Martez Smith is a first year PhD student at the University of Rochester, School of Nursing. Hailing from Columbus, Ohio, he developed an interest in research and social justice work by way of the house ball community. His experiences as a member of the House of Evisu, now known as the House of Xclusive-Lanvin, led him to pursue education in social work (The Ohio State University '13, BSW; Long Island University Brooklyn '17, MSW). Currently, Martez is researching the impact of kinship on health disparities among African diaspora LGBTQ communities, and organizing for social justice with the Keeping Ballroom Community Alive Network (KBCAN), which he co-founded in 2015.
Photo credit: Ajamu Ikwe-Tyehimba