Board Members

Dr. Vicki Alexander, MD, MPH, Board President

• Retired physician, Obstetrician and Gynecologist and Public Health
• Retired MCAH Director and Health Officer, City of Berkeley
• Founder of Healthy Black Families, Inc.
• Lifetime commitment to health equity and social justice
• Board of Directors, Praxis Project
• Previous Board of Directors, California Black Health Network
• Influential leader at local, state and national level
• Co-Chair, Measure D Campaign for a Soda Tax (2014)
• Single mother and grandmother
• Recent Awards
o Woman of the Year, Berkeley (2011)
o Martin Luther King Jr Lifetime Achievement Award, City of Berkeley (2014)
o Black History Month Recognition, Alameda County Board of Supervisors (2017)
o Woman of the Year, State of California (2017)
o Madame C. J. Walker Award, National Coalition of 100 Black Woman (2017)
o Benjamin Ide Wheeler Award for being Berkeley’s “Most Useful Citizen,” Berkeley Community Fund (2017)

Sheryl Walton, MPH, Board Vice President

• Program Manager, Building Opportunities for Self Sufficiency (BOSS)
• National trainer for Time Banks USA, established first TimeBank in the Western region in Oakland, California and continues to provide technical assistance.
• Candidate for City Council, Oakland, CA 2012
• Experienced organizer and trainer in foster care, participatory research and health equity
• Developed the Healthy Neighborhoods Model and replicated it in 6 Bay Area cities developing Resident Action Teams in San Pablo, Pittsburg, Richmond, North Richmond, Berkeley, and Oakland.
• Author of chapter in Community Organizing and Community Building for Health and Welfare, 3rd Edition, edited by Dr. Meredith Minkler
• Single mother

Joyce Lewis, RN, PHN, Lawyer, Board Treasurer

• Currently legal counsel to the Veterans Administration, San Francisco
• Previously Public Health Nurse, Berkeley, CA
• Health Care Provider and companion support for our elders
• Proponent of health autonomy, education, wellness and disease prevention
• Education support: setting goals, navigating complex systems, and accessing opportunities
• Legal advisor, research and writing, ADR, mediation and settlement
• Youth and adult mentorship, career guidance, networking and leadership
• Art supporter, preservation of gospel, blues, jazz, and independent radio
• Participate and volunteer for community events, church and family gatherings

Crystal Moore, Board Secretary

Bio Coming Soon…

Ramona Benson, MPH, Berkeley BIH (Black Infant Health) Representative Board Member

• Provides training to assist disenfranchise communities, linking them to needed services
• Provides training related to public benefits, homelessness, outreach, health information gathering, confidentiality, relationship building
• Coordinated a Community Health Worker Training Program for a nonprofit organization in San Francisco serving Homeless women
• Served on several Board and special task forces, i.e. San Francisco Mayor’s Homeless Task Force, Homeward Bound Housing for Homeless Families, Family Rights & Dignity
• While working full time as a Community Health Worker, went back to school and earned a Certificate in Community Health work at City College of San Francisco and then a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Arts with a minor in Health Education at San Francisco State University
• Helped facilitate the conceptualization and implementation of the Sisters Together Empowering Peers (STEP) Program in 2003
• Mother and Grandmother

Jackie Boyd, MSW, Board Member

• Currently employed at Hoover Elementary School in West Oakland
• Recently transitioned to Oakland from the East Coast
• Mental Health Professional
• Contributes to psychoeducation and mental health resources
• Provides clinical context to the understanding of child development
• Member Education Committee of Healthy Black Families, Inc
• Co-facilitator of educational groups
• Editor and creator of local newspaper articles

Starla Gay, MPH, Board Member

• Knowledge and expertise related to BIH program based on participant’s viewpoint
• Active in South Berkeley Community Action Team, African American/Black Professional and Community Network
• VITA Tax Volunteer tax preparer
• Committed to supporting other women with similar experiences
• Received Bachelor’s from Cal State University East Bay
• Received Master’s of Public Administration from CSUEB in June 2013
• Full time employment counselor, Alameda County Social Services
• Single mother of two

Nailah Hunter, M.A. in Education, Board Member

• Former Program Manager, Brighter Beginnings, Black Infant Health Program, Cal-Learn and Early Head Start
• Previously employed at Ogilvy Public Relations Worldwide where managed various public health, consumer and education accounts, including the Center for Disease Control, BabyCenter, Produced for Better Health and Technology Benefiting Humanity.
• Independent educator in various Alameda and Contra Costa School Districts focusing on healthy home environments as an early source of learning
• Designed inquiry based lessons in health, social justice, socio-moral development, literacy and math.
• Recently managed implementation of three state and federal grant-funded programs in health, education, and human services
• Managed budgets, reviewed data and conducted quality assurance
• Served as Community Engagement Coordinator in areas of reproductive health, nutrition and financial empowerment projects from conceptualization to completion
• Mother of one

Nanci Armstrong, Board Member

Bio Coming Soon…

Zea Malawa, MD, MPH, Birth Equity, Board Member

• Pediatrician and public health professional committed to improving health outcomes for children of color
• Completed her undergraduate degree at Columbia University
• Earned a medical Doctorate from UCLA
• Earned a Master’s degree in public health from UC Berkeley
• Witnessed the toll racism takes on black and brown communities from a decade of practicing medicine in safety-net clinics
• Recognizing that in addition to delivering high-quality medical care, social justice advocacy is essential for promoting health within marginalized communities
• Currently sees patients at Mission Neighborhood Health Center
• Currently works for the San Francisco Department of Public Health leading a collective impact initiative to reduce racial disparities in birth outcomes

Suzette Chaumette, Board Member

Bio Coming Soon…

Cheryl Johnson, PhD, Board Member

Bio Coming Soon…

Ptah Mitchell, Early Childhood Education, Board Member

Bio Coming Soon…

Alvan Quamina, MPH, PhD (Human Services), Lawyer, Board Member

Bio Coming Soon…

Staff Members

Rahwa Neguse, MS, MPA, Executive Director

• Former Director of Operations at the Eritrean Students and Professionals Network (ErisPN), a national leadership network designed to empower and equip students and adults throughout the nation for career success
• Nearly 15 years of experience as a leader in both the public and nonprofit sector with demonstrated experience in the areas of organization management, strategic planning, community engagement, youth development, and quantitative and qualitative research
• Former Chair of the “School-to-Prison Pipeline” Working Group of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission Equity Advisory Committee.
• Founder of Neguse Consulting, strategy and marketing consulting firm
• Co-founder of Africanity Love, curates experiences for the African diaspora to network, build, and thrive
• Founder of Bay Area Mamas, networking group of local mothers
• Writer of a health and wellness blog
• Master’s degree in Public Administration with a certification in Nonprofit Leadership and Management from the University of Texas, San Antonio
• Master’s degree in Global Health Sciences from the University of California, San Francisco
• Wife and mother

Ayanna Davis, Director of Programs

Bio Coming Soon…

Kameka Goodwin, Program Coordinator for STEP

Bio Coming Soon…

Ajura Smith, Program Coordinator for Thirsty For Change

Bio Coming Soon…

Deborah Hailu, Program Coordinator for Telling Our Stories

Bio Coming Soon…

Akilah Shaheed, CD, Office Manager

Bio Coming Soon…

Monique Blodgett, S.T.E.P Leader

Bio Coming Soon…

Chaka Taylor, S.T.E.P Leader

Bio Coming Soon…

Jackie Knight, S.T.E.P Leader

Bio Coming Soon…