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These leaders of color make up DiverseForce’s 2018-2019 board development cohort

DiverseForce on Boards' 2018 graduation. September 5, 2018 Category: FeaturedMediumPeople
A board governance program for professionals of color has announced the members of its second cohort.

DiverseForce on Boards (DFOB), named for its partnership with Sulaiman Rahman’s workforce diversity consulting company, DiverseForce, the program specifically trains mid- to senior-level professionals of color on the ins and outs of nonprofit board leadership over seven months. Participants are matched with board placement opportunities at the end of the program.

DFOB lived at the University of Pennsylvania’s Fels Institute of Government for its inaugural year, but due to restructuring within Fels, it’s now housed by Penn’s College of Liberal and Professional Studies while continuing to work in partnership with social impact evaluation and development org ImpactED, Rahman said.

“In addition to the comprehensive board governance training and matching program, we have added a structured leadership lunch and learn series that will provide our cohort participants with the critical leadership competencies that will help them to serve on boards more effectively, and will be transferable to their personal and professionals lives,” the founder wrote in an email.

BMe and The Philadelphia Foundation both provided seed funding to build DFOB. Knight Foundation contributed support after the program was announced and has doubled its initial offering to $50,000 for the coming year, according to Rahman. Most participants of the first cohort paid the $5,000 tuition personally, though some were paid for by corporate and philanthropic sponsors.

The first class included pros from the likes of VanguardChristiana Care Health System and the First Judicial District of Pennsylvania. Sixteen out of those 25 are currently serving on boards, including 11 who were elected to new boards over the summer.

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“We expect that number to increase in the fall when board meetings pick back up,” Rahman said.

Classes begin Sept. 21 at Pennovation in Southwest Philadelphia. Meet the 25 members of the 2018-2019 cohort:

  • Tracey Baker — IT specialist at Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
  • Danielle Branch — Account manager at ViiV Healthcare
  • Ashley Bennett — Freeholder District 3 for the Atlantic City Board of Chosen Freeholders
  • Steven Chintaman — Legislative aide at Philadelphia City Council
  • Jessica Diaz — Attorney at the PA Office of State Inspector General
  • Antonio Fanning — Internal auditor II at Philadelphia Gas Works
  • Andrea Gosfield — Managing member at Gosfield Potts, LLC
  • Sharon Guess — Senior project manager at the School District of Philadelphia
  • Christina Holiday — College access coordinator at the Philadelphia Education Fund
  • Mia Lisa Hollingsworth — Director of special education at KIPP New Jersey Charter Schools
  • Jacquelynn Hugee — Associate general counsel at PJM Interconnection, LLC
  • Stephanie Humphrey — Technology and lifestyle expert
  • Mu’min Islam — Managing member at MFI Law Group, LLC
  • Eschelle Jackson — Executive assistant to the president at Middle States Association
  • Frank Johnson — Director of Integrated Services
  • Cheri Johnson — Attorney at Stradley Ronon Stevens & Young, LLC
  • Kaya Jones-Oyejide — Family medicine physician at Penn Medicine
  • Juanita Lewis — Senior manager of business operations at the Institute for Electrical & Electronic Engineers
  • Cassandra Mack — School clinician and counselor at Girard College
  • Nannette Moore — Director of sales leadership and commercial excellence at The Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson
  • Salomon Moreno-Rosa— Assistant director at Urban Affairs Coalition
  • Gmerice Welch —Business services supervisor at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia
  • Janelle Williams — Assistant director of health policy at University of the Sciences in Philadelphia
  • Larry Wiltshire — Supervisory manager at Federal Reserve Bank of New York
  • Geoffrey Woodland — Instructor and curriculum development at District 1199C Training & Upgrade Fund

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