Latine LGBTQ+ Community: Behavioral Health Disparities and Culturally Responsive Approaches

June 17 @ 12:30 pm - 2:00 pm

The Latine LGBTQ+ community encompasses a diverse range of identities, experiences, and cultures. Concurrently, Latine LGBTQ+ individuals often face intersectional discrimination related to their ethnic, gender, and sexual identities, resulting in added stressors and increased risks of mental health challenges, including substance use, depression, and suicide. 

This panel discussion will address disparities among Latine LGBTQ+ individuals and emphasize the importance of adopting a multifaceted approach that acknowledges the intersections of identity, culture, and social determinants of health. Experts in the field will discuss perspectives and approaches on how providers and community-based organizations can implement culturally sensitive and responsive care practices that are attuned to the strengths, contexts, and experiences of Latine LGBTQ+ communities and seek to advance behavioral health equity. 

**This event is a collaboration between The Hispanic/Latino Behavioral Health Center of Excellence and the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity. 


David Zelaya, PhD  

Dr. David G. Zelaya (he/him/él) is an Assistant Professor at Brown University School of Public Health within the Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, Department of Behavioral and Social Sciences and an affiliated scientist at Yale University with the Center for Interdisciplinary Research on AIDS. Dr. Zelaya received his Ph.D. from Georgia State University in counseling psychology, he was a psychology resident at Harvard Medical School's Cambridge Hospital, and he completed his fellowship within the Alcohol Research Center on HIV at Brown. His program of research focuses on examining health disparities, from an intersectionality and minority stress lens, among Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and sexual and gender minority communities and links to HIV risk, mental health, and substance use. Dr. Zelaya is the PI of an NIH funded K23 career development grant aimed to develop a behavioral health intervention for Latinx queer individuals to decrease hazardous alcohol use by targeting intersectional forms of discrimination. Clinically, he is interested in providing culturally competent behavioral health services to historically underserved communities (e.g., Spanish-speaking Latinx people; sexual and gender diverse people). He has been the recipient of numerous social justice awards, his research has been published in the flagship journals of his field, and he serves on the editorial board for the Psychology of Sexual Orientation and Gender Diversity journal. At Brown, Dr. Zelaya teaches Introduction to Health Disparities. 



Carlos A. O. Pavão, DrPH, MPA                             

Carlos A. O. Pavão is a Clinical Associate Professor and Special Advisor to the Dean at Georgia State University School of Public Health. He has more than 25 years of public health practitioner experience at the local and national levels. Throughout his career, he has focused on the nexus between dissemination research and innovative public health programming, specifically for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT), and linguistic minority populations. In the 1990s, he developed three community-based adolescent health programs to educate sexual minority youth on healthy relationships, suicide prevention, HIV/STD prevention, and teen pregnancy. One of these youth programs was recognized by the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) Media Awards in an article published in 2000 — “Massachusetts Groups Help Gay Teens Cope.” This newspaper article explored the complexities of what it means to be a Queer youth of color. In 2000, he was appointed to serve in the Massachusetts Commission on Gay and Lesbian Youth. In 2007, he was selected by Dr. Elias A. Zerhouni, Director at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), to serve a four-year appointment on the Director’s Council of Public Representatives (COPR) – and served under three NIH Directors. Before his doctoral degree, he worked for ten years on a national SAMHSA technical assistance grant to provide training and strategic technical assistance to single-state agencies (including Caribbean territories and Tribes) on public health planning and implementation, capacity building, sustainability planning, and evaluation. Dr. Pavao’s academic field of interest is in HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance misuse. His research and scholarship have focused on program evaluation, community-based participatory research, community engagement, and health inequities. He earned his doctorate from Texas A&M University Health Science Center’s School of Public Health in health behavior, as well as a master’s degree in public administration from Bridgewater State University, and a bachelor’s degree in history and anthropology from Brandeis University. 



Alison Cerezo, PhD 

Alison Cerezo, PhD is a health equity researcher, licensed psychologist (CA) and an Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling, Clinical and School Psychology at UC Santa Barbara. Their research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health and California Department of Public Health. Alison also serves in the role of Senior Vice President of Research and Health Equity at where they bring thought leadership as a health equity researcher and practitioner to develop innovative ML/AI tools to address health equity at scale. 


Miguel Vazquez. PsyD - (moderator) 

Dr. Miguel Vázquez-Rivera holds a Master's Degree in Research in Clinical Psychology (Autonomous University of Barcelona) and a Master's and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology (Carlos Albizu University). He has researched topics such as sexual and gender diversity and problematic substance use. He has presented his research in Puerto Rico, the United States, Mexico, Spain, The Bahamas, Colombia, South Africa and Peru. He has published social responsibility articles on various topics in psychology and is editor of Problematic Drug Use: Foundations, Intervention, Diversity, is the lead editor of the book Trans, Queer and Non-Binary Communities: Presence and Resistance, a textbook co-written with the community, LGBT 101: An introductory look at the collective, first textbook for LGBT communities in Puerto Rico and author of the manual Salud LGBT+: A therapeutic manual for working with communities. He is the co-founder of Psicoalternativas, is co-founder and Executive Director of True Self Foundation and co-founder of PsychConnection PR, a company that merges technology into psychology services. Throughout his career he has received awards such as: Graduate of the Year 2015 from Albizu University and Psychologist of the Year 2015 and Outstanding Professional in Public Policy and Public Service 2020, from the Puerto Rico Association of Psychology. 





June 17
12:30 pm - 2:00 pm


Center of Excellence and the Center of Excellence on LGBTQ+ Behavioral Health Equity.
View Organizer Website

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