We Can Do It Better Together
Dr. Adrienne Hall-Phillips
Asst. Professor of Marketing,
Foisie School of Business
More InfoDr. Adrienne Hall-Phillips is an educator who distributes more than just facts and figures. She demonstrates the importance of knowledge in a way that can be relevant for every learner. She is an advocate for knowledge – encouraging learning and providing the tools needed to be a successful independent thinker. Dr. Hall-Phillips is an Assistant Professor of Marketing at Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Her research interests focus on topics related to engagement, value, and loyalty in the areas of consumer experience and entrepreneurship. She also has interests in social media and networks and their influence in online environments. Dr. Hall-Phillips has a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina A&T State University, and her M.S. and Ph.D. are in Consumer Behavior from Purdue University.
Alexizendria Link - Chair
Worcester Public School
More InfoAlexizendria Link has volunteered and worked for a variety of nonprofit and religious organizations. She is currently an educator in Worcester Public Schools and a regional delegate for the Education Association of Worcester. She earned her Masters of Divinity from the Episcopal Divinity School, Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School and Masters of Education from Boston College. Alexizendria served as a 2014 Black Theology and Leadership Fellow for Princeton Theological Seminary. Additionally, she serves as a board member for the YWCA of Central Massachusetts. Her social ministry includes serving as a lay member of Executive Council for The Episcopal Church, the Social Justice Commission and Board of Trustees for the Diocese of Western, MA, Province 1 Cultural Competency Task Force member and as the National Youth Advisor for the Union of Black Episcopalians.
Christopher Maeda- Treasurer
State Street Bank
More InfoChristopher grew up on the island of Maui, Hawaii and moved to Worcester in 2011 to pursue higher education. Christopher earned both his Bachelor’s Degree (Political Science 2015) and MBA (2016) from Assumption College. He currently works at State Street Global Services in Hedge Fund Accounting. During his free time Christopher enjoys playing soccer and running.
Commercial Credit Analyst
Milford Federal Savings and
More InfoAnthony Akuoko Oduro is resides in Worcester, MA. He holds a BSc (Hons) General Agriculture from the University of Cape Coast in Ghana and later pursued an MSc in Management of Agro-Ecological Knowledge and Social Change from Wageningen University in the Netherlands with concentration in Communication and Policy; and a minor in Education and Competence Studies. He also has an MBA in Accounting and MA in Community Development and Planning from Clark University. Anthony has a vast experience in the lending and finance world and currently works as a Commercial Credit Analyst at Milford Federal Savings and Loan Association in Milford, MA. Prior to his current position, he worked as an Underwriting Manager and Quality Control Officer at Admirals Bank where he managed the underwriting department and later the Quality Control Department of the Bank. Anthony also possess valuable experience with international non-governmental organizations and has previously worked as Branch/Regional Manager for APED- A subsidiary of World Vision International in Ghana. He also worked with Conflict Mediation Services of Downsview in Toronto, Canada where he was certified in Transformative Conflict Resolution. Anthony also has a rich research background and among his research work include: Discourse Around HIV/AIDS in South Africa- A multi-scalar Study of Mismatches and Opportunities; and Transformative Mediation- A tool for Resolving Conflict in The Work Place - to mention but a few. Anthony is engaged in the activities of different organizations. He is the Treasurer for Akatakyie New England; Treasurer for Mampong Kontonkyi Association of Massachusetts; and an active member of the Ghanaian Catholic Community in Worcester MA.
Dr. Sharina Person
Associate Professor of
Quantitative Health Sciences
University of Massachusetts
More InfoDr. Sharina Person is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Health Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. Dr. Person also consults with the statistics group of the Research and Evaluation Unit of the Center for Health Policy Research within Commonwealth Medicine. Dr. Person has extensive experience in research grant development, all aspects of statistical analysis, as well as study design and analysis particularly in large-scale collaborative research studies. As a member of the Quantitative Methods Core of the UMass Center for Clinical and Translational Science, Dr. Person has performed numerous consultations in statistical analysis and design. In addition to helping to develop numerous grant applications for public and private funders, Dr. Person is also an active grant reviewer for several agencies of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) including the National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI). Prior to joining the faculty at UMASS Medical School Dr. Person was on the faculty of the University of Alabama at Birmingham for 12 years where she directed her Division’s statistical, data management, and information systems infrastructure, directed several methodology cores of NIH-funded grants as well as directed the Coordinating Center for a 25 year long cardiovascular cohort study contract with the NHLBI. During her career, she has developed a research interest in health equity and examining the health status of immigrant and non-US populations.
Dr. Jacqueline D. Peterson
Vice President Student Affairs
Dean of students
College of The Holy Cross
More InfoJacqueline Dansler Peterson, Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Ms. Peterson has been vice president for student affairs and dean of students since August 1997. Prior to joining Holy Cross, she was vice president of student affairs and dean of students at Pitzer College in Claremont, California. Prior to the position at Pitzer, she spent 10 years at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in various student affairs positions including acting dean of students, culminating in her appointment as special assistant to the president and director of multicultural affairs. She earned her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from St. John Fisher College, and a master of science degree in education from Nazareth College and completed doctoral course work during her tenure at RPI in organizational development. Nationally, she is a past president of the Jesuit Association of Student Personnel Administrators (JASPA). She is also a member of the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) and serves on its advisory board for the James E. Scott Academy. She serves as a commissioner and reviewer for the New England Association of Schools & Colleges (NEASC) and is a member of the board of trustees of Worcester Academy. She also serves on the Affirmative Action Advisory Committee for the Worcester Public Schools and is on the boards of the United Way, YMCA, and Bottom-line College Counseling.
