Rachel Jones, PhD, RN, FAAN
As a family nurse practitioner I found that there were women and men who continued to have unprotected sex even though they were aware that their partners may be messing around with other people. It didn’t even matter that they knew someone with HIV. I would see women and men return to my clinic with sexually transmitted infections even though we talked about how to reduce risk. Living in Jersey City, and with friends in Newark and New York, the epidemic was around me. I returned for my PhD in Nursing Research and Theory Development at New York University and studied HIV risk in urban women.
Our goal is to share the wisdom of women with women who are not yet in touch with their power as women. The creation of the videos was funded by grants from the National Institute of Nursing Research, the National Library of Medicine, the Healthcare Foundation of NJ, and with great support from the Rutgers, College of Nursing.
Lorraine Lacroix, MPH
I have worked with Dr. Rachel Jones since 2009 as the Project Director of the Women’s Project. The major aim of the study is to reduce the risk of HIV-infection in high risk women by creating the soap opera series Love, Sex, and Choices and streaming the series on the participant’s mobile devices. The study sample included African American, Caribbean, and Latina women in Northern New Jersey.
In addition to HIV prevention, I am a fighter for social justice locally and abroad. I am deeply vested in working with the Haitian community living in the U.S. as well as in Haiti. My dedication to work with the Haitian population has been further fueled by the earthquake that ravaged the country on January 12, 2010. I also enjoy working with young adults, especially college students as a mentor; and working with young adults on improving literacy skills.
I was born in Newark, New Jersey, and nurtured in Georgia and North Carolina. I graduated with honors from University High School, then went on to obtain an Associate’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Essex County College, and a B.A. from Rutgers University in Television and Media, with a minor in Social Work.
AIDS awareness is very near to my heart. I’ve watched family; friends and several unknown people lose their lives. So when I was given the opportunity to use my voice as a script writer, and my skills as an actress, I jumped at the task. This wasn’t a job. This was an opportunity to work with a grassroots effort to give these women a voice often ignored.”
My background is in documentary film, which I utilized in approaching decisions about how to shoot the scenes. This depended a lot on the actors playing out a scene, while one of two cameras followed along as if it was real life and we were documenting it. I think this was successful, so that for some viewers, there is uncertainty if this is a documentary or a scripted drama.
I spend my time between Brooklyn, NY and Mexico City, Mexico. My first feature documentary Inside Out In the Open was an examination of the jazz music known as “free jazz.” I was also associate producer for the PBS documentary Parliament Funkadelic: One Nation Under a Groove. I’m now editing my second feature documentary on jazz musicians, and developing ideas for my next film, to be produced and shot in Mexico. My production company is Asymmetric Pictures.
Cast & Crew
We acknowledge the hard work of the Rutgers University College of Nursing undergraduate research assistants (RAs) during the testing of A Story about Toni, Mike, and Valerie and Love, Sex, and Choices:
Tina Truncellito, Kianna Cromedy, Esmeralda Valle, and Shauday Rodney, all from the Rutgers College of Nursing Educational Opportunity Fund. Yvesnallie Antoine, Essence Burrows, Fernandine Charles, Lin Chen, Geraldine Dufort, Catherine Lora, Sandra Rios, Tatiana Saavedra, Griselda Sanchez, and Mireille Zuninga. To bring us up to date, many of the RAs are now nurses serving the community.