Vanguard Leadership Council

Meet the MoAD Vanguard

 

Porsha C. Jackson

President

Porsha C. Jackson has served on the Vanguard council for the past two years, but has been supporting both MoAD and MoAD Vanguard for more than five years. Porsha previously served as Communications Co-Chair and Vice-President of Vanguard prior to being selected President. She is passionate about the African Diaspora and strives to make sure others are aware of the richness of her culture.

Porsha obtained a Bachelors of Arts degree in Public Relations from The University of Southern Mississippi, Hattiesburg. She has worked as a freelance Public Relations and Marketing consultant since August of 2005 and is currently working with The Guardian News & Media, helping them establish their presence on the West Coast. Porsha also serves on the executive team for Next Oakland – a group of Oakland natives who are concerned about the well-being and future of the city.

She is a strong believer of community support and engagement and can often be found participating in community service efforts.  In her spare time, Porsha enjoys attending networking events, hanging out with her family, dancing to Afro beats and soaking in the sun at Lake Merritt in Oakland.

Marcus Rollins

Vice President

Marcus Rollins is a three-year member of the MoAD Vanguard Leadership Council, previously serving as Membership Chair and Vice-President. With a passion for the arts, Marcus can often be found exploring new exhibits, pop up galleries, and street festivals throughout the Bay Area.

Marcus is currently working in venture, bringing promising startups to Fortune 500 companies to accelerate innovation. He has received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University as well as a Finance degree from the University of Florida.

Alyson Edwards

Secretary

Alyson Edwards works as a Purchasing Agent in the Hospitality industry. She also has 10 years of experience under her belt booking talent for print, commercial and runway projects. Alyson graduated from UC Berkeley with a Bachelor of Arts focused in Popular Culture and American Media. She previously served as Secretary for the Vanguard Leadership Council for 3 terms, and is an avid supporter of the arts.

Originally from Los Angeles, she decided to make Oakland her home due to its vibrant culture, arts scene and diversity . Her interests include photography, cooking, food and food justice, street festivals, films, reading and hiking.

Michael Jenkins

Treasurer

With a background in management consulting and finance, Michael Jenkins is bringing his expertise to the education sector in Oakland Unified School District. Working as a math teacher for the past two years, Michael incorporates community engagement and college awareness and preparation for middle school students and families. In addition, Michael is a Finance Specialist for his family’s real estate business, and uses his investment savvy as an angel investor.

Michael, an Oakland native, received his Bachelors of Administration from Morris Brown College, and later pursued his Master of Business from the University of Nottingham in the United Kingdom. Michael is not foreign to traveling, as he has lived and worked in London, Spain, and China. Michael brings his worldly perspective to the Next Oakland Committee, helping foster a newer and healthier political landscape for Oakland and its multicultural residents.

Candice Elder

Advisor

Candice Elder is the past president of the MoAD Vanguard Leadership Council. Candice’s love for art, culture and community motivated her to lead the Leadership Council from 2014 to July 2016, and serve on the Leadership Council for over five years. In addition to her work with The MoAD Vanguard, Candice is the founder of The East Oakland Collective, an emerging cohort of Oakland millennials concerned with the state of East Oakland, and consists of influencers involved in civic engagement throughout the community. Candice also serves on the Board of Directors for the UC Berkeley Black Alumni Club. After being a legal professional for nine years, Candice now works full time in the non-profit sector as the Executive Coordinator for the Women’s Funding Network—the largest philanthropy network of women’s funds and foundations in the country.

She holds a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science and a minor in African-American Studies from the University of California, Berkeley and a Masters of Science in Criminal Justice from the University of Cincinnati. An Oakland native, Candice enjoys hiking with her rambunctious dog, reading, exploring and engaging with the community.

Andi Tendaji

Marketing Committee

Ardrina Hoxey a.k.a. Andi Tendaji is a Bay Area native that served in the United States Navy from 2002 to 2010 deploying three times in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom, Operation Enduring Freedom and Piracy in Africa. After transitioning from active duty, she made a vow to employ her skills, talents and services developed in her 8 years of service to the direct uplifting of the Bay Area Black community. This vow birthed the brand Andi Tendaji “The Cultural Entrepreneur” where she aims to assist in the holistic restoration of culture among the Africans of the diaspora by way of focusing on cultural sustainability.

Anju Hyppolite

Marketing Committee

AnJu Hyppolite is an actor, author, and advocate.  Her passion and work lie at the intersection of theatre arts, literacy advocacy, and social equity.  When she is not working in these realms, she works for a private investment consulting firm in San Francisco.  AnJu graduated cum laude from Boston University, Management Studies, and has a Masters in Finance.

AnJu has been an active supporter of MoAD Vanguard for six years.  In addition to volunteering with Vanguard, she mentors and tutors incarcerated, young men and tutors adult learners through an adult literacy program.