Mr. Ambrose D. Toekulah
More InfoAmbrose D. Toekulah
Enyeneama B. Udofia
Anna Maria College
More InfoEnyeneama Udofia is a research scientist and educator who currently serves as an Adjunct Professor of Anatomy and Physiology at Anna Maria College. Udofia's research experience includes over ten years serving as a Research Associate with the Department of Molecular Medicine at the University of Massachusetts (UMASS) Medical School. Udofia also worked as a Research Assistant in the Physiology Department at the UMASS Medical School. Before UMASS, she served as a Research Scientist at the University of Houston, where she worked in the Department Neurobiology. Both positions resulted in Udofia's research being published in various scholarly science journals. Udofia's education experience includes over ten years of training and teaching UMASS's undergraduate and graduate students. She also taught General Biology to undergraduate students at Texas Southern University while obtaining her Masters in Neurobiology.
Eurayshia Williams Reed
Cert. Design Essentials
More InfoEurayshia Williams Reed: Owner of Shi-Shi's Lounge, Master Stylist/Esthetician/Lashtician, Assistant Educator for Design Essentials, I started doing hair out of my family's home and attended Kay Harvey School of Hair Design. I received my license in 1997. I started my professional career at Hair Cabaret, Springfield, MA; Randolph's Style with Character, Roxbury, MA; Danny's His and Hers, Boston, MA; Vernon St Styles; G's Cutting Up; Madison's Hair Salon, Worcester, MA. Currently I serve on the advisory board at Worcester Technical High School, Women in Action Board of Directors, Worcester Women's Leadership Conference Committee, Unity CDC board of directors and a member of The Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. The salon was named Small Business of the year 2016 by the Chamber.
Our Board of Directors
More InfoJanice Ryan Weekes Janice graduated from Boston Latin and went on to earn her BS in Business Management from Bentley College, later earning a MBA from Suffolk University. She continued in the financial business industry for several years including working for Prudential Insurance, MA Department of Revenue, and Verizon. Janice was the Founder and Executive Director of Worcester’s Higher Education Resource Center (HERC), and for over ten years she championed the college access program serving at-risk, underrepresented urban students and their families. In preparation for the US Department of Commerce’s 2010 Census, Janice was charged with developing partnerships with state, local and community based organizations to facilitate the inclusion of “hard to count” populations in the Central MA region; and at the conclusion of the Census submission went on to be a consultant for Worcester’s Partnership for Adult & Community Education where she conducted annual assessments of community needs for Adult Basic Education and GED programming. Her responsibility included ensuring that organizations in the area, who were receiving federal funds, were working collaboratively to maximize the effectiveness of the funding and other resources to expand the scope of services offered, and to increase the number of individuals served. Currently, Janice is the Director of Workforce Central Career Centers of Central MA, and is responsible for the Worcester, Southbridge and Milford centers, which have an integrated staff of City of Worcester and Commonwealth of MA personnel. She oversees an $8M budget from state and federal funding to administer employment services to educate and direct services to employers, job seekers and community agencies. This includes assisting with unemployment insurance navigation. Janice’s volunteer experiences include board memberships at the following agencies: Initiative for Engaged Citizenship, Worcester Education Development Foundation (WEDF), Youth Opportunities Unlimited (Y.O.U, Inc.), Holy Name High School, Christ Tabernacle Church, and Worcester Education Partnership – Carnegie Initiative Steering Committee. She is a member of Worcester Public Schools’ Affirmative Action Committee, and a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority. Janice is a first-generation college graduate, and because of the assistance and guidance that was provided to her, she is determined to pay it forward and assist others.
Our Advisory Board
More InfoNigel Belgrave is a graduate of Massachusetts Bay Community College with an Associates of science in Criminal Justice. A graduate of Massachusetts Bankers Association, School of Financial Studies. Veteran of the United States Air Force. Nigel Belgrave spent 20 years in the banking industry working for several local banks and credit unions. While in the banking industry Nigel Belgrave held many roles including Assistant Vice President, Branch Manager, Retail Sales Manager, Call Center Manager, Small Business Lender and Business Development Officer. Nigel currently owns and operates a PuroClean property damage clean up franchise located in Auburn MA. Nigel is certified in water & fire damage clean up, microbial growth remediation and structural restoration. Nigel lives in Auburn with his family and currently is the Treasurer for the Worcester Chapter of the NAACP.
More InfoKynma Dunn: Received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Becker College, Worcester, MA. I have a Psychology major with 6.5 years of combined human services experience in clinical setting working with children, adolescent, adult, and the elderly. Currently seeking In Home Behavioral Services with YOU, Inc. which provide services that supports and meet the needs of children/youth and families with challenging behaviors. Kynma serviced on the pane for Black History Month at Becker College.
