About Us

  • Denese Shervington, MD/MPH

    President & CEO

    Denese Shervington, MD/MPH

    President & CEO

    Dr. Shervington has a distinguished career in academic psychiatry and public mental health. She splits her time between being the PTSD staff psychiatrist at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Health Care System and the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies, where she has created a community-based post-Katrina mental health recovery division and directs a federally-funded Teenage Pregnancy Prevention Program. She is also a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Tulane University. Dr. Shervington is a graduate of the New York University School of Medicine, and she completed her residency in Psychiatry at the University of California San Francisco. She is certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology and has also received a Masters of Public Health in Population Studies and Family Planning from the Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. In 2006, she was awarded the Isaac Slaughter Leadership award by the Black Psychiatrists of America. She resides in New Orleans, LA.

  • Euna M. August PhD/MPH

    Board Chair

    Euna M. August PhD/MPH

    Board Chair

    Euna August (pronounced oona) is a researcher, educator, and advocate with 15+ years of expertise and experience in reproductive, sexual and perinatal health, health disparities, and global health. Dr. August currently has more than 40 peer-reviewed publications in various well-known public health, medical, and social science journals and has conducted numerous presentations and workshops at scientific conferences and meetings nationally and internationally. She earned her PhD from the University of South Florida’s College of Public Health from the Department of Community & Family Health in maternal and child health, as well as graduate certificates in social marketing, women’s health, and epidemiology. Dr. August also has a Master of Public Health degree in Health Education & Communication from the Tulane University School of Public Health & Tropical Medicine and a Bachelor of Science degree in Biochemistry from Louisiana State University. Presently, she is completing a post-doctoral fellowship in evaluation and reproductive health. Dr. August previously served as the Executive Director of the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies (1999-2005) and is proud to maintain her active relationship with the organization as a member of its board of directors.

  • Opal Russel


    Opal Russel


    Opal Russel Walker was born in Jamaica and now lives in New Orleans. She holds an MBA degree with a concentration in Health Care Administration. Mrs. Walker works as a Medical Certification Specialist for the state of Louisiana and surveys health care facilities for regulation compliance for the Department of Medicaid and Medicare Services. She is a Registered Nurse by profession and worked as a community mental health nurse in New Orleans from 2003 until 2007. She was a first responder during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005 and worked to assist local returning residents with coping with depression and stress resulting from the storm. Mrs. Walker worked as a Program Director for the Institute of Women & Ethnic Studies from January until December 2000. In this capacity she worked with Teen Expressions, a teen talk show which allowed underserved teens from the New Orleans metropolitan area to design, produce, and host a teen talk show on a local community access network. She resides in New Orleans, LA.

  • Jacqueline Coleman

    Jacqueline Coleman

    Jacqueline Coleman is the Director of Operations for the Washington, D.C. baseball team, the Nationals. Ms. Coleman is a Cable Television Network Executive with twenty five years of award-winning production management and operations experience in entertainment, sports, reality and special programming. Her positions have included membership of the executive production team in the launch of the first 24-hour Regional Sports & Entertainment Network in Charlotte, NC. She was also the co-producer that launched the following award-winning prime-time BET shows & events to rating and sales success: the annual BET Awards show, Celebration of Gospel, Spring Bling, Planet Groove, Unreal, Madd Sports, Turnstyle, Black College Football & Basketball, and Primetime Road Tour. Ms. Coleman’s experience focuses on leading the day-to-day operations of cable television networks and stations at the college, local, national and international levels. She resides in Washington, D.C.

  • Kandice Doley

    Kandice Doley

    Kandice is a native of New Orleans, LA. She earned her undergraduate business degree in Marketing at the University of Miami in 2006 and worked in public relations and marketing in New York City before returning home to New Orleans. With an interest in her community and women’s rights, Kandice joined the Institute of Women and Ethnic Studies in June of 2008. She served as the IWES Administrative Assistant and as a Program Assistant of the Sexual and Reproductive Health Advocacy Project until enrolling at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law in 2009. While attending law school, Kandice clerked for the firm of Gauthier, Houghtaling, and Williams, where she performed legal research and analysis on a number of issues, ranging from Hurricane Katrina litigation to severe personal injury cases. Kandice also worked as a research assistant for the Loyola University Henry F. Bonura, Jr. Distinguished Professor of Law, Ms. Jeanne M. Woods, on human rights and international law publications. During the summer of 2011, Kandice conducted an independent study on post-apartheid race and law in South Africa, and in her final year of law school, interned at the Louisiana Supreme Court for the Honorable Justice Bernette J. Johnson. Upon graduating from Loyola Law in 2012 with a Certificate in International Law, Kandice joined a private practice law firm and will continue to fight for ways to better the lives of those in her community.

  • Stephani L. Hatch, PhD

    Stephani L. Hatch, PhD

    Stephani combines her training in sociology and psychiatric epidemiology as a social epidemiologist in the Department of Psychological Medicine at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London (KCL). She was awarded her PhD by the University of Maryland, College Park in Sociology. She is a former American Sociological Association/National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) pre-doctoral minority fellow in the sociology of mental health and a NIMH postdoctoral training fellow in Psychiatric Epidemiology at Columbia University. She was a former faculty member in the Department of Epidemiology at Columbia University. Dr Hatch is a principal and co-investigator on several community research projects, including comparative US-UK studies. Her primary research interests include projects using qualitative and quantitative methods to study disparities in mental health and service use and social determinants and consequences of mental ill health over the life course, particularly the influences of social stress, intersecting social identities, social context, and the urban environment. Dr. Hatch is the PI of the social inequalities strand of the UK National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) funded Mental Health Biomedical Research Centre, South East London Community Health study and Director of the NIHR-funded Integrated Academic Training Research Methods program. She supervises graduate students, clinicians, and researchers on projects focusing on mental health and wellbeing in the community. Dr Hatch is also the co-founder of the Health Inequalities Research Network, which promotes integrated approaches to participatory research and public engagement in the community.

  • Michele M. Moore, J.D.

    Michele M. Moore, J.D.

    “Michele M. Moore is a leading corporate and brand communications professional with 25 years managing communications and marketing operations for Fortune 500 corporations, media, government and non-profit entities. Recently, Moore served as the Senior Vice President of Publicity at Lifetime Networks overseeing communications for television series, shows, movies and talent. In 2012, she led the publicity campaign for the network’s rebranding effort, helping to promote Lifetime’s ratings and resurgence as a premiere TV entertainment brand for women. Moore’s extensive experience across multiple industries in strategic and crisis communications, media relations, brand marketing, public affairs and corporate philanthropy stem from her senior roles spearheading communications and/or marketing departments at Nickelodeon, BET Networks, the National Urban League and Temple University respectively. In the early nineties, Moore even served in the public sector, as the Press Secretary and Director of Communications for Mayor Marc Morial and the City of New Orleans. She’s been named among the Top 25 Most Influential Black Women Professionals in New York by Network Journal Magazine and served as a spokesperson for civil rights and women on NBC’s Today Show during the Don Imus controversy in 2007. Moore earned her law degree at Howard University School of Law and B.A in Communications at UCLA. She resides in New York City.

  • Ava Rogers

    Ava Rogers

    Ava Rogers has worked in international affairs, specializing in conflict and emergency settings for 20 years. Her previous assignments with the U.S. State Department and the United Nations include the Republic of Congo, Israel and the Palestinian territories, Nigeria, and Sudan. She has an undergraduate degree in international relations from Georgetown University and a Masters in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Ava was raised in New Orleans, Louisiana.