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
Interim Board Treasurer
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!