Board Members

Gilbert T. Bland, Chair

Gilbert T. Bland of Virginia Beach
President and CEO 
Urban League of Greater Hampton Roads

Gilbert T. Bland is the President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Hampton Roads. He is the former Chairman of the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia. Bland presently serves on the Boards of Sentara Healthcare, Hampton Roads Community Foundation, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Elevate Early Education and Randolph Macon College. Bland previously served on the Board of Visitors for Old Dominion University and the Board of Trustees for the James Madison University Foundation. He has owned and operated over 70 Burger King and Pizza Hut franchises in Virginia, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania while serving as the national President of the Burger King Minority Franchise Association. Gilbert was inducted into the Omicron Delta Epsilon Economics Honors Society in addition to the Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society for Business. He received his bachelor’s degree from James Madison University and his master’s degree from Atlanta University.

Dr. Cheryl Ivey Green, Vice Chair

Cheryl Ivey Green of Chesterfield
Executive Minister
First Baptist Church of South Richmond

Dr. Cherly Ivey Green is the Executive Minister of First Baptist Church of South Richmond.Prior to serving as Executive Minister, she served as a computer professional at Bank ofAmerica. She has also previously served as a member and chaplain of Richmond Metropolitan Area Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. She has completed several terms on the Board of Directors of the Southside Child Development Center and has served on the board of Richmond Behavioral Health Authority. She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University, master’s degree from Virginia Union University, and doctoral degree from United Theological Seminary. Cheryl is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

 

Cameron D. Patterson, Secretary

Cameron D. Patterson of Farmville
Managing Director 
Robert Russa Moton Museum

Cameron D. Patterson is the Managing Director for Robert Russa Moton Museum, a National Historic Landmark affiliated with Longwood University. As an active member of the Farmville community, he has served as President of the Farmville Jaycees (Junior Chamber of Commerce), Vice Chairman of the Farmville Planning Commission, and Vice Chairman & Education Committee Co-Chair for the Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce. Immediately prior to his current position, he served as Longwood University’s Program Coordinator for the Office of Disability Resources and the Office of Diversity & Inclusion. Recently Cameron joined the State Board of Directors for the Virginia Center for Inclusion Communities. He received his bachelor’s and master’s degree from Longwood University and continues to invest in the local community and across the Commonwealth since graduating.

Rev. Cozy Bailey, USMC (ret.)

Cozy Bailey, USMC (ret.) of Dumfries
President
Prince William County Chapter, NAACP

Rev. Cozy Bailey is the President of the Prince William County Chapter, NAACP, and currently serves as the Associate Minister of First Mount Zion Baptist Church in Dumfries, Virginia. He has served as an ordained minister since June 2010 which was preceded by his twenty-year service as a deacon. Rev. Bailey served as a Commissioned Officer in the United States Marine Corps (USMC) This tenure, he earned several accolades. He served in Operation Desert Storm, received the Navy Commendation Medal, Defense Meritorious Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, and the Legion of Merit before later retiring as a Lieutenant Colonel. Rev. Bailey received his bachelor’s degree from the Naval Academy and he later obtained his master’s degree from Boston University both while actively serving in the military. Rev. Bailey is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Robert Barnette Jr.

Robert N. Barnette Jr.
President
Virginia State Conference NAACP
Hanover County Chapter of the NAACP

Robert N. Barnette Jr. is the President of the Virginia State Conference NAACP, and currently serves as the President of the Hanover County Chapter of the NAACP # 7076 in Mechanicsville, Virginia. He is a retired State Command Chief Master Sergeant of the Virginia Army/Air National Guard. Robert earned several accolades, metals, awards and his commendations include; Meritorious Service Medal, National Defense Service Medal, AF Outstanding Unit Award, Air Force Good Conduct Medal, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Metal, Vietnam Service Medal, Republic of Vietnam Campaign Medal, Virginia Commendation Medal, Virginia National Guard Legion of Merit. Robert also is a retired Safety Engineer of E.I. DuPont and Chicago Bridge and Iron. Robert is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute's flagship Political Leaders Program (PLP) which is a leadership development program for residents of Virginia interested in becoming more active in public service, whether as community leaders or as elected officials. Robert currently serves as Secretary of the Hanover County Electoral Board, Hanover Sheriff’s Advisory Board, and Area II Director for the Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States. Robert received his bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and later obtained his master of science degree in Administration from Central Michigan University. Robert is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated and serves as a Deacon at the Mount Zion Baptist Church in Mechanicsville.

