Rev. Dr. Sidney Williams, Jr.
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.
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.
Partner, Johnson Lambert LLP
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.”
Co-founder of Crossing Capital Group and The Oikos Institute
Christal M. Jackson
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.
Rev. Jeanette Stokes
Executive Director, Resource Center for Women and Ministry in the South
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
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.
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.
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.
Operations and Training Manager
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.