Founder & Executive Director
Dr. Gore is an attending physician and clinical assistant professor at Kings County Hospital – SUNY Downstate Department of Emergency Medicine in Brooklyn, NY. After finishing his undergraduate studies at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, he then went on to the State University of New York at Buffalo for medical school. He then completed his emergency medicine residency training at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, where he was chief resident.
Dr. Gore was the assistant program director for the Kings County-SUNY Downstate Emergency Medicine Residency Program for four years. He is the founder and currently the executive director of the KAVI (Kings Against Violence Initiative), a hospital and school based youth violence intervention prevention and empowerment program targeting teens that have been injured as a result of violence or at risk for violent and recurrent violent injury.
He is the founder and director of the Minority Medical Student Emergency Medicine (MMSEM) Summer Fellowship, which is a mentoring and enrichment program for underrepresented minorities interested in Emergency Medicine with a focus on project development.
Dr. Gore has lectured around the U.S, the Caribbean, and Asia and has worked in East Africa, Haiti and South America. Since 2008 he has been working as a consultant for Clinique Espérance et Vie in Terrier Rouge (Northern Haiti) and working towards establishing a regional health care system in the northern part of Haiti. He is on the board of directors for EMEDEX International, a non-profit organization dedicated to the global promotion and advancement of emergency medicine, disaster management and public health.
When he’s not working he is an avid wanderer/traveler, photographer, snowboarder and student of capoeira (Afro-Brazilian martial art).
Born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana, she inherited an ethic of community service from my grandmother, an active community member in the city’s Third Ward. Throughout her career, her work focused on urban populations such as New York City’s Community Action for Prenatal Care Initiative, HRSA’s PROJECT PREVENTS, CDC Project S.T.E.P.S and Columbia University’s BedStuy West Community Research Studies and now as KAVI's Chief Operating Officer.
With a passion for academic endeavors, she graduated from Clark Atlanta University and have earned a Master of Public Health degree at New York University. It was in New York that her interest in advocacy was ignited. With a deep concern for the well-being of communities like the one she grew up in, she has become an advocate for social justice, prevention research/initiatives and a leader in the movement to transform and renew our urban communities.
Director of Young Men's Initiative
Russell Frederick is a Brooklyn, NY born photographer of Panamanian heritage. He was appointed as the Men's Program Director in 2011 once Dr. Gore saw his passion for youth development. Mr. Frederick’s testimony in life as a man and as a visual artist offers a unique perspective that resonates with the young men of today. While managing a demanding career as a photographer and an educator, Russell has not missed a beat with the boys in K.A.V.I. Mr. Frederick's compassion and commitment to young people is deeply rooted to growing up in a single parent home but living on a block where everyone looked out for each other.
Mr. Frederick's mother, grandparents and uncle raised him to the best of their abilities but when family was not present it was the community of wise men, women and friends that filled in the blanks to make sure he lived up to his potential. This invaluable love and guidance from his community is what fuels Mr. Frederick to give back to young men and women to help them avoid the minefields that impacted his life. Mr. Frederick's love of his people is evident in his photography but his heart, soul and time will always be spent investing in the well being of youth and his community. You can learn more about Mr. Frederick at www.russellfrederick,com or @rfrederickphoto on Instagram
Corey graduated from Ithaca college with a Major in Computer Information Systems and a minor in Video Game Design. He was a finalist in the 2011 Microsoft Imaginecup representing the US in the web based category with his team. Corey is deeply passionate about all things technology especially in the web and mobile spaces.
During his time in Ithaca he was a member, Community Service chair and Interim President of an organization called Brothers 4 Brothers. The organization helped foster a safe space for men of color to discuss campus events, adjusting to life away from our respective homes and ultimately giving back to the community during and after our time at college. For four years he was a member of a local program called Student 2 Student which paired University mentors with kids at a local elementary school in town.
Director of Information Technology
Research and Evaluation Associate
Joseph DeFerio is public health professional, who is dedicated to initiating and working towards a more equal and sustainable society. As a researcher and activist, Joseph’s passion for improving lives and reducing disparities is demonstrated through a data-driven, human-centered approach, and enhanced by his ability to empathize and connect with people from different communities. Raised in Upstate New York, but educated and trained in Washington D.C., Boston, and New York City, Joseph has become familiar with the imbalanced resource allocation and gulf in access to education and healthcare services that characterize major urban environments. He comes to KAVI with extensive experience assisting and leading clinical research studies, data analysis, and grant writing. Joseph hopes to use his diverse skill set and experiences to promote community growth, development, and sustainable models that prioritize the human experience and improve social justice–particularly for those in communities traditionally left behind.
