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Karen Allen, LICSW
Barbara Andrews, MPA, MPH
Alan Bannister
Cliff Baskerville
Mirtha Beadle
Lula Beatty, PhD
Carl C. Bell, MD
Tricia Bent-Goodley, PhD, MSW, LICSW
D.K. Seneca Bock, MSW
Errol Bolden, PhD
Stacey Bouchet, PhD
Kenneth Braswell
D. Fredrica Brooks, PsyD
Carol Brunson-Day
Vera Butler
Owen Cardwell, PhD
Cassandra Chaney, PhD
Marvin Charles
Pajarita Charles, PhD, MSW, MPA
Ron Clark
Obie Clayton, PhD
Monique Clinton-Sherrod, PhD
Bill Coffin, MEd, MA
Sampson Davis, MD (The Three Doctors)
Rev. Sharon Ellis Davis, MDiv, PhD
Diann Dawson
Vander Green, MS
Rev. Stephen T. Hall
Samuel Harrell
William R. Harvey, PhD
Josephine Hauer, PhD
Steve Henigson
Mary Ann Higgins
Tera R. Hurt, PhD
Alan J. Inman
Roberta Jackel
Charles Jackson
Tashon Jackson, Sr., MHS
Shandell Jamal
Jenne Johns, MPH
John Jolley, BS, MSW
Anne Jones, MSW, PhD
William J. Juzang, II
Kelleen Kaye
Janice King-Dunbar, MSW, PHR
Robin Key-Banks
Johnny Lake

Elizabeth Lang-Arthur
Larry Leflore, PhD

David Lett

Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH
Christine Lindquist, PhD
Linda Malone–Colon, PhD
Holly Maust
Leon R. McCowan
Chaplain Michael L. McCoy
Jacqueline D. McLeod, MPH
Linda Mellgren
David Miller
M. Valerie Mills, PhD, MSW
Rev. Aleese Moore-Orbih, PhD
Shawn Mooring
Nisa Muhammad
Martha N. Okafor, PhD
Carol Osborne
Agnes Oswaha, MSW
Paula Parker-Sawyers
Patrick Patterson, MSW, MPH
Rev. Ronald Edward Peters, PhD
Sharon Rabb, PhD
Ida Rademacher, BS, MPP
Joyce Wessel Raezer
Yvette Riddick
Col. Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH
James Rodriguez, MSW
Dana Ross
Leslie Sessley, LMSW
Diane Sims-Moore
Rozario Slack, PhD
Onjewel Smith
Ted N. Strader, MS
Martin Sungoyo
Darlene Tart, BS, MHS
Eboni M. Taylor, PhD, MPH
Joyce A. Thomas
Carole Thompson
Lamar and Ronnie Tyler
Quentin Walcott
Clarence Walker, PhD
Patricia F. Ware
Dr. Deborah M. Whitely, PhD, MPH
Jocelyn Whitfield, MA
Kent Wilcox
Carlis V. Williams

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Karen L. Allen, MSW, LICSW, LCSW-C
Karen L. Allen is a licensed clinical social worker in the District of Columbia and Maryland.  She holds a Masters in social work from the Howard University, and her Bachelor in Business Administration from Baruch College in New York City.  Currently, Ms. Allen is the Clinical Manager of Contemporary Therapeutic Services in Hyattsville where she supervises the clinical operations of a cutting edge mental health organization which focuses on community based in-home therapy.  Previously, she served as an Executive Director for the Boys Home Society of Baltimore, Inc. where she oversaw the operations of 18 adolescent boys.  She also works as an  Adjunct Professor at Howard University School of Social Work.  In addition, Ms. Allen has had extensive experiences working with children and families in the child welfare arena, homeless services, mental health and many other populations for the past 20 years in different capacities.  She is a passionate caregiver and administrator.  She has trained many professionals in various topics such as effective case management strategies, individual and group therapy, ethics, stress management, mental health issues and much more.  Ms. Allen is passionate about the development and training of young professionals and continues to impact numerous rising professionals nationally.  Ms. Allen is a member, National Corresponding Secretary-Elect and the Immediate Past President of the Metro DC Chapter of the National Association of Black Social Workers where she works diligently to bring about change on behalf of social workers and the persons they serve particularly in the African-American Community.   She is a member of the National Association of Social Workers.  Ms. Allen is also the proud mother of two beautiful children, a daughter and son. [back to top]

Barbara Andrews is the Lead Program Liaison Specialist for the Region II Office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF). Barbara, who began her federal career with the Social Security Administration, has been with ACF since its inception. She has served Region II in many capacities; her current areas of concentration are ACF’s Family Strengthening Initiatives (including Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood), intergovernmental relations, community outreach and children’s health insurance. Barbara is a regular contributor to the AAHMI Newsletter. She received her undergraduate degree and a Master of Public Health from Hunter College, C.U.N.Y.; a Master of Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Master of Arts from NYU’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. [back to top]

Alan Bannister is the Project Manager for the Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. In addition, he represents the office of Governor Ted Strickland in 18 Northwest Ohio counties.  Alan has led the Statewide Ohio program entitled “Turning to the Tide for Ohio’s Black Marriages”.  This program is a statewide initiative that reaches five of Ohio’s largest cities and has been making an impact on the families Ohio since 2006.  Prior to his work in the Governor’s Office Alan was the Executive Assistant to Mayor Jack Ford and worked in the Mayor’s Youth Commission. Alan has a Bachelor of Arts in Public Administration from Kentucky State University.  Alan resides in Toledo, Ohio with his wife and two year old son.  Alan is an active member of the Greater Toledo NAACP, Urban League, and Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. [back to top]

Cliff Baskerville, Choosing the Best, Regional State Director
Cliff Baskerville is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  While obtaining his BA in Psychology and Communications he played cornerback for the UNC Football Team.  Upon graduating, He was invited to Pre-season camp with the Philadelphia Eagles, and played professionally in the Canadian Football league.  After retiring from the CFL, he embarked on his next career—making a difference in the lives of our youth.  Cliff is currently the Vice President of the South East Region at Choosing the Best Publishing.  At Choosing the Best Cliff has had the opportunity of working with thousands of teachers and teens across the country.  Through conducting teacher trainings, school assemblies, peer retreats, relationship trainings etc.., Cliff has seen the immediate positive impact that teaching abstinence and character education can make in Peoples lives.  Cliff’s enthusiasm and passion for helping our children make healthy decisions have made him a positive influence and a role model for children all across America.

Choosing the Best is a leader in abstinence-focused sex education curricula, training and resources since 1993.  Choosing the Best curricula and materials are now being used in over 2,500 schools in 50 states and has currently reached over 2,000,000 teens across the nation.  Our mission is to provide abstinence-focused educational curricula, resources and training for teens that result in healthy relationships and decreases in teen pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

Choosing the Best curricula is known for being “teacher friendly”- easy to use- and producing results in the lives of students.  Utilizing a variety of learning approaches including video vignettes, real life case studies, role plays, exercises and small group discussions, students benefit from a directed, yet “self-discovery” learning environment.  Choosing the Best Middle School Curriculum was introduced in 1993.  Evaluations conducted by Northwestern University and Georgia Institute of Technology researchers document a positive affirmation of abstinence until marriage by 75% of the students completing the eight sessions.  Choosing the Best not only engages the “head” but also the “heart”, in encouraging teens to embrace the abstinence message as the “best choice for life”. [back to top]

Mirtha Beadle, M.P.A., Deputy Director
Mirtha Beadle is the Deputy Director of the Office of Minority Health. Ms. Beadle serves as principal advisor to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Minority Health in planning, developing, and implementing policies, programs, and activities to achieve the Secretary’s goals for improving the health of racial and ethnic minorities, eliminating health disparities, and improving coordination of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) efforts related to minority health.  She is also responsible for strategic planning, evaluation efforts, Congressional and White House Initiative reports, and overseeing the OMH budget, operations, and programs.
 
Prior to joining OMH, Ms. Beadle served as a Senior Policy Specialist in the Office of the Executive Secretariat, Immediate Office of the Secretary, HHS.  Ms. Beadle ensured that policy determinations and communications related to the work of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, Indian Health Service, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration supported the Secretary’s priorities.  She also served as Team Leader for the Prevention and Health Services Team that had comparable responsibilities for the Administration on Aging, Administration for Children and Families, Health Resources and Services Administration, nine staff divisions within the Office of the Secretary, and activities related to Congressional reports, the HHS budget, and regulations.  Ms. Beadle coordinated senior level briefings for the Secretary and Deputy Secretary and staffed the Deputy Secretary, Deputy Chief of Staff, and senior HHS officials on key matters pertaining to minority health, health disparities, disease prevention, health promotion, select agents and related bioterrorism activities (Patriot Act provisions), occupational safety and health, the Synar Amendment (youth tobacco control), HIV/AIDS, and special initiatives.
 
Ms. Beadle previously served as Deputy Director of the Special Projects of National Significance Program, the research and development arm of the Ryan White CARE Act.  She had operational and program responsibilities related the development, evaluation, and replication of projects addressing emerging issues faced by people affected by HIV/AIDS.  She oversaw the national technical evaluation centers that were responsible for conducting cross-site evaluations and served as Program Editor for Innovations, an HIV/AIDS publication. 

Ms. Beadle has extensive federal grants experience, overseeing development, implementation, and management of grant programs and has served in other notable positions during her federal and state public health career including in the areas of bone marrow donation, emergency medical services, and trauma care systems.  While working for the Michigan Department of Public Health she served as Project Manager for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) for Children Grant Program, awarded by HHS and implemented in collaboration with the University of Michigan, several hospitals, and EMS medical control authorities and educators through out the state.  She concurrently served as the State Emergency Medical Services Training and Education Coordinator.  Her focus on children and racial and ethnic minorities was shaped by her first civil service position as a Child Care Worker for a state psychiatric hospital for children and adolescents. 

Ms. Beadle emigrated from Cuba at a young age and holds a Master of Public Administration from Western Michigan University and a Bachelor of Science in Management Systems from the College of Technology at Andrews University. [back to top]

Lula A. Beatty, Ph.D., is Director of the Special Populations Office, Office of the Director, at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health.  Her responsibilities include developing racial/ethnic minority research and health disparities programs, developing initiatives to encourage the increased participation of underrepresented scholars in drug abuse and addiction research, and monitoring NIDA's support of racial/ethnic minority and health disparities research.  Programs in her office include the Diversity Supplement Program, Summer Research with NIDA, the Research Development Seminar Series, the Diversity-promoting Institutions Drug Abuse Research Program, and expert work groups on drug abuse in racial/ethnic minority populations (e.g., African American Researchers and Scholars Workgroup, National Hispanic Science Network on Drug Abuse).   Before joining NIDA, she was Director of Research at the Institute for Urban Affairs and Research at Howard University. She was involved in programs on child abuse prevention, strengths in Black families, and father involvement in Head Start. 

She received her A.B. degree from Lincoln University (PA) and doctoral degree in psychology from Howard University. [back to top]

Dr. Carl C. Bell, M.D. is President and C.E.O. - Community Mental Health Council (CMHC) & Foundation, Inc. in Chicago.  CMHC a large multi-million comprehensive community mental health center employing 390 social service geniuses.  Dr. Bell is also Clinical Professor of Psychiatry & Public Health, and Director of the Institute for Juvenile Research (IJR) - University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). IJR is century old, multi-million dollar academic institute providing child & family research, training, & service, employing 257 academic faculty and support staff.