Xavier L. Beale

Xavier L. Beale of Smithfield
Vice President of Trades
Newport News Shipbuilding

Xavier L. Beale is the Vice President of Trades at Newport News Shipbuilding. He is a second generation shipbuilder with a focus to advance Newport News Shipbuilding’s trades organizations. His responsibilities include production trades, trades management, trade administrations, and the Apprentice School. Prior to his appointment to this position in 2018, he held positions of increasing responsibility to include supervisor for employee relations, manager of EEO and diversity, and director of human resources operations. He currently serves on the Virginia Board of Workforce Development, the Virginia Living Museum’s Board of Trustees, and the Hampton Roads Community Action Program’s Board of Directors. He received his bachelor’s degree from Christopher Newport University and his master’s degree from Troy University. Mr. Beale also served in the Virginia Army National Guard and is a member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Incorporated.

Larry D. Boone

Larry D. Boone of Norfolk
Chief of Police
Norfolk Police Department

Chief Larry Boone began his law enforcement career with the Norfolk Police Department in 1989 and was appointed Chief of Police on December 1, 2016. Chief Boone forges relationships, building trust between citizens and law enforcement, and has implemented more than 25 nationally and internationally recognized community outreach programs. He received the 2018 NOBLE Attorney General Eric Holder Leadership Award and the VACP 2018 President’s Award. He is a graduate of the FBI National Executive Institute, the FBI National Academy, the Professional Executive Leadership School (PELS) and serves on the Virginia African American Advisory Board. Chief Boone holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Georgia Southern University and Master of Public Administration degree from Old Dominion University. He played football for Georgia Southern University (Division I-AA), winning national titles in 1985 and 1986.

Zyahna Bryant

Zyahna Bryant of Charlottesville
Student
University of Virginia

 

Zyahna Bryant is a first-year student at the University of Virginia, activist, community organizer, and author.. She created her first community demonstration entitled “Justice for Trayvon Martin” at the age of 12 in response to the death of Trayvon Martin. At the age of 14, she founded the Black Student Union at Charlottesville High School. She is responsible for drafting the petition to remove the Robert E. Lee statute from Charlottesville in addition to drafting the petition to rename Lee Park. This year, she published a collection of poetry, essays, and journal entries in a book entitled “Reclaim.{“ Zyahna continues to organize her activism around the issues of race and inequity of youth within her community and her work focuses primarily on equal access to resources for students of color and the achievement gap.

Hope F. Cupit

Hope F. Cupit of Bedford
President and CEO
Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc.

 

Hope F. Cupit is the President and CEO of the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. She began her career as an auditor at a regional CPA firm for non-profit organizations. She was introduced to the Southeast Rural Community Assistance Project, Inc. (SERCAP) while auditing the company’s books. Prior to her promotion as Vice President, Hope worked as a Controller. In 2009, the CEO position opened, and she was selected to serve in the company in that capacity. By utilizing a relational approach towards leadership, her focus is primarily to advocate for individuals within rural area communities. She received her bachelor’s degree from James Madison University. Hope is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Keren Charles Dongo

Keren Charles Dongo of Alexandria
State Director
United States Senator Tim Kaine

Keren Charles Dongo is the State Director for United States Senator Tim Kaine, where she oversees all his state and constituency operations. She most recently served as the Campaign Manager for the Senator’s 2018 re-election. Prior to her role as State Director, Keren worked as the Deputy State Director and Legislative Assistant in Senator Kaine’s Washington DC Office, where she served an essential role in helping Senator Kaine draft and generate support for the 400 Years of African American History Act. Keren has over 15 years of experience and involvement in Virginia politics. She received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan, a master’s degree from the Robertson School of Government at Regent University, and her Juris Doctor degree from UDC David A. Clarke School of Law. She resides in Alexandria with her husband and daughter.

