Mashif is a passionate leader who has fostered a culture focused on accountability, execution, and team development. He has held leadership roles in strategy, operations, and sales/marketing. Most recently, he worked in instructional services responsible for how mobile learning and gamification learning strategies do across all retail lines. He led a program focused on business solutions in the mobile learning space. Mashif was also engaged in various initiatives as a Design Engineer for AT&T Services, Inc.
Mashif holds a Bachelor’s in Psychology from Eastern Michigan University, a Master’s in Leadership and Organizational Development from Central Michigan University, and pursuing a Doctorate in Educational Technology from Central Michigan University. Today, Mashif resides in Ypsilanti, MI. In his spare time, he enjoys working with his fraternity Kappa Alpha Psi, political and advocacy groups, traveling, and spending time with his family and friends. He appreciates opportunities to experience diverse cultures and cuisines, both within the United States and internationally.
Bethany creates interactive business reporting tools for Mott Children’s Hospital and Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital in Ann Arbor. She was previously the Manager, Marketing and Corporate Development and Corporate Secretary for Renosol Corporation, where she installed quality and environmental management systems in multiple manufacturing sites. With experience in marketing, human resources, sales and management, Bethany has created management training programs and developed tools that make data visible at all levels of the organization. She has also taught database development and critical thinking for Phoenix University.
Freeland currently works with a team at Michigan Medicine. There, she creates systems for measuring and improving equity in the delivery of children’s healthcare and provides the support youth need to thrive.
She holds a Liberal Arts degree from Kalamazoo College and an MBA from Eastern Michigan University.
Jorge currently works as an International Adoptions Supervisor for a non-profit organization in Ann Arbor. His work background includes special education school teacher, child protective services social worker, a volunteer in a law firm and child custody evaluator/mediator.
He has a Bachelor’s Degree on education, a Bachelor’s Degree on Psychology, a Master’s Degree on Social Clinical Psychology and a Juris Doctor Degree.
Jorge is married to his husband for 13 years and they been together for 24 years. He has four small dogs and a garden.
Jorge was appointed by the mayor of the City of Saline, where he lives, as member of the Arts and Culture Commission where he volunteers his time to expand and promote the arts and culture in his community.
Rev. Diane Smith is the Mission Integration Director at Angela Hospice in Livonia, MI. Her role includes directing the African American Church Empowerment Project, convening the ethics committee, and providing support to staff and volunteers as they work to personify the Angela Hospice mission.
She graduated from Jackson (MS) State University with a BS in Communicative Disorders, and Mississippi University for Women where she earned an MS in Speech Pathology, she holds a Master of Divinity degree from Claremont (CA) School of Theology. She is a Board-Certified Chaplain with the Association of Professional Chaplains.
With over 20 years of experience in Hospice Care centers and homeless shelters from around the world, Rev. Smith has seen the impact of inequality on life choices and services for disenfranchised communities and is committed to helping them.
Rev. Smith currently serves on the board of the Ann Arbor-based Housing Bureau for Seniors at Michigan Medicine. She is a Golden Life member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is a member of Journey of Faith Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in Ann Arbor. She has been married for over 25 years.
Desiraé Simmons is a co-director with the Interfaith Council for Peace and Justice, and a community organizer, activist, and advocate serving in multiple grassroots organizations and coalitions. Desiraé is a founding member of Liberate! Don’t Incarcerate, Rising for Economic Democracy in Ypsi, What’s Left Ypsi, and Untold Stories of Liberation and Love–which published a poetry Anthology called “Love and Other Futures” and produced a podcast called “Our Story Did Not Begin With Pain.” Desirae was a member of the Subcommittee on Housing Affordability and Accessibility through the City of Ypsilanti’s Planning Commission and a part of Defend Affordable Ypsi. Currently she also serves as the Vice Chair for the Michigan Democratic Party’s Progressive Caucus. She graduated from Simmons College with a BA in Public Relations and Marketing Communications and a MS in Communications Management. Her previous work was in higher education and community and government relations for an educational nonprofit. Desiraé joined the Educate Youth Board during the summer of 2019.
Nathaniel Alston is the President & Founder of THE HORIZONS GROUP, Inc., a human capital consulting firm specializing in human resources strategic planning, succession planning, executive search, business coaching, and management/leadership development training.
Prior to entering corporate America, Nat spent 10 years in Law Enforcement serving as a Maryland State Police Officer, a Prince George’s County Police Officer and as Director of Public Safety, Bowie State University.
In 1998, Nat along with twelve other senior human resources’ executives founded the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources. In 2001, he was elected as the National President. This is an organization which represents over 7,000 African American Human Resource professionals in 30 cities. In 2007, Nat was bestowed the Lifetime Member Emeritus designation of the organization.
In 2013, Nat was elected Chairman of the National Board of Directors of the National Association of African Americans in Human Resources.
Erica currently works as the manager of annual giving and alumni relations at the University of Michigan School of Education, overseeing annual giving appeals, stewardship materials for donors with endowed funds, and several events. Erica is passionate about her work because she comes from a family of educators who showed her that education was the primary method for upward mobility and success. Seeing her mother work as a teacher firsthand, she gained a high level of respect for the profession.
As an alumna of the University of Michigan, Erica graduated in 2013 with a degree in sociology and a minor in community action and social change. She became interested in the field of fundraising through the U-M Development Summer Internship Program as an undergraduate student.
Prior to working at the SOE, Erica supported three major gift officers in the U-M Office of University Development as a senior development assistant. Previously, she worked at a market research firm in Washington, D.C. as well as a non-profit consulting firm in Beverly Hills, Michigan.
Erica enjoys the outdoors, taking long walks with her dog, Lola, and spending time with family, many of whom live nearby.
We would like to thank our founding board members; we will be forever grateful for your hard work and dedication.
Thank you, all past and present board members, for your commitment and service.
Douglass Harvey, Justin Carthage, Steve Wilcoxen, Domonic Buffa, Anne Brown, KaRon Gaines, LaTia Williams