During 40 years, he's published more than 450 articles, chapters, & books on mental health and authored The Sanity of Survival.  He has been interviewed by Ebony; Jet; Essence; Emerge; New York Times; Chicago Tribune Magazine; People Magazine; Chicago Reporter; "Nightline"; ABC News; NPR; "CBS Sunday Morning"; The News Hour with Jim Lehrer; the Tom Joyner Morning Show; Chicago Tonight; & the "Today" show.  A 1967 graduate of UIC, he earned his MD from Meharry College in Nashville, Tennessee in 1971.  He completed his psychiatric residency in 1974 at the Illinois State Psychiatric Institute/Institute for Juvenile Research in Chicago. [back to top]

Tricia B. Bent-Goodley is Professor of Social Work at Howard University. Dr. Goodley has a passion for building solutions to improve the safety and viability of Black families with a particular focus on the development of culturally specific faith- and community-based interventions that strengthen families and communities. She is the author/co-author of three books in the area of social policy and people of color, is a Consulting Editor for several scholarly journals, and serves distinctly in a number of local, state, and nationally elected and appointed leadership positions. Dr. Goodley is an HIV Intervention Science Training Fellow, a member of the Prince Georges County Domestic Violence Fatality Review, Commissioner with the Council on Social Work Education Council on Leadership Development, Member of the National Association of Social Workers Committee on the Role of Women in the Profession, Steering Committee Member of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African American Community, and Board Member of Community Education Group a national HIV prevention education organization . She is a former Hartman Child & Family Scholar, former Chair and Chief Instructor of the NABSW National Academy for African-centered Social Work and National Public Policy Institute. Prior to coming to Howard University, she served as an administrator and clinical practitioner. Dr. Goodley received her Ph.D. in Social Policy, Planning and Analysis from Columbia University and her Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Goodley finds greatest joy in being a wife and mother of two boys. [back to top]

D. K. Seneca Bock is the founder and chief strategist of Social Innovators Design Group/Community Capacity Builders, LLC, a minority-owned full-service contract consulting firm, specializing in social, civic and organizational capacity building.  Ms. Bock is a gifted and sought-after panelist, motivational speaker, social commentator and facilitator. Seneca was formerly the project manager for the Department of Health and Human Services, Residential Substance Abuse Treatment (RSAT) program, a joint venture between HHS, Center of Substance Abuse and Treatment, and Department of Justice, Correction Program Office. In this capacity, she designed and coordinated technical assistance programs for regional prison systems throughout the country, and U.S. territories. She was responsible for $4.5 million budget allocated across three culturally relevant prison-based substance abuse intervention programs in both tribal and non-tribal communities.  Ms. Bock holds a BS/BA in Marketing from Old Dominion University, and a Masters in Social Work from Norfolk State University. Her research endeavors include investigating the lack of quality health care amongst low-income African American; civic infrastructure development in low-wealth communities, and organizational capacity of nonprofits in distressed communities. Ms. Bock did her graduate training at the Coronado School for Pregnant Teens in Norfolk, VA. Bock where she designed and ran successful psycho-educational groups for emotionally, and behaviorally distressed girls ages 12-19. Over 94% of her participants successfully transitioned back into mainstream education settings, without dropping out. Her hobbies include travel, and collecting world-beat music. She currently resides in Suffolk, VA in keeping with her rural roots. [back to top]

Dr. Errol Sebastian Bolden is an associate professor and the Director of Field Education in the Department of Social Work at Coppin State University in Baltimore Maryland. He also serves as a part-time senior lecturer at the University of the West Indies, Cave Hill campus in Barbados and as a visiting faculty member at Addis Ababa University in Ethiopia. Dr. Bolden has over fifteen years of experience as a macro practitioner. His research agenda focuses on community and organizational capacity building, university/community partnerships. He consults with faith-based institutions that focus on the reduction of poverty globally.

Dr. Bolden earned an MSW  from Howard University in Washington, DC and his MPH and PHD degrees from the University of Pittsburgh.  He is also a motivational speaker and owner of Universal Inspirations. [back to top]

Stacey Bouchet, Ph.D. is the Co-Director of Women In Fatherhood.  She brings to this position, her experience as a researcher, policy analyst and strategic consultant who helps individuals, groups and organizations with strategic planning, thinking, execution, and management.  With a degree in psychology and a doctorate in human services policy, Stacey is an expert at identifying and fostering individual and organizational strengths, potential, and opportunities for growth.  Stacey has provided strategic program development, advising, management, writing, editing, formal presentations, training and facilitation to individuals, non-profits, government entities and philanthropic and mission-driven organizations. [back to top]

Kenneth Braswell created Father’s Incorporated (FI) and currently holds the position of Executive Director at FI. The organization was created to help dads navigate the child support system, deal with custody issues and become both financially and emotionally responsible fathers. FI’s main focus is on the development of fathers of all ages and the importance of understanding parental responsibility. It is his own experiences with his 3 daughters, ages 28, 16 and 10, and newborn son, that have heightened his awareness of the challenges faced by men seeking to establish or maintain parental relationships when there is a relational separation with the mother of the child(ren). This knowledge is the catalyst for the formation of Fathers Incorporated and his recently released book entitled, "When The Tear Won't Fall - One Man's Intimate Struggle Through Fatherhood and Manhood." Braswell is nationally recognized for his work across the country working to improve relations between fathers and their families. Braswell has published “What You Should Know About Teen Parenting Period,” “Creating a Friendly Fatherhood Support and Services Environment,” and a report “Teenagers and their Attitudes towards Fatherhood.” FI has been featured in BSI International IN SEARCH OF FATHERHOOD®, TIMES UNION, THE RECORD, CAPITAL NEWS9, JESSIE LEE PETERSON SHOW AND VARIOUS OTHER MEDIA FORUMS. [back to top]

Dr. D. Fredrica Brooks, a native of Florence, South Carolina, presently serves as the Restoration Center Consultant at the Reid Temple Restoration Center, Incorporated located in Glenn Dale, Maryland. She also serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the Department of Psychology at Bowie State University. Dr. Brooks earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in psychology from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia and a Master of Arts degree in Community Counseling from Eastern Michigan University in Ypsilanti, Michigan. After spending some time in the mental health field providing therapeutic services, Dr. Brooks returned to school and earned her Master of Arts and Doctorate of Psychology degrees in Clinical Psychology from Regent University in Virginia Beach, Virginia. [back to top]

Carol Brunson Day, Ph.D., is CEO and President of the National Black Child Development Institute, whose mission is to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through advocacy and education. From 1985 until 2004 she served as the CEO and President of the Council for Professional Recognition, a Washington, D.C.-based association that serves as the home of the Child Development Associate National Credentialing Program, as well as the National Head Start Fellowship Program.  Dr. Day was also the liaison for the international exchange between the schools in Reggio Emilia, Italy and the early childhood community in the United States. In addition to her impressive scholarly contributions to the field, Dr. Day is recognized as a leader in the field of early childhood education. 

Dr. Day sits on numerous national boards including Zero to Three Editorial Board, National Center for Professional Development and Inclusion National Advisory Panel, and T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center National Advisory Panel and has spoken at conferences and programs across the United States and internationally.  She has authored publications on subjects such as professional development, diversity and multicultural education, and cultural influences on development, and has a long history of interest and expertise on African-American culture and heritage.

Dr. Day received a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a M.Ed. in Early Childhood Education from the Erikson Institute in Chicago and a Ph.D. in Education from Claremont University in Claremont, California. [back to top]

Vera Butler is a Bureau Director I, for the Mississippi Department of Human Services, Division of Economic Assistance.   She supervises the SNAP and TANF Work Programs and Foundation for Families (Fatherhood, Healthy Marriage, Parenting, Abstinence and Youth Development). Vera has twenty-four (24) years of experience with the agency.  She is responsible for reviewing federal regulations and drafting state policy and procedures for implementation by county staff; and, overseeing thirty-one (31) Families First Resource Center subgrantees, four youth development programs and two abstinence education programs. [back to top]

Dr. Owen C. Cardwell, Jr., has been in the ministry for 40 years.  He obtained a Bachelor of Arts from Virginia Seminary and College, Lynchburg, VA, a Masters of Theology from Boston University, Boston, MA, a Masters of Education from Cambridge College, Cambridge, MA and in June, 1997 he received the honorary Doctorate in Sacred Literature from the Spirit of Truth Institute, Richmond Virginia Seminary.  He has recently completed course requirements for the Ph.D. in Counseling from Liberty University, Lynchburg, VA.  He is founder and pastor of the New Canaan International Church, Richmond, VA and Executive Director for New Jubilee Educational and Family Life Center, Inc.  In April of 2006, New Canaan became a pilot site, working with the Virginia Department of Corrections, with a video-conferencing visitation program to maintain family connectivity for incarcerated families.  Family members of inmates are able to visit their loved ones through video conferencing at the church without having to go to the prison facility.  Over 650 inmates and almost 2000 family members have been served since April 15, 2006.  In January 2010, this program was expanded to 10 prisons with visitor centers at Shiloh Baptist Church, Alexandria and Norfolk United Methodist Church.  In 1994, Dr. Cardwell was selected to be a delegate for Opportunities Industrialization Centers, International at the African Leadership Summit in Dakar, Senegal.  He has been certified as a trainer in PREP and both the African American Marriage Curriculum and African American Parent Education Curriculum.  Additionally, Dr. Cardwell conducted Fatherhood Initiative training for Henrico County Department of Social Services, as well as conducting marriage workshops throughout the state of Virginia.  Dr. Cardwell was appointed to the Virginia Re-Entry Policy Academy and is chairman for the Family and Community Reintegration subcommittee for the Richmond Re-Entry Project. [back to top] 

Cassandra Chaney, PhD, Assistant Professor, Louisiana State University, School of Human Ecology, Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences
Dr. Cassandra Chaney earned her B.S. degree in Psychology from Southern University and A&M College (Baton Rouge, Louisiana), and her M.S. and PhD in Human and Community Development (HCD) from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC). As an Assistant Professor in the School of Human Ecology (Family, Child, and Consumer Sciences) at Louisiana State University (LSU), Dr. Chaney is broadly interested in the dynamics of African-American family life, yet under this umbrella her interests are focused on two main areas. Her primary research focuses on the narratives of African-Americans in dating, cohabiting, and married relationships, with a particular interest in relationship formation, maintenance, and stability. Her secondary research explores the ways that religiosity and spirituality are defined by and support African-Americans. In addition to utilizing quantitative and qualitative methods to explore the aforementioned areas, Dr. Chaney is also interested in the representation of African-American couples and families (e.g., structural and functional dynamics) in popular forms of mass media, such as television shows, music videos, and songs. In addition to presenting her several research during local, state, and national conferences, she has published over 20 refereed journal articles, book chapters, and reviews. [back to top]

Minister Marvin Charles
Marvin Charles‘s life story is one of courage, determination and dedication. At the age of 43, in a remarkable act of will, he extricated himself from a life of substance abuse and homelessness to become a passionate, effective community leader. In transforming his life, Marvin made a commitment to faith and to pursuing the kinds of “good works” that require honesty and hope to overcome despair, even in the face of great adversity. In just ten years, Marvin moved from his own downward spiral to a personal mission to help other men and their children cope with the negative effects of fatherlessness.

In 1998, Marvin and Jeanett Charles created Divine Alternatives for Dads Services (D.A.D.S.), starting in the living room of their home in Rainier Valley, which is the core of the urban community in Seattle. D.A.D.S. gives men hope and encourages them to find their own strength and purpose to connect or reconnect with their children. They have emerged as leaders in their community, creating stronger fathers and healthier families.

Men who go through the D.A.D.S. program grow to recognize and accept their parental and paternal responsibilities. Most of the fathers who become involved with D.A.D.S increase the time they spend with, and support they give to their children. As their daily individual problems get resolved to a more manageable level, some D.A.D.S. graduates get married and create a home for their children. Others become the custodial parent of their child or grandchildren. The end result is a bright and better future for their kids and for the father who assumes his parental responsibilities.

Marvin Charles is also an ordained minister. His extraordinary effectiveness comes from his ability to hear the pain behind the angry words and anguish of those he counsels. His personal odyssey gives him the credible voice of authenticity, and neither class nor ethnicity poses an obstacle to his being heard.

Marvin has been widely recognized for his work.  Just recently in 2008, the Casey Family Programs, the nation’s largest operating foundation entirely focused on foster care awarded Marvin Charles their Ruth Massinga Birth Parent Award.   In making the award, the Casey Foundation said:  “Marvin and his wife, Jeanett, overcame addiction and homelessness to regain custody of their children.” [back to top]

Dr. Pajarita Charles is a Research Assistant Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Her areas of professional interest include family structure and relationship stability, assets and wealth, social welfare policy, intervention research, and program evaluation. She has written on couple relationships, assets and low-income homeownership, and intimate partner violence. Her current research focuses on couple stability among low-income, new parents, as well as the relationship between marital status and homeownership among disadvantaged households. Dr. Charles received her M.S.W. and M.P.A. degrees from Columbia University and her Ph.D. in social work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Social Work. [back to top]

Ron J. Clark possesses nearly 20 years experience implementing, managing and providing consultation services to local, statewide, and national initiatives targeting fathers, fatherless males, and young unwed parents. Ron also coordinated services for low-income women and children in Virginia as a State Program Operations Liaison with the State Department of Health WIC Program. For nearly 10 years, he served as the Director of the Virginia Governors Fatherhood Campaign. He holds a M.A. in Public Policy and a MBA Executive Education Certificate. Today, he serves as the National Director of Community-based Programming for the National Fatherhood Initiative. In this position, he facilitates the provision of training and technical assistance to family service providers in order increase their capacity to support fathers and their families. He is regularly called up to consult, write and speak on the important issues of fatherhood and male responsibility. [back to top]

Dr. Obie Clayton is Professor of Sociology and Director of Sponsored Programs at Morehouse College. He is also the Executive Director of the Morehouse Research Institute and the Chivers – Grant Institute for the Study of Family and Community Issues.  Dr. Clayton received his undergraduate degree in Religion and Sociology from Millsaps College in Jackson, Mississippi and the Master’s and Doctoral degrees from Emory University.  Dr. Clayton has held teaching positions at the following institutions: Millsaps College, Atlanta University, the University of Massachusetts at Boston and the University of Nebraska at Omaha.  His Research and teaching interests are primarily in the areas of crime and delinquency, stratification and family studies.  He has just completed a longitudinal study of radicalization of U.S. inmates.  This study was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and the National Institute of Justice.  He has published in Sociological Practice Review, Journal of Criminal Justice, Criminal Justice Review, Criminology and Public Policy, The Canadian Journal of Education and other journals and is the editor of the books, An American Dilemma Revisited: Race Relations in a Changing World and Black Fathers in Contemporary American Society: Strength, Weaknesses, and Strategies for Change, both published by the Russell Sage Foundation. 

