Desi Carson (she/her/hers)

IDEAS Development Partner

There is no “DESI” without “DEI”. Growing up across 10 different states, I found consistency in volunteerism such as food drives, shelters, teaching sports skills to children with special needs, anonymous suicide hotlines, and more. As a queer woman of color, I repurpose my vastly diverse life expertise by specializing in intersectional advocacy.

After graduating from the University of Virginia in 2014, I’ve spent my “main” career running inclusive recreational programs at UVA, Valdosta State University, and adult sports on a national level at ZogSports. At each institution, I introduced adaptive sports as well as created grassroots DEI initiatives leading to long-standing internal changes. I’ve been featured in publications concerning national sales strategy and LGBTQIA+ representation within the sports world. I’ve also volunteered for the past five years as a Venue Director for the Special Olympics of Georgia.

In 2019, I became a research assistant for the Head of Psychology at the University of DC, Dr. Afiya Mbilishaka. After conducting extensive research and producing several manuscripts, I shifted my role to become the Business Development Manager for her organization, PsychoHairapy. We utilize hair care as an entry point for self care and equitable mental health access for POCs. I also work as a Brand Ambassador for Edible Alchemy, a sustainable food organization that creates organic products while providing white-label product support to local farms and small businesses. Last but definitely not least, I am the IDEAS Development Partner for INW and am responsible for facilitation, content creation, research implementation, and social engagement.

I purposefully utilize all three branches to have a comprehensive impact on the world around me through the Mind (PsychoHairapy), Body (Edible Alchemy), and Soul (Inclusion NextWork). When I’m not working, you’ll find me either traveling with my partner or playing with my adorable pets.