Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., LMSW
BA Southern Connecticut State University
For over a decade, Alberto Cifuentes, Jr., LMSW, has been a community organizer and social justice advocate for the LGBTQ community as well as several non-profit organizations, such as the National Association of Social Workers Connecticut Chapter (NASW/CT) and the Connecticut Library Association (CLA). He has spent fourteen years on the Board of Directors of GLSEN Connecticut, an accredited chapter of GLSEN that works to ensure that all K-12 students are safe, welcomed, and respected in schools regardless of sexual orientation and gender identity/expression. Through his leadership at GLSEN Connecticut, he has coordinated chapter operations, professional development, student leadership and programming, community outreach, fundraising, and conferences. Most of his social work practice has focused on educating professional healthcare workers about HIV prevention strategies and sex-positive communication. As a researcher who has mostly studied members of the LGBTQ community, especially gay and bisexual men and transgender women, he is interested in studying health disparities and inequities within hidden or hard-to-reach populations using strategies such as respondent-driven sampling and community-based participatory action research.
Cifuentes’s research focuses on the direct and indirect effects of internalized, interpersonal, institutional, and structural stigma on the health outcomes of men who have sex with men (MSM) and commercial sex workers using a sex-positive community empowerment and harm reduction approach. His ultimate goal is to create and direct a non-profit organization that specializes in empowering and providing vital programs and services to stigmatized and marginalized gender and sexual minority groups, especially young MSM of color, transgender and genderqueer individuals, and sex workers. Currently, he serves as the co-investigator for the study “Exploring the Impact of Ethnicity, Culture, and Family on the Parenting Styles of Hispanic Fathers” conducted by PI and NHSN member Dr. Cristina Wilson on the impact of cultural values, alcohol use, and drug use on the parenting styles and fatherhood identities of Latino fathers.