Dr. Clayton’s current funded research is in the area of health disparities and teenage sexuality.  He has received grants from the Office of Population Affairs/DHHS to train young men in safe sex behavior and responsible health practices.  Dr. Clayton is also the Principal Investigator for the National Minority Male Health Project funded by the Office of Minority Health/DHHS and the Healthy Marriage Initiative.  Dr. Clayton also received a grant from the National Science Foundation to expand the infrastructure of Morehouse College to conduct basic and exploratory research on the etiology of violence and asocial behavior. [back to top]

Monique Clinton-Sherrod, Ph.D., is a research psychologist in the Risk Behavior and Family Research Program at RTI International. She earned her bachelors of science in psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her masters and doctorate degrees in social psychology from Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. Dr. Clinton-Sherrod’s expertise includes the areas of intimate partner violence (IPV), substance abuse prevention, and women’s and minorities’ health, with particular focus on evaluating the effectiveness of interventions at all levels. Her research experience has involved investigations of IPV and substance use issues among various populations, including adolescents, college students, the military, and couples with a partner in substance abuse treatment. Before coming to RTI, Clinton-Sherrod served as an adjunct faculty member and taught classes in statistics, research methods, and psychology. She has authored and co-authored book chapters and several journal articles for such publications as the Journal of Interpersonal Violence, Journal of Substance Abuse, Journal of Black Psychology, and Journal of Family Violence. [back to top]

Bill Coffin, the Special Assistant for Marriage Education, joined the Administration for Children and Families in Jan 2002. He is helping to orchestrate an important culture change, where those who marry will have better access to knowledge and skills to form and sustain a healthy marriage. In recognition of his work he was awarded the 2006 Smart Marriages Impact Award. Bill spent most of the previous 3 decades working for the Navy, initially on active duty and then as a civilian in the Navy's Family Support Program Headquarters in DC. In addition, for two of those years, he served as the Marriage Preparation Coordinator for the Archdiocese of Washington and as a consultant to the U.S. Bishops Committee on Marriage and Family Life. He co-authored a book chapter on Preventive Interventions for Couples. He is also the author of "Marriage.gov" (2009) in H. Benson & S. Callan (Eds) What Works in Relationship Education? Lessons from Academics and Service Deliverers in the United States and Europe . See http://www.relationshipeducation.info . He posts daily at http://go.usa.gov/lbL  Bill is a graduate of Fairfield University in CT and has two master's degrees, one in Human Relations, and one in Counseling. Bill and Pat have been married for 41 years. They have four children and six grandchildren. [back to top]

Dr. Sharon Ellis Davis is the co-founder and Senior Pastor of God Can Ministries, United Church of Christ.  Dr. Davis serves as the Director of Programs for the Education and Family Life Institute, which was founded on the belief that Education is the Key to Liberation.  To that end the Institute offers tutoring for K-4, GED and other life skill classes for individuals and families who are impacted by underemployment and unemployment, gang violence, domestic violence, and are living in “at-risk” and underserved communities.  

In addition to serving as Senior Pastor and Director of Programs in the Education and Family Life Institute, Dr. Davis is a career service Police Officer with the Chicago Police Department for over 30 years and is currently serving as one of their full-time Police Chaplains.  Dr. Davis also serves as an Adjunct Professor with the McCormick Theological Seminary, teaching Sexual and Domestic violence, and has taught the same at the Chicago Theological Seminary.  She has also served as guest lecturer and adjunct professor for other major universities, such as the University of Illinois in Chicago, Calumet College in Indiana, and The Garret Theological Seminary, Evanston, Illinois.  Beginning this August, Dr. Davis will serve as mentor for the newly established Doctor of Ministry Program with a focus in Sexual and Domestic Violence and The Role of the Church and Faith Institutions.

Educationally, Dr. Davis has earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree, a Master’s of Divinity Degree, a Doctor of Ministry Degree (in Pastoral Care), and a PhD in Theology Ethics and the Human Science.  Her dissertation for the PhD was titled: “Hear Our Cries” Breaking the Gender Entrapment of African American Battered Women. [back to top] 

Diann Dawson serves as the Director of the Office of Regional Operations within the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. A senior level director and principal advisor to the Assistant Secretary regarding field operations, she provides leadership and direction to ACF’s ten regional offices responsible for federal oversight and implementation of more than 60 human service programs to promote the well-being of children and families. Those programs include Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF), Child Care, Child Support Enforcement, Head Start, Foster Care and Adoption, Child Abuse and Neglect, Child Welfare, and Runaway and Homeless Youth.

A career public servant with over 30 years of Federal executive leadership and State program management experience, Dawson is the recipient of numerous awards including the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service which recognizes outstanding achievement by members of the Senior Executive Service.

With a background in social work, Dawson understands the critical nature of love and support, intangible lessons, and indispensable characteristics that children obtain from their parents. It is that understanding, combined with her commitment and experience that has been instrumental in helping ACF work to strengthen and rebuild families through the Healthy Marriage Initiative. As part of her present role, Dawson effectively guides regional support of Healthy Marriage Initiative goals across the country. Dawson also provided the leadership to create the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI) along with her executive staff in 2003, laying the foundation of a national family strengthening movement for African Americans.

Ms. Dawson received her J.D. degree from the Columbus School of Law at the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C. and is admitted to practice law in the District of Columbia and Maryland. She holds a M.S.W. degree with a concentration in community organization and social planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a B.A. from Bennett College, Greensboro, North Carolina.

Ms. Dawson is married and the mother of one son. [back to top]

Vander Green is currently the Fatherhood/Healthy Marriage Specialist for Region V-ACF, which includes the states of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and Wisconsin. In this position, Mr. Green provides training, support and technical assistance to Fatherhood and Healthy Marriage programs and works with regional colleagues to develop strategies needed to support programs. Prior to joining ACF, Mr. Green spent several years in the field of early childhood education, holding positions ranging from classroom teacher to Head Start Director. Mr. Green also spent three years as the regional technical assistance specialist for the Family and Community Partnerships and Program Governance content areas (Head Start). [back to top]

Rev. Stephen T. Hall is the Director of Religious Services and Community Involvement with the Indiana Department of Correction.  Rev. Hall has nearly 30 years of experience in the ministry. He has been with the Department of Correction since 1997, having served as Chaplain at North Central Juvenile Correctional Facility, Putnamville Correctional Facility and Indiana Women’s Prison before coming to the Central Offi ce as Director of Religious Services and Community Involvement in 2002. Rev. Hall is also an Army National Guard Chaplain and recently completed a one year deployment to Afghanistan as Task Force Chaplain for Combined Joint Task Force Phoenix. [back to top]

Sam Harrell serves as Research Associate, trainer and contributing writer for Healing Communities, a project of the Philadelphia Leadership Foundation funded by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.  Healing Communities prepares religious congregations to minister to individuals and families affected by crime and incarceration, bringing the existing resources of pastoral care and formal and informal support networks to men and women who are incarcerated and their families.  Sam also serves as president of Capacity Building Associates, LLC an organizational and resource development consulting firm that promotes nonprofit excellence through training and technical support focused on organizational viability, fundability, accountability and sustainability.  Sam was proudly a Senior Program Officer at Public/ Private Ventures, where he provided leadership, funding, monitoring and technical assistance as part of a 3-year national prisoner reentry research demonstration, Ready4Work (the program  and research that informs the design and implementation of current Second Chance Act legislation and programming).  Sam also managed a multi-year national training and technical assistance program for federal grantees that worked in government and faith/community partnerships in the WIA (Workforce Investment Act) system; and he contributed to several writing projects.  Author of the publication, Guide to Starting a Workforce Development Program, Sam has also served as vice president of a small philanthropic foundation in central Pennsylvania; Senior Program Manager for the Faith-Based Community Economic Development Initiative of the National Congress for Community Economic Development (NCCED) in Washington DC; Director of the capacity building training program, Community Impact Institute in Philadelphia, PA, and for four years, Adjunct Professor at Eastern University where he taught Advance Fundraising in a Masters of Nonprofit Management course. Sam holds his Bachelor of Science in Bible degree with an emphasis on Christian Leadership from Philadelphia Biblical University. [back to top]

Dr. William R. Harvey is President of Hampton University and 100% owner of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company of Houghton, Michigan. Since 1978, he has served with distinction as President of Hampton University and created a monumental legacy during his thirty year tenure—one of the longest tenures of any sitting president of a college or university in the country. Dr. Harvey is described as “one of the most focused individuals that one can meet. He is relentlessly single-minded” when it comes to the advancement of the University. During the time that he has served at the helm, Dr. Harvey has made countless contributions to the University, our state and the nation. Few individuals have demonstrated the dedication to education and service that Dr. Harvey has demonstrated throughout his distinguished career. [back to top]

Dr. Josephine Hauer is currently the Marriage and Family Program Specialist for the Administration for Children and Families in New England, Region I. She provides technical assistance to state, community and faith-based organizations involved with the ACF Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood Initiative. She brings extensive background as a teacher educator and researcher of adolescent moral development to this position. Josie earned a bachelors degree in philosophy from Boston University in 1985, a masters degree in religion and secondary education from Harvard Divinity School in 1989 and completed doctoral studies in educational leadership from the University of Bridgeport in 2001. She has taught numerous online and traditional courses in the fields of education, moral development, and family psychology to both undergraduate and graduate students. Josie is also certified as a PREP educator as well as a high school Social Studies teacher. [back to top]

Steve Henigson has been the Seattle Regional Administrator for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) within the Department of Health and Human Services since 1991.  He is responsible for administering a wide range of federal programs in support of the economic and social well being of children and their families in the four state region which includes Alaska, Idaho, Oregon and Washington.  Steve has a B.A. and J.D. from Willamette University, Salem, Oregon and is a member of the Oregon State Bar. [back to top] 

Mary Ann Higgins is the Regional Administrator for Region I for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Region I includes Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.  Higgins provides leadership, direction, and coordination to States, local governments, and other non-profit agencies that administer ACF programs. ACF programs include the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families Program, Child Care, Child Support Enforcement, Head Start, Early Head Start, Foster Care, Child Welfare, Adoption Assistance, Developmental Disabilities, and the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program.

Previously, Higgins was the Director of the JOBS Program for ACF from its inception until 1994.

Higgins is a graduate of Boston College Law School and has a BA from the University of Massachusetts in Sociology. [back to top]

Tera R. Hurt, Ph.D. serves as Assistant Research Scientist for the Program for Strong African American Marriages and Promoting Strong Families at the University of Georgia. She graduated from Indiana University in 1998 with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies and minored in Psychology and Sociology. She later earned a Master of Science and a Doctor of Philosophy from The Pennsylvania State University in the dual-title programs of Human Development and Family Studies and Demography in 2001 and 2005, respectively. After completing her graduate studies, she completed one-year of postdoctoral training at the University of Georgia’s Center for Family Research before accepting her current position. Her research agenda involves identifying new avenues for enhancing intimate relationships among African Americans families using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. She is also interested in examining issues related to successful recruitment and retention of African American participants in research. [back to top]

Alan J. Inman is a dedicated, hands-on organizational leader in the community, committed to restoring the family and representing the highest values of integrity and fiscal responsibility in public life. As a trained accountant from an international firm and operational consultant for a number of non-profit organizations, Mr. Inman developed a reputation for exceeding expectations in managing multiple grants with a number of federal, state and local grants i.e., Federal Dept. of Labor, Health and Human Services, and New York City Human Resource Administration.

Mr. Inman served as National Director for the Institute for Responsible Fatherhood where he led the development of an additional eight locations throughout the country overseeing a $3 million dollar annual budget. Formerly, he served as Executive Director of Minority Alliance International, a New York based civil rights organization; as a consultant to the City of New York; and as chairman of a New York City Community Planning Board. He has been a candidate for the New York State Assembly, a Presidential appointee to the White House Domestic Advisory Council, and as well. He hosted his own radio talk show - Insight with Al Inman for a span of 10 years.

Mr. Inman is also the Regional Director of the American Family Coalition for New York State - a national organization dedicated to ensuring that the family remains the cornerstone of the American society. Currently, he heads his own consulting firm – Alan J. Inman Enterprises (AJIE), where he works with non-profit and governmental groups to support the fulfillment of grants that include both public & private sources. AJIE currently is storied for the development of coalitions that include government, community based organizations, public officials, media, clergy groups and universities throughout the United States with highly successful partnerships that focuses on “Strengthening Families & Communities.”

