Kimberly Alexander, MPH
Kimberly Alexander is the Principal and Co-Founder of The Alexander Group, LLC, providing strategic consulting, project management and technical assistance to government, universities, foundations, and nonprofits engaged in health,policy, and program development rooted in values of equity, inclusion,and performance. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Public Health Studies at Elon University.
Kimberly is a passionate advocate for public health and
equity with over two decades experience in health policy, multi-sector partnerships, community engagement, project management and technical assistance. Ms. Alexander earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish with minor in Chemistry and certificate in Spanish for Business from Wake Forest University and a Master of Public Health degree from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University.
Kimberly is an active member of the Partnership for a Healthier Durham Task Force for Racial Equity, co-chair of the Access to Care Committee, and member of the Project Access of Durham County Board of Directors and Executive Committee. Through her work with the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative, Kimberly is a contributing author to a chapter in Racism: Science & Tools for the Public Health Professional, an APHA Press publication released in 2019.
John Dempsey Parker
John Dempsey Parker works to support and cultivate resilient and creative community leaders, change-makers, activists, and entrepreneurs. John engages leaders, nonprofits, congregations, funders, universities, tribes, and businesses around their ideas, projects, and partnerships. For over twenty-five years, he nurtured collaborative, culturally appropriate, and responsible leadership to strengthen local, statewide, regional, and national organizing, collaborations, and initiatives. John also supports others in their vocational development – helping them discern how to share their time, talents, gifts, relationships, and resources with others.
John’s areas of focus include strengthening skills, strategies, resources, and partnerships around:
civic engagement and community organizing
collaborative and cooperative leadership and group work
spiritual activism and contemplative organizing for restorative justice, watershed discipleship, and cultural healing
sustainable, community-based and rooted development for cultural survival, integrity, and resilience, including community self-reliance and self-determination
watershed and bioregional stewardship and re-inhabitation, wilderness preservation, and a thriving wild Creation
tes thraves, owner of practice well consulting, has engaged in racial equity and justice work for the last 20 years: coaching, designing and leading trainings, developing curricula, developing and coordinating communities of practice with multi-organizational coalitions which include businesses, state agencies and community based organizations. The last fifteen years tes has worked for a state agency in community food systems, focusing on racial equity, youth, and schools. Before beginning this, tes taught university in oral history, folklore, writing, performance and ethnography. She has rooted her entire career in relationality, storytelling, and practice. tes lives on a small homestead in rural, central North Carolina/land of the Occaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation with her wife and multiple critters where they grow vegetables, fruit, tea, and mushrooms.
Keryl McCord is founder and CEO of EQ, The Equity Quotient, a national training and organizational development firm dedicated to supporting arts and culture nonprofits interested in becoming more just and equitable community partners, with equity, diversity, and inclusion as outcomes of their work. Keryl is a veteran arts manager and administrator with more than thirty years of experience in many facets of the arts. Her background includes serving as managing director of two theater companies, Oakland Ensemble Theater Company, a five-hundred seat AEA theater in downtown Oakland, CA, and Crossroads Theater Company, New Brunswick, NJ, the only black-run LORT theater at the time, and the first such company to receive the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theater. Ms. McCord served as the executive director of the League of Chicago Theaters/ League of Chicago Theaters Foundation in 1990. She left Chicago in 1991 to take a post at the National Endowment for the Arts as Assistant Director of Theater Programs, and was appointed Director of Theater Programs in 1993.
She served on the executive committee of the National Black Theater Summit on Golden Pond in 1998, convened by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, August Wilson. Subsequently she was tapped to be a founding board member and Senior Vice President of the African Grove Institute for the Arts (AGIA), Newark, NJ, of which Mr. Wilson served as chairman. She remained with AGIA until Mr. Wilson’s passing.
