Board of Directors

Executive Director NKwanda Jah

N’Kwanda Jah which means “The Rebirth of the Spirit of God, meaning everything with life in it” was born Mary Ann Bryant and raised in Grandin Florida where I enjoyed and learned to love and appreciate the wild open precious outdoor spaces of land. I am the daughter of Mary Bryant and the mother of Pamela and Phillip, grandmother of 13, great grandmother of 6 soon to be 7. And in my line of business, a host of young people that I have been blessed to work with like Xavier Monroe, soon to be Dr. Monroe. Dr. Alexis Amaye Obu, Chanae Baker, Tina Certain,  In my Science clubs and other programs I am working with  2nd generation I am blessed to serve.

I attended Central Academy, James A Long and Central Academy High in Palatka, Melrose High, Interlachen High, and Santa Fe Community College.

I have served on numerous advisory Board for the City of Gainesville including housing, Recreation, Arts and various Task forces like EEO Charter Office

I have also served on; Acrosstown Repertory Theatre, Black Aids Services and Education, City of Gainesville Recreation Board, Three Rivers Legal Services, City of Gainesville Community Development Board, City of Gainesville Commission on the Status of Women, City of Gainesville Beautification Board, Art in Public Trust and  National Organization for Women.  I have been a workshop presenter at the 4th  Women World Conference  in China, Rural Development Leadership Network at Univ of Calif at Davis, San Antonio Texas, Taos New Mexico, and last year at the United Nations Conference on the Status of Women in New York.

I have had the humble honor of touring Goree Island (prison for captured Africans to transport and sell as enslaved people.  I also toured Egypt to include the Giza Pyramids, The Nile Valley River and the temple of Queen Hatshepsut and  Egyptian Kings. In 2018 I traveled and toured Ghana and Cuba.

I presently serve on Lake Forest Student Advisory Committee, Chair the NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Board member of Community Weatherization, Resilience Charter School Board of Directors and a member of Rural Development Leadership Network, Board member Working Food and Women for Wise Growth member of our local Education Task Force and Community Weatherization Coalition..

I am working with individuals across the continent in Africa Australia New York Michigan, Alachua and Gainesville to raise awareness and lead actions to help the environment.

I am a Cofounder and Executive Director for Cultural Arts Coalition a,  41 year old nonprofit. We created the Annual 5th Ave Arts Festival (we will celebrate our 41st year April 2020 under the direction of Courtney Scott, the Festival is also a part of a permanent exhibit in the Library of Congress in Washington DC). , tours to Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Black History programs, Kwanzas, African American Men in the Public Schools, Girl Power, Environmental Youth Summit, the Environmental Ambassadors (a 30 year old teen job training program) and presently 7 Science Clubs for Elementary students in East Gainesville. Science clubs are at; Caring and Sharing School,  Clarence Kelly Center, Library, Wilhelmina Johnson Center Boys and Girls Club at Sugar Hill and Resilience School.

As chair of NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee. We have hosted community forums of up to 200 people about healthy accessible food, clean energy and the climate Crisis.

Awards include; Ebony Appreciation Award, Alachua Conservation Trust Conservation Steward Award, Nkwanda Jah Day in the City of Gainesville, Florida Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers Award,  National Association of Social Workers Gainesville Chapter Public Citizen Award, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc Gainesville Alumnae Chapter Community Service Award. Gainesville Sun Art Person of the Year, Gainesville Commission of the Status of Women Sojourner Truth Award, Rosa Parks Quiet Courage Award and the NAACP  Alachua County Community Service Award,

President Anthony Greene, PhD

Dr. Greene, a psychologist at the UF’s Counseling & Wellness Center, is very keen on balance with intensity; he strives to work really hard, play really hard, and rest with enthusiasm. His day begins with seeking a place of inner peace through spiritual solitude, and he tries to maintain that place throughout the day regardless of what else occurs. He also enjoys oil painting for his more aesthetic creative needs and is very active in his place of worship.

Vice President Tony Jones

Gainesville Police Chief Jones began as a Cadet and moved up through the ranks to Chief. He was one of the original founders of the Reichert House, has served on numerous Boards in the community and has received numerous local national and international awards including Outstanding Police Chiefs Internationally, and local MLK Community award.

Secretary LaKesha P. Thomas, Esq.

Director of the Low Income Tax Clinic at Three Rivers Legal Services (TRLS), and through TRLS, she works as a contract attorney with Santa Fe College advising students on a variety of legal matters. Her sheer joy is volunteering with children and empowering her community through legal advocacy. She believes in reaching for the stars, because this way we will never stop growing, learning, and achieving our dreams.

Treasurer Roberta Gastmeyer

Owner of local bookkeeping service, volunteers services to CAC. An active member of Sierra Club, has local and statewide Board experience.

Agnes Leslie   Administrator at UF African Studies Dept.,

Has marketing skills and has been supportive of CAC for more than 2 decades. She has Board experience

Barbara McDade Gordon    Professor UF Geography Dept.

Barbara has served on a number of Gainesville community nonprofits boards and a long time supporter of CAC

Barbara Jessie

Barbara, retired after more than 30 years employment at Santa Fe College, most recently as Executive Assistant to Vice President Student Affairs. She has also served on PACE and United Way Boards and is a long-time supporter of CAC.

Mary Alford

Mary graduated from the University of Florida with a Masters of Engineering, specializing in Environmental Engineering and with additional background in Urban and Regional Planning and Process Engineering. After working in Water and Wastewater for Gainesville Regional Utilities, she moved to Progress Energy as an Environmental Analyst, then in Power Plant Operations Management, and finally in Power Plant Construction, managing environmental compliance.

Dr. Michael V. Bowie

Dr. Bowie is the Executive Director of the Florida Fund for Minority Teachers, Inc, and the Director of the Office of Recruitment, Retention, and Multicultural Affairs for the College of Education at the University of Florida. He advocates for funding for educational programs, is responsible for raising $3 million in scholarships per year and hosts an annual conference for minorities in teacher education programs. His interest in education became a passion through his experiences with the College Reach-Out Program (CROP), a program for economically and academically disadvantaged youth, where he has served as a former coordinator, instructor and summer camp counselor. Dr. Bowie serves as the UF administrator for the College Reach-Out Program. As President and Founder of Black AIDS Services and Education, Inc., President of the Alachua County Branch of the N.A.A.C.P., Board Member of the Cultural Arts Coalition, and State Education Committee Member of the NAACP, Dr. Bowie is a pillar in the Alachua County and Gainesville communities. He has received hundreds of awards and honors.

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