Ayana Dionne Ivery

Marketing Committee

Ayana Dionne Ivery is a Graphic Designer and has been creating multi-media art since 2003, professionally since 2005. Born in March in the early 80’s, in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, she knew from an early age that she was very tactile and enjoyed creating with her hands.

Living in Aix-en-Provence, France; South Beach, Florida; Denver, Colorado and the Bay Area in California have all added influence to her creative endeavors. She inherited her artistic interests from both of her grandmothers and expanded her influence in the fierce boldness of Josephine Baker, Grace Jones, Diane Carroll, Betty Davis, and meeting Eartha Kitt at the age of 9 planted the seed of artistic expression.

Graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Fashion Design and Merchandising, minors in International Business and Marketing, Ayana also studied African Art and History and speaks fluent French. Deeply moved with travel and culture, Ayana has been featured in Travel + Leisure Magazine and SF Guardian for her intrigue and sense of classic style.

She infuses her art with a mixture of classic style from her ancestors here and in Mother Africa expressed most sincerely in her line of aprons and accoutrements L’Oven Fresh, Kitchen Couture handmade in Oakland, California.

Benjamin Quaye

Membership Committee

Benjamin Quaye has been working in finance since graduating from Rutgers University in 2012.  His career has taken him to New York City, Miami, and now Silicon Valley, where he is with Boom Financial, a FinTech start up in San Francisco.  As a Haitian-Ghanaian, he has served or volunteered in African Diaspora communities in each of these cities.

Introduced to art at a young age, Ben’s true passion for art developed after learning about Haitian-American artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat.  While in Miami, the chance to make an impact presented itself and he became an Ambassador for African American Art at the Perez Art Museum.  Now on the MoAD Vanguard Leadership Council, he is continuing his mission to strengthen his community and spread the beauty of African Culture.

Ben lives in Oakland and it’s easy to catch him at the gym, jogging around Lake Merritt, at a picturesque hiking trail or at SFO before his next adventure!

Y’Anad Burrell

Education & Programming Committee

Y’Anad Burrell is the Founder of Glass House Communications, a boutique public relations, event planning and strategic communications firm with offices in Oakland and San Francisco.  She is also the Founder & Creative Director of Fashion On The Square, the largest and longest running charity fashion show on the West Coast.  Contact: yanad@glasshousepr.com

Bivett Brackett

Marketing Committee

As a San Francisco native, Bivett Brackett is passionate about finding creative ways to spread the arts, entertainment, financial literacy, and entrepreneurial education to underserved communities.

As Principal of the Brackett Group which was established in 2002, Bivett lends her consulting services to an array of fellow entrepreneurs in the restaurant/hospitality and entertainment industries.

Her goals as a new board member align perfectly with the Vanguard’s mission of amplifying its voice in the local, regional, national, and international cultural community, showcasing the MoAD collection and connecting with new audiences. Her natural networking skills combined with strategic event planning, social marketing, passion for African history, social justice, and her fearless spirit have made her a distinct Afro-Latina voice in her community as well as other organizations throughout the Bay Area.

Bivett holds a BA in Economics and African Studies from The University of California Davis and currently serves on the Board of Directors of Bay Area Legal Aid, an organization that provides low to no-cost quality legal assistance to the working class, seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities throughout seven Bay Area counties.

Brittany Jones

Membership Committee

Brittany Jones is currently working as corporate counsel at Autodesk, a software company that makes software for the architecture, engineering, construction, manufacturing, media, and entertainment industries. Before Autodesk, she was a Mergers & Acquisitions associate at Cooley LLP, a law firm headquartered in San Francisco. Brittany is originally from New Jersey, but has spent the majority of her professional career in New York City, where she attended New York University School of Law and worked as a corporate associate at several New York law firms. Prior to her time in New York City, Brittany attended the University of Pennsylvania, where she studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics with a concentration in Politics.

Justin Adu

Marketing Committee

Adu, as he is affectionately known by to his peers, is the Associate Creative Director of Digital and Social Media at Carol H. Williams Advertising. Adu’s creative journey has been a rewarding road of creative exploration. Since earning his Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design with a minor in Marketing from Alabama A&M University and Master of Arts in Advertising from Savannah College of Art & Design, Adu’s diverse career has impacted notable brands, organizations and public figures.

Adu is a creative chameleon with an ability to navigate between art and brand communications with confidence, conviction and brilliance. A visual artist, videographer, director, teacher, social media maven and mentor, Adu is a 21st century renaissance man. He credits his career versatility to hard work and a calling to change the world. “Through my artistry, I aspire to challenge myself to think outside the box and I hope to inspire everyone around the world to push the boundaries of their creativity,” Adu said.