Shirley Ginwright

Shirley Ginwright
Chair, Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee
Executive Director, Public Safety Outreach Foundation

Shirley Ginwright is the Chair of the Fairfax County Communities of Trust Committee and Executive Director of the Public Safety Outreach Foundation. She is a two-term President of the Fairfax County NAACP; member of the Fairfax County Police Department (FCPD) Chief of Police Diversity Recruitment Counsel; former Commissioner on the Ad Hoc Commission for the Review of Police Policies and Procedures where she chaired the Sub-Committee for Recruitment, Diversity, Vetting and Retention; member of the Fairfax County Criminal Justice Advisory Board; and member of the FCPD Citizen Advisory Council. She is the former Chair of the Virginia State Conference NAACP Criminal Justice Committee; and former Board member of the the Virginia National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML). She served as Commissioner on the Commonwealth Commission for Diversity, Equality and Inclusion, under Governors McAuliff and Northam. She is a Federal government retiree and lives in Mason Neck, VA. She has a degree in Legal Studies and has completed advanced studies in Criminal Justice.

Dr. Ingrid Granberry Grant

Dr. Ingrid Granberry Grant of Chesterfield
Leader Director of School Leadership and Director of Middle School Education
Henrico County Public Schools

Dr. Ingrid Granberry Grant is the Lead Director of School Leadership and Director of Middle School Education in Henrico County Public Schools system. She began her career as an elementary school teacher and previously served as an Exceptional Education Teacher on elementary and secondary levels, alternative elementary and middle school Assistant Principal, and Director of School Improvement. Ingrid was honored with the 2018 Instructional Leader of the Year Award for Henrico County Public Schools and 2009 R.E.B Award for Distinguished Educational Leadership. She received her bachelor’s degree from Bethune-Cookman College and her master’s degree from Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. She also received her Postmaster’s Certification in Public Administration and doctoral degree from Virginia Commonwealth University. Ingrid is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Teri Helenese

Teri Helenese of Loudoun
Director
State-Federal Relations and Washington Representative, Office of the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands,
President 
Belmont Ridge Middle School PTO

Teri Helenese is the Director of State-Federal Relations and the Washington Representative in the Office of the Governor of the United States Virgin Islands. She has counseled numerous Fortune 500 companies, and she has led several large-scale organizational transformation engagements. Her background is oriented around global human resources, strategic communications, and change management. Teri serves as the President of Belmont Ridge Middle School’s Parent-Teacher Organization and is a member of the Loudoun Branch of the NAACP. She received her bachelor’s degree from Florida Memorial College and double master’s degree ffrom George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management. Teri is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

 

Gaylene Kanoyton

Gaylene Kanoyton of Hampton
President
Celebrate Healthcare LLC

 

Gaylene Kanoyton is the President and Founder of Celebrate Healthcare LLC. She is one of Hampton Roads’ most highly respected entrepreneurs is the founder of Gaylene, LLC. She is an active member of her community and has served in several positions including a member of the Executive Board for the Urban League of Greater Hampton Roads, 1st Vice President for the Hampton NAACP, Hampton Arts Commission, Hampton Child Development Center Board, in addition to the Chesapeake Bay Academy Board. Gaylene organized two resource fairs following Hurricane Katrina’s landfall to assist evacuees in Hampton Roads, and she organized an event entitled “National Day of Outrage” to bring awareness to crime within African American communities. She received her bachelor’s degree from Hampton University.

Yvonne J. Lewis

Yvonne J. Lewis of Virginia Beach
Community and Social Activist

Yvonne J. Lewis matriculated from Howard University in Washington D.C. where she obtained a Bachelor of Arts in 1971 and Master of Arts in 1973. She notes that she is a “Washingtonian” and grew up there during the 50’s 60’s and 70’s (during the Civil Rights Era!) She has always taken an active role in her community. Mrs. Lewis currently serves as a member of the Virginia Beach Community Service Board, the Virginia Beach Re-Entry Council, African American Round Table, the League of Women Voters-SHR and her Community Civic League. She is a Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a member of the Virginia Beach Alumnae Chapter, as well as serves on the Delta Sigma Theta South Atlantic Region Team. She is the chairperson of the Virginia Social Action Task Force, that has wholeheartedly embraced the, VAratifyERA Campaign! Mrs. Lewis was employed as a Speech/Language/Hearing Pathologist, (MA, CCC-SLP) for more than 35 years and retired from Chesapeake Public Schools with 25 years of service. She believes “Love one another is our greatest command.” She wants to always use her skills and voice to improve the lives of others.

