SHERIDA MORRISON, FOUNDER
Motivator, Public Speaker, Visionary
Sherida V. Morrison is best described as a motivator, public speaker, and visionary for girls and young women. She is a Chicago native and serves as Founder/CEO of Demoiselle 2 Femme, NFP (D2F). Founded in 1994, the mission of D2F is to provide holistic services, education, instruction and training to assist adolescent females in a successful transition to womanhood. D2F provides an array of prevention, education, STEM and college access programs. D2F has served more than 5,000 girls thousands girls ages 13-19, assisted over 800 girls to become first-generation college graduates and awarded over $52,000 in academic scholarships. The success of D2F has been featured in several news outlets and has been described by Ebony Magazine as “a girl-serving organization making an impact in Chicago.” D2F convenes the 40 Under 40 Young Women's Professional League, the Chicago Coalition on Urban Girls, and in 2017 established the HOPE Network of Schools to cultivating academic excellence, leadership and success among girls and young women. The Network will open the Katherine G. Johnson STEAM (STEM+ARTS) School for Girls, in fall 2019 as the first, K-8, STEAM school for girls in the state of Illinois.
Sherida obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from Southern University in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and a Master of Arts degree in Sociology from DePaul University, Chicago, IL. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science degree at Northwestern University in Learning and Organizational Change. Sherida served as Adjunct Faculty at Kennedy King College for seven years as a professor of Sociology and has presented research on female adolescent development and youth violence at local and national conferences. Sherida currently serves on the inaugural Advisory Board for the University of Chicago's upcoming Trauma Center as well as Chair of the Maternal and Child Health Committee. Sherida has received numerous awards and commendations from local and national organizations and is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. Sherida believes that women and girls are the birth canals to our communities and their health, wellness and safety is vital for the success of our families, communities, nation, and world.
BRIANNA LAWRENCE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Manager of Development, OneGoal
Brianna Lawrence is a native of Chicago’s South Side. Born and raised between two historically prosperous communities, Brianna knows first-hand what divestment, a lack of education and hope could do to a child and community. These experiences propelled her toward a career in advocacy with a focus on policy change and reinvestment strategies that benefit girls of color. Brianna desires to provide a steady foundation for girls to reach their maximum level of potential. She envisions a future where all girls have the resources necessary to thrive.
Currently, she is the Executive Director for the Coalition on Urban Girls-Chicago (CUG). After completing her tenure as Secretary for two years, Brianna assumed leadership of CUG in December 2019. She brings over a decade of experience in youth development, advocacy, and community engagement. Brianna also serves as the Manager of Development for Corporate and Individual Giving at OneGoal. Additionally, she is a Research Associate for Beyond Schools Lab with Dr. Eve L. Ewing, author of “Ghost in the Schoolyard: Racism and School Closings on Chicago’s South Side”.
Brianna obtained a Bachelor's of Social Work degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. She also holds a Master of Art degree from the University of Chicago with a focus on adolescent development and community schools.
Our Steering Committee is responsible for planning and execution related to the organization's mission and consists of leaders representing multiple constituencies such as public health agencies, government agencies, social services agencies, educational institutions, and researchers. The steering committee will consist of no more than 30 members who serve a 2-year term.
Founder of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program
Kelly Fair is the Founder of Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program. Founded ten years ago, Polished Pebbles has helped more than 3,000 girls in Illinois, Indiana, and Texas find their voice, improve their communication skills, and build their skills for future careers. “We don’t want to just help girls get jobs and enter the workplace. Our vision is really to see girls shape the future workplace. So we want to educate girls to find their voices, to be strong in their everyday lives, to strengthen their voices in their communities and their schools, but also as they move into the workplace and learn what that environment is like, to find their voice and say, “Hey, I can be a leader, and if I’m leading, this is what it should look like.”
Kelly sees herself as an advocate. “I’m a social entrepreneur, I work to empower girls and empower our communities because others invested in me as a young professional.”
