Board

Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams Jr

Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, Jr.

Chair
Founder of Crossing Capital Group and The Oikos Institute

Rev. Dr. Sidney S. Williams, Jr. is an impact investor and theologian with more than 30+ years of experience in corporate and community development. Taking advantage of his early experience working on Wall Street, where he learned how to develop sustainable business models, Williams is known for making a continuous effort to identify where theological and marketplace frameworks should interact. He is the Chief Executive Officer of Crossing Capital Group, Inc. and currently serving in his 10th year as the senior pastor of Bethel Church of Morristown (NJ). He previously pastored churches in Cape Town, South Africa while serving as a missionary with his family.

He is the author of two books – Morning Meditations: 100 Days to Believing You’re Successful and Fishing Differently: Ministry Formation in the Marketplace. He is committed to the study of theology and economics and has lectured in graduate business programs and seminaries, as well as consulted with corporate executives from Asia, Europe and the United States.

Read more about Dr.Williams here.

Rev Jon Robinson
Rev. Jon Robinson

Vice-Chair

The Reverend Jon Robinson is an Ordained Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and has been actively engaged in ministry since accepting his call to preach in November 2000. He currently serves as the pastor of St. Peter’s AME Church in Minneapolis, MN.

Community building and outreach are a central focus of Rev. Robinson’s ministry. To more fully address some of the issues affecting young people, Rev. Robinson founded and currently serves as the President and C.E.O. of The Building Up Our Youth Foundation, (B.U.O.Y. – www.buoyfoundation.org) a non-profit, 501 (c) 3 youth services organization that develops young people educationally, socially and spiritually.

Rev. Robinson has established church and nonprofit partnerships with local and national businesses, foundations, and schools to provide opportunities for middle and high school students to participate in programs that develop their knowledge base, and skill sets in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM), and business and leadership development.

Rev. Robinson also leads short-term mission trips, exposing young people to the importance of service and meeting the needs of God’s people around the world.

Rev. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Arts in Management degree from Benedictine University in Lisle, IL and a Master of Divinity Degree from Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary in Evanston, IL. He also holds certifications in youth ministry from Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ, and church leadership and nonprofit management from the Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management in Evanston, IL.

Rev. Robinson is an international preacher and teacher who has shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with people from all over the world, including Jamaica, Guatemala, The Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda. He and his wife Michelle have been married for 17 years and reside in the Twin Cities.

Andrea Wright
Rev. Andrea Wright, CPA, DMBA, DM.Div.
Treasurer
Partner, Johnson Lambert LLP
Andrea has earned the following degrees: D Masters of Divinity-Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary. D Masters of Business Administration (Finance)-Morgan State University, and D Bachelor of Business (Accounting)-Howard University.

She is currently matriculating through Garrett Evangelical Theological Seminary where she expects to earn the Doctor of Ministry degree in 2022.

Andrea is a certified public accountant and audit partner with Johnson Lambert LLP where she serves as the firm’s lead partner for the not-for-profit and governmental industry practice and as the office managing partner for the firm’s Chicagoland area office.

Andrea is a passionate advocate for under-represented persons. She has received numerous awards and recognition for her financial and gender justice advocacy work and has served on several boards which give voice to the voiceless, including the African American Legacy Fund of the Chicago Community Trust, Grace Center and Coppin Community Center. Andrea holds active memberships in Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, Illinois CPA Society, and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Andrea is ordained for Word and Sacrament in the Progressive Baptist Church. She currently serves as an associate minister at Coppin Memorial AME Church. Her ministry is guided by the words found in Luke 4:18-19 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim release to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

Richard Babcock
Richard Babcock
Secretary
Co-founder of Crossing Capital Group and The Oikos Institute
Richard has a 30+ year professional career which includes senior management roles in operations, sales & marketing, project management, and corporate consulting. A certified Church Consultant and Coach, Richard is a ceaseless student of Christian leadership, practical ministry, and the Bible. Having had the opportunity to work with organizations of various sizes and types, he has developed expertise in addressing diverse developmental needs and leading successful change management initiatives that achieve desired outcomes.
Christal M. Jackson

Christal M. Jackson

Board Member
Founder, Head and Heart Philanthropy and Mosaic Genius

For nearly two decades, Christal M. Jackson has had a fulfilling career serving in the social impact sector. She is the founder of Head and Heart Philanthropy (HHP), a social impact agency focused on improving social, economic and educational outcomes for communities of color. Realizing the need to scale this work, she also founded Mosaic Genius, which is building a sustainable ecosystem for wealth-building in communities of color around the world by connecting and supporting emerging and established venture capitalists, increasing the number of diverse entrepreneurs who are building wealth, and creating a more sustainable impact economy for all.

