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.
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.
Dr. Shannon Cambron
Dr. Shannon Cambron's work is grounded in creating spaces of inclusion, liberation, and equity. She facilitates conversations and strategic directions for organizations to do the necessary work of dismantling systems rooted in oppression and assisting in creating an organizational culture and climate based on authentic connections, inclusion, and equity. She brings her experience and passion to help organizations realize their full potential and achieve their next level of success. She designs and facilitates, individualized training, program evaluation, qualitative research, vision development, and strategic planning.
Shanon is the former Chair of the School of Social Work at Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky, with her leadership the department saw unprecedented growth, including the launch of the region's first hybrid Doctor of Social Work Program, one of only five programs in the nation to feature the decolonization of both practice and education.
Mike has held executive roles in Business Development, Category Management, and Operations at companies ranging from startups to century-old brands. He has launched numerous food and beverage products from ideation stage to nationwide retail distribution. From first-hand experience, Mike acknowledges the many variables at play within an organization or an industry, and he’s learned how to avoid pitfalls and roadblocks that can affect business or organization success.
Mike is genuinely passionate about the collaborative and inclusive nature of entrepreneurship, and the crucial role that non-profits play in building community. He is keenly aware of the need to develop revenue streams and sustainability.
His why is to transcend political, economic, and cultural boundaries to add genuine value to businesses, organizations and communities.
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.
Beth Howard has more than 11 years of experience in grassroots community organizing
examining and challenging the relationship between power and oppression. She is also a
trainer, facilitator, and coach. She specializes in working with white people on anti-racism, white
fragility, and showing up in solidarity with people of color.
Being from Eastern Kentucky, she has a deep commitment to Appalachia and its people which
led her to a career examining and challenging the relationship between power and oppression
by working alongside those most impacted by injustice to build collective people power to
change communities. Beth has done intensive transformational work around anti-racism, anti-
oppression, leadership, healing, trauma, recovery, and learning to care for ourselves and our
Melissa is the founder of Gateway Therapy. As a psychotherapist, she has worked with individuals through clinical interventions related to multiple forms of trauma, life transitions, grief and loss, and addiction recovery.
Her organizational experience includes fundraising and supervision of grant writing, communications, and government relations. She has partnered with Catapult Now LLC since 2018 to develop long-term strategic plans, project management, establish capital campaign efforts, and cultivate organizational growth and stability.
Since 2015, Melissa has taught a Conflict Management course to multiple organizations which develops basic communication knowledge into assertiveness and conflict resolution skills to help strengthen organizations from the inside out. She has lectured at the University of Louisville’s Kent School of Social Work at the graduate and undergraduate levels.
Kimberly Myers Tucker
Kimberly Myers Tucker has more than 25 years of human resource management experience and is known for taking an assertive, transparent, and honest approach to solving organizational problems and challenges. She accomplishes this using a holistic methodology that includes strategic planning, organizational and change management, policy and procedure formulation, training and professional development, team building and performance assessment design.
Derek has nearly 20 years of experience working with 501 (c) 3, 4 and 6 non-profits in a variety of roles. Derek’s professional journey led him to specialize in advocacy on the local, state and federal level, leading fundraising campaigns, developing long-term strategic visions for organizations and leading programs/organizations from the start up phase to long range stability. He has had the privilege of serving as a member of the Kentucky Commission on Women’s Health Policy Counsel, lectured at multiple universities, law programs and medical schools, and lobbied in both Frankfort and Washington, D.C.
Professionally, Derek’s greatest joy comes from turning so-called drab public policy into praxis that improves the lives it impacts and translating the important work non-profits do into fundraising. His first mentor once told him, “you can be doing the greatest work in the world, but if there is no margin, there is no mission”. In Derek’s free time he loves being a husband and dad, cooking, rock climbing, learning from other people’s stories and raising money for programs that serve people on their journey from addiction to recovery.
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.