Meet the Newest SAC Staff Members!

Meet the Newest SAC Staff Members: David Wyley Long, Tiffany Patterson, Mark Payton, & Will Ramirez!

We’re ending 2022 with exciting news of new team members! Meet David Wyley Long, Change The Pattern Associate, Tiffany Patterson, Administration & Operations manager, Mark Payton, Compliance Manager, and Will Ramirez, Public Policy & Advocacy Manager. We are thankful to have them bring much-needed expertise to our small but mighty team! Read more about them below.

David Wyley Long

Change The Pattern Associate

David Wyley Long hails from East Orange, New Jersey. He has been working in social work for the past 17 years, earning his Credentialed Alcohol and Substance Abuse Counselor training from New. York State in 2005. He has led various outreach programs in Staten Island,  Brooklyn, and Nashville, Tennessee. David Wyley holds an Associate degree from Nashville State and a Bachelor’s Degree in Urban Studies from Tennessee State University. 

David Wyley is the Chang the Pattern Associate. He leads SAC efforts to increase visibility within the AIDS Memorial Quilt, with more black and brown people who have passed away from HIV/AIDS, with a particular emphasis on the southern states. 

David Wyley Long believes everyone black and brown are important to the fabric of America. Additionally, he understands the equity and equality needed for his people to overcome systemic barriers that impede growth. . He walks and talks with a united passion for uplifting his people to be unapologetic and dynamic in everything they do. He is proud to serve and aims to be a part of the vision to end HIV/AIDS in his community.  He is the proud author of his first book, a memoir of his life so far:  Up Against the Wind.

“I want to have ten miles of panels to show my people not being forgotten!”

Tiffany Patterson Headshot



“Ending the HIV/STI epidemic is imperative. It will increase the opportunity of saving lives and innovative community-driven solutions in the South. I am from the South so the movement strikes at the heart.”

Tiffany Patterson

Administration & Operations Manager

Tiffany Patterson is the Administration & Operations Manager for Southern AIDS Coalition. In her work, her goals are to create effective operational objectives, processes, and high-level practices that support the organization’s financial and strategic vision. She believes ending the HIV/STI epidemic is imperative because it will increase the opportunity of saving lives and innovative community-driven solutions in the South. She’s from Alabama, so the movement strikes at the heart.

Prior to joining SAC, Tiffany matriculated from Alabama State University. She has 14 years of experience in Compliance and Quality Assurance and five years of experience in Programing and Operations.

Mark Payton, M.M.

Compliance Manager

Mark Payton, M.M.,(He/Him/His) is Southern AIDS Coalition’s new Compliance Manager. He is originally from West Monroe, Louisiana, and currently resides in Jackson, Mississippi, and is planning to relocate to New Orleans, Louisiana in March of 2023. As a person newly diagnosed with HIV, Mark feels that it is his duty and calling to show people what living positively and dismantling stigma looks like. He wants to show the world that life still continues for PWHA. He wants to show what it means to permit yourself to live your life genuinely, authentically, and purposefully. His goal is to display and advance his leadership abilities and to ensure that SAC is functionally operating so that we can continue to serve the community. He also hopes to inspire and create spaces for other young professionals to flourish in their careers.

In December 2017, he received his Bachelor of Music with a concentration in Vocal Performance from the Dear School of Creative and Performing Arts at the Northwestern State University of Louisiana in Natchitoches, Louisiana. After moving to Jackson, Mississippi in 2018, Mark began his advocacy work for the LGBTQIA+ and HIV/AIDS communities. In May of 2022, Mr. Robinson-Payton was the first African American to receive his Master of Music in Vocal Performance and Pedagogy from the Graduate School of Christian Studies and Arts at Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. In September of 2022, Mark founded the Northwestern State University Mark Payton Artists Scholarship fund for first-generation students of color that are studying the arts. Mr. Robinson-Payton has served on the Alumni Diversity Relations Panel for Mississippi College, the inaugural committee for Mississippi Capital City Pride, is a member of the Northwestern State University Black Alumni Alliance, American Cancer Society’s Real Men Wear Pink, Central Mississippi, The Phoenix Club of Jackson, and actively sings in the St. James’ Episcopal Church choir. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking Cajun and Creole food for his friends, family, and co-workers, participating in community service, advocacy, and engagement projects, traveling, and always representing his home state, Louisiana.

“As a person newly diagnosed with HIV, I feel that it is my duty and calling to show people what living positively and dismantling stigma looks like. I want to show the world that life still continues for PWHA. I want to show what it means to permit yourself to live your life genuinely, authentically, and purposefully. “

Sierra Harris headshot




“I aim to reinvigorate Southern AIDS Coalitions’ HIV policy and advocacy priorities by elevating the voices and concerns of communities in the South. All the while bringing an equity lens and a social determinants of health focus to the work. By doing so, we can prioritize efforts on a local level to end the HIV epidemic in the region.”

Will Ramirez, MPA

Public Policy & Advocacy Manager

Will Ramirez leads Southern AIDS Coalition HIV advocacy efforts to amplify the needs and voices of persons living with HIV, and communities disproportionately impacted. He also leads SAC’s engagement in federal, state, and local efforts to secure systemic policy changes necessary to reduce HIV-related health disparities and promote greater health equity in the region.

Prior to joining SAC, Will served in the Navy for more than half a decade and as an educator in Texas for several years after.

As an HIV Policy Fellow with Georgia Equality, Will spearheaded policy and advocacy efforts in Georgia on issues related to the Housing Opportunities for People Living With AIDS (HOPWA) Federal program in Atlanta and surrounding counties. Working closely with his colleagues, state and local legislators, administrators, housing service providers, public health professionals, and fellow advocates, he founded and led the Housing is Health Coalition to engage in advocacy in responding to the housing crisis impacting communities of persons living with HIV (PLWH) and others in Atlanta and surrounding counties.

While at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Will served as a research fellow and was instrumental in the successful management of the National Harm Reduction Technical Assistance Center. A website run by the CDC that provides technical assistance of various levels to harm reduction service-providing organizations.

Will holds a master’s degree in public administration (MPA) from the Andrew Young School of Policy Studies at Georgia State University. Focusing on the intersection of the built environment and public health. Specifically, how decisions are made about how communities are built and how services are distributed can detrimentally impact the health of vulnerable groups within those communities. Will also holds a bachelor’s degree in legal studies from the American Military University. 

Capacity Building Associate, Health Department Initiatives

This position will assist in coordinating capacity building activities benefiting Ryan White funded health departments, service providers, and communities they serve. Application closes May 7, 2021


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