Recently, she was recognized by Essence Magazine for her ability to convene and curate the best and brightest in this sector. Christal attributes her success to having been groomed for leadership by the church – from serving as an intern with the Children’s Defense Fund to creating a marketplace for multi-million dollar initiatives focused on solving complicated social issues.

Nearly ten years ago, she became an entrepreneur by launching Jackson and Associates Group, LLC, a boutique fund development and branding firm focused on serving the philanthropic needs of socially conscious individuals and community organizations. This venture was the launching pad to her working with some of the biggest names in sports, politics and entertainment.

Christal is one of EBONY magazine’s Future 30 Leaders of America. Her work in the social impact sector has garnered numerous awards and recognition. She is the author of Women of Color Pray: Voices of Strength, Faith, Healing, Hope, and Courage, and serves on multiple boards including Harlem Tech Fund, Motown Museum National Leadership Council, Generation USA and the Africa America Institute. Christal holds a dual degree in Psychology and Religion from Spelman and a Master of Theological Studies from Duke.

Jeanette Stokes

Rev. Jeanette Stokes

Board Member
Executive Director, Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
The day Jeanette graduated from Duke Divinity School in 1977, she turned to some friends and said, “They’ll be sorry.” With only an inkling of what she would do next, she felt sure it would have something to do with women, faith, and social justice. A few months later, she and friends founded the Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South, where she serves as the Executive Director.

Though she is not sure whether anyone was ever sorry they granted her an M.Div., Jeanette is sure that the last four decades of trying to change the landscape of religion in American has had at least some effect. Mostly her work has offered solace and support to others on the journey.

A native of Tulsa, Oklahoma and a graduate of Smith College, Jeanette is the author of three collections of essays, 25 Years in the Garden, 35 Years on the Path, and Just Keep Going, three memoirs, Hurricane Season: Living Through a Broken Heart, Flying Over Home, Following a Female Line, and a book on writing, Just Keep Going: Advice on Writing and Life. She is happier if she spends some time each week walking, writing, painting, and messing around in the garden.

William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA

William W. Towns, Ph.D., MBA

Board Member Adjunct Professor of Social Impact, Kellogg School of Management

Dr. William Towns is a scholar, activist, and practitioner, dedicated to helping solve civic and urban issues at the structural level. He believes in the power of increasing access to capital, data, and academic resources to create pathways of opportunity for organizations and individuals to impact communities often overlooked. Using his lived experience, Dr. Towns takes a broad, system-wide approach to problem solving with respect to equitable community development.

Over the course of his career, he has managed more than $800 million in capital directed at reversing economic disparities and racial discrimination across the Chicago region. He has developed multiple corporate strategic plans, directing resources to local organizations to help solve complex civic issues.

He is the Managing Director of 4S Bay Partners, LLC’s Chi-Town Impact, a private equity fund that invests in women and minority operating businesses utilizing the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017’s Opportunity Zones.

Dr. Towns received his Bachelor’s in marketing from Loyola University Chicago – Quinlan School of Business, an MBA from the University of Notre Dame Mendoza School of Business, and a Ph.D. in Organization Development from Benedictine University.

His goal is to use his research to help cities, anchor institutions, corporations, and non-profits to develop policies and initiatives that welcome in those who stand just outside the door of opportunity to the table of prosperity.

Alan Ferguson

Alan Ferguson, Sr., MBA, MS, BA

Board Member
President and CEO, Atlanta Habitat for Humanity

Alan Ferguson brings extensive experience and expertise in affordable housing, neighborhood revitalization and community development. He was named President and CEO of Atlanta Habitat for Humanity in July 2022. As Atlanta Habitat creates future-forward solutions to address Atlanta’s affordable housing availability, Alan’s vision to help educate Atlanta’s communities around economic mobility and income equality will help all Atlantans realize their ability to create economic stability and growth within their own households.

Alan formerly worked at Invest Atlanta, and during his 8-year commitment to the organization, led teams focused on building vibrant communities and increasing economic prosperity for all Atlantans. Throughout his career, his dedication and focus to completing transactions in the areas of housing, commercial real estate, business finance, public finance, and equity investments furthered his broad experience in community and economic development leadership.

