Team

The Racism-based Violence Injury & Prevention Lab was founded by Principal Investigator Dr. Robert O Motley Jr in 2021.

The primary goal of the lab is to provide an interdisciplinary intellectual space in which faculty, masters level students, doctoral students, and postdocs can critically examine the intersection of racism, violence, and trauma and its impact on the well-being of Black emerging adults 18 to 29 years of age. 

The lab is currently comprised of master’s and doctoral students, and postdocs.

Graduate and doctoral students serve as research assistants, project coordinators, and program assistants.

Assistant Professor
Principal Investigator of the RB-VIP Lab

Assistant Professor Robert O. Motley Jr., PhD, MSW, joined Boston College School of Social Work in 2021. He obtained his PhD from Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work, where he was a National Institute of Mental Health (T-32) Pre-doctoral Fellow. His research examines the intersection of racism, violence, and trauma for Black emerging adults ages 18-29 and associated adverse mental and behavioral outcomes. Dr. Motley looks to identify risk and protective factors that can be targeted by behavioral and mental health preventive and intervention programs, and advance personal safety practices and policies in America that are respective of equity and human dignity for marginalized emerging adult populations.


Kaycee Bills

Kaycee Bills

Faculty Affiliate

Dr. Kaycee Bills is an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Fayetteville State University. Her research interests are bullying and violence experienced among marginalized populations such as people with disabilities and people of different ethnic groups.


Cassandra Chaney

Cassandra Chaney

Faculty Affiliate

Cassandra D Chaney, PhD is the J. Franklin Bayhi Endowed Professor in Child and Family Studies, School of Social Work, College of Human Sciences and Education at Louisiana State University (LSU). She is broadly interested in the experiences of African Americans in the United States. Under this umbrella, she examines the emotional closeness and intimacy narratives of African Americans in dating, cohabiting, and married relationships, with a particular interest in relationship formation, maintenance, and stability. She also examines Blacks' historical and contemporary relationship with law enforcement. Dr. Chaney has published nearly 100 manuscripts and book chapters and was co-author of the book Police Use of Excessive Force against African Americans: Historical Antecedents and Community Perceptions (Policing Perspectives and Challenges in the Twenty-First Century). She was also appointed by Interim President Tom Galligan to serve on Louisiana's Police Training and De-Escalation Task Force during 2020-2021.


Camille Quinn

Camille Quinn

Faculty Affiliate

Camille R. Quinn, PhD, AM, LCSW, LISW-S is an Associate Professor in Community Engagement Research in the Center for Equitable Family and Community Well-being in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. She is a health criminology scientist, and the goal of her research is to enhance and promote the health equity of adolescents and young adults, particularly Black girls, and young women at the intersection of race, health, crime, and the youth punishment system in the United States. Under this umbrella, she investigates the role of protective factors on health and mental health and well-being from school age to young adulthood. Dr. Quinn is a national youth expert and has published 50 manuscripts and book chapters. She is a Co-Principal Investigator of a MacArthur Foundation grant to further the mission of their Safety and Justice ChallengeInitiative, designed to rebuild equitable criminal justice systems and reduce jail incarceration. Dr. Quinn was appointed as a Senior Scholar at the Initiative on GenderJustice and Opportunity, at the Georgetown Law Center on Poverty and Inequality in 2021.


Rebekah Siddiqi

Rebekah Siddiqi

Graduate Research Assistant

After graduating from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2012 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Sociology, Bekah spent several years in the outdoor field working with diverse youth around the country. In 2020, she began attending Boston College School of Social Work and is currently a second-year student specializing in clinical work with children, youth, and families. Bekah’s past work with diverse youth and her desire to help make society more equitable led to her interest in working with the RB-VIP lab. One interesting fact about Bekah is that she walked all 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 2018.


Erik Simmons

Erik Simmons

Research Statistician

Erik Simmons, PhD is currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Research Program on Children and Adversity, Boston College School of Social Work. His current work seeks to investigate the implementation science strategies that enable evidence-based programs to scale efficiently and thrive in Africa. His research broadly explores the interdisciplinary nexus of behavioral sciences, health, technology, design, and the environment. He is also an Honorary Fellow at the School of Psychology, University of Queensland. He has formerly held lead research roles on international World Bank projects and a Senior Science Advisor role with the behavior science company Evidn. Dr. Simmons is interested in exploring how his expertise in behavioral science can be used to promote social justice and improve the health, wellbeing, and experience of marginalized communities. Dr. Simmons is a lifelong martial artist. Prior to academia, he had a career competing and coaching mixed martial artists professionally around the world.