Kelly is a sought-after speaker for mentoring, communication skills, girls’ development and job readiness, professional leadership development, and social entrepreneurship. She’s a dynamic storyteller, communications expert, and relatable voice with the keen ability to penetrate the hearts of women with her honesty and expertise. Through her authentic conversational speaking style, she connects across socioeconomic statuses, intergenerationally, and cross-culturally—making her a phenomenal speaker or training facilitator in a conference setting.
Her ability to “polish pebbles”, helping young women and girls shine, has brought her recognition from Bank of America, ComEd, Verizon, Google, Duke University, DuSable Museum of African American History, Social Enterprise Alliance, and more.
Since launching Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program, Kelly’s signature communications and job readiness programming has expanded from elementary age girls to include high school, college programs, families, prominent women leaders, and to sites in Northwest Indiana, Dallas, Texas, and North Carolina.
Kelly has been featured in Ebony magazine, The Wall Street Journal, MSNBC, The Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Woman magazine.
You can learn more about Polished Pebbles Girls Mentoring Program at http://polishedpebbles.com/about-us/.
Ayeshia “AJ” Johnson-Garrett
Program Specialist, UMOJA Student Development Corporation
Ayeshia Johnson-Garrett is a capacity builder with over 10 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Currently serving as the Learning & Program Specialist for UMOJA, a citywide non-profit that support schools, districts, and organizations in the core areas of social-emotional literacy, post-secondary readiness, and restorative mindsets and practices that focus on healing rather than exclusionary disciplinary practices. Prior to UMOJA, Ayeshia worked with youth leaders and adults to be active and engaged in policy-making, democracy, and community problem solving through an Action Civics nonprofit organization called Mikva Challenge. At Mikva Challenge, as the Senior Program Director, she was strategic in developing community networks to integrate youth voice, choice and decision-making power with neighborhood Local Initiatives Support Chicago. Ayeshia is passionately curious about the intersections of historical trauma, community-based action, and healing intergenerational trauma. Growing in her capacity for community-based research and participatory budgeting she strengthens her practitioner network by way of participation in the Chicago Coalition on Urban Girls (CUG). From 2016 to present, Ayeshia help launch CUG Conference Forums that focus on strategic recommendations to shift the social norms for gender equality and improve the health, safety, and wellness of ALL girls who reside in Chicago. On October 11, 2018 – the International Day of the Girl, CUG released “Girls in the City: A Status Report on Teen Girls Residing in Chicago.” From 2017-2019 the governing body appointed Ayeshia serves as the Chair of the Steering Committee, and she continues to advocate for data and social connectivity of all girls that closely relate to a community that needs to improve the quality of life for everyone. She is a visionary and builder of relationships, Ayeshia believes in the excellence, elevation, and compassion for all people.
DEIDA K. MASSEY
Author, Philanthropist, Makeup Artist, Founder & CEO of Reel Beauty Inc.
Deida began her journey of faith & favor when she left her 9 to 5 job in 2002 and moved to Los Angeles, CA to pursue a career in makeup. Deida’s passion in makeup led her to take a courageous leap of faith and propelled her into purpose. As a result in 2004, Deida became the founder and CEO of Reel Beauty, Inc. an organization that has mentored girls through an evidence based curriculum inside CPS for 15 years. As a visionary, Deida’s Reel Beauty program named in Swahili, Uzuri Wa Kweli is currently facilitated at The Uzima Center in Mwanza, Tanzania with 50 girls.
In 2016, Deida became an author and penned her first beauty memoir, Face Values-The Foundation of Beauty. Today through hard work, perseverance and commitment Deida landed a job as a Key Makeup Artist for the hit NBC show Chicago Fire and has worked on various tv and film projects. Currently, Deida is trailblazing into 2020 launching three new businesses; which includes a social enterprise company called Bixa Beauty that will continue her initiatives in Africa!!!