Dr. Monica Motley 

Dr. Monica Motley of Danville
Founder and CEO
The Motley Consulting Group and Research Faculty
Virginia Tech Center for Public Health and Practice Research

Dr. Monica Motley launched “The Motley Consulting Group” in 2016 to help activists, universities, and organizations address community disparities, complex social issues (e.g. racism, homophobia, etc.) and health inequities in rural communities. As a result, Dr. Motley and TMCG were selected for Business Equality Magazine’s 2019 “LGBTQ Leaders 40 under 40” list. She has also presented their research at the 2016, 2017, and 2018 American Public Health Association National Conference. As a Research Faculty Member at Virginia Tech, she works alongside the Center Director, Dr. Kathy Hosig, to manage a five-year United States Department of Agriculture Grant entitled “Empowering Healthy Families” that will partner with more than 20 congregations across Virginia to assess the effectiveness of a family nutrition and physical activity program to reduce childhood obesity in African American families via faith-based partnerships. She received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University in addition to two master’s degrees and a doctoral degree from Virginia Tech. Monica is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad of Suffolk
Independent Scholar

Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, a.k.a. “The History Detective,” is an independent scholar, author, and award-winning speaker widely recognized for her original research contributions to the study of Islam in America, including her discovery of a forgotten 224-page autobiography of an African of Muslim heritage who served in the American Civil War; her “Presidential Engagement with Muslim Communities” exhibit for the U.S. Department of State; and her “Muslims and the Making of America” special report, widely-distributed to hundreds of policymakers and change-makers in Washington, D.C., including members of Congress and White House officials. Precious’s public work can be found in academic journals, newspapers, magazines, encyclopedias, museum exhibits, award-winning books; on CNN.Com and NPR; at the Smithsonian; and more. Coe College awarded Precious an honorary doctorate in 2010. Harvard Divinity School awarded Precious with special recognition as a Bicentennial Peter J.Gomes STB '68 Honoree in 2017. Her motto: Building community through history.

Monica L. Reid 

Monica L. Reid of Alexandria
Director of Advocacy
National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers

Monica L. Reid is the Director of Advocacy for the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers. She is a government relations and advocacy professional with thirteen years of professional experience. She has a passion for social justice, which has led her to serve in a number of leadership positions within the community. She has served as Convener for the Northern Virginia Coalition for Black Civic Engagement and Vice President of Candidate Recruitment for the Virginia Leadership Institute. Prior to her current position with the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, she served as the association’s Manager of Grassroots Advocacy and Senior Manager for Advocacy. Prior to joining NACDL, she served as Government Affairs Assistant for the Thurgood Marshall College Fund and Legislative Assistant/Analyst for the Fairfax County Government. She received her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from George Mason University. Monica is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority,

Yvette G. Robinson 

Yvette G. Robinson of Petersburg
Retired Professor in Agriculture
Virginia State University

Yvette G. Robinson is a retired professor in Agriculture at Virginia State University. She has continued her devoted commitment to the university by joining the Powell Society which is comprised of individuals who remember Virginia State University in their wills and trusts. She previously served as South Atlantic Regional Director of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, on the Petersburg City School Board, a member of Virginia State University National Alumni Association Board, a member of Petersburg Library Foundation Board, and the 1st Vice President of Women’s Missionary and Educational auxiliary of the Virginia Baptist State Convention. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degree from Virginia State University. Yvette is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated.

Dr. Van C. Wilson

Dr. Van C. Wilson of Glen Allen
Associate Vice Chancellor
Virginia Community College System

Van C. Wilson is the Associate Vice Chancellor for the Student Experience and Strategic Initiatives for the Virginia Community College System. Prior to his current position, he has held several roles within the Virginia and North Carolina Community College Systems. He previously served as the Associate Vice President for Academic and Student Services and later as the Associate Vice President of Student Learning and Success for the North Carolina Community College System. Additionally he was the Executive Director of Enrollment Management at Winston Salem State University as well as Vice President of Student Services at Forsyth Tech Community College.  He received his bachelor’s degree in Chemistry and master’s degree in Public Affairs from West Carolina University and his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership from Appalachian State University.

Ex-Officio Members