Danielle Walker

Danielle Walker

Graduate Research Assistant

Danielle Walker is currently a second year PhD student at the Boston College Connell School of Nursing. After graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in Nursing, Danielle worked in outpatient and inpatient mental health in the Boston area. In 2013, she returned to Boston College to obtain her Master’s degree and currently works part-time as a Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner. In 2020, she returned to Boston College again to pursue her doctorate with an interest in the impact of community and gang violence on Black emerging adults. In her free time, Danielle enjoys spending time with family and trying new restaurants. 


Eric Williamson

Eric Williamson

Graduate Research Assistant

After graduating from Loyola University of Chicago, Eric taught Algebra I at MATCH Charter High School, enrolling in Boston College's Master's in Measurement, Evaluation, Statistics, and Assessment program after three years in the classroom. Eric is currently a doctoral candidate and hopes to leverage social science research towards a more equitable world through his work at the RB-VIP Lab. In his free time, Eric enjoys writing poliscifi (political science fiction).


Christopher Baidoo

Christopher Baidoo

Lab Manager

Christopher Baidoo is a first-year social work Ph.D. student. Holding degrees in both social work and law, he has worked with social justice organizations, higher education institutions, and government agencies. He most recently served as Chief of Staff and Director of Institutional Research at California WesternSchool of Law. Inspired by his experience in social work, law, and data analysis, he is interested in research at the intersection of racial justice and criminal law and procedure, including examining the effect of colorism and skin tone in the criminal process.


Anthony Easter

Anthony Easter

Graduate Research Assistant

Anthony is a second-year social work student on the clinical track with a concentration in Afrocentric Social Work Practice. He graduated from the University of California, Davis with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Human Development. He is on the Addictions Consult Team at Massachusetts General Hospital as an intern.


Anthony Easter

Awanti Acharya

GIS Research Consultant

Awanti Acharya received her doctoral degree from The University of Connecticut and holds a graduate certificate in Geographic Information System (GIS). She served as a GIS Consultant at Research Services, Boston College. Her research interests are in spatial analysis and its applications in real estate, environmental studies, social issues, and community health. She specializes in cartography, GIS and spatial data analysis.


JoDeanne Francis

JoDeanne Francis

Media Coordinator

JoDeanne Francis is a final year School of Social Work clinical student with a concentration on mental health. She holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology as well as in sexuality, women, and gender studies. After graduating from Amherst College, she worked on creating contextualized programming for Black college students and subsequently completed a Master’s degree in theological studies. JoDeanne’s research interests center on the intersection of mental health, ethnicity, faith, and intimate relationships. She has a passion for person-centered research that focuses on communities of color, women, and immigrants. As an intern in an adult outpatient clinic of a community mental health agency, JoDeanne has gained insight into the many disparities in mental health centers. She aspires to do trauma-informed faith and justice-oriented work centered on holistic healing, community education, and advocacy. In her free time, she enjoys discovering new places through traveling.


Martín Rangel

Martín Rangel

Graduate Research Assistant

Martín Rangel (he/him/his) is a first-generation Latino clinical social work student within Boston College’s Latinx Leadership Initiative. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Bachelors of Arts in psychology and a minor in counseling and social change, Martín worked at the Nicholas Academic Centers, where he empowered underserved high school students to achieve their full academic and social potential in their pursuit of fulfilling a multigenerational dream of being the first in their family to obtain a post-secondary education. Serving at-risk, currently, or formerly incarcerated youth via intervention, prevention, rehabilitation, and reintegration have been the cornerstones of his professional interests and passions. Martín hopes to deconstruct the disparities of the juvenile justice system and disseminate the impact of youth incarceration. In his free time, Martín enjoys getting lost in nature, practicing mindfulness, and photography, and focusing on his health and fitness. He believes that having patience with ourselves, trusting in time, and maintaining our faith will welcome opportunities to become better versions of ourselves.


Jamelia Willock

Jamelia Willock

Graduate Research Assistant

Before coming to Boston College, Jamelia graduated from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where she majored in psychology with a minor in African American studies. Currently, she is a second-year student in the School of Social Work and on the clinical track with a concentration in Afrocentric social work. Jamelia is a part of the initial cohort of students belonging to the Black Leadership Initiative, where students are trained as Master's level social workers to address issues affecting the Black community.