Rashaad Abdur-Rahman is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and serves as Mayor Greg Fischer’s Director of the Office for Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods.
Rashaad has worked in the field of child and family mental health services since 2004 in various roles as a direct care counselor, case manager, therapist, consultant, trainer, supervisor, etc. In addition to these professional roles, Rashaad spends time volunteering with the Race Community and Child Welfare Advisory Board, sits on the board of Interfaith Path’s to Peace, has been an adjunct professor at Spalding University, and guest lecturer at Berea College, Western Governors University, and the University of Kentucky.
Rashaad believes deeply in the power of community and that in order to foster a safe, healthy, and transformative society; we must work tirelessly to secure racial, economic, and social justice.
Michael Bateman has been a communications professional for more than 35 years with expertise in strategic planning, team building and as a master practitioner. He has worked in all phases of corporate and organizational communications including media, stakeholder/investor and public relations as well as advertising and marketing. As CMO for a major financial institution, Michael directed wide-ranging marketing programs utilizing both traditional and social media that increased assets from $260 million to $1.4 billion.
Brian Buford is the Director of Employee Development and Success at the University of Louisville, Kentucky. With 30 years of service to the university, Brian has dedicated his career to building a campus community where all students, faculty, and staff feel welcome, safe, and included. Key achievements under his leadership include: opening a staffed LGBT Center in 2007, the first of its kind in Kentucky; earning a five-star rating on the Campus Pride index; launching the Bayard Rustin themed housing community, the first of its kind in the south; opening a satellite LGBT Center on the Health Sciences Center campus; and being named the most LGBT-welcoming campus in the country by LGBT Outfitters.
In his last assignment as Assistant Provost for Diversity, Brian guided university departments in creating diversity plans and reviewing progress toward meeting goals for inclusion; delivered diversity training; served as chair of the Bias Incident Response Team; and advised the administration on campus climate issues and concerns.
Kiera Hall is an advocate, activist and creative with expertise in design, marketing and communications. Kiera brings a creative and strategic lens to projects and can provide specialized communications support to those working in community organizing and activism as well as violence prevention. She is the founder of Persist Creative.
Pam McMichael has a wide range of experiences with diverse populations, from grassroots organizers in Appalachia and Haiti to mainstream board rooms and philanthropy. She has a great amount of experience co-facilitating workshops and trainings in cross race and intergenerational teams where she uses a wide variety of skill sets.
She brings decades of experience in workshop design, facilitation and training on a variety of issues, including systemic and interpersonal levels, and organizational development. She has a quick wit and sense of humor.
Sheryl Rainey focuses on Organizational Change and Corporate Culture. With more than 15 years of
senior leadership in the corporate world, she brings strong experience in leading teams through
significant corporate changes. Herr most recent assignment was the building of a shared services
organization owned by five nonprofit organizations that focused on merging teams from the five
nonprofits into one new organization. Sheryl has a Bachelor degree in Business
Administration/Management from the University of Kentucky and she has a Master of Business
Administration (MBA) from the University of Louisville.
Deon Stokes offers more than a decade of Public Relations and Marketing experience. She can be characterized as a visionary, strategist and tactician that is driven by results. As a business consultant for nonprofits and small businesses Deon is gifted with the vision, determination and skills needed to increase revenue, brand exposure and improve community relations. She posses a consistent record of delivering extraordinary results in growth, revenue, operational performance and profitability. She understands the market trends and market vulnerability. Deon is a mentor and talented professional that thrives on the company culture.
Mayra A. Torres-Ruiz
Mayra A. Torres-Ruiz , commonly known as Alex Torres is a 28-year-old Latina woman who was born and raised in a small town in central Mexico. She migrated to the United States at age 15 where she inevitably encountered life-altering challenges that shaped the person she is today.
As a Latina woman, Alex understands the impact that prejudice, discrimination, and oppression have on the immigrant and refugee community. Alex graduated from Mississippi State University with a Bachelor's degree in Social Work and she obtained a Master of Science in Social Work from the University of Louisville Alex's professional experience includes: providing therapeutic services to victims of war and torture, as well as, crisis intervention services , art therapy with children, counseling refugees and educating expectant parents in child development, safety, and parental resiliency.
Susan G. Zepeda is a consultant on strategic planning, change
management and organizational development. Former President and CEO
of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky (2005-2016), she has advised
nonprofits on grantwriting, resource development and policy advocacy.
Before joining the Foundation in 2005, she was the first CEO of The
HealthCare Foundation for Orange County (1999-2005) and, prior to that,
held leadership positions in local government and the nonprofit sector. She
has served on the Boards of Grantmakers for Effective Organizations,
Grantmakers in Health and Southeastern Council of Foundations, as well
as a local United Way and various nonprofits in the arts, health and human