Kaylé Barnes

Marketing Committee

Kaylé Barnes works in development and fundraising at a nonprofit in the Bay Area. She makes a living writing grants and planning events, but makes a life by running, dancing, and writing. She’s still trying to figure out what she wants to be when she grows up, but she is trying to do some good along the way. In addition to volunteering with Vanguard, she is a board member of YWSE-SF, a growing community of women in the Bay Area, committed to social entrepreneurship.

Kaylé has lived in seven different states plus D.C., attended the University of Oklahoma, is fluent in French, and dabbles in Spanish.

LeRon L. Barton

Marketing Committee

LeRon L. Barton is a San Francisco resident by way of Kansas City, Mo. He is a Technical Project Manager and an author of two books – Straight Dope: A 360 Degree Look Into American Drug Culture and All We Really Need Is Love: Stories of Dating, Relationship, Heartbreak, and Marriage. LeRon has also written essays on race, gender, and mass incarceration that have appeared in Salon, The Good Men Project, Buzzfeed, SF Bayview, and Those People.

In his spare time, LeRon loves being involved with local activism, listening to music, mentoring his little brother, and searching for the best hamburger in the city.

Paula Farmer

Spring Event Committee

Paula Farmer has worked as a student and family advocate in both higher education and in primary and secondary education for over 15 years. Currently she is the Director of Admission at The Berkeley School where she also champions equity and access in education as well as multicultural leadership. Creating community through social justice and girls’ empowerment are also among her passions.

A native of Dallas, Texas and a two-time graduate of Florida A&M University, Ms. Farmer holds B.S. degrees in both Photography and Graphic Arts Technology. She also holds a MFA from Washington State University. An active member of the Northern California HBCUC Alumni Coalition, Paula has lived and worked in the Bay area for 12 years and is active in many civic organizations including Glide Memorial Church where she chairs the Glide Pride Team, is an ally for LGBTQ initiatives, and is supportive of the work of the Glide Foundation. She’s an active member of the Berkeley Bay Area Alumni Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., serving on the Arts and Letters and Social Action Committees. In her leisure time, you’ll most likely find her developing recipes and practicing gastronomy.

Rachel Wyley

Education & Programming Committee

Rachel Wyley is a Southern California native who has lived in the Bay Area for 8 years. She has played many leadership roles in the world of education-focused nonprofit organizations. She currently serves as the East Bay Executive Director for Playworks Northern California. Rachel has committed over a decade to working to improve educational access for youth in various low income communities throughout Los Angeles, the Bay Area, and Atlanta. Rachel received her B.A. in English and African American Studies from Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. Additionally, Rachel is a vocalist, songwriter, composer, and international performer.

Santana Olomu

Education & Programming Committee

Santana Olomu celebrates her 4th year in the Bay area in December and has been involved with MoAD for two years. Santana is committed to bringing the arts and culture to communities, as well as cultivating beautiful spaces.

Stephanie Lambert

Spring Event Committee

Stephanie Lambert began volunteering with MoAD in 2015. With a passion for the economic empowerment of women and youth in developing countries, she served as a Peace Corps volunteer and has extensive experience working with international non-profits and government agencies.

A native of the DC metropolitan area, Stephanie lived in Philadelphia, Switzerland, Italy and West Africa, prior to moving to San Francisco in 2011.

Traka Lopez

Education & Programming Committee

Traka Lopez is an AAU Fine Art sculpture graduate and joined MoAD in 2014 as an education intern. She is now on staff at MoAD, having over four years of experience working in the field of education and the arts. At MoAD, she assists with educational programs that enhance the visitor experience at the museum. Additionally, she works part-time at the SF Art Commission’s Development & Gallery departments and is a creator, director, and educator for the Alameda County Juvenile Hall Art Therapy Program. As a staunch supporter of the arts and the diversification art education and art history, she is also an independent curator and curriculum writer.

Aside from her career, she is also very active within the Bay Area community. Being part varies outreach programs, I thrive for equality for all. Lastly, she is currently involved with the Black Female Project and the Adoption Museum.

Emeka Okafor

Leadership Council

Emeka Okafor was born in Anambra State, Nigeria. He has been living in the Bay Area for nearly four years now and is currently a proud Oakland resident. He is extremely excited to serve as a member of the MoAD Leadership Council.

Emeka has background in product management and strategy consulting. A graduate of the University of Minnesota- Twin Cities, where he earned a B.S. in Biology and Behavioral Sciences. He is currently working as a Product Manager @ Facebook.

Ever passionate about the arts, Emeka fell in love with writing as a high school student in Minneapolis. It’s from this base that he would branch out to photography and film. A self-described storyteller, he enjoys the challenge of bringing together various artistic mediums. When not working or creating, he can be found working out, reading, volunteering or somewhere abroad, participating in different cultures.

