Cesar MatthewsPace Center for Girls- Leon, English TeacherMore
Raised from humble beginnings in Clermont, Florida, Cesar Emory Matthews is a graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor's in Interdisciplinary Social Science and minors in Education and Political Philosophy. Upon graduating in May 2017, Cesar moved to New Orleans, Louisiana where he taught at Akili Academy. Recently, he has moved back to Tallahassee, Florida where he serves as the English teacher at Pace Center for Girls- Leon. At Pace, he serves as the PeaceJam Advisor and Co-Advisor for Pace Pride.
While at Florida State, Cesar was involved with the Black Student Union, PeaceJam Southeast, Pride Student Union, and TedxFSU. His work centered around identity leadership development and education. Clearly visible in his involvement, Cesar values networking and mentorship for young LGBTQIA+ students of color. Due to PeaceJam’s influence on his life, he became involved with Breakthrough Collaborative-Miami where he served as the College Bound 9th Grade English Teacher. After his summer in Miami, Cesar became a National Ambassador with the expectation of recruiting and spreading awareness about the program.
Cesar is a firm believer and advocate for accessible--reachable and comprehensible--education for all. With the belief that ‘learning is a lifelong commitment’ Cesar has spent the majority of his life working with students, families, and schools in order to create curriculum and instructional strategies that are socially and culturally competent. Having worked with public, charter, private, and alternative schools, Cesar is committed to finding instructional and disciplinary practices that are fair, just, and prioritize a restorative approach.
In his downtime, Cesar loves to cook (specifically, grill) for his friends, read, and write spoken word pieces. As a trans-black masculine individual, he is spending most of his time developing his voice and a network to uplift, support, and provide representation for other masculine individuals of color.Less
Brooke Christy is a recent, honors graduate of Florida State University with a Bachelor of Political Science degree. During her time as a student, Brooke delved into the political world around her. First becoming a mentee to a Diplomat in Residence and then as an intern at the District Office for Senator Nelson. On campus, Brooke served as Outreach Chair for a student-led, non-profit called Global Peace Exchange. This non-profit organized and advocated for more sustainable partnerships when students decide to travel abroad. Brooke then served as a Legislative Analyst to the Florida Senate Democratic Office for the Environmental, Community Affairs, and Agriculture Committees. She was later the Lead Organizer for a Tallahassee Mayoral Race. As Lead Organizer, Brooke managed field operations and developed campaign messaging content. These experiences showed her how each position plays a unique role in empowering the voices of others.
Passionate about creating social change, Brooke attended a summit in Mexico City, Mexico and became a Climate Reality Leader. Brooke is a member of the local non-profit, Sustainable Tallahassee and will continue to highlight how environmental issues affect social justice issues. Brooke intends to pursue a Juris Doctor degree with a focus in environmental, energy and land use law.Less
Christopher L. DanielsFlorida A&M University, ProfessorMore
Dr. Christopher L. Daniels is a professor of Political Science and the director of the Center for Global Security and International Affairs at Florida A&M University. He received his Ph.D. in African Studies from Howard University and has traveled to, conducted research and given lectures on security, governance and economic development in several countries across the African continent. He also has given lectures at several American universities and conducted training programs for government employees. For the last eight years, he has lead groups of FAMU students on study abroad and research tours to South Africa, Lesotho and Swaziland.
He began his professorial career at Georgetown University in the School of Foreign Service where he taught the course, African Government and Politics. His first book entitled, Somali Piracy and Terrorism in the Horn of Africa, analyzes the security, economic and governing challenges within Somalia and its impact on the Horn of Africa. Daniels was featured on C-SPAN’s Book T.V. and honored as one of the nation’s top non-fiction authors. He also has published another book entitled South China Sea: Energy and Security Conflicts, which gives an in-depth analysis of the conflict in the South China Sea and its implications for the global economy and energy markets.
