Meet This Year's Inspiring Point Foundation Scholars
BY Sunnivie Brydum
June 20 2014 5:30 AM ET
Morgan Cheatham grew up outside of Washington, D.C., in the suburbs of Alexandria, Va. Being biracial, of African American and Irish descent, Morgan learned about the importance of identity through her childhood experiences. She is fortunate to have loving and supportive family and friends around her. However, several experiences in high school made her realize the importance of advocating for the LGBTQ community and she began volunteering for the Human Rights Campaign at Capitol Pride and other events. During her senior year, Morgan presented a 40-page research paper on the history of the LGBT rights' movement to her class, with the hopes of raising awareness and visibility of LGBTQ issues in her community.
Morgan is honored to be part of the program in liberal medical education at Brown University, an eight-year guaranteed medical track that feeds into Warren Alpert Medical School. During her first semester at Brown, Morgan took a pre-clinical elective at the medical school called "Gender and Sexuality in Health Care: Caring for All Patients Across the Lifespan." Inspired by this elective, she founded "Queer People and Allies for the Advancement of Medicine," an LGBT health education and advocacy group at Brown, of which she is president. QPAAM is working with the Warren Alpert Medical School and hospitals in Rhode Island to improve LGBT Health Education and Awareness, and to bring about health care equality. Morgan also helped found the Institute for Healthcare Improvement's Rhode Island Chapter, a student group focused on quality improvement and patient safety in health care.
Morgan plans to pursue a concentration in neuroscience as an undergraduate and hopes to be accepted into an anesthesia residency after medical school. She has deep and enduring interests in health care quality improvement and patient safety, health policy, public health, and health for underserved groups, and hopes to pursue these interests for the betterment of LGBTI health care.
From 2008 through 2014, Win Chesson served as the Director of Development at Immigration Equality, the national leader in LGBT and HIV immigration rights. In that time, the organization doubled its number of offices, tripled its budget, quadrupled client services, and secured asylum for over 500 LGBT people with a 99 percent success rate. Win won a Morehead-Cain Scholarship to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he graduated with Highest Distinction. At UNC, Win wrote for Lambda Magazine, directed the largest LGBT student conference in the South, and created an accredited seminar called “T is for Transgender: An Ally’s Guide to Activism.”
Win is passionate about social justice, philanthropy, and outdoor adventure. He cycled across the United States to raise money for affordable housing, swam 28 miles around Manhattan on a four-person charity relay, and summited Mount Kenya. He swims for Team New York Aquatics, the largest LGBT swim team in the world, and helped TNYA raise and give away over $100,000 in five years. Under his leadership as board copresident in 2012, TNYA won the LGBT International Aquatics Championships. Win has received multiple top-ten national rankings as a Masters swimmer, including nine first places.
Bridgette Davis grew up in rural Iowa with her loving family, and she was a leading scholar-athlete. She was the first in her family to graduate from college, excelling academically while working multiple jobs. Bridgette chose to forgo athletics after being marginalized by her college teammates’ homophobia, then dedicated her energy to covering LGBTQ discrimination as editor of her campus newspaper. After graduating, she joined Teach For America, left Iowa, came out and became an out, proud teacher whose work in underserved communities is grounded in honesty, hard work, and high expectations.
In 10 years as an educator, Bridgette reached ambitious academic goals with her students in Atlanta and Chicago. She held leadership roles with Teach For America and the Noble Network of Charter Schools. As a Dean at Rowe-Clark Math & Science Academy, she affirmed the academic, financial, social, citizenship, sexual, and gender identities of her students — 86 percent of whom are the first in their families to attend college. Bridgette built her school's college counseling program where 100 percent of students were accepted to college and persist in college at four times the rate of Chicago Public Schools students. Bridgette measures her success by the persistence of her former students; many lead LGBTQ, diversity, and social justice organizations on their respective campuses nationally.
At the University of Chicago School of Social Administration, Bridgette will study how adolescents develop noncognitive skills like optimism, grit, and gratitude through positive use of social media. Bridgette shares her life and work with her wife, Ellen, a KIPP principal.
Gregory Davis was raised with his brother by his mother, older sister, grandmother, and uncle in Detroit, Mich., a city in perpetual (identity) crisis. In his studies, Gregory uses his training in social psychology, law, and African-American studies to understand the dynamics, philosophies, and policies of diversity and inclusion in higher education. His work centers on making admissions, recruitment, and retention better for all applicants in all levels of higher education. In his work, Gregory strives to make education a welcoming developmental space for all those marginalized by race, sexual orientation, gender, or disability.
At Morehouse College in Atlanta, Ga., Gregory studied psychology and saw firsthand the makings of queer identity in the urban, Baptist, black South. In 2014, Gregory completed a four-year stay JD/MA joint-degree candidate in Afro-American Studies and law at the University of California Los Angeles. There, he devoted much time and effort to understanding the queer experience in graduate education. Much of this work was in collaboration with the Williams Institute for Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law and Public Policy. Through Williams, Gregory was the student director of the nation’s only LGBT moot court competition, served as the editor in chief of The Dukeminier Awards: Best Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law Review Articles of 2013, and as the Gleason-Kettel Summer Fellow, working on HIV and AIDS public policy. After completing the doctoral program in African and African American Studies at Harvard University, Gregory hopes to enter legal academia to write and teach about diversity, admissions, and law.