Track: Advancing Equity
Format: Candid Campfire Conversations
While some nonprofit and foundation executives may assume that people of color either do not aspire to be leaders, do not have necessary education or credentials, or do not have the skills to serve in top leadership positions, research shows otherwise.
The 2017 study, Race to Lead: Confronting the Nonprofit Racial Leadership Gap demonstrated that educational levels are similar and people of color are obtaining some doctoral degrees at higher rates than their counterparts. Additionally, this report also indicated that people of color are interested in pursuing leadership positions at a higher rate. Although people of color have the education and desire, they are not being offered opportunities to lead in nonprofit institutions. Further, people of color often feel like they have to represent their race in advocating for equity, which is often effective when they are the lone authentic advocate.
Many nonprofits are grappling with the issue of lacking diversity in their boards, executive teams, and workforces, while serving many people of color, especially African American males. For much of the human service sector, racial diversity continues to be an uphill challenge, especially in the executive suite, according to Fortune Magazine (2016). For black men, the challenge of matriculating to the C-suite is extremely complex and often driven by an uneven playing field, unconscious bias, and emotional baggage. Black men are often the symbolic unicorn in their own work environments, being the sole professional to represent the African American male. Nonprofit organizations are missing opportunities to enhance the talent within their organization and community at large.
If real change is to occur, executive men of color must take the lead in teaching, advocating, and promoting the strategies and benefits of advancing equity. The genuine voice of advocacy is critical, as they will share their professional experiences and research-informed recommendations. Black men are uniquely qualified to articulate the narrative while ensuring that all executives have access to authentic intelligence and best practices. Using a conversational format, several African American male leaders will share their stories, experiences, and recommendations to increase organizational capacity to impact a broader cultural consumer base.
- Engage in a courageous cultural dialogue about the African American male presence in nonprofit organizations and the implications for workforce development
- Effective strategies to increase the presence of African American males in professional positions
- Organizational and service delivery benefits of increasing black male presence in leadership
- Julius Mullen Sr., chief clinical officer, Children & Families First of Delaware
- Raphael Holloway, chief executive officer, Gateway Center
- Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, director of business & government strategies, National Youth Advocate Program
- Claude Robinson, executive vice president external affairs, UCAN
- Undraye P. Howard, senior director of equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
- Jesse McLean, executive director of Western Pennsylvania, Pressley Ridge
Julius Mullen Sr.
Chief Clinical Officer
Children & Families First of Delaware
Julius Mullen Sr. is the chief clinical officer for Children & Families First in Wilmington, Delaware, where he serves as an integral member of the executive management team. He oversees many departments related to mental health, child welfare, and education. He also has a passion for inspiring professionals to develop their leadership and management competencies.
Mullen is a graduate of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Executive Leadership Institute, which is offered through a partnership with the University of Michigan. He also earned a bachelor’s in behavioral science, a master’s in educational counseling, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Wilmington University.
Mullen is an expert in trauma-informed care and brain science. He is a phenomenal leader, clinician, and trainer. He has spent over 10 years on the campuses of Wilmington University as an adjunct professor teaching in the master’s of clinical mental health, school counseling and bachelor’s of psychology and social sciences program. Mullen is a national certified counselor which he is also licensed to practice mental health in Delaware. He loves to mentor doctoral students as they pursue their educational dreams at the highest level.
In his spare time, Mullen and his wife Tasha spend countless hours embracing the spirit of volunteerism where they have mentored youth for the last 15 years. So much so, they developed a program called IMPACT which encompasses two gender-based programs, MAN UP and UNIQUE! Although they have been recognized by ESSENCE magazine, The Washington Post, the Jefferson Award presented by the Delaware News Journal, Delaware Superstars in Education, local TV/newspapers, and numerous community advocacy awards, their most prized accomplishment comes from the fruits of their labor. 100 percent of youth graduated from their program and 96 percent of their youth are college graduates, college attendees, military enlistees, or gainfully employed. Whether it be a first-generation college student, a budding professional or a traumatized child, Julius believes that each person is just one caring adult away from living out their dreams regardless of any adverse event.
