In Our Own Voices: Serving the needs of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, & Transgender
People of Color, our Friends and Families.

Board Chairs

Dr. Robert Miller Jr. - President

Robert L. Miller, Jr. has over 25 years of clinical and psychosocial research expertise in HIV disease among African Americans.  He is a tenured, associate professor of social work at the University at Albany, School of Social Welfare where he teaches in both the clinical and policy curricula. As a social work researcher, he interrogates the intersection of HIV disease and spirituality in the lives of sexual minorities who are people of color. Dr. Miller has published special editions of journals, empirical articles and an edited book in the areas of HIV disease among black gay men, spirituality and social work practice, spirituality and theology among gay men, qualitative methods, and social work policy and practice in eastern and southern Africa.  He has held visiting professorships in Addis Ababa University, Barhir Dar University (Ethiopia) and The University of California, San Francisco Medical School, Center for AIDS Prevention Studies. Dr. Miller is federally funded researcher and consults with local, state and federal agencies and is most recently a member of The White House Office of National AIDS Policy Summit on HIV Prevention in African American gay and bisexual men.  Dr. Miller earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Social Work from Columbia University.  Dr. Miller cherishes his affiliation with The In Our Own Voices organization

Dr. Robert Waters, Treasurer

Dr. Waters received a Ph.D. in Administration and Policy Analysis from Stanford and a Master's in Public Policy from Harvard. His Bachelor's degree is in Economics and American Studies from Eckerd College. His hobbies include singing and watching movies, sports, and The Simpsons.

Damarise Mann, LMSW-

Damarise Alexander-Mann
Damarise Alexander-Mann is the Director of  Foster Care and Adoption Programs at Parsons Child and Family Center, one of the largest multi-service agencies in New Yorks Capitol Region dedicated to helping families and their children. A graduate of the University at Albany School of Social Welfare, she has been the Director of the Parsons Foster Care and Adoption Programs since 2008. Ms., Mann is a firm advocate for family reunification and evidence-based juvenile justice programs as alternatives to detention and incarceration. Ms. Mann is also an adjunct lecturer at the Social Welfare Graduate Program at the University at Albany and serves on the Department Advisory Board for the Human Services and Substance Abuse Counseling Program at Hudson Valley Community College. Ms. Mann has lived in the Capitol Region for over 25 years with her spouse and their two daughters. She holds dear her affiliation with the In our Own Voices Organization.

Board Members

Dr. Sean Chappin

Dr. Sean R Chappin, MD is currently the medical director of Pinnacle Behavioral Health. Sean graduated from Yale University with a B.A. in archaeological studies, and continued his education at New York University Medical School. After graduating from his residency program in Psychiatry at Beth Israel Medical Center, Sean continues his studies at NYU with a fellowship in Addiction Psychiatry.  Sean eventually became an assistant professor at NYU, working specifically at Bellevue hospital where his focus was not only on addiction psychiatry, but as well as forensic and emergency psychiatry.
As an assistant professor, Sean was also in charge of teaching fellows, residents, and medical students.  Sean continued his academic career when he became the assistant director of the addiction fellowship program at Beth Israel Medical Center (BIMC).  While at BIMC, Sean also became an assistant professor at Yeshevia University.  After a 1 year period as Chairman of Psychiatry at Samaritan Hospital, Sean joined Pinnacle to specialize in community psychiatry.  His work continues to be focused on LGBT, minority, immigrant, marginalized populations and addiction needs in the Capital Region.

Brian Coffin

Brian Coffin is currently the Legislative Director for a Member of the NYS Assembly representing a portion of the Capital District. He considers himself a long-time progressive activist and student of New York State politics. Brian was previously the Director of Legislative and Political Affairs at the Empire State Pride Agenda, during which time he helped craft the successful legislative campaign to pass marriage equality and the Dignity for All Students Act into law. He also worked with the transgender community and allies to pass the Gender Expression Non Discrimination Act (GENDA) in the NYS Assembly. Brian came onto the In Our Own Voices board of directors in August 2014.

Rhonda Daniel

Rhonda Daniel is a native of Jackson, MS. There she was able to receive her Certificate in Graphic Print Communications from Hinds Community College. Prior to relocating to the Capital District area, Rhonda served on a diverse team of ten in Vicksburg, MS for 10 months with AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) FEMA Corps. During this time, she completed over 1700 hours of volunteer service in conjunction with FEMA Reservist to disseminate disaster relief information to survivors in affected areas. Rhonda went on to continue her volunteer service as an AmeriCorps VISTA*Fellow partnered with Siena College for two years; serving at Parsons Child and Family Center. At the conclusion of her second VISTA term, Rhonda was hired on as the Student Intern & Volunteer Specialist at Northern Rivers Family of Services. Currently, she is responsible for the recruitment of volunteers and student interns placed in various programs within the agency. She also facilitate Independent Living Skill groups in an off campus group home for young adults ages 18-21 based on the Ansell Casey Life Skills.