Learn More About Our Board Members
Fatima M. Smith, MSW
I’m a Black cisgender woman who resides in the suburbs of Richmond, VA with my baby and husband. I love connecting people, laughing, dancing and tasting good wine and bourbon. I am passionate about creating communities where violence and oppression are nonexistent and folks can be their healthy, authentic selves. I am a “social mom-trepreneur”, philanthropist, proud member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc, and graduate of George Mason University & Virginia Commonwealth University. If you have questions, ask me and even if I don’t know the answer I am happy to connect you with someone in my network that does have the answer.
Why Collective 365?: I wanted to create a way to celebrate & invest in Black & Brown folks who are doing dope things in their community. I knew I wanted to do something that put trust in those doing the work and saw that what was being done was not working.
"I don’t break the rules, I just challenge them”
- Ella Baker
Alana Glover, Esq.
In short, Alana is a plant mom who loves to travel, attend festivals, and go on random adventures at any time of the day. Alana is also an alumna of Virginia Commonwealth University, where she graduated with honors and double majored in criminal justice and African American studies with minors in political science and homeland security. Recently, she graduated with honors from the University of Baltimore School of Law, where she received multiple awards and served on the editorial board of the University of Baltimore Law Review. Alana is currently an associate at Goldberg Segalla, a national civil litigation firm with more than 20 offices in 10 states spanning major metro markets across the U.S. She also serves as a Writer in Residence for Ms. JD, a national nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of aspiring and early career women lawyers. Originally born in Portsmouth, Virginia, Alana now works and lives in Baltimore, Maryland and is committed to the advancement of Black and Brown communities throughout the “DMV” area.
Why Collective 365?: I want to be involved in an organization that turns “interest into action.” This organization is not only an organization that discusses the issues facing Black and brown communities, it focuses on actually providing financial support and resources to these communities. Collective 365 is committed to more than just identifying problems, Collective 365 is committed to solving them.
"Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”
Bianca Myrick is a native of Petersburg, Virginia, and the founder and executive director of Pretty Purposed, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering adolescent girls to grow and glow. As a middle grades educator, Bianca has a passion for working with adolescents and saw a need in her community where girls could have a safe space. She continues to work with the Pretty Purposed board, staff, and volunteers to build organizational capacity and increase opportunities for women and girls, through securing funding, building strategic partnerships, and developing its GIRLS program. Supporting Black-led organizations is specifically important to her because she understands first-hand the unique barriers they face in obtaining funding. In addition to her role as executive director of Pretty Purposed, Bianca is a consultant for Mentor Virginia, where she is a part of a team that supports the work of over 300 youth organizations around the state of Virginia. She is a 2010 graduate of Virginia State University, where she currently serves as an adjunct instructor in the Department of Teaching and Learning. Bianca also has a masters degree in public administration from Virginia Commonwealth University, and hopes to receive her certificate in nonprofit management soon. Her goal is to continue advocating for women, girls, and families through her work as a nonprofit leader and her consulting career. While she has many roles, her most fulfilling one is that of being a mom to her son, Bryce.
Why Collective 365?: I wanted to be a part of changing the face of philanthropy, specifically as it relates to decreasing funding barriers for black and brown organizations.
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you
Sarah Jane Brubaker, PhD
Sarah Jane is a professor at VCU and teaches courses on sociology, criminal
justice and public policy. The daughter of a progressive, social justice-driven preacher in
rural Virginia, her research and teaching focus on gender violence and juvenile justice
through an intersectional, anti-sexist and anti-racist lens. She works with community
organizations to center the experiences and needs of marginalized groups who have
been oppressed by, and are working to dismantle, harmful social systems.
Why Collective 365?: I appreciate opportunities outside of academia to support social
change and work toward social justice, and to work with organizations that develop and
celebrate innovative and equitable ways of doing their work..
“You have to act as if it were possible to radically transform the world. And you
have to do it all the time.”
Board Vice President
Natisha is a former teacher, but forever educator who taught public school for 12 years. For the last 8 she has served in various nonprofit leadership roles. She enjoys exploring and traveling with her daughter, Naysa.
Why Collective 365?: The mission and vision of the organization align with my personal values. Collective 365 gives ownership and decision making power to the very people best equipped to make decisions to uplift and empower Black and Brown communities.
“You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.”
-Maya Angelou, And Still I Rise
I am a proud Afro-Latina whose cultural roots hail from Honduras and Detroit. I was the first in her family to graduate from college and earn a graduate school diploma. By day, I herd cats for an international consulting firm. I engage with various Multicultural Networks to advance the professional development of her colleagues of color. I also commit my work actions and activities towards developing a more inclusive workplace. Outside of work hours, I work with my local homeless prevention organization, and volunteer as my churches' community service leader. I am a daydreaming foodie who enjoys audiobooks and traveling.