Mr. Inman is married to the former Cynthia Rene Whitting and is the father of Todd, Alena and Josie. [back to top]

Roberta Jackel is the Project Manager for the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative. She has a background in social services and grants management and has a J.D. from the University of Georgia. She has been an active advocate for people with disabilities and a leader in her community for numerous environmental and civic issues. [back to top]

Charles Jackson is a Public Relations Coordinator for the Alabama Community Healthy Marriage Initiative (ACHMI) at Auburn University with the responsibility for coalition building and community awareness. He has conducted awareness presentations to various state agencies and numerous community partners. Prior to joining the ACHMI team, Charles served as a program coordinator for the Greater Montgomery Chapter of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. which is an international organization of professional men dedicated to empowering their communities through mentoring, education, economic development, and health and wellness.  He currently and proudly serves on their Board of Directors as the Chapter Secretary. Charles has also served five years with the United State Air Force and is currently serving in the Reserves. [back to top]

Tashon Jackson Sr. is the founder and director of The Fatherhood Connection, Inc.  The mission of the organization is to improve the well-being of children by getting fathers to financially support and actively participate in raising their children.  The Fatherhood Connection is faith-based, and offers the unique Fresh Start for Young Fathers Teen Parenting program.  Mr. Jackson frequently collaborates with the local high school and social organizations providing opportunities for fathers to spend time with their children.  Mr. Jackson has a Bachelor’s degree in Human Services from Thomas Edison State College and a Master’s degree in Human Services with a Concentration in Counseling from Lincoln University, PA.  He is a husband and father of three and Sunday school teacher of 23 high school students.  [back to top]

Shandell L. Jamal is the Chief Program Officer for the Ohio Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. Shandell provides oversight and strategic direction for all of GOFBCI’s grant programs, and conducts presentations throughout the state for nonprofit organizations on a variety of topics. Through her leadership, GOFBCI conducted its first webinar and has expanded its outreach efforts throughout the Ohio. Shandell’s career path includes positions at WZIP-FM, The Summit County Democratic Party, The Office of Congressman Tim Ryan, the law firm of Jones Day, and the Strickland for Governor gubernatorial campaign. Shandell is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, and a cheerleading coach for the Eastland Vikings Athletic Association. Shandell earned both a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interpersonal and Public Communication, and a Master of Applied Politics degree from The University of Akron. She plans to devote her career to efforts focused on improving the social, academic and life skills of vulnerable youth. [back to top]

Jenné Johns, MPH, brings a unique combination of non-profit, philanthropy, entrepreneurship, academia, and research to SHIRE.  Jenne serves as Deputy Director for Programs at SHIRE and provides leadership for the childhood obesity prevention portfolio. Jenne is also program coordinator for the Healthy Kids Healthy Communities DC partnership. Prior to joining SHIRE, Jenne worked at the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF), as program associate working on health care quality and disparities issues. Prior to RWJF, Jenne worked in several capacities in the Philadelphia community including, Associate Director for the Students Run Philly Style, Adjunct Professor at Arcadia University, and Preparedness Consultant with Temple University Department of Public Health. Jenne holds a Masters Degree in Public Health, Community Health Education from Temple University, and a Bachelor of Science Degree in Human Ecology, Nutrition with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore. [back to top]

John Jolley serves as Advocacy Relations Specialist and Project Officer for the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement. His employment experiences with the Department of Health and Human Services HHS), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) include: the Job Opportunities for Low-Income Individuals (JOLI) program, the Family Support Center/Gateway Demonstration program (FSC), the Demonstration Partnership program (DPP), the Residential Energy Assistance Challenge (REACH) program, and the Assets for Independent Development Demonstration (AID) program. Additionally, Mr. Jolley has managed the Social Services Block Grant (SSBG) program, and served as Co-Program Manager for Grants to States for Access and Visitation (AV) program in ACF. 

Mr. Jolley’s professional work experience has expanded further than his work at HHS to include Assistant Professor, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University; Assistant Researcher, Washington University,  St. Louis Missouri; Lecturer, Institute for Urban Affairs and Research, Howard University of Washington, DC; Community Organizer, Community Relations Social Development Commission, Milwaukee County; Evaluator, Public School System, District of Columbia; Evaluator,  Conrad Research Corporation, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Job Search Specialist, Pittsburgh Workforce Development Unit, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; Operations Research Analyst, Metropolitan Police Department, Washington, DC; Deputy Director, DC Lottery and Charitable Games Control Board, Washington, DC; Data Analyst, Aids Infrastructure Program, Howard University Medical School, and Field Director, Milton S. Eisenhower Foundation of Washington, DC.

Mr. Jolley received his Bachelor’s of Science (BS), Sociology, North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University (NCA&T), Greensboro, North Carolina; Masters of Social Welfare (MSW), University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Graduate Studies, Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri.  Certificate of Training, Program Evaluation, US Department of State; Finance, Accounting, and Small Business Management, School of Business, University of Pittsburgh; Investigative Training, Southern Missouri State University. [back to top]   

Dr. Anne Jones is on faculty of the School of Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill where she teaches direct practice classes including Practice with Couples. She has a Masters of Social Work degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a PhD in Social Work from Simmons College in Boston. Dr. Jones has over 20 years of direct practice and program administration experience in the fields of social work and public health. Her research interests include: couple relationships; family formation; psycho-education and Internet groups, and intervention research. She is the director of the Strong Couples – Strong Children, a program aimed at strengthen relationship and parenting bonds among economically disadvantaged unmarried expectant couples in Durham, NC. [back to top]

William Juzang manages MEE’s e-business development, corporate website and product marketing. Leveraging his significant expertise in the development of strategies for packaging and disseminating public health communications materials, Mr. Juzang’s responsibilities include project management and unit sales, including the monitoring, tracking and reporting of product sales. He is a lead researcher on MEE’s public health and entertainment quantitative and qualitative projects.  He is responsible for coordinating all technical aspects of communications to the company’s community partners, including e-mails, faxes and telemarketing to support community information sessions and materials dissemination efforts. Using the company’s database management system, he develops and activates members of MEE’s Community Network nationwide and tracks and monitors MEE campaign efforts.

He also provides reporting on the results of materials dissemination activities and community events conducted by MEE outreach teams. Mr. Juzang received his MBA from the School of Business and Industry at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and a BA in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. [back to top]

Kelleen S. Kaye is the Senior Research Director of The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, a private, non-profit initiative organized in 1996 that focuses on preventing both teen pregnancy and unintended pregnancy among young adults.  Before joining the National Campaign, she spent 12 years as senior analyst at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, where she developed and oversaw studies on a wide variety of issues related to family formation, poverty and public assistance.  She also has worked for the National Opinion Research Center, the New America Foundation, the U.S. Department of Labor, the Urban Institute and the Brookings Institution.  She has served on several advisory committees including the Interagency Forum on Child and Family Statistics and the Interagency Working Group for the National Survey of Family Growth.  She has received the Vice President’s Hammer Award for her work on the Fatherhood Initiative and the Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award for data analyses related to Hurricane Katrina.  Kaye received a Bachelor of Science degree in economics and mathematics from the University of Wisconsin and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Michigan.  [back to top]

Janice King-Dunbar is a Management and Program Analyst at the Administration for Children and Families in the Immediate Office of the Regional Administrator, Region 10 – Seattle. Her present duties include: implementing all administrative operations for the office including human resources, performance management, employee development, acquisition management, budget formulation and execution, travel management, space and property management, emergency planning and development of operating procedures for the office.

Prior to her current assignment, she worked on Healthy Marriage and implemented the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative in Region 10. In addition, she has served as a Head Start and Child Care Program Specialist.

She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of Washington and is a certified Professional in Human Resources. [back to top]

Robin Key Banks is Couples Group Facilitator with the Strong Couples-Strong Children Program in Durham, North Carolina. In this capacity she teaches communication and relationship skills to economically unmarried, expecting and/or new parents.  Ms. Banks also serves as the Associate Minister at Union Baptist Church in Durham where she has spearheaded A Blended (Step) Family Ministry since 2005. She expanded this ministry to include a program for both adolescent and single parents in 2007.  Ms. Banks holds a BS degree in Business Administration from N.C. Wesleyan College and is also employed as a Quality Consultant for GlaxoSmithKline.  She is a committed advocate for strengthening families and the institution of marriage. [back to top] 

Johnny Lake is an educator and trainer in schools and communities with programs focused on leadership, personal and organizational change, communication, diversity, community-building, cultural competency and others.

Mr. Lake assists traditional institutions in developing methods and strategies to bring about productive relationships in the larger community. He also provides direction, information and motivational tools to help parents / families understand their impact and potential in the education of their children. He helps young people to find their place in society with positive participation in their schools and communities through the utilization of historical references, active role playing, and various media. Mr. Lake works with government and business to enhance client and customer service and develop skills to promote and manage efficient and productive change in the areas of gender, race, socio-economic, disability and other issues of diversity. He facilities the identification and development of skills and resources to help people better meet the demands of a changing society.

He is a teacher, writer and storyteller with a Bachelor’s degree in History from Willamette University, a Masters in Educational Leadership and Administration. He is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership. He teaches teacher preparation classes, counselor and administrator classes at three universities. He has served as assistant principal at middle and high schools and is currently an Administrator on Special Assignment with the Superintendent in Eugene 4J school district. Johnny Lake is a former Chairman for the State of Oregon Commission on Black Affairs, which works for the implementation and establishment of economic, social, legal, and political equality for African Americans and Blacks in Oregon. [back to top]

Elizabeth Lang Arthur is CEO, Life Support, Inc., a community-based non-profit organization in Florence, SC and the President/Founder of the Pee Dee Family Community Development Program. Life Support, Inc. was founded by Ms. Arthur in 1998 and Incorporated as a non-profit in 2003 with its primary focus being “Train the Trainers.” Under the auspices of Life Support, Inc. Ms. Arthur formed The Pee Dee Family and Community Development Program comprised of 139 churches across denominations that work to build coalitions to decrease and prevent teen pregnancies, build healthy marriages, strengthen families and to work with the State to increase fatherhood efforts.

Life Support, Inc. was awarded a $3.1 million Community-Based Abstinence Education (CBAE) grant. The Faith-Basedfacet of this project utilizes African American church leaders and selected parishioners in seven counties in South Carolina.  It has served over 10,800 youth in local schools, 1,500 youth in faith-based organizations, 800 youth in Boys and Girls Clubs, and 780 adults in faith organizations. 

She has an Associate Degree in Accounting from Florence-Darlington Technical College, Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management from Coker College and a Master’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Webster University. [back to top]

Larry LeFlore, Ph.D., has published referred articles and book chapters in the areas of children, family and juvenile justice; holds a Ph.D. degree from Florida State University, a master’s degree in Counseling, a second master’s degree in Family Studies from the University of Southern Mississippi, and bachelors in Sociology/Psychology from William Carey College (now William Carey University). Dr. LeFlore currently serves Chair of the Department of Family Sciences at Texas Woman’s University. Prior to this appointment, he served as an administrator in two capacities at West Virginia University (1999-2006): two years as the first Director for Families and Health Programs and three and one-half years as the first Director of the WVU-ES Center for 4-H and Youth, Family, and Adult Development. with the Mississippi Department of Youth Services (1971-1977); teaching experiences that include: multicultural and gender issues in Marriage and Family therapy; communication and interaction in marriages/families, psychology, marriage and family, family crisis,  marriage and family therapy; family and juvenile law, juvenile and adult corrections, sociology, and intro to criminal justice. He has demonstrated success as a researcher, grant writer and principal investigator in areas of juvenile justice, incarcerated females/mothers, parenting and is currently working with collaboratives associated with the Healthy Marriages Initiative. [back to top]

David J. Lett, MSW, MPA, ACSW, Regional Administrator, Region III (Philadelphia)
As the Regional Administrator, Mr. Lett is the principal representative of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in Region III which includes responsibility for coordinating 23 major federal programs in six states: Pennsylvania, Delaware, Maryland, the District of Columbia, Virginia and West Virginia.

The largest of the 23 programs includes the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program, as well as Child Support Enforcement, Head Start, Developmental Disabilities, Child Care, Child Welfare, and services to Runaway and Homeless Youth.
Mr. Lett has been responsible for the management of a variety of federal programs serving children and families since 1979. Prior to his current assignment, Mr. Lett was the Assistant Regional Administrator for the Office of Family Supportive Services in the Administration for Children and Families.  Before joining the federal government, David was the Director of the Office of Program Development for the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.

Mr. Lett has a Masters Degree in Social Work from St. Louis University and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from Temple University. He has also completed Doctoral work in Public Administration and Political Science at Temple University.

