The Reverend Dr. Leroy O. Perry is the pastor of St. Stephens AME Zion Church. He earned his BA from Livingstone College, his MDiv from Yale Divinity School, and his STM and doctoral degree from New York Theological Seminary in New York City.
Rev. Perry served on Mayor O'Leary's commission for diversity study for the City of Waterbury, and as chair of the Clergy Support committee for Waterbury Opportunities Industrialization Center, where he worked to foster Black economic development in the area. For over five years, he served as the director of the Fatherhood Program at New Opportunities in Waterbury, CT.
Although he was aware of health care disparities before becoming a Cultural Ambassador, Rev. Perry was not aware of the clinical research conducted at Yale. Like many African Americans of his generation, there was a historical stigma dating back to the early antebellum period of American history and the marginalized health care given to African Americans.
He was pleased to discover that YCCI wanted to establish a partnership with the community that would be built on an informed and clear definition of policies, procedures, and practices regarding clinical research, focusing on raising awareness about the need for minorities and marginalized populations to participate. He has led the Cultural Ambassadors for YCCI for over 12 years and is a passionate advocate within the African American community and the larger minority communities in general. He feels the partnership with Yale is a valuable learning exchange and a necessary adhesive needed to bridge an effective community relationship for the advancement of clinical research.