Dr. Daniels previously interned with the Department of State in the Bureau of African Affairs at the United States embassy in Maseru, Lesotho. During his time with the embassy, he worked on sustainable economic development projects with several civil society groups. He also was responsible for developing the nation’s inaugural President’s Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) community grants application, which provided financial assistance to local groups working to help alleviate the devastating impact of HIV/AIDS on the community.
He founded Vision Consulting and Investments in 2011 and has invested in several properties in Tallahassee, Florida and Cincinnati, Ohio. His portfolio is primarily composed of multi-family rental properties. He also started All Purpose Property Solutions, a full service company property management and maintenance company, which primarily services foreclosed and investor owned properties. He is a member of the Greater Bond Community Leadership committee and owns several properties in the community. He is currently in the early stages of a multi-million dollar mixed-use commercial development project in the FAMU area.Less
Cyrus Calhoun IIIFlorida House of Representatives, District Senior Executive SecretaryMore
Cyrus Calhoun III currently serves as the District Senior Executive Secretary within the Florida House of Representatives, District 8. There he’s tasked with resolving conflicts between constituents and state agencies. Mr. Calhoun previously served as the District Legislative Assistant for House District 70. In this capacity, he assisted the state representative in successfully passing legislation that: created a task force on affordable housing, secured millions in funding for a school readiness program and a childcare facility restoration project. Cyrus also implemented a food distribution drive that serviced over 500 families in the Tampa Bay area.
Born to the parents of postal service workers and educators in Tallahassee, FL, Cyrus understood the value of a quality education, hard work and determination. That’s why he seeks to educate his family and peers on the political process and engage his community on national and world affairs. He believes marginalized communities deserve a seat at the table and should take advantage of every opportunity that they are afforded.
Mr. Calhoun is a third-generation graduate of Florida A&M University (FAMU) where he received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Political Science with a minor in International Relations. While enrolled, Cyrus completed a semester-long internship for the Florida House of Representatives, District 26 and accomplished two study abroad experiences in Ghana and Cuba within two years. He plans to further pursue a Master’s Degree in Public Administration/Policy.
His current service affiliations include: Vice President of Public Affairs for Families For All Inc.; an adoption advocacy group, mentoring within the Tallahassee Community College Take Stock in Children Program; a program dedicated to providing college scholarships to low-income students, the Pinellas County Urban League Young Professionals; a nonpartisan civil rights organization and volunteers in a plethora of ministries within his church, New Zion Primitive Baptist Church.
In his spare time, Cyrus enjoys: painting, cooking, traveling, attending theatre performances, socializing and playing with his dog, Bernie Mack.Less
Dara Miles WilsonNaturalistMore
Dara Miles Wilson hails from Silver Spring, MD in the suburban outskirts of the DC metropolitan area. Because Dara grew up rather fortunate with a great public school background, her parents felt it absolutely necessary that she understood not everyone shared these blessings. For no reason at all other than fate and genetics, Dara was born into the family she has, just like for no reason at all other than fate and genetics, others are born into less favorable conditions such as poverty, sickness, and abusive surroundings. To keep her humble, Dara’s parents taught her early on the value of volunteer service and civic engagement.
Humble service has taken Dara far. She has had the pleasure of interpreting Amazonian wildlife at the Smithsonian National Zoo, walking rehabilitated mountain lions through the Amazonian jungle in Bolivia, catching frogs on the brink of extinction due to the global amphibian crisis and moving them to ex situ laboratories and exhibits in the Republic of Panama, conducting microsurgery on passerine birds in the tropical rainforest, and fighting invasive/non-native plant species in Florida’s panhandle.
Over the years, Dara has gained much hands-on scientific research practice in the field and science learning experience in education facilities. She considers herself incredibly fortunate to have had such myriad of training and attribute all of that to her dedication to serving others and her involvement with informal science education institutions. Dara recognizes that not everyone has access to the gateways that have made her the budding professional she is today. Dara intends on facilitating paths to that gateway and hopefully shortening the experience gap along the way.Less
Eli Wilkins-MalloyLand is Life, Global Program DirectorMore
Born and raised in Berkeley, CA, Eli Wilkins-Malloy learned early on from his family and community about Tikkun Olam (repairing the world), a Jewish concept that has guided him towards a career pursuing social justice. Currently, he serves as the Global Program Director for Land is Life, where he works with staff and partners in Latin America, Sub-Saharan Africa, and Southeast Asia to develop and implement initiatives supporting Indigenous Peoples to protect their lands and cultures. While Eli has served Land is Life in many different capacities over the years—growing the organization’s budget and impact, creating systems to serve a global Indigenous network, improving workflow and adapting to the needs of a growing diverse institution—he will be transitioning out of the organization in early 2019 to pursue work in his local community.