Senior Program Information Specialist, Feeding America
Jennifer McIntyre, serves in the capacity of Senior Program Information Specialist for Feeding America, the nation’s largest domestic hunger-relief organization. In a country that wastes billions of pounds of food each year, Feeding America helps coordinate the efforts of farmers, donors, and retailers to rescue nourishing food that might otherwise be discarded. In her current role, Jennifer draws on multiple sources of data to synthesize and communicate the need for and the impact of Feeding America’s national programs and grant funded initiatives, with the goal of sustaining and increasing national partners in the fight to end food security in America. Her areas of focus include building the capacity of food banks to serve vulnerable populations including children, college students, rural populations and native/indigenous populations.
Jennifer holds a B.A. in Computer Science from Brown University and an MBA from Columbia University in Marketing and Management, and a certificate in Digital Marketing from DePaul University.
Executive Director of Girls in the Game
Meghan Morgan is the Executive Director of Girls in the Game. She first joined Girls in the Game in 2008 to support its mission to help every girl find her voice, discover her strength and lead with confidence through fun and active sports, health and leadership programs. Driven by a strong sense of social justice, Morgan is a proud feminist and believes that all girls deserve the same opportunities to succeed, both on and off the field.
After graduating from the University of Notre Dame in 1999 with a B.A. in American Studies, Morgan spent a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest before working in Development at the Elks National Foundation. Morgan has since earned certificates in Fundraising Management (Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy), Nonprofit Management (University of Illinois - Chicago) and Nonprofit Accounting (The Wallace Foundation).
Since 2008, Morgan has been a committed member of Girls in the Game, joining the team first as the Development Director, followed by filling the role of Chief Operating Officer in 2015 and advancing to become Executive Director in 2016. As Executive Director, Morgan is responsible for working closely with the board and senior staff to ensure Girls in the Game’s success, specifically focusing on its strategic plan, expanding program reach to girls who could benefit the most from Girls in the Game, and increasing the budget. Morgan also represents Girls in the Game in the community by establishing partnerships with institutions such as the Chicago Park District, in addition to working with sponsors to build strong, long-lasting relationships connected to Girls in the Game’s work.
Currently, Morgan serves as Co-Chair on the Leadership Council for Sport for Good Chicago in addition to serving on the Steering Committee for the Coalition of Urban Girls Chicago.
Morgan spends her free time supporting and encouraging her son and daughter, Patrick and Jane, to grow up confident, strong and healthy by sharing her passion for running and sports.
Founder/CEO of the Young Women Professionals League
An established Nonprofit Professional and Award-Winning Community Leader, Cheresa "Reese" LaFrances Purnell has gained a reputation for building platforms that support the personal development of business, community, and corporate professionals. Through unconventional approaches to leadership development and aggressive creative strategies, Ms. Purnell continues to build a brand that is one of Chicago's premier organizations for young women leaders.
As the Founder/President of the Young Women Professionals League (YWPL), Reese has formally inducted 200 young women who are rising leaders in their industry into the organization at their annual 40 Under 40 Award Ceremony. YWPL’s mission is to build a network of young professional women who support the holistic development of future leaders through the conduits of leadership development, service, philanthropy, and sisterhood. Under her leadership, YWPL has served over 500 young women ages 18 -24 in FOUR IMPACT AREAS: workforce development, financial literacy, college retention and completion, and health/wellness.
So far her personal and professional endeavors have also been featured in RollingOut, ForHarriet.com, Jet, N’Digo and the Roland S. Martin Show. Connect with Reese LaFrances at www.reeselafrances.com.
YOLANDER A. RIVERS
Executive Administrator at Reel Beauty
Yolander Rivers is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She is the Executive Administrator at Reel Beauty, Inc. (RBI). Yolander provides administrative and operational support for RBI. Since adolescence, Yolander has had an affinity for making certain youth were seen and valued in her community especially young black girls. She has been a dedicated consultant, role model and public figure to young girls for over a decade.
Yolander received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Alabama State University, a Master’s degree in Health Administration from the University of Phoenix and is currently employed by the University of Illinois at Chicago as the Business Administrative Associate in the Department of Pediatrics. She is also a certified yoga instructor and CEO/Founder of YoSoul Yoga, LLC. Yolander is able to share her passion for yoga with girls by giving them the space where they can connect their mind, body and spirit.
