M.S.W., Virginia Commonwealth University
B.A., Virginia Commonwealth University
Aaron Kemmerer (he/him) is a first-year doctoral student at Virginia Commonwealth University. He holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and gender, sexuality, and women’s studies (2012) and an M.S.W. (2020), with a specialization in clinical social work, also from VCU.
Aaron’s doctoral research interests focus on marginalized communities and housing instability in the U.S. South. He is specifically interested in systemic economic barriers that disproportionately affect LGBTQ+ (particularly transgender) populations. Since 2010, Aaron has been involved with community organizing efforts on issues of housing instability, mass incarceration, gender-based violence and substance use in Central Virginia. He has also served organizations such as Advocates for Richmond Youth (ARY), Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and Girls Rock! RVA and as a crisis response worker with survivors and unhoused community members at YWCA, Richmond (2016-2018).
Aaron is passionate about addressing the practical needs of folks experiencing housing instability and he has worked to increase the mainstream visibility of social issues facing transgender people in and beyond the South. He draws on a theories of harm reduction and queer liberation in honoring individual dignity, freedom and stability while also valuing a sense of collective responsibility. He believes in the power of intergenerational and multiracial organizing. Through his research, Aaron aspires to building accessible community spaces where people can actively live, learn and thrive.
In his free time, he enjoys playing guitar, hiking and cooking. Aaron is also a proud pet-dad to his puppy, Metaphysics (Meta, for short), and his beloved cat, Beow.