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Research Assistant

Kairen L. Petry, who uses they/he pronouns, has Bachelor’s degrees in Sociology and Women & Gender Studies from UNC Chapel Hill. They currently serve as a qualitative research assistant with EPIC on multiple projects. Kai is working on qualitative data collection to evaluate the North Carolina Principal Fellows Project, GEAR UP North Carolina, and Strategic Staffing for paid teacher residencies.

Kai primarily utilizes qualitative research methods. Their research interests include highlighting inequalities faced by those targeted by systemic oppression, with a special focus on the experiences of individuals who identify as transgender or LGBQIA+. He is also a student of transformative justice and abolitionist work as a means of community care, accountability, and racial equity.

Kai got their start in auto body, collision repair, and restoration, and later attended community college before transferring to UNC-Chapel Hill. His experiences across fields and educational spheres have shaped his passion regarding equitable and accessible education. They appreciate the opportunity to think deeply and intentionally about social justice and education issues that working at EPIC provides.