Yolander’s involvement with RBI manifests the best of her talents, skills and abilities. As a result, generations of young black girls will have tools to navigate life in a fruitful manner.
Founder and CEO of SOCIAL Butterfly Foundation
Owner of Roberts-Tabb and Associates, LLC
Human Trafficking/ Gender Responsive LGBTQ Specialist for Cook County Juvenile Court
Dissertation: Attitudes and Perceptions Regarding Domestic Sex Trafficking
Dr. Roberts-Tabb has created and implemented programs, mentored young ladies, and has been instrumental in bringing awareness to the Juvenile Probation Department around gender responsive issues specifically domestic human trafficking; developing and implementing mandatory training to identify domestic sex trafficking victims. As the first Human Trafficking/Gender Responsive/LGBTQ Specialist for Cook County Juvenile Court, Dr. Tabb has worked alongside several governmental agencies, being instrumental in the Human Trafficking Housing Pilot in collaboration with the Administration for Children and Families and Housing and Urban Development along with contributing in the development of the Lodging Services Human Trafficking Recognition Training. Dr. Roberts-Tabb assisted the FBI Operation Cross Country 2015, 2016, 2017, and 2018.
The knowledge and passion that Dr. Roberts-Tabb possesses has impacted service providers nationally sitting before the Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls in Washington DC, Illinois Congressional Caucus for Black Women and Girls, Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force Conference, US National Guard, Impact Youth, Illinois Department of Juvenile Justice, Cook County Court Clinic, Gender and Justice Symposium and contributions to the Human Trafficking Task Force Law Enforcement Report, and the. Dr. Tabb founded A Girls Night a physical demonstration against the domestic sex trafficking which take place during the month of January each year along with the Coalition of Urban Girls Care Line.
Dr. Tabb’s Published work includes Girl Empowerment...THEory into ACTion: A Bulletin of New Development in Community Psychology, 2012; Girls in the City: A Status Report on Teen Girls Residing in Chicago, 2018; Grace: Letter of Reflection to the Little Girl or Young Woman They Once Were, 2018; Whose Little Girl Am I, 2018, and Whose Little Girl Am I Discussion Guide, 2019.
Founder of Ladies of Virtue
From the south side of Chicago, Jamila Trimuel is the Founder of Ladies of Virtue, an award-winning mentoring and leadership program that has empowered over 1,000 girls, ages 9 to 18, to become confident and purpose-driven leaders. Jamila started her career in strategic planning at Northwestern Medicine and has over ten years of experience in strategic planning and community engagement.
Jamila is a Steering Committee member for the Greater Bronzeville Neighborhood Workforce Development committee. Jamila is also a member of the Founding Steering Committee for the IL Council of Women and Girls which was just signed into law. Jamila is the co-author of “A Status Report on Teen Girls in Chicago”. Jamila is also the Co-Chair for the Status of Women and Girls Working Group led by City Clerk Anna Valencia. Most recently, Jamila gave her Tedx Talk at Rush University entitled, “Make Today Your Saturday: Live A Fulfilled Life of Purpose.”
Jamila has a Bachelor of Science in Community Health from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and a Master of Science in Health Systems Management from Rush University. She also holds a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from The Broad Center for Management of School Systems.
Program Director, Girls In The Game
Elizabeth Tumiel is the Program Director at Girls in the Game, an organization that provides sports, health and leadership programming to girls across Chicago. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, she brings a social work lens to their mission of empowering girls by assuring that the work is systems based and strengths focused. Elizabeth is dedicated to advancing the development of the social work field. She runs an internship program at Girls in the Game and is an adjunct professor at the Jane Addams College of Social Work.
Elizabeth is heavily influenced by community organizing, having worked on homeless and housing issues for 8 years at Mercy Housing Lakefront. She believes in participatory practice, the power of developing leadership, and the primacy of relationships.
Elizabeth is also a recently certified yoga instructor and has a certificate in yoga informed psychotherapy. She is passionate about how body based interventions such as yoga and sports can play a significant role in recovery of those who have experienced trauma.
Elizabeth bikes to work when the Chicago weather cooperates and does a headstand on most days.