Jallicia Jolly’s academic work — exploring how race, gender, sexuality and health unfold in the lives of black women — is grounded in the community.

While pursuing a PhD in American studies at the University of Michigan, for example, Jolly worked as an HIV tester and counselor with the non-profit agency Gospel Against AIDS in Detroit led by HIV activists Rosalind Andrews-Worthy, and Felix and Paula Sirls. This allowed her to engage with and support residents firsthand while gaining a deeper understanding of their lives and challenges.