Interim Executive Director
Veleria has over 20 years of experience in the healthcare profession, the last 11 of which have been focused entirely on HIV advocacy, policy, and education. Prior to joining the NCAAN team, she served as a Senior Regional Account Executive for Avita Pharmacy, where she mentored, managed, and trained all new Sales Account Executives, while continuing to maintain and grow her southern territory. As part of that role, Veleria worked on pharmacy policy at multiple state capitals and on Capitol Hill. She has served in local and state political positions with the NC Democratic Party and is known to state and federal elected officials on both sides of the aisle. Veleria is a community volunteer and member of several National Membership organizations. She is currently finishing her final year at Wake Forest Law School, getting her Masters of Science in Law with a focus on Healthcare Law and Policy.
Contact her at email@example.com.
Christina Adeleke is NCAAN’s Policy and Communications Director. Before coming to NCAAN, Christina was the Coalition Organizer at Equality NC, an organization dedicated to securing equality rights and justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) North Carolinians. While with ENC, Christina created and maintained partnerships with broad-based coalitions and grassroots activities and assisted in lobbying efforts with the North Carolina General Assembly. Christina has also worked at the Freedom Center for Social Justice, an organization providing essential support and advocacy for transgender people, elders, people of color, youth, sexual minorities and communities of faith, and at the Children of Inmates, an organization focused on assuring that children with incarcerated parents have opportunities to be cared for and supported in their development by responsible adults, helping professionals, and others in their communities. Christina currently serves on the Board of Governors for the Human Rights Campaign.
Christina received her J.D., with the highest pro bono honors, and is a member of the Florida Bar. While in law school, she was a member of the LGBT Legal Society, Public Interest Law Society, Delta Theta Phi Legal Fraternity, and the competitive Civil Rights Clinic. Christina graduated cum laude from Lee University in Cleveland, Tennessee with her B.A. in Public Relations and minor in Religion. Christina’s passions include music, politics, and traveling. She is native of Miami, Florida, and currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Contact Christina at christina@NCAAN.org or (980) 819-1876.
De’Shea Coney is an Alabama native who moved to Raleigh, North Carolina at the start of middle school. After graduating from Garner High School, De’Shea studied Social Work at the University of Iowa and minored in Psychology and Human Relations with concentrations in Human Sexuality and Counseling. During his years as an undergraduate, De’Shea volunteered at a local Domestic Violence Shelter and served as a Sexual Assault Advocate. His introduction to HIV healthcare began during his first year as a model, and eventually Vice President, for a multicultural fashion show that donated proceeds to the local HIV clinics of eastern Iowa.
After completing his degree, De’Shea continued field work as an intern at a federally qualified health center that was formerly the AIDS Project of Central Iowa. His internship led to him becoming a Prevention Specialist at the same clinic. Along with providing HIV, Hepatitis C, and STI testing and education, De’Shea served on the board for the Iowa Community Planning Group for HIV and Hepatitis C. He also served on the board of the Des Moines Pride Center as the Diversity Liaison and a facilitator for the Gay Men’s Support Group. While volunteering and working closely with the Iowa Harm Reduction Coalition, De’Shea learned more about the health disparities facing those living with Hep C and the policies that stagnate the mission of harm reduction.
Matt Martin has been with the North Carolina AIDS Action Network’s since August 2016 and currently serves as the Associate Director. Matt graduated from Western Carolina University in 2013, receiving a B.S.Ed. and B.M. in Instrumental Music Education with a minor in Religious Studies. After teaching Middle School Band in the NC Public School system for two years, Matt left education to follow a passion for advocacy and activism. Prior to joining the NCAAN team, Matt worked as a Field Organizer on the TurnOUT! Charlotte and TurnOUT! North Carolina campaigns, two LGBTQ+ issue based coalition campaigns.
Matt served on the board of directors for Time Out Youth Center in Charlotte, NC in 2015, is a graduate of the Latino Commission on AIDS Dennis deLeon Sustainable Leadership Institute, and volunteers with various progressive organizations across North Carolina. When not working, you can typically find Matt reading dystopian novels and drinking entirely too much coffee. Matt currently is based in Greensboro, North Carolina.
Contact Matt at firstname.lastname@example.org or (336) 263-3067.
Rita joined NC AIDS Action Network as a community organizer in 2018. Rita has been a longtime leader in the HIV community in North Carolina for decades. She has worked with Triangle Empowerment Center as the Woman’s Facilitator, and focused much of her work on HIV and its impact on women. In 2012, she founded the “It’s All About Me” support group, which has supported minority women living with HIV throughout the the triangle region of NC. She has served on the Duke AIDS Research and Treatment Community Advisory Board, and was recognized on the POZ 100 list in 2017.
Contact Rita at email@example.com or 919-908-4983.
J. Donte` Prayer
J. Donte` Prayer is the NC AIDS Action Network’s Health Access Coordinator. He is a native of Greenville, North Carolina but currently resides in Charlotte.
Donte` is a proud product of Elizabeth City State University with a Special Education and Psychology background but also has expertise in the public health field. Prior to joining the NCAAN team, Donté was a Prevention Coordinator for a local AIDS service organization, focusing on community-based outreach and engagement, mobilization, health disparity education, counseling and assessment, sexual wellness, HIV and Hepatitis linkage to care and other referral services including PrEP navigation. Donte’ served as the Chair of the Collaborative Council for Statusboiz and Statusgurlz, a University of North Carolina at Charlotte research study funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Minority AIDS Research Initiative. This $1.1 million project focused on HIV prevention for young African American gay/bisexual men and transgender women through culturally based social networking. His involvement ensured the success of the project.
Donté continues to serve on community councils, boards and planning bodies to eradicate the HIV disparity including the Black Treatment Advocates Network and the Greater Charlotte HIV Collaborative Council. Although, Donté is no longer doing direct services, he has community rapport to ensure marginalized groups are effectively and holistically being served within the community. Aside from his advocacy passion, Donté has a passion for fashion and entertainment. He loves to travel, enjoys music, theater or anything that is performance based.
Contact Donte’ at donte@NCAAN.org or (252) 702-5166.
Miriam joined the NCAAN team as its part-time Finance Manager in December 2021. Her passion for working with nonprofits comes from her desire to see and experience organizations that are making a difference in their community. Miriam has nonprofit experience in finances, development, fundraising, organizing, and community outreach. She works with multiple nonprofits in the Durham and Raleigh community and has been in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. In 2016, Miriam was awarded the Steve Schewel Award for being a Triangle resident who does impactful work for a local nonprofit. When Miriam is not hard at work, she loves to spend time with her baby, travel, try new restaurants, take day trips to the ocean, and experience new things.
Contact Miriam at firstname.lastname@example.org or (252) 702-5166.