Imara currently serves as Vice-President of Programming and Strategic Partnerships for the National Center for Civil and Human Rights (NCCHR) after having been a key aide to former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin and working for former Vice-President Al Gore. His service to his community includes membership on the American Red Cross Minority Recruitment Board, the Faith Alliance of Metro Atlanta Board, Chicago 2016 Olympic Bid Committee’s Next Generation Leadership Advisory Council, Horizon Theatre Company Board, the International Civil Rights Walk of Fame Advisory Committee, the Fulton County Arts Council, the Future Foundation and the Don’t Stop the Music Foundation. He is an Emmy award winning television producer, a member of Leadership Atlanta and a 2002 Outstanding Atlantan recipient.
He is the former Director of the Educational Talent Search Program at Horry Georgetown Technical College, Conway SC. He has served on the Georgetown County Zoning and Appealse also was the coordinator for Project SWAC (Sigmas Waging War Against Cancer), which covered Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina. He is the founder of the Tutoring and Mentoring Program of Florence, SC.
Demetria is a grassroots professional who has spent seven years in the nonprofit sector focusing on program implementation, financial and nonprofit management, and the development of communications and on/media strategies. An alumna of North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University with a bachelor’s degree in transportation and logistics, she has worked in transportation/logistics, education, and insurance industries. She has received training in job readiness (Equipped for the Future), conflict resolution, time management, project management, and communications. Demetria is the current Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Fund for Southern Communities; while also serving on the Funding Exchange and Health Care of All North Carolina Board of Directors. She is also an Emerging Change Maker.
Shelia is a former senior corporation relation analyst/representative with the Georgia Power Company, where she retired in 1992. Shelia currently works as a part time customer service representative for Georgia Power/A Southern Company. She has worked on fundraising efforts for many non-profit organizations in the Atlanta area, including the National Black Arts Festival, The King Center and the United Negro College Fund. She has also volunteered with the NAACP, Meals on Wheels, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority and the Cascade Youth Organization.
Myrtle Beach, SC
Chrystal has skills in Organizational Management and Development, Board Development, Fund Raising/Development, Grant Writing, Public Relations skills, and a legal background. She is currently completing a 2nd degree at Coastal Carolina University in Pre-Law. She has lived and worked in South Carolina for over 10 years and volunteered her time and skills for various non-profit organizations. She has been able to develop productive and working relationships with a lot of non-profit and state organizations. Chrystal enjoys working within communities and has organized numerous community resource and development activities. She currently lives in Horry County; however, she has worked and formed networks with agencies/organizations in over 13 counties in South Carolina with additional resources in North Carolina. She joined the FSC board, because she is a big advocate for social justice and she believes that her networks, skills, talents, and qualifications could be of good use to the FSC board.
Brian K. Sanders
Brian has a dedicated career largely in the area of health care, both professionally and in community outreach. He’s held management positions with Novant Health, the Georgetown University, and George Washington University Medical Systems. In the community, Brian advocates increased access and positive outcomes in the areas of health care, social justice, economic empowerment, and the value of arts and culture engagement. He is grateful to have had the opportunity to serve on the board of directors of several organizations including the National Minority AIDS Inter-Faith Network, Jubilation! Dance Company, and the Mt. Calvary AIDS Ministry; as well as owning the Amon Gallery which promoted the works of up and coming visual artists. Brian works closely with the Mecklenburg County Health Department (Charlotte, NC) as a member of the Advisory Board of its Village Heart Beat program, and serves as a member of the Ryan White Program Part A proposal evaluation team. Brian is an ordained Baptist minister presently serving as an Associate Minister at First Baptist Church-West of Charlotte, NC. He is a graduate of Boston University, and a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. Brian is the owner and senior designer of Azure Blanc Floral Design, specializing in personal, corporate, and business events.
Monica Raye Simpson is a native of North Carolina, and is a proud graduate of Johnson C. Smith University. Because of her decision to come out as a same-gender loving woman while attending undergrad, Monica became deeply involved in LGBT organizing on and off campus. Upon graduation, she was hired as the first person of color at the Lesbian & Gay Community Center in Charlotte as the Operations Director. She made transition from the community center in 2005 to become the Ujamaa Coordinator for Grassroots Leadership where she trained young African Americans in philanthropy, fundraising, and activism. In 2010, Monica moved to Atlanta, GA to serve as the Development Coordinator with SisterSong. Since her time at SisterSong, she was promoted to Deputy Coordinator in 2011 and now serves as the Interim Executive Director. Through her activism and organizational work, Monica has become a nationally sought-after facilitator and organizer. She has been featured in many publications for her activism, and has written many articles on LGBT issues, philanthropy and activism. Monica is a founder for Charlotte's first Black Gay Pride Celebration, and Charlotte's African American Giving Circle. She also sits on the board for Resource Generation and the Fund for Southern Communities. Monica lives by the Paul Robeson’s quote “If the artist does not create, the world suffers.” She has always used her talents of song and spoken word in the community. She has debuted in theatrical productions such as, "For the Love of Harlem," "Words the Isms," "Walk Like A Man, " “The Vagina Monologues” and she will soon join the cast of the Atlanta production of “For Colored Girls”. She is currently working on her first solo album, “All About LOVE.”
Julie Smithwick graduated from the University of Georgia with Bachelor degrees in International Studies and Spanish. Upon graduation she joined the Peace Corps where she served as a “Youth and Families At-Risk” volunteer in Ecuador, South America for almost 5 years. She has a Masters Degree in Social Work from the University of South Carolina, with a concentration in Social Work with Communities and Organizations. In 2012, Julie was awarded the “20 Under 40” award given to the top 20 leaders under age 40 working in the Midlands.
Julie has over fifteen years of experience working in Latino communities, both in Latin America and the Southeastern states of the US. She is the founder and Executive Director of PASOs, which means “steps” in Spanish. This community-based organization hosted by the Arnold School of Public Health at the University of South Carolina is present in 15 counties of South Carolina and advocates for the Latino population across the state.
PASOs mission is to help Latino families and service organizations work together for strong and healthy families through education, support and grassroots leadership development. Under Julie’s leadership, PASOs received the “Promising Practice of the Year” award from the Association for Maternal and Child Health Programs in 2012.
Julie is a board member of the Good Samaritan Free Clinic and the Fund for Southern Communities and lives in West Columbia, SC with her two children: Elias, who is 9 and Bella who’s 7.