Why Collective 365?: I believe in community. I believe that we have within our community a collective of individuals and organizations that can do great things with and for our community. I love giving back, and I love serving MY community.
"Hold fast to dreams, for if dreams die, life is a broken-winged bird that cannot fly. "
- Langston Hughes
Emma Yackso, MSW, LCSW
Queer, southern, jewish and anxious. Deeply rooted in my queer community, the importance of good food, listening to people, and showing up however we can. When not causing trouble, you can find me in the mountains, on a hunt for the best ice cream sandwich, or in another failed attempt to stop my dog from eating the trash.
Why Collective 365?: It’s time to build something different--a way of getting money directly into black and brown communities through organizations that are of, and genuinely committed to lifting their folks up. Why
“Even when the truth isn’t hopeful, the telling of it is.”
Abbey Phillips, MSW
Abbey Philips is the Chief of Staff for Senator Jennifer McClellan who represents the 9th District in the Virginia Senate. Abbey has over 10 years of experience with policy research, development, and analysis. She has worked alongside community activist, families, educators, and legislators in developing and advocating for policy change to address evictions, human trafficking, criminal justice reform, domestic and sexual assault, reproductive health access, equity in education, environmental justice, food access and economic development. Abbey is an avid community volunteer, currently serving as Henrico Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) where she volunteers to create a voice for the children in foster care and in the middle of custody cases. Abbey is a social worker, parent, partner, runner, softball player, musician, sexual assault survivor, and an advocate at heart. One of her favorite books is Octavia Butler’s Parable of the Sower and has the following quote posted on her bathroom mirror as a daily reminder of the power we all hold to create change in the world.
Why Collective 365?: I find a lot of my daily inspiration in the work I see happening in the community. Collective 365 is raising the bar in how we approach equitable community investing and the power of giving and philanthropy, providing an opportunity for us to invest time, money and talent in those making an impact in the Black and Brown community that may not have access to traditional funding streams. This kind of investment and work is essential to building equity in our communities and I am so honored to play a role in expanding this mission and vital work.
"All that you touch you Change. All that you Change Changes you. The only lasting truth is Change. God Is Change."
Patrick "Paddy" Link
Patrick Link currently works as a Community-Embedded Instructor part-time for the VCU School of Social Work and full-time as Senior Program Consultant at the Virginia Department of Social Services. Previously, Patrick worked as a Family Services Manager and Director of Development in the nonprofit sector. Patrick earned a B.S. in Psychology and English from Virginia Tech in 2010. Following his graduation from college, he served in AmeriCorps for two years in Sonoma County, California. Following his service in AmeriCorps, he worked for years in fundraising for major HIV/AIDS service organizations in Los Angeles and New York. Wanting to leave the fundraising game, he enrolled in the MSW program at VCU, with a concentration in clinical social work. He graduated in 2019, but immediately decided to pursue mezzo/macro social work instead of clinical--he can't get enough of it!
In his spare time, Patrick enjoys reading high fantasy, doing the New York Times crossword and Spelling Bee, creatively writing, riding roller coasters, spending time with friends and family, pugs, carnivorous plants, and just enjoying Richmond!
Why Collective 365?: As someone who has worked in traditional non-profit fundraising spaces, I know the many barriers put up that prevent people from accessing funds for their cause. Often these barriers disproportionately affect Black and Brown folks, and I saw an opportunity here to even the scales in a game-changing way. I wanted to utilize my non-profit skills that I have built over my career for an organization I truly believe in!
“Go out on a limb, that’s where the fruit is!” and “If you never spread your wings, you never learn to fly"
Aaliyah Lambert, MPA
I currently am employed at a non-profit organization that handles infections diseases where I see progress leading towards prevention everyday through training, resources, marketing, etc. As a coordinator I have the opportunity to be engage with our stakeholders and provide them with the platform to carrying on our mission, which is to provide quality and patient safety through staying current on new drugs, research, and technology to all Healthcare professionals so that they can excel in their own careers.
Before that I have volunteered with organizations such as American Red Cross, Young Invincibles which was helping empower people about where and how to access healthcare or clinics. I am a also proud member of a historically black sorority Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Incorporated that strives on service and scholarship amoung a other things. I am currently obtaining my Masters in Public Health (MPH) so that I can better assist black and brown communities when ensuring that they have what they need to thrive to the fullest.
I am a proud honorary "Dance Mom" as my sister has kept the family busy with her mini dance career. My biggest weakness is sweets and it doesn't matter which kind (candy, chocolate, pastries) all are delicious.
Why Collective 365?: I would like to be a part of "bridge" between black and brown communities when handling conditions that effect how a community thrives and sustains itself. Collective 365 is asking the questions: "What do you need?" and "How can we help?" then proceeding to provide the appropriate resoures to ensure that these communities are seen and have what they need to continue sustainable growth.
“Accept what is, let go of what was, and have faith in what will be.”
