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Black Belt Action Network Board of Directors

Dr. Rosalind Harris
Assistant Professor
University of Kentucky

Dr. Rosalind Harris, founder & board member, BBAN is also assistant professor of Sociology in the Department of Community and Leadership Development, at the University of Kentucky, is exploring trans-local collaborations between grassroots organizations and universities in the Black Belt South and Central Appalachia in addressing the needs of subjugated communities.

Gena Gunn McClendon
Project Director
Washington University

Gena Gunn McClendon is a project director and director of Asset Building in States and Coalitions at Center for Social Develop at Washington University @ St. Louis. Her work with the Center primarily involves policy research analysis and consultation with community-based asset-building programs, state and federal policymakers, and advocate groups. Ms. Gunn McClendon's program development and policy advocacy work focus on asset building, asset policy coalition development, and workforce development assistance for low- and moderate-income households and marginalized populations. Her research focuses on identifying and advancing asset-building policy strategies for state and regional coalitions.


Dr. Dremal Worthen
Florida A&M University
Sokoya Finch
Executive Director
Florida Family Network

Sokoya Finch, executive director of Florida Family Network has been on the front lines advocating for communities, families, and youth regarding poverty issues, public health, social justice and education in Florida and the Southeast region of the United States.

Dr. Veronica Womack
Associate Professor
Georgia College & State University

Dr. Veronica Womack is an full professor of political science and public administration at Georgia College. She currently serves as the director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity and special assistant to the president. Womack leads diversity initiatives for Georgia College and served as a member of the President's Taskforce on Diversity and the President's Commission on Diversity for several years, including as past chair of the commission. Her research efforts include publications on public policy, leadership, and diversity. She has published several works on the Black Belt region and has worked on the Farm Bill and other southern economic development policy initiatives. She has published a recent book, Underdevelopment in the Black Belt Region: Abandonment in Dixie, A Snapshot of America's Third World (2013). She received a BA in communications and an MPA and PhD in political science from the University of Alabama.

Dr. Dreamal Worthen is professor in the College of Engineering Sciences, Technology and Agriculture at Florida A&M University.  Her research has focused on environmental Justice, the elderly, poverty and health issues in rural communities of color.

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