Black Leaders Recognized by United Way of Washtenaw County for Black History Month

For Black History Month, United Way of Washtenaw County recognized over 30 of Washtenaw County’s Black leaders on our social media channels. Each of these organizations makes our community what it is, and we find it important to celebrate these leaders any way we can.



Marquan Jackson - Director of Family Empowerment Program

The Family Empowerment Program supports individuals and families through resource navigation and community building in order to foster self sufficiency and enhance quality of life.



Naimah Wade - Executive Director of 826michigan

826michigan inspires school-aged students to write with skill and confidence in collaboration with adult volunteers in their communities.



Crystal Fluker - Executive Director of Arrowwood Hills Community Center

Since its establishment, AHCC's mission has been to build a sense community and provide quality programs, activities, and services to its residents.



Yoit Mesfin Johnson - Founder of Black Men Read

Black Men Read uplifts black men, all children, and all communities through the power of stories from the African Diaspora.



Noah Rucker - Founder of Bookday

Bookday celebrates the life and legacy of Booker T. Washington, Founder of Tuskegee Institution, born on April 5th.



Willie Powell - Executive Director of Community Family Life Centers

CFLC is a neighborhood-based, non-profit organization that serves as a hub for the Sugarbrook Neighborhood and the greater Ypsilanti area. Our mission is to serve individuals, youth and their families with programming focused on social, educational, physical and economic well-being.



Versell Smith - Executive Director of Corner Health Center

The mission of the Corner Health Center is to inspire 12- to 25-year-olds (and their children) to achieve and sustain healthy lives by providing judgment-free, affordable health and wellness care and education.



 Towana Parker - Executive Director of Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach

The Mission of Destiny and Purpose Community Outreach (DAPCO) is to strengthen  family: equipping men, women and youth who are at risk of becoming non-achievers with the skills and resources to become productive citizens with new hope; living purposeful lives with moral and ethical values.



Alena Zachery-Ross - Superintendent of Ypsilanti Community Schools

The purpose of YCS is to develop mindful, engaged students with the skill set, work ethic, and attitude to contribute to a community that honors diversity, equality and justice.



Belinda Dulin - Executive Director of Dispute Resolution Center

The Dispute Resolution Center offers affordable, constructive, restorative and healing approaches to conflict resolution for the residents of Washtenaw and Livingston counties.



Rhonda Fields - Executive Director of Girls on the Run

Girls on the Run inspires girls to be joyful, healthy, and confident, using a fun, experience-based curriculum which creatively integrates running.



Jermaine Dickerson - Founder of HERO Nation

The mission of HERO Nation is to foster a generation of future heroes through empowering events and programs based in nerd culture, such as video games and comic books, for underserved and marginalized youth.



Sonja Love Felton - Executive Director of Huron Valley PACE

PACE  partners with aging community members to provide integrative care and promote successful community living.



Desirae Simmons - Co-Director of Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice

Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice inspires, educates, and mobilizes people to unite across differences and to act from their shared ethical and spiritual values in pursuit of peace with social and environmental justice.



Desirae Simmons - Spokesperson of Liberate Don’t Incarcerate

Liberate Don’t Incarcerate is creating a county that is grounded in love and communal healing and that embodies collective accountability for all humanity.



Cozine Welch - Executive Director of A Brighter Way

A Brighter Way provides assistance, support, and guidance to individuals as they transition back into the community.



Darryl Johnson - Executive Director of Mentor2Youth

Mentor2Youth’s mission is to ensure youth have a promising future by preparing them to excel in life academics, and work.



Payton McDonald - Co-Director of Mutual Aid Network of Ypsilanti

Mutual Aid Network creates survival programs for our most marginalized community members while building alternative systems to move our community towards economic cooperation, self-determination and abundance.



Judy Gardner - Executive Director of NAMI Washtenaw

NAMI Washtenaw is a local affiliate of NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. NAMI is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by a mental health condition.



Yodit Mesfin Johnson - President and CEO of NEW

NEW improves the impact and performance of fellow nonprofits by working alongside leaders to create high-quality strategic solutions that advance their missions in our communities.



Joann McCollum - President of New West Willow Neighborhood Association

Their mission is to develop a safe and healthy community for all; To support education of our children; To promote the welfare and safety of our children; To create and maintain a clean and beautiful neighborhood.



Anthony Williamson - Director of Parkridge Community Center

The Parkridge Community Center, located at 591 Armstrong Court in the northwest corner of Parkridge Park, offers recreational and educational programs to Ypsilanti youth, with a focus on after-school and summer activities.



Bonnie Billups - Executive Director of Peace Neighborhood Center

Peace Neighborhood Center’s mission is to provide programs for children, families, and individuals who are affected by social and economic problems. Peace helps people discover options, enhance skills, and make choices that lead to self-sufficiency and positive community involvement.



Mel Anglin - Executive Director of POWER Inc.

As a faith-based agency, POWER is committed to provide services that will foster a positive impact on the lives of families, in an effort to rebuild communities and foster growth.



Khadija Wallace - Founder of Joyful Treats

JTCDC’s founding mission is to educate foodpreneurs’ with a service-learning hospitality program to sustain them economically in the industry’s global workforce.



Edna Girma - Executive Administrator or Power of Predestiny Ministries (POP)

POP’s mission is to empower the youth with faith, values, and education, self empowerment entrepreneurship ethics with experience and anti-bullying education, motivating and preparing them for success.



Keta Cowan - CEO of Synod Community Services

Synod is doing whatever it takes to help people meet the challenges of their lives.



Mwai Leonard - Chair of The Cream

It is the direct mission of The Cream to promote superior scholarship as basic and intellectual achievement and Cooperate and interact with other organizations and institutions in concern for maintenance of high moral and social standards.



Sharine Buddin - Executive Director of The Family Learning Institute

The Family Learning Institute is a volunteer-based nonprofit agency dedicated to closing the achievement gap in Washtenaw County.  We provide free tutoring in reading for students in grades 2-5 who are from economically disadvantaged families and are struggling in school. Read more about what we offer students.


Jamall Bufford - Project Facilitator of My Brother’s Keeper
Washtenaw County My Brother’s Keeper (WMBK) exists to impact boys and men of color (ages 0-25) by empowering multiple generations to build community, and using innovative means to change narratives, practices, and policies, resulting in improved outcomes for young men and boys of color in Washtenaw County.


Melvin Parson - Executive Director of We the People Opportunity Farm

WTPOF’s mission is to break the cycle of incarceration in Washtenaw County by investing in the employment and development of formerly incarcerated men and women through farming and community engagement.



Constance Pearson-Ramirez - President of The Women’s Council of Washtenaw County

The Women's Council of Washtenaw County is a professional nonprofit organization that consists of Women Helping Women to further their education with scholarship prizes. WC2 supports women in business by providing superior and pertinent education programs.  We strengthen and mentor our members through networking and community involvement while cultivating strong, professional relationships.



D’Real Graham - Founder of Ypsi Local

Ypsi Local looks to communicate our history, and inspire creativity through the art of hip hop.