In 2017 Eli relocated from New York to Tallahassee (his wife is a professor at Florida State University) and has since discovered and immersed himself in the active nonprofit sector. He is currently organizing a series of events with the Institute for Nonprofit Innovation and Excellence (INIE) to foster connections and build skills for nonprofit professionals and is excited to continue sharing his experience and learning from the Big Bend community. Prior to his current role, Eli worked for the Research Center for Leadership in Action at New York University as a Research Fellow and Teacher’s Assistant with Professor Sonia Ospina while completing his Master’s in Public Administration.
Fluent in Spanish and Portuguese, Eli is an experienced interpreter and translator and has had the opportunity to work and travel throughout much of Latin America.
When he’s not talking about the importance of investing in nonprofit people or the overhead myth, you can likely find Eli cooking, biking, playing basketball, or staying connected to his East Bay roots through Golden State Warriors and Oakland A’s fandom.Less
Ethan PoseyFlorida State University, Graduate AssistantMore
Ethan Posey attended Howard University in Washington, D.C. and received his B.S. in Psychology in 2016. While at Howard he played football and was the captain of men’s lacrosse team for two seasons, helping the Bison to win the first ever HBCU Lacrosse National Championship in 2014 by defeating both Morehouse College and Morgan State University. During this time, he also became a spring 2015 initiate of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc., Alpha Chapter where he served as recording secretary as well as parliamentarian of the National Panhellenic Council. In 2016 Ethan was featured in the documentary Strange Fruit Redux: The Miseducation of Young Black Boys as well as being featured in an interview on the Scholar’s Chair Youtube Channel. After graduating from Howard Ethan attended Florida Agricultural & Mechanical University where he received his M.S. in Community Psychology in 2016. During his time at FAMU, he presented at the Annual Imhotep Conference on The State of Black Kinship, as well as receiving a publication for his work as a researcher alongside Dr. Brian C. Sims on Who’s Laughing Now? An Afrikan Indictment on Comedy.
Ethan is currently a first-year doctoral student in the Combined Counseling and School Psychology Program at Florida State University. After he graduates, Ethan hopes to become a professor at an HBCU to inspire other young Black people to pursue the highest levels of academic achievement and use their knowledge to improve their own communities. He also intends to become an advocate for policy change in low socioeconomic status communities, specifically focusing on the improvement of the quality of education in public schools by increasing the number of minority teachers and allocating more funds toward educational resources and materials.Less
Gerald M. WilliamsAssociation for Institutional Research, Staff AccountantMore
Gerald M. Williams is the Staff Accountant with the Association for Institutional Research (AIR). A native of Miami Florida Gerald migrated to Tallahassee to attend the Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University. He is a passionate community activist, advocating for underserved and underrepresented populations. He also strives to create opportunities for individuals to better themselves socially, financially, and healthy. He is has mentored youths in Leon County for over 10 years as a Big Brother with Brothers Big Sisters of the Big Bend Inc. and 100 Black Men of America, Tallahassee Area Chapter Inc. Gerald also serves as the Vice President of Membership and the Chairman of the Scholarship Committee for the 100 Black Men.
Gerald is married to Krystal J. Williams. In his spare time, he enjoys spending time with his two daughters Jenesis and Violet, working on his golf game and reading.