Sean earned a BA in Women’s and Gender Studies, Sociology, and Black Studies from Randolph-Macon College, and has amassed a diverse skill-set and several years of professional experience in community and system-based victim advocacy, capacity building, curriculum and program development, grants management, and program implementation.
In 2018, Sean founded Humanist Perspective Consulting, LLC—a strategic management consulting firm that provides funding acquisition and capacity building services for under-resourced nonprofit organizations and businesses. As a consultant, Sean has worked on several projects aimed at alleviating and responding to some of our most challenging social issues such as domestic and sexual violence, HIV/AIDS, mental-health in Black & LGBTQ communities, and the sexual health and emotional wellness of Black queer men.
Outside of his professional commitments, Sean is a text-book introvert who enjoys reading, writing, traveling, and raising his fur-son Langston.
Why Collective 365?: I joined Collective 365 because I’m personally committed to ensuring that the 90% of BIPOC-led businesses and organizations that fail within the first year due to a lack of funding have equitable access to the resources and funding they need to thrive and positively impact their communities.
“Those who say it can’t be done are usually interrupted by others doing it.”
- James Baldwin, Notes of a Native Son
Kheila Jones, is the Founder and Executive Director of Atlantic Outreach Group (AOG), Inc., a
non-profit organization that provides resources to vulnerable individuals facing food insecurities, homelessness and substance use barriers. As a native of Richmond she obtained her undergraduate degree in Political Science at Virginia State University and a Master's degree in Public Administration at Strayer University. Her passion is shaped by working with those most vulnerable in society who readily don't have access to life's basic resources. AOG's flagship programs features a Food Pantry Program that feeds over 40,000 residents annually and Fresh Start, which is a 90-day full service recovery program. The organization recently reached it goals of opening it's 16th residential location offering a total of 124 beds for individuals battling addiction. Ultimately, Kheila believes in the philosophy of impact over profits and continues to strive to be a role model for those around her and an ever-growing student of life.
Why Collective 365?: Investing in our communities is the baseline for achiving social and economic equality. Collective365 provides an platform for me to promote economic growth amongst black and brown communities and foster an environment to perpetuate generational wealth.
“Life is like a camera, just focus on what's important and capture the good times, develop from the negatives, and if things don't work out, just take another shot.”
Tiffany leads Victorious Consulting, an equitable, partner-let firm that meets the critical needs of effective nonprofits and small businesses serving economically disadvantaged communities. Victorious Consulting offers capacity-building and fund development strategies needed to manage growth. After a progressive career in nonprofit and government, Tiffany founded the social enterprise Victorious Consulting, understanding that access to capital is essential for these organizations to close the equity gap. In the last 3 years, Victorious Consulting has secured over 13 million dollars in funding and counting with their clients. Her leadership reflects over a decade of proven organizational methods, innovative HR practices, program design, and business solutions.
Why Collective 365?: I joined Collective 365 because I am inspired by the legacy of my friend, Luc Severe, who created opportunities for nonprofits and businesses that are traditionally disenfranchised.
“You are your best thing.”
As a lead researcher at a non-partisan DC think tank, I work on a team examining long-term financial and economic challenges facing state and local governments. Specifically, my research centers on the intersection of climate change and its impacts on states' ability to meet central promises to its workers and provide essential services to its residents, like retirement benefits promised to public workers and teachers or making transportation and water infrastructure safe and resilient to future climate impacts or threats. In a previous life, I worked as a senior policy analyst in the Commonwealth of Virginia, overseeing a benefit program dedicated to hazardous duty workers injured or killed in the line of duty.
My commitment to data-driven, inclusive, and transparent public policymaking is matched only by my dedication to my family, friends, and community. I take pride in being a great sibling to my sisters and brother, a good partner to my spouse, a devoted daughter to my mother, and living my life in a way that would have made my father proud. I also relish the opportunity to be an active part of my community however I can - whether serving as an election officer, community tax preparer, pedestrian and bike safety activist, or advocating for fair housing policies.
When I'm not reading a wonky policy brief or journal article, I'm usually out running or biking, obsessing over my houseplants and garden, or leveling up my iPhone photography skills.
Why Collective 365?: I've spent most of my life in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Virginia, and I proudly identify as a DMV native. Throughout my decade-long journey in the public and nonprofit sectors, I've seen firsthand how many well-meaning governments and NGOs often overlook the very communities most affected by their policies or that they intend to serve: communities that are often disproportionally made up of people of color, like me. I've also witnessed time and time again how the most transformative changes in these spaces are usually led by advocates from within these black and brown communities. This is what drew me to Collective 365's mission as an organization that doesn't just acknowledge the communities affected by economic, racial, and social disparities but is committed to amplifying their voices. Given my background in philanthropic research, I was also impressed and inspired by Collective 365's drive to make the sector more inclusive and diverse, ensuring it truly mirrors the communities it often aims to serve. I'm excited and honored to contribute to such a challenging but essential cause.
"Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it."
& "My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style."