Mr. Lett is an advocate for children and a proponent of early intervention programs. [back to top]

Leandris C. Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA, Community Health and Program Services Branch, Division of Adult and Community Health, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Leandris Liburd, PhD, MPH, MA serves as Chief of the Community Health and Program Services Branch at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta, GA where she directs a broad range of public health programs addressing community health, the elimination of health disparities, the social determinants of health, and achieving health equity including the REACH U.S. program which is CDC’s flagship health disparities initiative.  In 2007, the branch expanded its chronic disease prevention and community health promotion efforts to Sub-Saharan Africa and is building collaborative partnerships with international organizations focused on eliminating health inequalities in Europe and other regions.  Dr. Liburd has written extensively on community-based public health approaches to chronic disease prevention and control, the influence of culture and gender on health beliefs and behaviors, and the elimination of health disparities.  Her first edited volume titled “Diabetes and Health Disparities: Community-based approaches for racial and ethnic populations” was published by Springer Publishing Company (2010).  Dr. Liburd holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor, a Master of Public Health in Health Education from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, a Master of Arts in Cultural Anthropology, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Medical Anthropology from Emory University. [back to top]

Christine Lindquist is a senior research sociologist at RTI. She has extensive research experience in the areas of medical sociology and criminology. Her research interests and areas of expertise include prisoner reentry, families and incarceration, criminal justice approaches to substance abuse treatment, and violence against women (including workplace approaches for addressing intimate partner violence and sexual assault among university women), with a particular focus on evaluating the effectiveness of interventions in these areas. Dr. Lindquist has substantial methodological expertise, including multisite evaluation design, qualitative and quantitative methods, and instrumentation. She has extensively published and presented the results of her research. She has also taught a variety of courses on sociology and health. [back to top]

Dr. Linda Malone-Colón is a Hampton University psychologist, a non-resident fellow at the Institute for American Values and the former Executive Director of the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC), a national resource and clearinghouse for information and research relating to healthy marriages. She earned a Ph.D. degree in Personality Psychology with a minor in neuro-psychology and an M.S. degree in Clinical Psychology at Howard University.

She is also a noted scholar on African American marriage. Most recently, she co-authored three important publications, both published by the Institute for American Values—The Consequences of Marriage for African Americans: A Comprehensive Literature Review, Marriage and the Well-being of African American Boys, and Responding to the Black Marriage Crisis: A New Vision for Change..

Dr. Malone-Colón is a national speaker and consultant on the values and consequences of marriage including speaking most recently at the Congressional Black Caucus Annual Legislative Conference, the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative (AAHMI) National Research to Practice Conference, the annual Smart Marriages Conference and the Brookings Institution conference on the Consequences of Marriage for African Americans. She has also worked with several healthy marriage projects including the Administration for Children and Families AAHMI as their research specialist; the Hampton Roads Healthy Marriage Coalition Board of Directors, the D.C. Healthy Marriage Coalition Executive Committee, the Building Strong Families Research Project technical work group, the Next Generation Elites and Marriage Research Project, and an Annie E. Casey Foundation Initiative designed to strengthen marriages in low-income communities in the U.S.

In addition to research on marriage, Malone-Colón has conducted research that examines African American responses (including coping strategies) to socio-cultural stressors associated with their minority status. She co-authored a chapter in the Handbook of Tests and Measurements for Black Populations, (on measures of responses to stress in African American populations).

Dr. Malone-Colón also designed and taught a course entitled “Black Marital Relationships” at Hampton University. This course was featured at the 2003 through 2006 annual Smart Marriages Conferences and in the August 2004 edition of Essence magazine. [back to top]

Holly Maust, Chief Digital Strategist
As the owner of Interactive Swim, Holly advises advertising agencies on digital strategy including social media, online media, pay per click and analytics for their clients.As a recognized expert in the field of digital online marketing, Holly has lead seminars for a variety of organizations including The National MS Society, Carnegie Mellon University, The National Healthy Marriage Resource Center and the state agencies of Pennsylvania communication departments. She has also spoken at the National PRSA Travel and Tourism conference about social media monitoring, and next month about social media metrics at the conference, TTRA 2009 "Catch The Wave: Tourism Research. Holly’s passion is with social media and the integration of measurement and analysis.  She is a believer that there are lessons to be learned through measurement of any medium.  [back to top]

LEON R. McCOWAN, Regional Administrator, Administration for Children and Families, Region VI
Leon R. McCowan serves as the ACF Assistant Secretary’s representative for the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Region VI, Dallas, Texas. He provides executive leadership, direction, and coordination for achieving ACF’s key national goals, priorities, and special initiatives; advocates for and advances the priorities of the HHS Secretary and ACF Assistant Secretary, and facilitates Administration initiatives to improve outcomes for vulnerable children and families, special populations, and distressed communities.  He manages and coordinates special sensitive and cross-cutting projects and initiatives such as Healthy Marriage, Fatherhood, and Faith-based Programs in the region, consisting of the states of Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas.  As Regional Administrator he helps achieve ACF’s key national goals and priorities by communicating ACF’s regional interests and concerns within HHS, with other Federal agencies, State human service departments and agencies, territorial and tribal governments, and with public and private local organizations that assist children and families.  He serves at the Lead Regional Administrator for Positive Youth Development, Child Support Enforcement, Responsible Fatherhood, and ACF’s Effective Use of Technology.

With more than 35 years of professional federal service, Mr. McCowan began his career in the Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service. He has held various program and management positions within the Department of Health and Human Services, including: Regional Hub Director, West-Central Hub; Deputy Program Manager for the Office of Family Assistance; and as the Deputy Regional Representative for Child Support Enforcement.

In 2009, Mr. McCowan was awarded the Nancy H. Doherty Special Achievement Award – Federal Employee of the Year.  In 2006, he was named “Outstanding Agency Administrator” by the Dallas/Fort Worth 2005 Combined Federal Campaign and presented a Certificate of Appreciation from the HHS Assistant Secretary for his role in the 2005 hurricane relief efforts.  He received the HHS Secretary’s Award for Distinguished Service in 2005 for his work as a member of the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative Team and the HHS Assistant Secretary’s Partnering for Excellence Award as a member of the Positive Youth Development Team.  In 2001, he was recognized with the prestigious “Presidential Rank Award” for Meritorious Executives.  Mr. McCowan has been recognized throughout his career with numerous certificates and distinguished service awards for his Federal leadership and his service to the local community and other communities within the Region VI area.

Mr. McCowan received his B.A. in Sociology from Wiley College in Marshall, Texas, and his M.A. in Public Administration from the University of North Texas in Denton.

He is married to Curtistene McCowan; they have two married sons and three granddaughters. [back to top]

Chaplain Michael L. McCoy, Associate Director, National Chaplain Center, Department Veterans Affairs, & National President, The Military Chaplains, Association of the United States of America
Chaplain Michael McCoy is a former military Chaplain who served on active duty with the U. S. Navy from.  From 1990 to 1992 Chaplain McCoy served as a staff chaplain at the VAMC in Hines, IL.  He joined the National Chaplain Center in 1992.    Chaplain McCoy is certified as a mediator in Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) by Duke University in Cary, NC.  He was awarded a Bachelors degree from Paine College, Augusta, GA in 1973.  He received a Masters in Divinity from Morehouse School of Religion of the Interdenominational Theological Center, Atlanta, GA in 1976.  He is a graduate of Leadership VA 1999. Chaplain McCoy is the National President of the Military Chaplains Association and past-President of the National VA Black Chaplains Association. [back to top]  

JACQUELINE D. MCLEOD, M.P.H.
Jacqueline is a Professional Fundraiser and Public/Community Health Educator.  She has extensive experience in fundraising, nonprofit organizational management and program implementation.  Her experience extends to working with volunteers, staff and political leaders at local, state and national levels to develop partnerships with for profits and non-profit entities.

Jacqueline has served as Senior Vice President for Financial Development at Recording for the Blind & Dyslexic; A Better Chance and The American Lung Association.  She established and managed the first statewide Office of Minority Affairs for the Associated Medical Schools of New York (AMS), to increase the number of economically disadvantaged students prepared to pursue careers in medicine and science. 

She has served on numerous boards and task forces such as the Board of Directors of the American Lung Association, National Institutes of Health Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  Currently, she is on the Board of The Edwin Gould Academy Multi-Service and Residential Center in East Harlem that provides transitional housing for young adults exiting foster care and the Boston University’s Black Women’s Health Advisory Board.
She is a past President and Program Coordinator for The Links, Incorporated, Bergen County New Jersey Chapter.

Jacqueline is a graduate of New York University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education.   She has a Masters of Public Health from Columbia University School of Public Health and certificates from the American Management Association, Harvard Business School and Leadership in Non-Profit Management. [back to top]

Linda Mellgren, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Linda Mellgren is a senior social science analyst in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). Her current areas of policy and research work include child support, fatherhood, marriage and the intersection of human services and criminal justice populations. Since 1985 she has been responsible for oversight of child support policy, evaluation and research. From 1995 to 2000 she was staff coordinator for the DHHS Fatherhood Initiative, established to promote opportunities for fathers, children and families by improving research, evaluation, policy development and program support for fatherhood. Currently she is managing the evaluation of the ACF responsible fatherhood marriage and incarceration grants and the African-American marriage and health project. Since coming to Washington in 1977, she has also worked on issues relating to teenage pregnancy, domestic violence, and Native American health and social welfare. From 1969 to 1976 she worked for the Social Security Administration and the Office of Child Development/Head Start in the Chicago Regional Office of DHHS. She has a BA in psychology from the University of Minnesota and a MPA from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University. [back to top]

David Miller, M.Ed.
Exciting, compassionate and highly motivated to improve the quality of life for children in the United States and abroad are just a few adjectives used to describe David C. Miller. Miller is the co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer of the Urban Leadership Institute, LLC, a unique social entrepreneurial firm that specializes in training, technical assistance and curriculum development for non-profit & governmental entities that work with youth and families.

Miller uses his experiences growing up navigating the streets of Baltimore, MD coupled with his academic training to motivate and inspire youth and families to “move to the next level.”

Miller is the co-founder of Raising Him Alone (RHA) an advocacy campaign dedicated to researching, designing, and implementing a learning community for single mothers raising boys.  The campaign uses a combination of community based workshops, technology and social media vehicles to disseminate best practices to single mothers raising male children. The Campaign is being funded by the Open Society Institute- Campaign for Black Male Achievement.

Miller is the co-author Raising Him Alone (a book for single mothers raising boys) 2009, Mama Used To Say: Ordinary Women With Extraordinary Wisdom 2009, Dare To Be King: What If the Prince Lives a Survival Workbook for African American Males? (2003, 2004 & 2009), Lessons I Learned from My Father: A Collection of Quotes from Men of African Descent (2004), Dare To Be Queen: Curriculum for Working with Girls (2005) and Rhyme & ReasonHip Hop Curriculum for educators (2005).

Miller’s work has been acknowledged by the Centers for Disease Control, Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health, Washington Post, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Detroit Free Press, Crisis Magazine (NAACP), Baltimore Sun paper, Baltimore Magazine and National Public Radio (NPR).

Miller received in Master Degree in Education (specialization in conflict resolution & school based mediation) from Goucher College and a Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Baltimore. [back to top]

Dr. M. Valerie Mills is a senior public health advisor with the Federal Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Presently, Dr. Mills serves as SAMHSA’s representative of ACF’s Roundtable for the African American Healthy Marriage Initiative. As a National Public Health expert, at SAMHSA, she serves as the Staff lead for Homelessness, Women Health, Minority Health and Cultural Competency and Cultural Diversity.

Dr. Mills, served as the Associate Administrator for HIV/AIDS at SAMHSA from 1997 to 2004 where she successfully engineered and obtained a total of $192M in newly appropriated funds for SAMHSA from the Congressional Black Caucus/National Minority AIDS Initiative (CBC/NMAI) for Fiscal Years 1999 to 2003 for substance abuse treatment and prevention and mental health services for the homeless, women, children, youth and families.

She organized the first State Integration Meeting, which brought together the Executive Directors from NASTAD, NASADAD, NAMHPD, federal partners, HRSA, CDC, State Directors, and selected Community-Based Organizations (CBOs) to discuss service integration for those with HIV/AIDS, mental health, and substance abuse concerns. For many years, she has provided technical assistance and expertise to the White House Workgroup on Youth and Families.

In 2003, Dr. Mills co-chaired the National HIV/AIDS Prevention Conference in Atlanta, GA where more than 3000 participants attended.

Dr. Mills has more than 20 years professional service with both the Federal and State government. As a Senior Public Health Advisor at SAMHSA, she has designed, initiated and coordinated public health programs relating to mental health, substance abuse (including alcohol) around both prevention, mental health and treatment. She is presently working on Public Health policies as related to homelessness, minority health issues, cultural competency and eliminating disparities and health literacy.

Dr. Mills’ extensive Federal Government experience has awarded her close professional working relationships with several of the agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), i.e., Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Health Resource Services Administration (HRSA), the National Institute of Health (NIH), the Office of Women Health (OWH) and the Office of Minority Health.

Dr. Mills' educational profile includes a Bachelor degree in Sociology from a Historically Black University, A& T State University in Greensboro, NC, Master degree in Social Work Administration from Rutgers University in New Brunswick, NJ and a PhD in Health Services from Walden University affiliated with Indiana University in Bloomington, Indiana. [back to top]

Rev. Dr. Aleese Moore-Orbih is an Ordained Pastor in the United Church of Christ and Director of Training and Consulting for FaithTrust Institute.  Her passion and research focuses on the effects and risks of children exposed to domestic violence.