Gianna Trocino BonnerMore
Gianna graduated from The Florida State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Philosophy in the Spring of 2018. During her four years at FSU, Gianna focused on grassroots organizing and servant leadership. Gianna was a Resident Assistant for 3 years, the President of FSU Planned Parenthood Generation Action, the Assistant Director of the Women Student Union, and a campus organizer with For Our Future Florida. Gianna was also inducted as a Seminole Torchbearer.
After graduation, Gianna continued organizing until she joined the Andrew Gillum for Governor campaign. Gianna served as the Assistant Scheduling Coordinator as well as a surrogate staffer. Gianna continues to focus on creating sustainable change at the local and state level through organizing, educating, and pushing for progressive policy. In her spare time, Gianna loves to bake, eat pasta, scrapbook, and thrift.Less
Isabelle GuembouTallahassee Memorial Healthcare, LEAN/6 Sigma ExecutiveMoreLess
Jamarr Sanchez AkinsLeon County Schools, TeacherMore
Hailing from the small town of Quincy, Florida, Jamarr Sanchez Akins, affectionately known as Jay, is an educator and activist in his community. He is a third grade teacher and serves as the chair for the Leon Florida Young and Remarkable Educators (FYRE). In addition, Jay serves as membership chair for the Greater Tallahassee Alliance of Black School Educators and on the Big Bend Service Unit Council. He is a magna cum laude graduate of Florida A&M University with a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations. He is currently pursuing a Master’s degree in Educational Leadership from Florida State University, where he studied abroad in London. While in London, he was able to participate in a think tank with global educational leaders discussing the welfare and strategies for improvement for minority students. In addition, Jay served twice as “Teacher of the Year,” and was a district finalist.
While he enjoys the thrill of working on political campaigns and volunteering his time with the Leon Classroom Teachers Association, his hobbies include reading, writing, entertaining, traveling to exotic places and riding the latest roller coaster at any given theme park. Jay is also a local thespian and performed in numerous plays in the area. Such shows have included “Sorry, Wrong Number,” “The Slave Narratives,” “The Thompson House,” and “Shuffle Along,” the Tony Award-winning musical.
Jay is also a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. and the Tallahassee Network of Young Professionals.Less
Kemal GasperBB&T, Financial Wellness District ManagerMore
Kemal Gasper currently works for BB&T Bank and serves the role of BB&T @Work Financial Wellness District Manager. Kemal serves as the leader of BB&T @Work Program across the state of Florida and uses his passion for financial wellness to partner C-level executives to help develop financial wellness programs for their company and employees. Kemal manages BB&T’s relationship with the commercial and corporate banking teams and financial wellness consultants who deliver first-class financial wellness seminars helping clients and communities create economic success and financial security in their lives. Kemal Gasper serves on the local BB&T Senior Leadership Teams in Jacksonville, Orlando, and Tampa. Kemal is very passionate about diversity and inclusion and serves as a board member of BB&T’s African American Affinity Group.
Kemal currently serves on the Board of Governors for the JAX Chamber, which has a 2017 focus on improving the quality of life in Downtown Jacksonville. Kemal is also currently the Co-Chair of Atlantic Circle which is United Way of Northeast Florida’s Young Professional Affinity Group. In 2015 Kemal served both as the Chair of ImpactJAX, which is the largest young professional business organization in Jacksonville, and on the Board of Directors for the JAX Chamber. Kemal was appointed by former Mayor Alvin Brown to serve on the Cultural Council of Greater Jacksonville Board of Directors in 2013 for a nine-year term where he currently serves as the Development Committee Chair.
In 2017 Kemal was named as one of the Top 40 Under 40 Young Professionals in Jacksonville by the Jacksonville Business Journal, in 2016 named Top 20 Under 40 Black Pages Magazine, and in 2013 named Top 30 Under 30 for Buzz Magazine. Recently, Kemal was selected to take part in the Stein Fellowship Leadership Program through United Way which helps Young Professionals with Leadership Development while building personal and professional relationships.Less
Richard GarzolaGarzola Strategy Group, OwnerMore
Richard is an Afro-Latinx Samoan and the founder of Garzola Strategies Group, a community relations/political consulting firm. Richard has always put the community first and has been labeled by many high in the political realm as a system disruptor and a neighborhood hope dealer. After running for Tallahassee City Commission at the age of 22 and falling short, Richard was called upon by Mayor Gillum to lead his youth outreach and HBCU constituency groups statewide.