Alan holds a Bachelor of Arts in Banking & Finance from Morehouse College, an MBA from The Goizueta Business School at Emory University, and a Master of Science in Real Estate from the J. Mack Robinson School of Business at Georgia State University. Alan pursued doctoral studies (ABD) in Real Estate Finance at Georgia State University and is currently completing his dissertation requirements for a Ph.D. in Entrepreneurship & Innovation at The University of the Cumberlands.

Alan is married to Janelle and they have two beautiful children.

Staff

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount

Co-Founder and Executive Director, The Oikos Institute

Rev. Dr. Reginald Blount serves on the faculty of Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary as Associate Professor of Formation, Leadership and Culture and teaches in the area of Christian Education, Congregational Leadership and Youth and Young Adult Ministry. He further serves the seminary as Program Director of the Garrett Young Adult Initiative (funded by the Lilly Endowment) and serves as advisor for the Doctor of Ministry in Strategic Leadership in Black Congregations.

Dr. Blount is also the Pastor of Arnett Chapel African Methodist Episcopal (A.M.E.) Church in Chicago, IL and serves the A.M.E. Church Fourth Episcopal District as Program Director of its Thriving in Ministry Initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment. Dr. Blount, across his many roles—which he considers all one ministry—serves as a catalyst for hope, transformation, and vocation. He speaks and teaches nationally and internationally helping faith communities envision new and creative ways to minister to, with and on behalf of young people, engage in transformative Christian Education and foster congregational and community renewal and social impact. He is a contributor in “Making God Real for a Next Generation: Ministry with Millennials Born from 1982 to 1999” (Discipleship Resources, 2003), “Educating For Redemptive Community” (Wipf & Stock, 2015) and Co-Editor of “Let Your Light Shine: Mobilizing for Justice with Children and Youth” (Friendship Press, 2019)

Read more about Dr.Blount here.

Rev. Regena Thornton
Rev. Regena Thornton

Operations and Training Manager

Regena served for 37 years in the Department of Justice, leading training, learning and project development, before retiring in 2021. She was ordained an Itinerant Elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church in 2013 and she currently serves on the ministerial staff at New Hope A.M.E. Church, Waldorf, MD, under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Derrick Brown.

Regena holds a Bachelors degree from Grambling State University and two Master degrees (Practical Theology and Education) from Regent University. She is the mother of two adult daughters and currently resides in Waldorf, MD.

Rev. Dr. Susan Hillary Buckson

Rev. Dr. Susan Hillary Buckson

Regional Coordinator – Atlanta

Susan is a gifted educator who enjoyed a productive 29-year career in public education that started in Baltimore City Public Schools and concluded in the Atlanta Public Schools after serving as a classroom teacher, cooperative teacher mentor, Magnet School Coordinator, Instruction Coach, and Assistant Principal.

Susan answered God’s call to the preaching ministry in 1999 at Waters A. M. E. Church in the Baltimore Annual Conference under then pastor, Rev. Ronald E. Braxton. In 2019, Bishop Reginald T. Jackson appointed Susan as pastor of Allen Temple A.M.E. Church in Atlanta, GA. Susan serves as the first woman to serve in the church’s history. She is the author of The Lenten Experience: A 40-Day Revival and My Praise is My S.W.A.G: A Bible-based curriculum for youth and young adults. In addition, Susan has served as a workshop presenter for the A.M.E. Church on both the district and conference levels with a critical focus on empowering components toward innovative, practical ministry.

Susan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Education from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, and her advanced degrees include a MA in Curriculum and Instruction from Coppin State College, Master of Divinity with a concentration in Theology from The Interdenominational Theological Center, and a Doctor of Ministry from Payne Theological Seminary with a concentration in Adaptive Leadership.

Hanna Broome
Rev. Hanna R. Broome

Regional Coordinator – North Carolina

Rev. Hanna R. Broome, is a native of Spartanburg, SC, and an ordained Elder in the Central North Carolina Conference in Eastern North Caroli-na Episcopal District of the A.M.E. Zion Church. Rev. Broome is a graduate of the University of South Carolina-Upstate with a BA Degree in Information Systems Management. She received her Master of Divini-ty Degree in Biblical Leadership from Columbia International Seminary. Rev. Broome is currently in her Doctoral studies at Drew Theological Seminary.

Rev. Broome’s previous pastorate includes Smalls Chapel AME Zion Church, Winnsboro, SC and Catawba Chapel AME Zion Church, Ca-tawba, SC. Rev. Broome was elevated to Presiding Elder in November of 2016-2021 in the Eastern North Carolina Episcopal District under the leadership of Bishop Kenneth Monroe.