Aleese has 10 years of pastoral experience, women’s discipleship and community development.  She founded “I Wish It Would Stop,” an advocacy program providing resources for teens exposed to domestic violence in collaboration with Shelters Against Violent Environments. 

Aleese served as Director for Advocacy for Victims of Abuse (AVA) in the Evangelical Covenant Denomination in Chicago, Illinois.  She provided leadership, training and developed educational resources for the Covenant Denomination to promote, safety and healing for victims of abuse and to help bring an end to violence against women and children.

Aleese obtained her M.A. in Theology from Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, California, and a Doctor of Ministry at the San Francisco Theological Seminary in San Anselmo, California. Dissertation: Collaborative Community Response to Teenagers Exposed to Domestic Violence.

For more information regarding FaithTrust Institute presenters and services, please contact the Project Coordinator at training@faithtrustinstitute.org. [back to top]

Shawn Mooring is currently a Program Officer at the Twenty-First Century Foundation (21CF) in New York, NY.  21CF works to advance the welfare of the Black community through strategic and collective grant making; special initiatives and research; donor education and donor services. In his role, Shawn is responsible for providing oversight for the Black Men & Boys Initiative.  Prior to joining 21CF, Shawn was a Program Officer and Director of the Fund for Children at the Philadelphia Foundation (TPF) in Philadelphia, PA.  At TPF, Shawn worked with a team to roll out a cutting edge Capacity Building and General Operating grant initiative for nonprofits in Southeastern Pennsylvania.  He also provided oversight to a 60 million dollar fund established to support youth development programs in Philadelphia.  Shawn also spent close to ten years providing technical assistance to nonprofits across the country and serving as a research evaluation consultant during his tenure at the national research and evaluation firms: The OMG Center for Collaborative Learning and Public/Private Ventures, both based in Philadelphia, PA.  Shawn launched his career as a Program Associate at the Ford Foundation.  Shawn earned a Master’s degree in Public Administration with a specialization in Community Development from the University of Delaware and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Hampton University.  Shawn has been married for eleven years to his beautiful wife Monique and has two boys Seth (9) and Devon (6).  [back to top]

Nisa Muhammad is the founder of Wedded Bliss Foundation; a community-based organization helping teens and adults create healthy relationships and healthy marriages so more children has the benefits of a two-parent family. She created Black Marriage Day for communities to celebrate marriage in very unique ways.  It is the fourth Sunday in March and the first was in 2003 with 30 cities participating and has grown to close to 300 communities conducting celebrations.  Mrs. Muhammad is the coauthor of Basic Training for Couples, a marriage education curriculum.  Her work was featured in detail on CNN’s Black in America 2 as pioneering in strengthening marriage in the Black community. [back to top]

Martha N. Okafor, Ph.D., MPA, CSM, is working with the former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. David Satcher at the Satcher Health Leadership Institute [SHLI] at Morehouse School of Medicine, Atlanta, Georgia. She directs the Division of Behavioral Health in SHLI, the mental health concentration area of SHLI Post-doctoral health policy leadership fellowship program;  strategic planning of SHLI, and programs aimed at reducing and ultimately eliminating disparities in mental health, addictive diseases and developmental disabilities. Dr. Okafor is also the CEO of a limited liability consulting company called Community Health And Human Services [CHASS] and recently developed a national performance metrics for achieving health equity for the US Assistant Secretary’s Office of Minority Health in 2009. As a consultant to Argosy University, Okafor designed and produced both a Masters on Public Health [MPH] program and a Masters on Public Administration [MPA] concentration areas of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness being administered through eighty-eight [88] programs in Argosy University Campuses across the U.S.  Dr. Okafor functioned as the Georgia State Deputy Health Officer in the Division of Public Health from 2007- 2009.  She also functioned as the Georgia State Deputy Director of Division of Families and Children from 2005 – 2007.  Dr. Okafor has spent most of her leadership and senior management career in government in Connecticut and Georgia. She brings broad experience from 90 health and human services programs and budget management in Medicaid, Managed Care, Temporary Assistance For Needy Families [TANF], Early Care/Childcare, Food Stamps, Subsidized Housing, Refugee program, and Child Welfare. She has directed the operations of 33 public health programs, covering priority populations, office of women health, oral health, primary care office, minority health, Newborn Screening, Title V Children with Special Health Care Needs, Adolescent Health, community health centers including FQHCs, School Based Health Centers , Early intervention - Part C program, Injury Prevention, and Maternal and Child Health programs, among others. She has numerous public presentations, leadership awards and publications.  Dr. Okafor is known for her visionary and execution leadership, responsive policy, performance accountability, community development, research, systems thinking, consensus building and strategic management expertise. She has her Ph.D. in multi-disciplinary studies of Medical Anthropology, Health Care Management and Social Science from the University of Connecticut. [back to top]

Carol Lewis Osborne is the Director of Program Initiatives at the Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families, Region IV, Atlanta, GA.

Her professional background includes work at the local level in a County Social Services Office as a Caseworker and Casework Supervisor. Prior to being selected to her current position, she was a Head Start Community Representative, Children and Youth Program Specialist for Child Welfare, Developmental Disabilities and Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs, Child Abuse and Neglect Program Specialist, Branch Manager for TANF/Child Care/Child Welfare, Director of the Division of Community Programs which includes the Head Start program and most recently Director of State Programs.
 
She received her early education in the public schools of her home state of Texas, undergraduate degree from Tennessee State University and graduate degree from the University of Utah.
 
Ms. Osborne is active in her community and Church. She is a member of Zion Hill Baptist Church, Founding member of the Ivy and Roses Community Fund Foundation, and a past president and current historian of Pi Alpha Omega Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. [back to top]

Agnes Oswaha, Co-Founder and Vice President of Hearts of Angels for Health-Sudan Initiative
Agnes Oswaha, MSW has a long experience in advocacy and community organizing. She earned a Master of Social Work and two Bachelor of Arts in Law, Society and Justice and in Political Science from the University of Washington. An asylee herself and a leader in the Sudanese community, she is actively engaged in public speaking, advocacy and other events especially those concerning immigrants and Sudanese affairs. She has co-founded several non-governmental organizations such as Hearts of Angels for Health and the Southern Sudanese Women's Association. Hearts of Angels for Health focuses on empowering Sudanese women and men to overcome their traumatic pasts and learn new skills in conflict resolution and improved health, particularly reproductive health. The Southern Sudanese Women's Association helps newly resettled Sudanese in Washington state adjust to life in the U.S. Agnes is also a board member and the Chair of Sudanese Outreach for Save Darfur Washington State and has represented the organization at many speaking, advocacy and event venues since its founding including the April 30, 2006 Rally for Darfur in Washington DC where she also lobbied at the U.S. Congress regarding the on-going genocide. In addition, she is a board member for South Sudan Women's Empowerment Network (SSWEN). She also conducts community referrals for legal issues, is a volunteer mentor for the Lost Boys and Girls of Sudan, has worked as a legal advocate at the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project and served on the Women's Funding Alliance BerMar Scholarship Committee from 2003-2005 and Economic Opportunity grant committee . Agnes participated in the Loving Families Program's advisory committee. She has also received several awards and honors such as the 2009 Storm Inspiration Women Award, Karin Stromberg Award for Contribution to Social Justice and Academic Excellence (2004-2005) at the University of Washington and a Certificate of Honor from the Equatorian Sudanese Community Association of Washington (2004). Agnes is multilingual English, Arabic, Latuka/Otuho and is a certified HIV/AIDS instructor with the African American Reach and Teach Health. She currently works as the Culture, Community and Consular Affairs Officer for the Government of Southern Sudan Mission to the United States in Washington, DC. Agnes hopes to use her legal background to promote social justice and become an effective advocate for human rights.

N.B. Agnes is a mother of 2 children (Eric and Pashai). [back to top]

Paula Parker-Sawyers is the Director of Outreach and Partnerships for The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy. She is responsible for identifying and securing strategic partnerships that will further the mission of the National Campaign to reduce teen and unplanned pregnancies in the United States. Paula has held positions in both the public and private sector. She most recently was the Executive Director of the Indiana Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives. She previously served as the Charitable Contributions Officer and Director of Community Relations at The Associated Group (Anthem, Blue Cross & Blue Shield). Her additional public sector positions included serving as Deputy Mayor of the City of Indianapolis and being elected to the Indianapolis City-County Council for eight years.

Paula graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Political Science and received her MPA, Non-Profit Management concentration from Indiana University as well. She is the mother of three adult children. [back to top]

Patrick Patterson, MSW, MPH is Senior Manager, ICF International with responsibility for providing training and technical assistance to Federal Healthy Marriage and Responsible Fatherhood grantees and programs nationally.  Prior to joining ICF, Patrick worked for Public Strategies, Inc. as manager for the National Healthy Marriage Resource Center (NHMRC), the federally funded clearinghouse for the healthy marriage field nationally.   As NHMRC manager, Patrick also played a key role as liaison and collaborator with Federal and state government partners, Capitol Hill, private foundations, and national Fatherhood leaders and organizations.  Prior to joining the private sector, Patrick was program specialist for the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) in the Philadelphia regional office with oversight, training and technical assistance responsibilities for Healthy Marriage, Fatherhood, and Community and Faith-based grantees and initiatives for the five states (VA, WV, MD, DE, PA) and the District of Columbia that comprise the region.  Patrick earned his Bachelor of Social Work degree from Benedict College (Columbia, SC) and Master’s Degrees in Social Work and Public Health from the University of South Carolina.  [back to top]

REV. DR. RONALD EDWARD PETERS is the Henry L. Hillman Professor of Urban Ministry at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and founding Director of the Seminary's Metro-Urban Institute, an interdisciplinary program of religious leadership development for urban society. He brings twenty years of experience as an urban pastor to his teaching and writing on urban ministry. Author of Urban Ministry: An Introduction (Abingdon, 2007) concerning the role of the church in the city, some of his other writings include Africentric Approaches to Christian Ministry co-edited with Marsha Snulligan Haney (University Press of America, 2006), Faith Is Health (Unit One):A Devotional Bible-Study Series on Health (Pneuma, 2006), an edited volume of Church School lessons for African American congregations and Faith Is Health (Unit Two): Empowering A Village in Crisis (Pneuma, 2007), edited with Jermaine McKinley; Christian Discipleship: A Seven-Session Bible Study for Men on the Gospel of Mark (Congregational Ministries Unit, PCUSA 1998), and “Is This New Wine? Resistance Among Black Presbyterians” in Ronald H. Stone and Robert L. Stivers (eds) Resistance and Theological Ethics (Roman and Littlefield, 2004).

He teaches courses in the area of Church and Ministry, including Urban Ministry, Church and Society, Christian Education, and Black Church history. Some of his more popular courses include Church and Society (Local), The Thought of Martin Luther King, Jr., Readings in Howard Thurman, The Church and Economic Development, The Church and the Urban Family, Faith and Health in the African Urban Context, Theology and Urban Violence, and. Education for Survival and Success. Dr. Peters is an advisor on social justice policy for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and his work focuses on religion in the city with particular attention to issues of poverty, race, and gender. His recent research interests include analysis of the religious community’s response to urban youth violence, HIV/AIDS, and attention to children of the incarcerated and their families. Dr. Peters is active with the several community organizations including the Pittsburgh Interfaith Impact Network and the Coalition Against Violence in Pittsburgh. He also is on the Board of Directors of the Mount Ararat Community Activities Center, the Pittsburgh Chapter ACLU, the Pittsburgh Child Guidance Foundation, and Center for Family Excellence, Inc.

Dr. Peters’ international experience includes research on the role of religion and the development of urban civil society in Namibia and Botswana as a Fulbright Scholar. He has conducted workshops on urban leadership development in Ethiopia, Ghana, Haiti, Kenya, Nigeria, and South Africa and observed urban theological education programs in Switzerland, Singapore, Thailand, and the Republic of China. In August 2007, Dr. Peters led a group of 20 theological educators, seminarians, pastors, social work educators, and medical professionals to study the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa at Stellenbosch University in Cape Town, South Africa and also to Lusaka, Zambia for a Conference on Theology, HIV/AIDS, and Poverty in Africa.