Born in the Caribbean but, growing up in Brooklyn, NY, Abena Amory-Powell experienced first hand the trauma that comes from being exposed to violence around her and she uses these experiences to assist the young people she works with. She knows how important it is for young people to have positive influences in their lives to guide them toward becoming successful adults and members of society. Had it not been for such people in her life growing up, her life could have taken a very negative turn. Her mother, a social worker, was always opening her doors to young people who needed assistance. These memories stayed with her, and as she grew, she knew she wanted to continue her mother’s work and do what she could to help young people in particular.
Currently, Abena is a Master in Public Health student at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn, NY. She received her B.A in Social Deviance from CUNY John Jay College of Criminal Justice. She is very passionate about her career choice and is especially sensitive to the needs of our youth as it pertains to them being affected by violence in their community.
School Intervention Coordinator
Research and Evaluation Coordinator
As a child, Shavaun Sutton loved to read. Whatever passed by her eyes, she read as if starved, particularly books based on slavery, the civil rights movement and other movements opposing injustice. She marveled at the bravery displayed by so many when fighting for a worthy cause, to have their voice be heard and imagined living in those times. It wasn't until much later did Shavaun witness that there were still voices not being heard.
A recent graduate with a Master's in Public Health from SUNY Downstate School of Public Health, it is her desire to be socially responsible while informing public health practice through the study of the various social determinants of health such as structural violence inflicted on groups pushed to society's margins, especially women of color.
Equipped with a unique skill set and a compassionate soul, she has served the community as a Dorm Storm Voter Registration Leader, research assistant, Community Liaison for a New York City HHC medical center and has worked with local organizations supporting sustainable health improvement and youth development. Most recently, Shavaun has worked as part of a research team investigating the risks and resilience experienced and displayed by the KAVI Queens. This ethnographic work resulted in the showcasing of agency and joy of these young leaders as well as the many forms of violence young women of color face. Unfortunately, too often young women of color are relegated to deviant status in policy and research. The studies challenged this notion of deviance and deficiency while noting the unique needs. The studies were presented at several national conferences, and locally for the KAVI Queens. Papers are currently under review for publication. As a qualitative researcher, she strives to be an amplifier by which ignored voices are heard.
Born in Iran, Nilu Dabirpanah and her family immigrated to the United States when she was 7, where they eventually settled in Los Angeles. She attended UCLA as an undergraduate, earning her Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology.
One of her formative experiences as a young adult was serving as the coordinator for the Junior Youth Spiritual Empowerment Program, an organization aimed at empowering adolescents to be active members of their communities, in South Central Los Angeles. During her work alongside community members, local institutions, and youth she witnessed how the focused action of a group of friends working together at a local level can help overcome barriers of institutional injustice and unequal access to resources. This resonated with her on a deeply personal level: her parents had decided to leave their home in Iran because, as members of the Baha’i Faith—a world religion whose followers are persecuted in Iran—Nilu and her brother would not have been permitted to attend university.
Through her work in the program, Nilu came to understand that service to others is not a single act or an event, but a pattern of life that can become the governing principle behind every choice one makes, and that devoting ones life to helping others develop their talents and strengths also enables one to grow and flourish as a member of society. In light of this understanding, Nilu is pursing her Master’s in Public Health in order to more effectively contribute to the discourse of health disparities unique to urban populations as she has witnessed them in Los Angeles and now in Central Brooklyn working with KAVI.
Community Intervention Coordinator
Hospital Intervention Specialist
A born and raised Brooklynite, Askia Askari possess a unique combination of skills that has led him to supporting others coping with intentional injuries. Askia coin his struggles as "his pursuit for truth." Working as a violence interrupter for many years, Askia learned about community violence amd its impact. As a result, he has made his personal mission to give back to the youth in a meaningful way. Through mentorship, support and compassion, Askia hopes to stand with and support youth who may have fallen into the grips of negative thinking and violence.