Chief Executive Officer
Raphael Holloway joined the Gateway Center in July 2016 as the CEO. Holloway is an accomplished leader with more than 20 years of experience in the social services arena, specializing in behavioral health, correction, homelessness, and public health sectors. He has displayed a strong nonprofit and state government business acumen and understands, “how to change when change is hard.” Holloway is a proven professional with expertise in motivating human resources and aligning multiple groups with divergent objectives and priorities towards a common goal. He uses skills, theories, and strategies that are not only relevant but necessary for leading results based organization and team of professionals that desire to be agents of change. Holloway has displayed a commitment to the use of data, desire to use a human-centered approach in service design, strong initiative and exceptional skills in leading a company’s business. A native of Toledo, Ohio, Holloway received his bachelor’s in child and family services and master’s in mental health counseling from Bowling Green State University.
Reyahd D.J. Kazmi
Director of Business & Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program
Reyahd Kazmi is the director of business and government strategies for National Youth Advocate Program. In this role, he oversees multiple programs, manages all service contracts, and advocates at all levels of government. In addition, Kazmi is the owner of Kazmi Advisors LLC, a strategic consulting firm. Also, he is an instructor at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Kazmi serves as a commissioner on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and was appointed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to serve as a member of its Illinois Advisory Committee. He is an elected member of the Local School Council at Otis Elementary, a member of City Church Chicago, a board member of :20 Second Timeout Foundation, a board member for Mikva Challenge, and an associate board member for Chicago Scholars. Finally, Kazmi is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and Glenn School of Public Affairs, where he received his juris doctorate and master’s in public policy and management.
Undraye P. Howard
Senior Director of Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Engagement
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
Undraye P. Howard is the senior director of equity, diversity, inclusion and engagement at the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. At present, he leads and assists in the coordination of Alliance offerings and collateral related to equity, diversity, and inclusion and leadership development for the Alliance network. This includes development, creation, implementation, and coordination with network members and other key departments within the Alliance in providing strategy, solutions, and support for the advancement and development of leaders in the social sector. Howard is instrumental in developing the Alliance’s current leadership platform model, the rEvolutionary Leadership Model, premised on the development of change leaders driving for system and population level results.
Howard has been with the Alliance for over 11 years, serving in various capacities including director of consultation and leadership services, vice president of intellectual capital, and vice president of the Center on Leadership. Additional past career placements for Howard include being the executive director of a small community-based organization, human capital recruiter and trainer for an executive recruitment firm, and training manager for a small nonprofit employment agency.
Howard serves as an adjunct professor for several universities in Milwaukee, teaching courses in youth work, ethics and boundaries, human services skills and techniques, and many communication and leadership-based courses.
Other outside interests include serving as board member for an assisted living facility and serving as vice president of the board of directors at his local congregation. In addition, Howard provides training and consultation to community-based organizations. From time to time, he plays the tuba, which he received several awards for throughout his collegiate years.
Howard earned a bachelor’s in business and Marketing from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and he has a master’s in communication, with an emphasis on training and development from UW-Milwaukee. He is also pursuing his terminal degree in human capital.
Executive Director of Western Pennsylvania
Jesse J. McLean Jr. is a human services professional with over 30 years of experience in Pittsburgh’s nonprofit sector. McLean serves as executive director of Western Pennsylvania for Pressley Ridge, where he is responsible for overseeing the fiscal, operational, and clinical integrity of programs throughout Western Pennsylvania and will help to support the advancement of the organization’s mission and strategic positioning.
Prior to joining Pressley Ridge, McLean served for nearly five years as executive director of Every Child. In this role, McLean created a national presence for the organization, with being named the Organization of the Year in 2012 by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities. McLean currently serves on the advisory committee for the Greater Pittsburgh Non-Profit Council, is a member of the COO Roundtable for the Alliance for Strong families and Communities, and a trustee for New Hope Church.
