Meet Tyrone Nance, Lead Community Outreach Specialist for the Community Engagement core group at the Southern California Clinical and Translational Science Institute (SC CTSI). Tyrone provides oversight to the Community Engagement (CE) team and collaborates with community partners to develop project plans that support underrepresented communities in South Los Angeles. Here, he shares his experience as a community organizer working in the nonprofit sector, why he chose to join the Community Engagement team, and offers advice to those who are looking to get involved in community work. 

Where are you from?
South Los Angeles, Crenshaw District.

What do you do in your current role?
I provide oversight to the Community Engagement (CE) core group on various projects and collaborate with community partners, schools, local government partners, medical providers, faith organizations, community-based organizations, property management/owners, and businesses. I conduct community outreach, organize community events, and develop project plans to support community-engaged research.

Can you share a bit about your educational and work experience? 
I received my master’s degree in Transformational Urban Leadership from Azusa Pacific University and my bachelor’s degree in Public Relations from Oral Roberts University.  

I’m a community organizer with over a decade of experience working in the nonprofit sector advocating and integrating work for Skid Row missions, mental health facilities, public schools, community resources, small businesses, and faith organizations. I have organized dozens of community events, projects, and people throughout the city of Los Angeles and have experience in international relief work in developing nations with an emphasis on justice, equality, and unity.

My research experience includes conducting community-based qualitative, quantitative, and mixed-method research. The focus of my work has been based on health equity and community activations in South Los Angeles and East Los Angeles such as weekly food distributions, and health and resource events.

What compelled you to join the Community Engagement group at SC CTSI?
I wanted to learn from industry professionals within the SC CTSI to further grow my career. I also wanted to be a bridge between my community and academia to create strong sustainable relationships. 

What does community mean to you? 
Community means unity. 
Community is the foundation of my life and what I believe is the tool that helps humanity navigate obstacles and difficult times as well as moments of joy and connection. 

What is most rewarding about your job? 
Waking up and serving the community I grew up. I consider this a great honor.

What inspires you? 
Having hope inspires me. I believe our hope has to be greater than our fear. Hope is always looking at the glass half full even when the outcome says different.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? 
Traveling, camping, playing basketball, and spending time with family. 

What advice would you give to someone who is looking to get involved in community work? 
If you see a problem that’s going on in your community, don’t wait for someone else to tackle it -- get involved. Look for volunteer opportunities where your help could be needed.  

NIH Funding Acknowledgment: Important - All publications resulting from the utilization of SC CTSI resources are required to credit the SC CTSI grant by including the NIH funding acknowledgment and must comply with the NIH Public Access Policy.