PhD, Human Sexuality
Ericka Burns, MPH, is founder and CEO of Sacramento Peers On Prevention (SacPOP), a non-profit organization dedicated to preventing the spread of HIV among youth. SacPOP was created to promote prevention messages through social media and to provide educational presentations to youth aged 13-24.
Ericka has started working to prevent the spread of HIV at the age of 15 by creating fundraisers and prevention messages for her peers. These experiences lead to her passion to promote and encourage youth advocacy with junior high, high school and college students. She began conducting research on the effectiveness of peer-to-peer interventions in 2009, and by 2011, creating a Youth Peer Educator HIV Training program. This program was created to effectively train youth on how to become risk-reduction counselors in both clinical and outreach settings, and this was also a way to measure increased knowledge and healthy behavior changes of the Youth Peer Educators.
Since 2011, Ericka has continued to implement this program with her current Youth Peer Educators. Through this experience, she has had the opportunity to work with youth from all walks of life. Spending most of the outreach efforts targeting youth, including youth of color and Queer youth.
Erick seeks to conduct research on sexual fluidity in adolescent development and within the Black community. Sexual fluidity has been argued to be a naturally occurring phenomena, but there are still barriers within the Black community that prevents having access to such privilege.