow the community from the inside out.  Donald is expanding his professional experience by leading AMAAD’s HIV testing and counseling efforts and is looking forward to enhancing the communities experience with Sexual and Mental Health.

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Eric P. Walker, AMFT

Behavioral Health Therapist

Email: eric@amaad.org

Eric offers a safe and secure environment for helping clients reach their potential. He builds healthy relationships that enable the development of healthy coping skills and tools for effectively dealing with challenges and difficulties. As a behavioral health therapist utilizing cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), he focuses on specific thoughts and feelings linked to behavior. His use of therapeutic approaches is driven by a clinical assessment.