Courtney Liferidge, Board President, has been a board member since the age of 7. She has served as a volunteer, board treasurer, and clerk for the organization. Courtney recently received a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from Cambridge College.
Samuel B. Williams, II, Vice President, is a Houston native who received his Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Technology from Texas A&M University in 1969. Mr. Williams was one of the two First Black Football lettermen at Texas A&M and was on the 1967 Southwest Conference & 1968 Cotton Bowl Championship team.
In 2005 Mr. Williams Co-founded the Houston A&M Club’s Caring Aggie Mentoring Program (CAMP) to support underrepresented students by making a 10- year commitment to mentor and inspire them to pursue higher education. And to reinforce excellence, build confidence, leadership skills and provide fun, life-enriching experiences thru direct role modeling success relationships. The program has over 350 students. The program has been featured on the local ABC affiliate in Houston.
Taneesha Peoples, Treasurer, is Georgia-born but resides in the Boston, Massachusetts area. Taneesha graduated from Georgia State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Finance. She gained an Internship with a non-profit organization called SEO (Sponsors for Educational Opportunity) which focuses on placing minorities into internships with Fortune 500 companies. Upon completing her internship, Taneesha gained a full-time opportunity with EMC where she worked for 2 years. She now works at Santander Bank as a Compensation Analyst. Taneesha has a 13-year-old son and enjoys everything fun.
KAREN ALLEN is the Managing Director of the Department of Africana Studies/Rites and Reason Theatre, Brown University. She started her career as an arts administrator at the New Lafayette Theatre in Harlem. Before coming to Brown, Baxter was the Executive Director of the Frank Silvera Writers' Workshop (FSWW). Baxter has produced concerts and reggae artists Bob Marley & The Wailers, Jimmy Cliff, and Burning Spear. She co-produced the Grammy-nominated album Reggae Sunsplash - A Tribute to Bob Marley. From 1987 to 1999, she produced the Annual AUDELCO Awards that honor excellence in Black Theatre.
As Producer/Managing Director for Africana Studies’ Rites and Reason Theatre, Baxter produces each season's productions and programs. These have included works by Ossie Davis, Ruby Dee, Zora Neale Hurston, Langston Hughes, Rosa Guy, Elmo Terry-Morgan, Denise Nicholas, Ifa Bayeza, and Carl Hancock Rux. Baxter also curates and produces annually, The Black Lavender Experience – and conversation sparked by queer artists of color; and the Africana Film Festival. Her international projects include Trilateral Reconnections-University of Cape Town, SA, Brown and the University of the West Indies. Baxter’s course, Art and Civic Engagement, explores public art, communities, social and cultural identity, democracy and power structures.
Baxter sits on many boards and committees. She chaired The New Lafayette Theatre Project; and is the Founding Chairperson, SonEdna, based in Mississippi that supports literary arts. Baxter holds a BS in sociology from CCNY, a Certificate in Arts Management from Harvard University, and in Arts Management from Lesley University. Baxter was awarded a 2-year scholarship August Wilson to Dartmouth College and earned a Minority Business Executive Program Certificate. She studies French.
Lauren R. Brown, M.D., is a full-time practicing Obstetrician and Gynecologist. She has been in private practice for the past 20 years in the City of Champions, Brockton, MA. Lauren holds a B.A. from Vassar College, where she majored in Film/Drama and from Meharry Medical College, Nashville, TN. She interned at Booth Memorial Hospital, Flushing, NY and completed her residency at Medical Center, Brooklyn, NY. She then went on to complete a fellowship in Pediatric and Adolescent Gynecology at Harvard University Children's Hospital and remained on the faculty there for several years. She has traveled to the Marshall Islands as a volunteer with the Brookhaven National Laboratory, examining patients involved in the Bikini Island Project. Lauren enjoys traveling, photography and reading poetry.
Dr. Griffin Davis is Chief Medical Officer at Fort Washington Medical Center, an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine, and a board-certified emergency physician at The George Washington University Hospital and the District of Columbia Veteran’s Hospital. He is also the Director of Physician Quality and the Chief of the Administrative Section at the GW Medical Faculty Associates. Dr. Davis served for three years as Chair of Emergency Medicine at Prince George’s Hospital where he helped select and implement the first Electronic Medical Record. He has given national talks on implementing RFID location systems in Emergency Departments and served as a Principal Investigator for a multi-center trial studying the use of ultrasensitive troponin testing in patients presenting with chest pain.
He has several years experience in healthcare administration, implementing quality improvements in the clinical setting and serving on hospital compliance, quality, and risk management committees. Dr. Davis earned his MD and Masters in Public Health from The Johns Hopkins University Schools of Medicine and Public Health and an MBA from the George Washington University School of Business. He earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Greg Griffin (Director) is a lifelong resident of Jackson, Mississippi. He graduated from Murrah High School and Tougaloo College where he majored in Sociology. Greg worked as a full-time community organizer for 5 years at Citizens for Quality Education in Lexington, MS. His focus was youth organizing addressing educational, environmental, and juvenile justice issues. From community organizing, Greg moved into finance and has worked in the finance industry for 10 years as a loan underwriter and credit counselor. Greg currently serves as project manager for HOME. He is the owner of the HoneyComb SLIM t-shirt line.
Attorney Ramona Williams (Director) serves as Executive Director at Jobs for Mississippi Graduates where her primary duties are overseeing the heads of each department in Jobs for Mississippi Graduates, including marketing, fundraising, program development, HR management, and accounting. She leads the fund-raising department in setting annual income goals. She also works with program managers to set standards for serving the organization's targeted needs groups.