Dr. Sonyia Richardson is an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work, Director of the Race and Social Equity Research Academy, and the Founder and Director of the Mental Health Research and Practice Lab at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. As a clinical researcher, her agenda focuses on developing and testing novel interventions aimed at reducing suicide among Black youth. In her lab, she aims to identify and remove barriers to mental health treatment for racially minoritized populations and eliminate resulting disparities through mixed-methods, community-engaged research.
Recently, Dr. Richardson was selected by the National Institutes of Health to participate in the 2022 Summer Institute on Randomized Behavioral Clinical Trials. She is the recipient of a National Institute of Mental Health Funding and serves as a Principal Investigator for the CA-LINC: A Culturally Adapted Care Coordination Suicide Model for Black Youth (1R34MH129782-01). As a respected scholar in the field of social work, she has published two co-edited books, produced numerous publications, and received over one million dollars in grant funding.
In addition to her work within academia, Dr. Richardson is engaged with local, state, and national initiatives. As a respected scholar in the field of social work, she was appointed for two terms to the Andrea Harris Social, Economic, Environmental, and Health Equity Task Force by North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper in 2020. Additionally, she received the North Carolina National Association of Social Workers Award for the 2021 Social Worker of the Year for her leadership and advocacy efforts. Locally, Dr. Richardson is the founder and owner of Another Level Counseling and Consultation, a counseling agency in Charlotte, North Carolina. For over 16 years, the agency has been instrumental in providing counseling services, facilitating corporate and community wellness workshops, and providing consultation services internationally to corporations. These entrepreneurial and executive skills support her ability to create successful collaborative research teams. She has facilitated wellness training symposiums internationally and nationally for schools and communities, universities, and Fortune 500 companies.
Dr. Beth Wahler is the Director of the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and founder/owner of Beth Wahler Consulting. She is a social worker consultant and researcher that works with public libraries to understand patrons' psychosocial needs (such as mental health, substance abuse, poverty-related needs, etc.), staff needs with supporting high-needs patrons, and to provide training or assistance with developing programming and services to assist with these needs.
She has written a forthcoming book called, "Creating a Person-Centered Library: Best Practices for Supporting High-Needs Patrons," to be published by Libraries Unlimited in 2023, and publishes and presents widely on topics related to library needs and social work/library collaborations.
Dr. Michelle Meggs serves as the Executive Director of the Women + Girls Research Alliance (W+GRA) at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The W+GRA is committed to improving the lives of women and girls in the greater Charlotte metropolitan area by facilitating partnerships among researchers, community leaders, and civic investors that produce transformative outcomes. The W+GRA leverages its unique connection to the University and community to implement strategies that produce innovative solutions to systemic challenges that impede the well being of women and girls.
Dr. Meggs completed her doctoral degree at Clark Atlanta University, her Master of Divinity Degree at Wake Forest University, and her Bachelors Degree at Johnson C. Smith University. She is the author of, “Is There Room for the Ratchet in the Beloved Community” in Womanist Ethical Rhetoric: A Call for Liberation and Social Justice in Turbulent Times (Lexington Books, 2021) and co-author of an upcoming publication “DaRona and a Virtual Kitchen Table Politics of Community” in Black Women and Da Rona: Community, Consciousness, and Ethics of Care (University of Arizona Press, 2023).
Dr. Meggs’ research centers around expanding and including the authentic voices of women and girls in academic research. Dr. Meggs coined the phrase Ratchet Womanist in her doctoral research and continues to write and publish about its liberative edges for Black women. She believes that research should have legs and utilizes her scholarship to embolden the work of local leaders so their efforts can have a long-lasting impact.
Chef Yvette Kerns, owner of Petite Cook Charlotte provides boutique style personal chef services to private clients in and around the greater Charlotte, NC area.
Specializing in customized menus to meet the palates, dietary and specific needs of each client, The Petite Cook Charlotte prides herself in high quality, flavor forward, healthy meals. Chef Yvette Kerns chefs special dinners/events, cooking classes/workshops, wine pairings, and offers traveling chef services for client vacations.
Petite Cook Charlotte attributes her talent and passion for the culinary arts, through her diverse lifelong worldwide travels and experiences. You can often find Chef Yvette Kerns as a guest Chef on Charlotte’s WBTV QC Life Morning Show, and WCNC Charlotte Today Show respectively, sharing delicious recipes to all of her Queen City Family.