More InfoParlee Jones Ms. Jones is creator and founding director of Our Story Edutainment, a multicultural learning institute that teaches black history through education and entertainment. She is also a shelter advocate at Abby's House. Parlee is very involved in the community and is also involved in local social and racial equity work. She has been on the Black Heritage Juneteenth Festival committee for many years. She is a true believer in Sankofa, the Adrinka principle that says, “go back and fetch it”, meaning, you must know your past in order to move forward in the future. She is a single mom with two children, who will both be in college this fall.
Bonnie J. Walker
WPI-Executive Director of Diversity
and Inclusion Strategy
More InfoBonnie Walker attended Clark University in Worcester, MA, where she earned a B.A. in Sociology with a concentration in Race and Ethnic Relations. She continued at Clark, earning an M.A. degree in Communications. Since Clark, Bonnie has stayed close, committing to the higher education sector; now experienced and connected in this community from which her roots were planted. Having worked in admissions at Boston College and in various roles within the admissions office at WPI (Worcester Polytechnic Institute), Bonnie has a broad network from which she builds and uses to bridge students’ access to college. Currently, she is the Director of Multicultural Affairs at WPI. Bonnie is attuned to building the fundamentally necessary bridge between recruitment and strategic outreach and retention efforts for underrepresented populations, and passionate about working to create an inclusive institutional environment where diversity and pluralism flourishes for all members of the community. Bonnie is driven by her commitment and passion to support, assist, and serve students in their journey through higher education. Bonnie is a long standing member of a number of professional organizations, including: NACAC (National Association for College Admissions Counseling); NEACAC (New England Association for College Admissions Counseling, NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators), ACPA (American College Personnel Association), MEN (The Minority Education Network), and NECBAC (New England Counselors of Color Bridging Access to College) of which she is very active and served as Vice President from 2007-2009. Bonnie sits as the co-chair of the WPI Diversity Advocacy Board and Chair of the ALANA (African-American, Latino, Asian-American, and Native-American) Worcester area Support Network.
More InfoDesmond Kamara I spent 16 years in banking and finance. I was a Branch Manager with a couple of Worcester area banks. I started as a teller and worked my way through retail lending including Servicing & Operation Specialist. I was a Business Agent, Assistant Manager, Business Development Officer, Certified Business Banker, and later Commercial Loan Underwriter. I even have a certificate in Non-Profit Lending. In banking, I was paid very well to build and manage the bank’s business. I helped a lot of people meet their financial objectives. However, nothing I did, personally, provided true financial security – which is the most important product in the whole world. I am a business owner. I own an insurance agency. My business services include Auto, Home, Life, and Annuity. Having taken taxes at both the undergraduate & graduate school levels, I am also a Tax Preparer & Small Business Advisor. My major in college was Economics & Finance. I later attended graduate school for Financial Economics with emphasis on Financial Markets & Institutions. If you look me up on the State of MA website you will see that I am licensed to provide coverage for Medical & Legal Mal-Practice, Workers' Compensation, Accident & Health or Sickness, Boat\RV, Commercial Auto, Commercial Liability, Condo, Disability, Dwelling\Fire, Fixed Annuities, Homeowners, Inland Marine (i.e. special collections), Ocean Marine, Long Term Care, Medigap, Motorcycle, Personal Mortgage, Private Passenger Automobile, Renters, Term Life, Umbrella Policies, Universal Life, Wedding, & Whole Life. I have a very exciting job. I am a licensed Financial Services Advisor in the State of MA. My specialty is providing financial security to families. I help people get through hard times. So, every day I get to meet & talk to nice people who will make the choice to protect their spouses, children, themselves and their assets. The beauty is you don’t have to have a ton of money to sit with me. However, I could make you a ton of money. My plans are simple to create and simple to follow. Unlike other financial advisors, I do not charge you to sit with me. My personal philosophy is to be there for my community and my people. Each person deserves a chance and should be given equal chance to protect the family, one’s self, and one’s assets. My philosophy is to deal with each person in a caring empathetic manner. By looking at each person’s case from that person’s prospective, I get to understand the individual’s needs on a more personal level not as a number and this is what helps me better address their needs now and in the future. So, it’s a friendship, but our friendship is an important relationship. She is a true believer in Sankofa, the Adrinka principle that says, “go back and fetch it”, meaning, you must know your past in order to move forward in the future. She is a single mom with two children, who will both be in college this fall.
Rev. Dr. Linda Parham
More InfoLinda Parham
Clark UniversityInternational Development
and Social Change
Coex & Conflict
Heller School of Social Policy
Geographic Info Science for
Development and Environment
To be a builder of positive powers that will enhance the potentials of Black1 youth (ages 12 – 17) and young adults (ages 18 – 26), thereby enabling them to efficiently navigate and be of service to their neighborhoods.
P.O. Box 612
Worcester, MA. 01613
1. Black A person having origins in any of the Black racial groups of Africa, such as African American, Kenyan, Nigerian, or Haitian. https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/meta/long_RHI205210.htm
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