Originally from Miami, Florida, Richard found his way to Tallahassee by way of athletics and guidance from his surroundings. Once he graduated high school a scholarship awaited him to play football at Warner University. It was there in Lake Wales, where he found the opportunity to organize the less fortunate and combat voter suppression in rural areas. Two years later Richard transferred to the Florida State University to play for the Seminoles, but what he later discovered was that he found a home.
In Tallahassee, Richard was able to carve a niche for activism by leading rally after rally and marches in the face of injustice for any and everyone. As he continues to be a staple for fighting inequality nationally, locally he continues to push for campaign reform and being a liaison between the government and the community.Less
Shana GearyFlorida Department of Health, EpidemiologistMore
Shana Geary is a graduate of the University of South Florida where she completed her Bachelor of Sciences in biomedical sciences with minors in public health and biomedical physics and then went on to obtain her Master of Public Health with concentrations in epidemiology and maternal and child health. During her MPH, Shana became passionate about health equity, sexual and reproductive health, and community violence prevention. She went on to address these issues during an internship with the Mississippi State Department of Health and through the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists Applied Epidemiology Fellowship at the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. As a fellow, Shana worked in injury prevention with a focus on community and family violence and general injury. She worked to automate systems to improve data dissemination and data visualization to empower community-led public health prevention efforts, and completed projects on intimate partner violence, police-involved shooting deaths, firearm injuries, and fall injuries.
Shana is new to Tallahassee, moving here in March of 2018 to work as an epidemiologist with the Florida Department of Health. In her new role, Shana oversees molecular HIV surveillance and viral hepatitis surveillance statewide and works to improve surveillance systems and inform prevention efforts related to these diseases. Since moving to Tallahassee Shana has joined the Tallahassee League of Women Voters and serves on the Voter Services Committee and the Health Care Study and Action Group.Less
- Aaron Johnson
- Aaron Reyna
- Alicia Trawick
- Austin Howe
- Brittney Geathers
- Cosby Hayes
- Daniel Corbett
- Daniela Fernandez
- Ginette Harrell
- Haleigh Hutchison
- Janelle King
- Joanny Arellano
- Katie Britt
- Keilah Johnson
- Kemal Gasper
- Kiaira Nixon
- Agata Wlodarczyk
- Alexandria Washington
- Analorena Melendez
- Austin Hensel
- Courtney Thomas
- Darren Mason
- Jacqueline Porter
- Janel Robinson
- Jessica Lamb
- Jessie Caudill
- Joseph Petty
- Maggie Brandenburg
- Nathan Archer
- Nathanial Myers
- Sean Cooley
- Tatiana Daguillard
- Toma Sokolik
- Adela Ghadimi
- Alexis Simoneau
- Audrey Kidwell
- Clare Letmon
- Evan Ernst
- Haymanot Belda
- Ishante Hunter
- Ivanna Pengelley
- Kristin Tellis
- Kruti Patel
- Lauren Calmet
- Raquel Jones
- Tineshia Morris
- Vincent Evans
- Adrian Mood
- Amanda Piter
- Ariel Wright
- Brandy Durham
- Dana Terry
- Danielle Keane
- Ferrisa Connell
- Haben Abraha
- Kim Armstrong
- Kristin Broner
- Melanie Stuckey
- Rebecca Weaver
- Sarah Shuler
- Wilnick SaintCharles
- Carlos Nathan
- Christopher Hudtwalcker
- Ciara Taylor
- Erin Jensen
- Jennito Simon
- Joy Dixon
- Keisha Calderon
- Lily Stolc
- Max Solomon
- Nicole Robinson
- Sakeena Gohagen-Kenton
- Samantha Sexton
- Sarah Lee
- Sheria Griffin
- Stanley Hardy
- Travis Etheridge
- Wallace Knight
- Woodjerry Louis