Stacy W. Smallwood (‘01) has been named Executive Director of Wake Forest University School of Divinity’s Faith COMPASS Center. He currently serves as associate professor of community health and founding director of the Office of Health Equity and Community Engagement in the Jiann-Ping Hsu College of Public Health at Georgia Southern University. He is also an affiliate faculty member in the Women’s, Gender, & Sexuality Studies program at Georgia Southern University. Smallwood will begin his new role on June 1, 2024.

Dr. Stacy W. Smallwood (‘01)

“We are excited to welcome Dr. Smallwood back to Wake Forest University to engage in the critical work of the Faith COMPASS Center,” said Corey D. B. Walker, dean of Wake Forest University School of Divinity and Wake Forest Professor of the Humanities. “His commitment to scholarship and community engagement positions him to provide effective leadership for the Center in mobilizing and supporting our faith partners as the Center builds HIV awareness through education, grant-making, and advocacy.”

Smallwood brings more than 20 years of experience to the Center. From working to improve the quality of HIV prevention and treatment in rural areas to involvement in national HIV prevention efforts, Smallwood’s passion for the center’s mission is evident. His previous experience includes developing interventions to promote HIV prevention and awareness in faith-based communities in South Carolina. He has also developed and implemented programs to increase knowledge and awareness of HIV pre-exposure prophylaxis (PrEP) among minoritized and vulnerable communities throughout Georgia. 

Smallwood has served as a past chair of the American Public Health Association’s HIV/AIDS Section, in which he initiated a new fellowship program to support early-career HIV researchers and professionals. He is a member of the HIV Prevention Trials Network (HPTN) 096 protocol team which focuses on examining stigma, health equity, and PrEP accessibility among Black gay, bisexual, and same-gender-loving men in the American South. Smallwood continues to be at the forefront of HIV prevention strategies by serving as a member of the “PrEP in Black America” coalition, an initiative to advocate for a national agenda for making PrEP accessible for all Black communities. 

“Stacy Smallwood is an exceptional leader, community advocate, and scholar with extensive experience in health promotion and HIV prevention,” said Shonda Jones, principal investigator of the Faith COMPASS Center. “He brings a wealth of experience in promoting health equity among marginalized communities. His leadership will advance the mission of the center and expand the capacity of diverse faith communities to address HIV/AIDS and health inequities.” 

Smallwood’s scholarship examines the intersections of public health, faith, and HIV. His specialized training in the area of HIV prevention informs his research in promoting equity in health and well-being among communities disproportionately affected by inequity and disease. With over a decade of experience teaching in the classroom, his interests include HIV prevention, sexual health, LGBTQ+ health, discrimination and health, and community engagement. 

He has published more than 30 articles, essays, book chapters, and reviews appearing in a wide range of scholarly journals and publications. He is the principal investigator for Racial Equity to Advance Community Health (REACH) Bulloch and co-investigator of the Safe Water Together for Brunswick, Georgia Initiative. His civic engagement includes serving as the Chair of the Statesboro Commission on Diversity & Inclusion (“One Boro”) and a member of the Statesboro-Bulloch Remembrance Coalition, which coordinates efforts to promote truth and reconciliation around the histories of racial terror in Bulloch County, Georgia. He is also ordained in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church.

“Our society is at a critical juncture in our ability and commitment to reduce new HIV infections, increase quality of treatment, and enhance community advocacy for equity,” said Smallwood. “It is vital that we make sure our faith communities are part of this conversation and the way forward. I am excited to bring my past experiences to bear in this work, and facilitate the dialogues and collaborations within and between faith communities that will help us to effectively end the HIV epidemic.”

Smallwood earned his MPH and PhD from the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina-Columbia. He also completed a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of South Carolina College of Social Work’s I. DeQuincey Newman Institute for Peace and Social Justice. He earned his BS in Health and Exercise Science from Wake Forest University.

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