Beginning 2009 she was Managing Director for Alternate ROOTS, a nationally recognized, regionally-focused network and service organization for activist artists in the South. Ms. McCord was responsible for day-to-day management, including fundraising and development, and helped steward the organization through a period of unprecedented growth. Over the course of her tenure the organization’s budget grew from $250,000 per year to $1.3 million, and upon her retirement in 2016 she had raised more than $5 million dollars. Ms. McCord has consulted for many nonprofit arts organizations in the areas of institutional development, strategic fundraising, community and cultural organizing, and provides small and large group facilitation.
Dr. Jada Brooks
Dr. Jada Brooks is an associate professor and Ross Distinguished Term Scholar of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Nursing. One of few Indigenous nurses holding a doctoral nursing degree, Dr. Brooks is widely regarded as a scholar and leader in health disparities research with tribal communities in North Carolina. Funded externally for two decades by the National Institutes of Health, her more than 20 years of community-engaged research focuses on environmental conditions that shape health outcomes and inequalities among American Indians.
Dr. Brooks collaborates with community partners to adapt and implement interventions that foster health equity and revitalize tribal communities. She is currently the PI on a planning grant to adapt a cardiovascular health promotion intervention for American Indian women, co-I on an RCT to improve self-care behaviors among hypertensive American Indian adults, and
co-Iead on a study promoting mental health among American Indian Youth.
Jennifer Crosslin is a community organizer and strategist living on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. She has over a decade of experience working to advance racial, gender, economic, environmental, and climate justice.
Jennifer has a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of South Alabama and graduated with a master's degree in Political Science from the University of Southern Mississippi and a master's in Social Justice and Organizing from Prescott University.
Jennifer currently serves as a board member and Community Engagement Lead for the East Biloxi Food Market, an organizing initiative to open a community owned grocery store. Jennifer is also member of Mississippi Rising Coalition and the Southern Movement Assembly, organizing around wide variety of issues to uproot white supremacy and advance an equitable, safe, inclusive, and life affirming in Mississippi and across the Southern US. She also supports a community in Pascagoula, MS organizing for a buyout to protect their health and community against industrial pollution.
Abbey Piner is based at the Center for Environmental Farming Systems (CEFS) where her focus is coalition based food systems change. She has a deep interest and focus on supporting coalitions to become effective multi-racial teams. Abbey takes a particular interest in the work of white women to address power and whiteness so that a culture of interconnection is possible. Abbey has facilitated nonprofit and for-profit projects in strategic planning and internal systems design over the last 10 years.
As a certified Visual Coach, Abbey brings her belief in holistic approaches and a practice of right brain wisdom [creativity and art] as an important tool in dismantling systems of oppression and building liberatory structures into her work as a designer, racial justice advocate, and human being.
A native of Eastern NC (Coree and Croatan Land), Abbey hails from a long line of fishermen, boat builders, and educators. Her work over the last decade at the intersection of food and community builds on her training in public health and community-engaged design. Abbey is passionate about co-creating systems and spaces that center humanity and liberation, and believes that this is necessarily both individual and collective work.
LaShauna Austria is the owner and principal operator of Seeds of Change Consulting and Kindred Seedlings Farm. She possesses a demonstrated record of collaborating with rural communities and both faith-based and secular organizations to address race, food justice, land ownership, and equity issues. Building on her substantial experience in leadership, management, and administrative roles with for-profit and nonprofit organizations, she has devoted her current professional life to promoting racial equity and building better food systems locally and beyond.
LaShauna is the co-founder of the Saxapahaw Social Justice Exchange, a community group formed to offer deep conversations about race and equity. She is also a founding member of Alamance Racial Equity Alliance, with whom she helps organize local workshops delivered by the Racial Equity Institute. She has also served as a team member focused on bringing racial equity issues to the table with Community Food Strategies, which works to support local food councils and networks for equitable policy change at the local, state, and national level.
As the founder and principal of Seeds of Change Consulting, LaShauna provides racial equity consulting with a focus on the food system, strategies for supporting the growth of farmers of color, organizational and leadership development, research, evaluation, feasibility studies, facilitation, and a range of services to individuals and organizations seeking to deepen and apply a racial equity analysis to their work and missions. Born and raised in rural Alamance County, LaShauna is passionate about rural life, preserving farmland and natural resources, and Southern foodways.