McLean has received many honors over the years including the William H. Moore Award for Excellence in Education for his development of the V.U.L.C.A.N. program, which prepared middle school students for college. He also received the YWCA Racial Justice Award for his work with the Pittsburgh Chapter of the American Jewish Committee at Reizenstien Middle School. McLean was also named one of the New Pittsburgh Courier’s 50 Men of Influence and received the California University of Pennsylvania’s Distinguish Service Award.
Executive Vice President of External Affairs
Claude A. Robinson Jr. was born in Philadelphia. To beat the negative ills of the inner city, he attended St. Johns Northwestern Military & Naval Academy (SJNMNA) in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, for most of his high school years. At SJNMNA, Robinson excelled as a student-athlete and leader. He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where he earned a bachelor’s in Psychology. He was also captain of the 1989-1990 NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship team. Robinson went on to earn a master’s in counseling at Chicago State University. His interest in sports education turned into a passion for serving youth. He currently serves as an AAU basketball coach for The Athlete Within and Kenwood Academy High School.
Robinson specializes in the personal development, education, and motivation of youth and children. A staunch advocate for youth, Robinson continually challenges adults to examine their perspectives and diligently strives to build positive youth and adult partnerships. He currently serves as the executive vice president of external affairs and diversity at UCAN. Robinson’s work has yielded numerous accolades, including awards from former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Miss Illinois Leadership Award 2001, and WGN-TV Channel 9’s 2000 “Unsung Hero” award. In 2008, Robinson led a U.S. delegation on a four city “Best Practice” exchange to the United Kingdom to assist policy makers and community leaders on positive youth development.
Chief Operations Officer
The Children's Center
George Winn serves as COO at The Children’s Center in Detroit, Michigan, where he leads a team of behavioral health care, child welfare, and educational professionals in all aspects of program innovation and implementation. Winn takes a visionary approach to carefully overseeing the agency’s systems of care strategies while focusing on community partnerships and improving internal systems. He has passion for, and belief in, the family system and believes our children are our future and that we must provide innovative, high-quality services to children and families. It is our mission, “to help children and families shape their own future,” and it is our duty and responsibility to nurture and provide guidance to our children.
Winn’s passions are fueled by his strong belief in the importance of family. Thus, he has become a vocal advocate for the deliberate inclusion of fathers in the daily lives of children. In June 2013, he was the recipient of the Michigan Chronicle Men of Excellence Award celebrating men who personify the exemplary qualities of respect, responsibility, passion, brotherhood, and leadership. Winn is a native of Detroit, a product of its public school system and a graduate of Cody High School, where he was an outstanding scholar and athlete. He received an athletic scholarship from University of Wisconsin-Stout and later transferred to St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, Michigan, where he earned his bachelor’s in science. Winn earned his master’s degree in social work from Wayne State University in 1996.
Winn is highly regarded by his peers, who speak of his strong work ethic, his passion for providing quality services and his outstanding administrative capabilities. Winn has also led and participated in the Mayor’s Task Force against abuse and neglect, diversity initiatives, and other advocacy initiatives engaging elected officials on ensuring every child has their basic needs met. He has enjoyed a range of professional successes, having co-chaired the first fatherhood conference in Wayne County and piloted the first private agency contract on family to family in Michigan to maintain the family structure during the foster care placement process.
Winn serves on the board of Neighborhood Legal Services of Michigan and is currently participating in the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Executive Leadership Institute. Winn coaches AAU basketball for two area teams, mentoring boys ages 8-17 years old. Winn is a proud husband and father of three sons. He and his wife Verita are enjoying life rearing their three sons. Winn and his family are strong in faith and belong to the Word of Faith Christian Center. One of his greatest enjoyments is watching his older son George Winn II play professional football.