Sabine Justillien

Leadership Council

Sabine hails from Miami, Fl as the daughter of Haitian and Bahamian parents, a legacy she’s proud to carry in the Bay Area. She completed her English degree from the University of Florida and then went on to receive her MPA and MAA from Indiana University. Sabine fell in love with the West Coast after completing a fellowship in Portland where she worked with the local police and government agencies on equity and diversity policy. As a writer and avid reader, Sabine has continued to use her skills as the Grants Manager at YouthUprising.

Sabine is enamored with creative expression in all forms and is honored to serve alongside likeminded changemakers to deepen MoAD’s presence in the Bay. When she’s not handling DIY projects, she’s likely making body butters for her friends, painting pictures for her home, or reading a book on a stoop.

Rachel Jamison

Leadership Council

Rachel is an East Coast transplant who recently relocated to the Bay Area. She is a new member of the MoAD Vanguard Leadership Council, serving as part of the Marketing Committee.

Rachel has a background in digital marketing, brand strategy and graphic design with a BA in Mass Communication and Advertising from the University of Delaware. She currently works in digital marketing at a corporate firm in San Francisco.

Rachel has a passion for design innovation, UX and the intersection of art, technology and culture. Additionally, she enjoys music production and attending live shows and pop-up galleries wherever she seems to land.

Jaylena Lomenech

Leadership Council

Los Angeles native with a passion for historical research, art and music. Currently focused on leveraging technology as a means to curate and educate the African American community, Jaylena seeks balance between history and the future. Her focus is to ensure cultural institutions such as the Museum of the African Diaspora continue to flourish for audiences decades from now, in a format that continues to evolve as quickly as technology does.

Jaylena holds a degree in History and has held roles at various art institutions in the Southern California region. She is also a classically trained violinist. After living in New Zealand, Ireland and Holland, Jaylena brings a global mindset that seeks to broaden the

perspective of the San Francisco community, particularly its youth, on the benefits of global exploration and understanding new cultures.

In her leisure time Jaylena enjoys reading historical books, tending to her orchid collection and continuing to perfect her French. She lives in San Francisco with her husband and two Dachshunds.

Anitra Smith

Leadership Council

Anitra is a proud Oakland-native. She comes to the MoAD Vanguard Leadership Council with a passion for making the arts more accessible to young people of color. Anitra’s background is in health care administration. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and a MPH from the University of California, Berkeley. She is now working at the Packard Foundation in Silicon Valley. Anitra enjoys exploring the African Diaspora through the arts. She is an avid world traveler who likes blogging, running, and hiking.

Adrian Walker

Leadership Council

Adrian Octavius Walker was born and raised in North Saint Louis and received his BA in Sociology with a certificate in photography and Women’s and Gender studies from the University of Missouri St. Louis in 2010. Walker now often photographs the mundane areas of the west and east sides of his current home city Oakland, California, where he works as an assistant editor on the entertainment community team for VSCO. Always curious, Walker describes himself as a contemporary mixed-media artist, who also creates sensitive portraits based on his studies of human interactions in intense environments.

In 2015, Walker self-published the book My Lens, Our Ferguson, a documentation of the Ferguson, Missouri, protests that was shortlisted for a Paris Photo-Aperture First PhotoBook award. Images from that book were featured in a solo exhibition last year at the University of Alabama and in five group exhibitions internationally. The same year, Walker offered his insight into what it is like to grow up in North Saint Louis in an episode of Vice’s Abandoned, which aired in 2016. His work has been included in a variety of solo and group exhibitions including Black On Film, Creative Campus at The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, Alabama (2016); Dandy Lion, Brighton Photo Biennial, Brighton, England (2016); Black Mail 2, Space 236, San Francisco, California (2016); Common Sense(s), The Center for Photography at Woodstock, Woodstock, New York (2016); Paris Photo-Aperture photo book Awards 2015, Huis Marseille, Museum of Photography, Amsterdam, the Netherlands (2015); and Street Beautification, World Chess Hall of Fame (2014).

Alexandria Noel Butler

Leadership Council

Alexandria Noel Butler, affectionately known as Lexi B, wears many hats including entrepreneur, speaker, editor, and writer. Raised in St. Louis, MO, she graduated from Stanford University in 2011 After informally documenting her escapades as a young professional, Lexi B founded Grown Up Truth to discuss the professional and personal experiences of millennials. Lexi’s writing audience spans multiple platforms such as Levo League, For Women to Women, and Rebel Magazine. In April 2017, Lexi B founded the Sista Circle: Black Women in Tech group to focus on creating opportunities of fellowship and networking. Lexi B currently works at Airbnb in program management. When she is not project managing, she spends her time leading workshops and keynotes about topics including diversity in tech, Blackness in America, career growth and development.