She holds current offices and positions in numerous organizations which include the National Faith and Justice Organizer of Repairers of the Breach, Church Growth and Development of the AME Zion, Faith Communities for the North Carolina Poor People’s Campaign Moral Movement, NAACP, Department of the Governing Board of the NC Council of Churches, National Council of Negro Women, and Faith Leaders of Color against the Death Penalty. She is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated.

Rev. Broome is the proud mother of three sons and six grandchildren.

Challis Bradford
Rev. Dr. Challis Bradford

Regional Coordinator – Dallas County

Rev. Dr. Bradford is a Student, Prayer Warrior, Preacher, Psalmist, Teacher, and the servant Pastor to the wonderful people of Greater Garth A.M.E. Church, Dallas, TX. She earned a Business Administration (BA) degree with a focus in Accounting and a Master of Business Arts (MBA) degree with a focus in Finance from Letourneau University. She earned a Master of Arts in Ministry degree (MAM) with a focus in Social Justice and Theology from Perkins School of Theology on the campus of Southern Methodist University. She earned a Doctor of Ministry degree (DMin) from Payne Theological Seminary.

Rev. Dr. Bradford serves as the AME North Texas Board of Examiners Assistant Dean, Greater Dallas District Treasurer, Tenth Future Inc. board member, North Texas conference Board of Trustees Treasurer, Tenth District Finance Team, Tenth District Board of Trustees, and a member of the AME Church General Board. She along with other partners combat the food insecurities in “Our” neighborhood by launching the Seeds Of Faith Community Garden in South Dallas.

Rev. Dr. Bradford serves as Chaplain for the Dallas Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.. She also serves on the National Chaplains Council, Regional Chaplains Council, and she serves as the Texas/New Mexico State Chaplain. She is on the Board of Directors as the Parliamentarian for the Dallas Fort Worth Chapter of the National Coalition of 100 Black Women. Professionally, she is a Control and Reporting Analyst.

She is married to Terry and they have three beautiful children and two grandchildren.

Mashod Evans

Rev. Mashod A. Evans, Sr.

Regional Coordinator – Detroit
Rev. Evans is a native of Hillside, New Jersey. After graduating from Blair Academy in Blairstown, New Jersey he matriculated to Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey as a James D. Carr Scholar, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in History. He also holds a Master of Divinity from Turner Theological Seminary in Atlanta, Georgia. During his undergraduate and graduate career, Rev. Evans was extremely active in extracurricular activities and held leadership roles in numerous student organizations.

A life-long and fifth generation member of the African Methodist Episcopal Church. Rev. Evans answered a call to the ministry at the age of eighteen. He began his ministerial career at St. James AME Church in Newark, New Jersey as a youth minister, and has served on the ministerial staff of Big Bethel AME Church in Atlanta, Georgia, and Charles Street AME Church in Boston, Massachusetts. In 2005, he was assigned to pastor union Chapel AME Church in Newark, New Jersey, where under his administration, the congregation was blessed to undergo a renovation of their worship facility and experience tremendous growth.

In November of 2008, the Rt. Rev. James L. Davis, appointed Rev. Evans as the senior pastor of Saint John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Birmingham, Alabama, where he led the congregation in a capital campaign. In June of 2017, Rev. John F. White appointed Rev. Evans as the senior pastor of Bethel A.M.E. Church in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

With a passion for community organizing and engagement, Rev. Evans has served on community boards and non-profit organizations including, the Multi-Cultural Aids Coalition of Boston, Demock Community Health Center in Boston, New Jersey Human Development Corporation, Greater Birmingham Ministries, Alabama Faith In Action, and he has served as chairman of the Union Chapel Community Development Corporation of Newark, New Jersey. He is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha, Fraternity.

He is married to Leslie Michelle Evans and they are the proud parents of two sons.

Kayla Jones

Kayla Jones

Intern

Kayla Jones was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York. She received a Bachelor’s degree in Education and Social Policy from Northwestern University in 2017. Kayla has worked with the Georgia Social Impact Collaborative and GoATL Fund, providing project management, communications, and supporting the organizations’ social impact investing initiatives throughout metro Atlanta. Before this role, Kayla worked as the communications specialist at the Impact Movement and the FAO Schwarz Fellow at Jumpstart for Young Children. Kayla will graduate from Emory University’s dual-degree MDiv/MBA program at Candler School of Theology and Goizueta Business School in December 2022. Her educational and professional experiences reflect a consistent commitment to creating a more just, compassionate, and equitable society. Upon graduation, she plans to pursue a career that intersects education, community programming, social impact, and justice.