A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Dr. Peters received the Bachelor of Arts degree from Southern University, the Master of Divinity degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the Doctor of Education degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Dr. Peters lives in Pittsburgh with his wife, Mary Smith Peters and they are the parents of two adult children and four grandchildren. [back to top]

Sharon Rabb, PhD, is Founder and Executive Director of Center for the Empowerment of Families, Inc. (CEF,Inc.). Dr. Rabb is a Clinical Psychologist, Licensed Marriage, Family Therapist and Educator with over twenty-five years of working with families in private practice, faith-based and community organizations. She has a Master of Arts in Theological Studies from the Claremont School of Theology where she serves as Senior Staff at the Howard Clinebell Institute. She supervises and trains pastoral counselor residents and interns, and conducts spiritual leadership training for clergy and laity. Dr. Rabb and her staff provide mentorship training to non-profits that serve families of color. Dr. Rabb and CEF continue to champion the cause of social justice for juveniles at risk and incarcerated, with the goal of reducing recidivism. Her work with HIV/AIDS supports community and faith-based organizations. Dr. Rabb is a presenter at conferences and seminars in congregations and community-based organizations on topics related to leadership and empowering African American women, youth and families. She is married in a blended family with five adult children and seven grandchildren. [back to top]

Ida Rademacher is the Director of Research for the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) in Washington D.C., where she works to advance a research agenda that identifies, investigates and promotes effective strategies that help low-income families build assets and expand economic opportunity. She is responsible for the development of key research publications, and for working with CFED's research partners in government, academia and community-based institutions.  Recent products and publications include the 2009-2010 Assets & Opportunity Scorecard, and “Weathering the Storm:  Have IDAs Helped Low-Income Households Avoid Foreclosure?”

Prior to joining CFED, Rademacher worked as a Senior Research Officer with the Center for Applied Behavioral and Evaluation Research at the Academy for Educational Development.  Ms. Rademacher was also a Senior Research & Program Associate at the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program.  Before joining The Aspen Institute, she worked as a management consultant in the U.S. and Australia analyzing the social and economic impacts of privatization and market transitions in energy, agriculture and financial sectors of the economy. She undertook graduate studies in economic anthropology at the University of Melbourne, Australia, and received her Masters Degree in Public Policy from the University of Maryland. Her undergraduate degree is in anthropology and economics from James Madison University. [back to top]

Joyce Wessel Raezer, Executive Director, National Military Family Association
Joyce became the Executive Director of the National Military Family Association in 2007 after serving at various staff positions in the Government Relations Department since 1995. She guides the management of the Association’s programs and initiatives that serve the families of the seven Uniformed Services and that promote improvements in their quality of life. Joyce has represented military families on several committees and task forces for offices and agencies of the Department of Defense (DoD) and military Services. From June 1999 to June 2001, Joyce served on the first national Board of Directors for the Military Child Education Coalition. In 2004, she authored a chapter on “Transforming Support to Military Families and Communities” in a book published by the MIT Press, Filling the Ranks: Transforming the U.S. Military Personnel System. She has been a member of the TriWest Healthcare Alliance Executive Advisory Board since 2007. A Maryland native, Joyce earned a B.A. in History from Gettysburg College, and a M.A. in History from the University of Virginia. An Army spouse and mother of two children, she has lived in the Washington, D.C. area (4 tours), Virginia, Kentucky, and California. She is a former teacher and served on the Fort Knox Community Schools Board of Education from 1993 to 1995. [back to top]

Yvette Hilderson Riddick is the Director of the Federal Office of Child Support Enforcement’s (OCSE) Division of Policy.  In this position, she is responsible for development and implementation of federal legislation, regulations, and program policy for state and tribal child support programs.  She has also served as the Chief of OCSE’s National Training Center where she initiated many training activities that required distance learning technology.  She has more than 30 years of management experience in the child support program, has worked at the county level (Wicomico County, MD), the state level (Missouri), and the federal level.  She received a BA from Salisbury State College and an MPA from the University of Missouri.  [back to top]

COL Elspeth Cameron Ritchie, MD, MPH
COL Ritchie is the Director of the Proponency of Behavioral Health Director at the Office of the US Army Surgeon General. She has held numerous leadership positions within Army Medicine, to include the Psychiatry Consultant. She trained at Harvard, George Washington, Walter Reed, and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, and has completed fellowships in both forensic and preventive and disaster psychiatry. She is a Professor of Psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. Her assignments and other missions have taken her to Korea, Somalia, Iraq, and Cuba.  She has over 130 publications, mainly in the areas of forensic, disaster, suicide, ethics, military combat and operational psychiatry, and women’s health issues. Major publications include the textbook, “Mental Health Interventions for Mass Violence and Disaster” and “Humanitarian Assistance and Health Diplomacy: Military-Civilian Partnership in the 2004 Tsunami Aftermath”. She is currently the senior editor on a forthcoming Military Medicine text on Combat and Operational Behavioral Health. An internationally recognized expert, she brings a unique public health approach to the management of disaster and combat mental health issues. [back to top]

James Rodriguez, M.S.W, Ph. D. Candidate, CEO/President of Fathers & Families Coalition of America, Inc., a premiere professional development and membership non-profit providing services throughout Arizona since 1994 and nationally since 1999. James spearheads day-to-day operations in the support of national capacity building services for health & human services providers for fragile families. He has organized and coordinated multiple simultaneous programs and projects to maximize efficiency and support the community expanding operations to include 13 affiliates and a membership base of over 290 colleagues nationally.

Under his direction FFCA has collaborated to serve at-risk young fathers, welfare to work participants, at-risk youth, incarcerated parents, re-entry programs, best practice program development and other special programs statewide and nationally. Programs developed by Mr. Rodriguez, has accounted for more than 23 million dollars of new grant funds to implement direct services for at-risk youth, low-income individuals, community development and capacity building grants and research projects.

Rodriguez retired with honors from the United States Air Force in 2003 after serving over twenty years in the armed forces (US Army, US Air Force and US Air Force Reserves) combined. James received his Masters in Social Work from Arizona State University and is currently on sabbatical as a doctoral student. He is blessed with four children and a daughter in-law. As a single father he raised his son James Antonio 22 and Amber Inez 20 and later blessed with his daughters Alexa and Jazmín. On December 12, 2009 his son married Cassandra Marie and now the family has expanded...  [back to top]

Dana Ross is the President of Pure Quality Enterprises, LLC, the parent company of divisions designed to educate, entertain and promote positive images of cultures through multimedia.

She is a Certified Licensed Master Trainer via the National Partnership for Community Leadership (NPCL) qualifying her to train and certify agencies, practitioners, organizations and individuals who desire to create programs and workshops for fathers and families utilizing The Fatherhood Development Curriculum. She also works as a consultant to organizations who want to develop business models and programs for fatherhood, healthy marriage and fragile family issues and is the current Director of the Delaware Valley Fathers & Families Coalition.

Her current project, “Black Fatherhood: Reconnecting with Our Legacy,” is a ten year docu-journal in film and book format. Dana utilized her own family history, research and interviews with hundreds of Black fathers, educators and historians such as Dr. Jawanza Kunjufu and Dr. Ira Berlin, to explore Black men in their roles as fathers from their time of enslavement to the present.
The book has been added to several African American and Social Studies curriculums in colleges located in the US and abroad. [back to top]

Leslie McKee Sessley, LMSW
Leslie has worked with the aging population in New Jersey, Pennsylvania and Georgia for over eight years. She is currently working with the Georgia Division of Aging Services and serves as the Aging Services Program Coordinator she is responsible for coordinating kinship care and home and community based care management services statewide.  

Leslie’s experience includes working the direct home-based and community-based aging services arena, managing case management services and conducting research evaluations in aging communities.

Leslie received the AARP Power of One Award for her work with Albany, Georgia Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Summit in 2006. She also received the Governor’s Commendation Award for Excellence in Customer Service in 2008.  Currently, Leslie is active on several advisory boards and committees that represent caregiver issues, including Board Member of Georgia Gerontology Society as Membership Committee Chair and the National Association of Social Workers, Georgia Chapter.

Leslie received her Master’s degree in Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, with a concentration in social administration and community organizing. She currently is a Licensed Master Social Worker and is pursuing her license in clinical social work. [back to top]

Diane Sims-Moore has over thirty years of experience in human services. She has worked with organizations that serve, youth, adults, young adults and families. She provides individual, couples and group counseling. She offers technical assistance to individuals and organizations, design programs and develop policies that focus on enhancing the lives of those she serve. She has managed community and economic development projects; provided public relations and marketing services to corporations and political campaigns.

Ms. Sims-Moore moved to Washington, DC in 1980. Her first job was with the newly formed Washington Star Newspaper as marketing and public relations director. She later joined the staff of the National Business League, a membership organization; there she was responsible for the national membership drive and conference planning for the organizations’ national conventions. These two exciting posts were her introduction into the political haven of Washington, DC, where she works as Ward Coordinator for two successful mayoral campaigns.  Ms. Sims-Moore served as Deputy Director for the Department of Human Services, Office of Equal Employment Opportunity for ten years. She then moved on to become the Executive Director for a residential housing complex in Baltimore, Maryland for five years, providing leadership and guidance to welfare to work mothers.

Ms. Sims-Moore is the founder and president of Focus Point International, a human service firm, located in Washington, DC. Under her leader ship, Focus has provided its signature curriculum-based accredited life skills program called Survival Skills to local governments, faith-based and community-based organization and a number of schools. 

Currently, Ms. Sims-Moore, as president, is the driving force behind the growth and development of Family First DC (formerly, DC Metropolitan Healthy Marriage and Relationship Coalition). Family First DC promotes, strengthen, and restore healthy marriages and relationships through education, training and research. The organization is committed to enriching children lives; strengthen families, and building strong vibrant communities.  

Ms Sims-Moore completed her undergraduate studies at Texas Southern University, in Psychology and Sociology   and graduate studies at New Hampshire University, in Community and Organizational Development. She is a member of the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority and serve on numerous boards. She is life coach, certified trainer and motivational speaker.

Her mission in life is to make a difference. [back to top]

Dr. Rozario Slack has 20 plus years of experience working with couples, parents, teens and families and has traveled across the country speaking to teens, singles, couples, and professionals who work with families, as well as consulting with government agencies implementing family enrichment programs. In 2010, Dr. Slack launched an initiative called The Legacy Campaign. This initiative sets out to ensure future generations by helping today’s families establish a solid and healthy foundation on which to build steadfast future families.

Along with his wife, Chattanooga pediatrician, Dr. Angela Smith-Slack, he has developed a ten session guide to building better relationships called 10 Great Dates for Black Couples based on the award-winning program, 10 Great Dates, by David and Claudia Arp. In addition to 10 Great Dates, Dr. Slack is co-author of Basic Training for Couples an eight session marriage curriculum designed for couples to use in the comfort of their home, marriage educators working with couples, and facilitators in group sessions.

Dr. Slack is CEO of Rozario Slack Enterprises, LLC and received his masters and doctorate degrees from Interdenominational Theological Center at the Atlanta University Center. He is the pastor of Temple of Faith Deliverance Church of God in Christ in Chattanooga, TN. The Slacks have been married since 1992 and are the parents of three children, Will, Pamela and Taylor. [back to top]

Onjewel Smith
For nearly 20 years, Onjewel Smith has worked to help organizations and communities build their capacity for sustainable change.  She is a nationally-recruited trainer, conducting sessions on grassroots advocacy, coalition building, and messaging. Throughout her career, Ms. Smith has helped develop strategic alliances between local coalitions, community-based organizations and city and state elected officials. In addition, she has helped communities build their capacity for change through strategic technical assistance addressing grassroots organizing and justice issues. Currently, Ms. Smith is a consultant to the RWJF’s Faith-based Advocacy: Galvanizing Communities To End Childhood Obesity initiative, providing coordination and technical assistance to the programs’ twenty-two grantees. Ms. Smith possesses a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication from the University of Colorado and a Master's degree in Human Resources Development from Webster University in St. Louis. [back to top]

Ted N. Strader is the founder and Executive Director of COPES, Inc.  He is a nationally recognized author, curriculum developer, trainer, motivational speaker, and publisher.  His highly acclaimed Creating Lasting Family Connections (CLFC) program is used throughout the United States and several other countries.  This program is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices, and has been recognized by the U.S. Department of Education, the Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention, the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention, and the International Youth Foundation’s YouthNet.  In addition to his CLFC curriculum and book, Building Healthy Individuals, Families, and Communities: Creating Lasting Connections, he has produced several films, and provides keynote addresses, presentations and workshops at many national conferences on substance abuse and violence prevention, marriage and fatherhood programming, parenting skills and family strengthening.  [back to top]

Martin Sungoyo is the President and co-founder of the non-profit Azande Organization. The Azande Organization of Maine has been established to create sustainable peace for the Sudanese and the whole region of Sudan. This organization is committed to the betterment of the Sudanese community here in the USA and keeping their dream of returning home one day so that they can live in harmony together with the entire region of Sudan. Mr. Sungoyo has worked in various humanitarian organizations, both national and international, including The Red Cross and the Sudan Council of Churches.  His focus has always been to support widows and children who were survivors of war. [back to top]

Darlene Tart, BS, MHS serves as the Program Specialist for Healthy Marriage, Responsible Fatherhood, and Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships for Region III (Philadelphia). In addition to her current position, she has served the Administration for Children and Families in the capacity of Program Analyst - Finance for the Child Support Enforcement program and Regional Manager for the Child Care Bureau. Prior to her government career, Ms. Tart served as Human Resource Specialist, Fiscal Manager and Program Design Manager with a Federal grantee and has held positions as an accounting manager for non- and for-profit organizations as well as acted as an independent financial consultant. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Drexel University and a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Lincoln University; in addition, she has completed extensive doctoral work in Educational Leadership at Fielding Graduate University. Ms. Tart resides in Philadelphia, Pa. [back to top]

Eboni M. Taylor, PhD, MPH
Dr. Taylor received her PhD in Epidemiology from the University of North Carolina Gillings School of Global Public Health. She is an infectious disease epidemiologist and has conducted research on sexual behaviors and racial/ethnic disparities in the distribution of HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. Dr. Taylor has worked with HIV and TB related projects in South Africa and has also collaborated with researchers in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo on a study of HIV prevention among HIV-positive youth. Dr. Taylor received her Masters of Public Health from The Ohio State University and was named the 2006 Outstanding Young Public Health Professional by the Ohio Public Health Association. [back to top]

Joyce A. Thomas, Regional Administrator, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families (Region II)
Joyce A. Thomas is the Regional Administrator for the Administration for Children and Families in Region II.  The Region comprises New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. In this capacity, Ms. Thomas partners with state, local, community based organizations, and tribes within the Region to promote economic independence and healthy development of children and families. 

