Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee

The Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention Community Stakeholder Advisory Committee serves as a source of community stakeholders’ expertise and insight to inform IFIP priorities and provide feedback. Members have non-profit, practitioner, and/or community perspectives and advise the Institute on grassroots and local perspectives, engaging stakeholders, and translating research into action.

Gene Ananiev, PhD

Lab Director, Small Molecule Screening Facility Madison, Wisconsin

Dr. Ananiev is a competitive shooter and a scientist. He has a Ph.D. in cellular and molecular biology and works full time as a researcher in the field of drug discovery. His academic and personal background gives him a unique perspective on research and firearm policy. As a competitive shooter, he is deeply concerned about the erosion of individual rights to keep and bear arms in the U.S. As a scholar, parent, and full-time employee of an educational institution, he is also deeply concerned with security and safety. He is interested in studying the effectiveness of firearm laws both in the U.S and globally.

Tia Bell, MA

Founder and CEO, T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project Washington, District of Columbia

Tia Bell became familiar with the struggles of at-risk youth early in life as the oldest child of an adolescent mother in Washington, D.C. Overpowered by crime, defeat, and disadvantage, 7 out of 10 Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) were lived before the age of 10 years old. By the age of 17, firearm violence caused dozens of loved ones pain or silence including her mother, who is a survivor, and her late uncle. In Tia’s determination to find significance in life’s pain she found peace on the court winning Gatorade Player of the Year in 2006 and 2007 while attending HD Woodson Senior High School she earned her an invitation to serve as a scholastic member of the Wolfpack Women’s Basketball Club. In 2011, Tia received her Bachelor’s of Science in Sport Management from NC State University. Following multiple acute knee injuries which ended her basketball career, Tia was afforded the opportunity to become the first in her family to complete high school, college and now pursue a Master’s degree. It was during this difficult shift that she discovered herself and her calling to serve and support the young. Tia has gained meaningful experience in undergraduate admissions, college access, school counseling, coaching, and firearm violence prevention. As the Founder of FOuR, LLC and The T.R.I.G.G.E.R. Project, today she lives to prevent firearm violence through the intersection of positive youth development, public health, cultural responsiveness. In this light, youth are positioned to create and design solutions of holistic healing for the youth, from the youth and STOP the spread of the disease of firearm violence.

Nichole Carter, MS

Chief of Staff, Bright Star Community Outreach Chicago, Illinois

Nichole Carter currently serves as the Chief of Staff for Bright Star Community Outreach. Nichole brings over 25 years of experience within the public and private sector, impacting individuals’ and families’ lives through housing, education, and social service initiatives. The last 15 years have focused on the nonprofit space. Nichole has worked in youth development through the Knoxville Area Urban League; before coming to Bright Star Community Outreach, she worked to help build infrastructure in small local nonprofits. Mrs. Carter is a graduate of Spelman College, where she received her BA in English. Nichole furthered her academic career and attained a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy. As a former counseling practitioner, Nichole understands the need to consider the individual and the systems that affect the individual. She brings the system approach when developing and assessing programs within Bright Star. Mrs. Carter is a 2021 fellow of the Civic Leadership Academy through the University of Chicago.

Her nearly 7-year career with BSCO has included: staff management, program administration, training, and grant writing. Nichole’s mantra is “Changing the World, one family at a time .”She is grateful that she can work to accomplish this through her responsibilities at Bright Star Community Outreach.

Sarah Derwin

Health Educator, Marquette County Health Department
Marquette, Michigan

Sarah Derwin is a health educator at the Marquette County Health Department. She earned her bachelor’s degree from Grand Valley State University. Ms. Derwin is appointed by the director of the Department of Health and Human Services to represent a member who is in charge of a local health department. Ms. Derwin serves on the Governor’s Suicide Prevention Commission.

Avery Peeples, MSW

Senior Advisor, Mayor’s Office, City of Detroit

Detroit, Michigan

Avery Peeples (she/her/hers) is an experienced political and government affairs professionals with demonstrated success in policy and program development, advocacy, strategic planning and project management. Avery serves a Sr. Advisor under Mayor Mike Duggan, City of Detroit. Currently, she manages a portfolio focused on promoting community health and mitigating community violence. Prior to her six years of public service to the City of Detroit, Avery received a Master of Social Work in Social Policy and Evaluation from the University of Michigan.