Learn More About Our Board Members

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Fatima M. Smith, MSW
Founder

 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

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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.”

-James Baldwin

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Bianca Myrick
Board Vice President

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

-Maya Angelou

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Lisa Hicks
Board Treasurer

For me, equity isn’t just a buzz-word. It’s a mindset. It’s in my everyday actions, choices, and discussions. It’s always asking who does this serve and how can I ensure historically marginalized, underserved, and disenfranchised groups are centered in this work. It is unapologetically naming the ills of society and unapologetically naming ourselves, even when it makes others uncomfortable. I seek it by supporting the nonprofit sector, by making it an environment where Black and brown leaders can feel welcomed, be well-resourced, and ultimately create greater impact and a more equitable society. I also seek equity by centering Black women through my writing and by encouraging them to put their wellness first. I believe equity benefits everyone. This is a message I am willing to share and exemplify for as long as I physically can. 

Why Collective 365?: The work of the Collective exemplifies what is possible for Black and brown leaders who seek to create more equitable communities when we have the support and resources necessary. 

 “Your silence will not protect you.”

-Audre Lorde 

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Natisha Knight

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

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Allison Gilbreath, MSW
Board President

Allison Gilbreath is the Policy and Programs Director at Voices for Virginia’s Children. She leads the organization’s child welfare policy work as well as the implementation of advocacy programs, elevating policy conversations across all policy areas. Allison created Voices’ foster care policy network, a group comprised of partners, direct service providers, families, and youth who create a foster care unified agenda each year. She also helped to create the first-ever bi-partisan foster care caucus with the Virginia General Assembly. Together, with the network and foster care caucus, she successfully led the charge in creating the kinship financial assistance program during the 2020 General Assembly session. Allison came to Voices after several years of working on behalf of children and families, most recently at Prevent Child Abuse Virginia. She was included on Style Weekly’s 40 under 40 in 2019 and has presented at several national and state conferences. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work and Master of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and completed the Sorenson Institute for Political Leadership in 2016. She is the board president of Collective 365, an organization founded to support Black and Brown communities through philanthropic giving and capacity building.

Why Collective 365?: Communities of Color have always had the ambition and tenacity to uniquely serve their communities, but have lacked access to funding to do so, as the inaugural President of Collective 365 it is my mission to change this.

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Amanda Thompson
Board Secretary

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.”

    -Andrea Gibson

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    Felicia Baez
    MPH, CHES®

    Public health professional, Afrolatina, and a young millennial from the 804. Passionate about all things wellness and traveling.  

     

    Why Collective 365?: Why not C365? It was built and designed by and for Black and Brown folks. I believe in the vision and I want our communities to thrive.

     

    “She believed she could, so she did.”

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    Jenaé Harrington, Ed.D

    Dr. Jenaé Harrington (affectionately known as Dr. J or Dr. Nae) is an equity enthusiast, introvert, and lover of people and plants. She is the owner of Jdee Imagery, LLC - a lifestyle and small event photography business that allows her to consistently create with folks representing many different identities and interests. Music, writing, natural hair care, watching documentaries and good food are a few of her favorite things. Most importantly, she is mommy to the amazing Aubree, the most beautiful girl in the world. 

     

    Why Collective 365?: I love Collective 365 and everything it represents. We take a creative and accessible approach to philanthropy which allows more of us to be involved in the community-building process. 

     

     "Radically loving each other is the only everything worth anything."

    -Aja Monet

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    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."

    -Octavia Butler

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    Luc El-Art Severe, J.D.

    Luc has been a civic and spiritual servant where he has advised and developed recommendations for improving business processes and development, project management, performance practice, and resource management based on analytical findings to improve the delivery of services for the people in his community. He is a process and performance improvement engineer certified in Lean and a Six Sigma Green Belt. Luc serves on the National Advisory Committee of the U.S. Census Bureau and is General Counsel for the K B S LTD Foundation of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc. He has responded to several relief efforts, notably serving as Senior Advisor and Stakeholder Engagement Lead for the Virgin Islands of the United States Governor’s Hurricane Recovery Task Force immediately following Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, and translator for a delegation of physicians from Morehouse School of Medicine who responded to the post-earthquake medical needs of Haiti in 2010. Dr. Luc is a graduate of Morehouse College, earned his Jurisprudence Doctorate with a concentration in Litigation from Thomas M. Cooley Law School, and is currently enrolled in the Master of Divinity program with a concentration on Religion and the Black Experience at Union Theological Seminary School of Columbia University.

     

    Why Collective 365?: Luc is aligned with supporting the efforts of economic vibrancy and vitality that fosters the creation of  opportunities and resources investing in the needs of the Black Communities and celebrating the Communities’ achievements.

     

     ​​“The tragedy lies in having no goal to reach”

     -Benjamin E. Mays

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    Ashley Gaddy

    I am a scholar-activist who enjoys getting to know the lives of people. Storytelling is one of the best ways we can leave a legacy and I want to capture and celebrate as many narratives as  I can. By day I am juggling school, work, and running my own business and by night I am  always on a mission to find good food and live music. I am a Black Southern Woman who appreciates her rural roots and am honored to serve. 

     

    Why Collective 365?:I am here for us, so this organization allows me to show up and with my people!

     ​​“We Become What We Think About”

    - Dennis Gaddy

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    Ryan Gilbreath

    Why Collective 365?: I joined the Collective because being apart of a community grant funding organization has been a dream of mine. I had figured that in order to be apart of something like this, that this wouldn't happen until I was over 60. However, when my wife and I were presented with the opportunity to help, I realized I don't have to wait to make the impact I want to see in our communities.

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