Ms. Thomas provides executive leadership and direction to ensure coordination and integration of activities among Head Start, child care, foster care and adoption, child support enforcement, youth services and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF) programs.  Under Emergency Preparedness and Response, ACF Region II partners with FEMA, state government, grantees and Tribes to ensure coordination of essential Human Services programs during disasters.   Ms. Thomas also serves as National Lead Regional Administrator for the Office of Community Services and the Faith Based and Neighborhood Partnership Initiatives within ACF.  She is one of the founders and co-chairs of ACF’s African American Healthy Marriage Initiative.  Previously, Ms. Thomas served as the Regional Administrator for ACF’s Region V, which includes Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin and thirty-five Tribal Nations.  While Region V Administrator, Ms. Thomas also led the federal regional Interagency Council on Homelessness.

Prior to her employment with the Administration for Children and Families Ms. Thomas served as the Commissioner of the State of Connecticut’s Department of Social Services.  As Commissioner, she implemented major changes in the child support enforcement, TANF and Medicaid programs and played a major role in the creation of Connecticut’s innovative School Readiness legislation.

A graduate of the University of Northern Iowa, Thomas was awarded a BA in Social Work and an MA in counseling, with a minor in Spanish.

Thomas is married and has one daughter. [back to top]

Carole Thompson was appointed Senior Associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation in November 1997. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland, makes grants that help states, cities, and neighborhoods fashion more creative, cost-effective responses to the challenges facing children and families whose circumstances place them at risk of poor outcomes. Ms. Thompson manages the Foundation’s three portfolio of research on: the role of faith-based organizations in community building and community change; children of the incarcerated, and promoting healthy relationships and healthy marriage in families with children.

Prior to joining the Casey Foundation, Ms. Thompson managed development activities for the Baltimore City Public School System and served as the Special Assistant to the Superintendent of the School District of Philadelphia. Carole Thompson began her professional career in the corporate sector with Champion International Corporation in Stamford Connecticut, where she spent eight years in marketing and public affairs and advanced to the position of Director of Corporate Social Responsibility managing the corporation’s national philanthropic activities. She continued this line of work for the CIGNA Corporation in Philadelphia where she served as the Director of Civic Affairs for seven years. Ms. Thompson graduated from Howard University with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She and her family reside in Silver Spring, Maryland. [back to top]

The Three Doctors
Drs. Sampson Davis, Rameck Hunt and George Jenkins, fondly known as The Three Doctors are extraordinary role models for anyone who's been through any kind of life challenge or major hardship.

As teenage boys growing up on the tough inner-city streets of Newark, New Jersey these three kindred spirits made a pact: they would stick together-go to college-graduate-and become doctors. Surrounded by negative influences and having few positive role models made this a not so easy feat. Now years later, these three men have overcome countless obstacles and proudly bear the subtitle of doctor, serving as the face of health and education for youth and families across our country.

Growing up in the streets of Newark, the doctors know first hand the pressures and struggles of life in the inner city and how difficult it can be going at it alone. Determined not to become victims of their environment, the trio stood firm in their mission and together became one of the most remarkable success stories of inspiration, dedication and determination.

The Three Doctors are frequently asked about their formula for becoming prominent, successful men.  While there are numerous factors that played a role in their success there are particular guidelines that the doctors have and continue to live by to this day.  This includes "Learning Patience" where the doctors often share that "today's youth are in an age where they want everything now, and instant success is not only rare, but also deceitful. At some point you need a strategic plan on how you propose to live your life and carry out your goals for the long-term and that is just a starting point."

Doctors George Jenkins, Rameck Hunt and Sampson Davis deliver a well-needed and urgent message of hope and inspiration everywhere they go. Their key messages also include-Never underestimate the power of self-reliance and inner strength-Attach a timeline & devise a strategy for achieving your goals-and finally-Surround yourself with like-minded people who are in line with your aspirations.

Today, Dr. Hunt is a Board certified internist at University Medical Center at Princeton and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Dr. Jenkins serves as Assistant Professor of Clinical Dentistry at Columbia University. Dr. Davis is a Board Certified Emergency Medicine Physician at St. Michaels Medical Center and Raritan Bay Medical Center. The doctors have additionally authored three inspiring books about their lives: The Pact, for adults, and We Beat the Streets, for children, as well as a third book The Bond, highlighting fatherhood relationships.  The doctors also find time to give back to the community through their non-profit organization, The Three Doctors Foundation which on May 6, 2010 celebrated its 10th year of offering free health, education and mentoring programs for youth and families in the NY/NJ area.

The Three Doctors received the prestigious Essence Award in 2000 for their accomplishments and leadership as well as a BET Honors award in 2009. The doctors continue to make numerous television appearances in support of their message of health, education and youth mentoring.  This includes their past appearance on the Oprah Winfrey show, where Ms. Winfrey remarked--"You guys are bigger than Rock Stars!" She then added, "I think you guys are the premier role models of the world!" [back to top]

Lamar and Ronnie Tyler are Essence.com bloggers and co-creators of the largest independent black marriage and parenting site on the web called Black and Married With Kids.com (BMWK.)  They’ve produced two Amazon.com bestselling documentaries about black marriage, Happily Ever After: A Positive Image of Black Marriage and You Saved Me. The films have inspired a Facebook fan page with over 45 thousand fans in just eleven months. The Tyler’s were recently selected by Essence as a Power Couple on The Move on a short list of 23 couples that included names like the Obamas, Will and Jada Smith and Jay-Z and Beyonce. They’ve also appeared on both local and nationally syndicated radio, television and print media outlets. Most importantly the Tyler’s are the proud parents of four children. [back to top]

Quentin Walcott is Director of CONNECT’s Training Institute and the Community Empowerment Program. At CONNECT, a New York City based organization dedicated to ending family and gender violence, Quentin also spearheads the Male Anti-Violence initiatives, where he creatively develops educational and training programs to cultivate participation and leadership by men in the anti-violence movement. As a convener of the newly created V-Day Men’s Committee, he developed a curriculum and training for young adult males that examined violence against women and girls at V-Day’s New York Stop the Violence Festival. Quentin and his team of anti-violence educators have launched new city-wide network and workshops for men called Men@Work, looking to transform men and women from bystanders to allies to activists against family and gender violence. [back to top]

Dr. Clarence and Ja’Ola Walker teach biblical principles to all families with a special burden for the African American family. Happily married for 33 years their style is down-to–earth, practical, combining professional training, biblical principles, and experience which they shared across the nation as Family Life Educators for 28 years. They are the authors of the 'For Christian Lovers Only'™ couple enrichment curriculum, comprehensive, Bible based training targeting black marriages. It was published by Urban Ministries.  www.marriage.urbanministries.com/

Dr. Clarence received a Ph.D. in Biblical Counseling from Trinity, a Graduate Certificate in Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Penn, a MSW from Temple University, and a BSW from Eastern University. He was a professional marriage and family therapist in private practice for 12 years and now pastors the Fresh Anointing Christian Center for the last 10 years. Dr. Clarence is the author of two books; BIBLICAL COUNSELING WITH AFRICAN AMERICANS and BREAKING STRONGHOLDS IN THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN FAMILY published by Zondervan. He is a contributing author to three books entitled: BIBLICAL STRATEGIES FOR A COMMUNITY IN CRISIS and CALLED TO LEAD and IT’S PRAYER TIME. He was a contributing consultant on the book and Video RETURN TO GLORY. [back to top]

Patricia Funderburk Ware is Co-founder and President of the Global African Diaspora Union (GADU) and President and Chief Executive Officer of Shiloh International Productions, Inc.  Mrs. Ware’s diverse professional background includes performing as a professional actress; serving as an arts administrator; a community economic development specialist; and a health administrator and advocate.  She has founded and directed community based, statewide and national organizations which have become model projects; as well as serving as a Political appointee in two Presidential Administrations.  Mrs. Ware has also lived and worked in South Korea and participated as a Student in International Living in Sweden.  She has received numerous awards including The Order of the Long Leaf Pine, North Carolina’s highest community service award; the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy Honoree Award; and the Twentieth Year Outstanding Alumni Award from her alma mater, Hampton University.  She has a BA degree from Hampton University, a Master of Fine Arts degree from The Catholic University of America, an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from Aspen College, and credits towards a Doctor of Public Administration degree from the University of Southern California. [back to top]

Deborah M. Whitley, Ph.D. received a BA in Anthropology and graduate degrees in Social Administration from Case Western Reserve University, and Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh.  She received her Doctorate in Social Work also from the University of Pittsburgh.

Currently, Dr. Whitley is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at Georgia State University, Atlanta, GA.  She is also the Director of the National Center on Grandparents Raising Grandchildren, an initiative within the College of Health and Human Sciences that strives to be a resource to researchers, program planners and policy-makers working to enhance the lives of grandparents raising grandchildren across the nation.  She is the Associate Director for Project Healthy Grandparents (PHG), a university-based program providing health and social support to grandparent-headed households in the Atlanta community.  She has facilitated the replication of the PHG program model at other universities in Georgia, Maryland, and North Carolina.  Dr. Whitley is the principal investigator for researching the early intervention needs of young grandchildren who are at risk for developmental delays.  A majority of her publication has been in the area of kinship care.  [back to top]

Ms. Jocelyn Whitfield has 28 years’ progressive experience managing, administering, and directing public health Federal, State, and local community program initiatives. She currently serves as a senior public health advisor and coordinator of the Faith-Based and Neighborhood Community and Faith-Based Initiative for SAMHSA/CSAT and the Department of Health and Human Services. She also serves as community and faith-based technical advisor to the Access to Recovery Grant Initiative, implemented by SAMHSA.

Under her leadership, more than 500 technical assistance and training events for grassroots organizations have occurred in 47 States, and approximately 11,500 individuals representing these organizations have participated in these events. Ms. Whitfield is lead advisor on community and faith-based activities for SAMHSA/CSAT and represents SAMHSA at various external meetings, including those with Federal departments and the White House. She has also served as a Brooking Legislative Fellow with the U.S. Senate.

The toolkits and guidance publication resources developed under Ms. Whitfield’s direction are being used nationally by nonprofit organizations and Federal and State Governments. These publications include Successful Strategies for Recruiting, Training, and Utilizing Volunteers; Maximizing Program Services Through Private Sector Partnerships and Relationships; National Review of State Alcohol and Drug Treatment Programs and Certification Standards for Substance Abuse Counselors and Prevention Professionals; and Sustaining Grassroots Community-Based Programs: A Toolkit for Community- and Faith-Based Service Providers. [back to top]

Kent Wilcox is the Regional Administrator for the Chicago Regional Office of the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), a component of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS). In his twenty-five years with DHHS, Kent has served in senior regional management positions in the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), the Family Support Administration and the Office of Child Support Enforcement. His management experience spans the breadth of ACF programs, both State and Community based, and all of its Initiatives. He represents the Department on the Federal Regional Interagency Council on Homelessness and the Federal Executive Board’s Task Force on Veterans Issues. Mr. Wilcox was appointed Deputy Regional Administrator in 2007 and Regional Administrator in 2008.
 
Kent, a native of Chicago, was raised in South Bend, Indiana which he calls his hometown; he holds a bachelors and a law degree from the College of William and Mary in Virginia. He is a member of the Indiana and Florida Bars. [back to top]

Carlis V. Williams serves as the Southeast (Region IV) Regional Administrator for the Department of Health and Human Services/Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in Atlanta, Georgia.  ACF provides comprehensive and supportive programs for vulnerable children and families which include Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, Child Welfare, Child Care, Child Support Enforcement and Head Start.  The region consists of eight southeastern states:  Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee.   As the Regional Administrator, she also provides executive leadership for emergency preparedness and response, and serves as the National Lead Regional Administrator for ACF Healthy Marriage Initiative and Co-lead for the Office of Family Assistance.

Ms. Williams is the recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Award for Distinguished Service; and Clark Atlanta University Dean’s Public Sector Award in recognition of her extraordinary achievements for the well-being of children and families in the southeast community.  [back to top]

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