FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 29, 2023
Contact: Robin Raskob
San Francisco, CA — Today, Hopelab, a transformative social innovation lab and impact investor working at the intersection of technology and youth mental health, announced its two newest Health Equity fellows, Dr. Charity Brown Griffin, who will serve the Translational Science Fellow and Bruny Kenou, its new Community-Based Tech Fellow.
Hopelab launched the Health Equity Fellowship earlier this year to explore opportunities related to unmet needs in the well-being of young people. The two fellows will be in a cohort together and have the opportunity to support and learn from each other throughout a six-month engagement at Hopelab.
“As Hopelab explores new partnerships to improve mental health outcomes for under-resourced communities, I’m excited we are giving attention to the inclusion of centering health equity in those conversations,” said Julie Tinker, Hopelab’s Equity Innovation Lead. “The Health Equity Fellowships allow for the funding of community-centered approaches and reciprocal learning opportunities to fuel more equitable outcomes in the field of youth mental health – something we can all get behind.”
A licensed psychologist, Dr. Griffin is an Associate Professor of Psychological Sciences at Winston-Salem State University. Her research expertise is examining cultural and contextual factors that contribute to Black youth’s development, with a focus on promoting Black excellence and thriving in youth. Her work spans multiple areas and includes racial identity, racial socialization, school racial climate, school engagement, social-emotional learning, and youth participatory action research. Dr. Griffin is also committed to the translation of her research into practice, including the development of culturally specific intervention and prevention programming and media content.
While at Hopelab, Dr. Griffin will engage Black youth directly in research to elevate their ideas and voices about how to design digital media that supports and affirms their strengths and well-being. Dr. Griffin will also be supporting Hopelab in developing a plan to partner with HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) research teams.
A mental health activist, Ms. Kenou is a medical student at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences. She graduated from Duke University in 2020 with a Distinction in Neuroscience and has worked as a researcher at the National Institutes of Mental Health and the Duke Institute of Brain Sciences, and as an Advisor on Youth Mental Health for the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
As Hopelab’s Community-Based Tech Fellow, Ms. Kenou will advance the development of the Lay Mental Health Advocates Initiative, which she founded and focuses on community mental health education and the use of virtual patient advocacy to improve the health outcomes of communities. She will support Hopelab’s learning and exploration of community partnerships in mental health solutions; how innovative tech may be used in new ways in a behavioral health initiative; and how community-based tech may push towards more equitable health solutions.
Hopelab is a transformative social innovation lab and impact investor working to support the mental well-being of adolescents, ages 10-25, especially BIPOC and LGBTQ+ youth. Through targeted social impact investments, youth-centered design and research support, and translational science partnerships, the organization leverages 20+ years of co-creation experience to influence systems change while centering health equity. Learn more at hopelab.org.
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