Our Board Of Directors

Marcus Harris

Marcus Harris earned his BS in Pre-Med/Chemistry from Pfeiffer University, in Misenheimer, NC. For more than 20 years, he's served as a volunteer, mentor, philanthropist, and community advocate for a variety of different causes and organizations. 

Marcus started The Lady Oya Foundation, his first nonprofit organization, in 2002. The LOF focused on empowering domestic violence survivors and their families, through such programs as scholarships, community engagement events, and the arts. He's also served on the board of directors for Read Seed, Inc., a nonprofit organization that provides free books to children residing in low-income housing developments.

For more on Marcus, please click here 

Robin White

Robin White has more than 20 years of marketing strategy and commercial analytics experience, mainly in the pharmaceutical industry. She holds a dual BS degree in Theoretical Mathematics and Statistics from the University of Michigan, as well as a Master’s degree in Social Services. She's currently pursuing her PhD in Psychology.

A proud mother of 2 sons, Robin has long advocated for children and families, particularly when it comes to such matters as food security, Internet access at home, and increased educational opportunities. She's fiercely committed to helping members of underserved communities receive the assistance they need.

Robin's main goals are to continue learning, being challenged, and working with great people.

Christopher Hicks

Christopher Hicks is a native North Carolinian, born and raised in Benson. After attending the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he double-majored in Political Science and Communications, Chris graduated from the Saint Louis University School of Law.

His early practice focused on family law, but it also involved criminal defense, civil litigation, competency proceedings, juvenile defense, veteran’s treatment courts, and cases against the Department of Social Services. He's also helped people going through all types of crises, whether divorce, death, addiction, or mental illness.

Chris particularly enjoys practicing family law because it allows him to  pursue his passion of connecting with people who need help during difficult times. He works hard to be a champion for numerous individuals throughout the community in the midst of what can seem like daunting and overwhelming experiences.

Askia Dunnon

Askia Dunnon is a physician with more than 8 years of research experience in industry, government, and academia. He earned his MD from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and is currently pursuing an MPH.

Askia's strong curiosity and ability to rapidly acquire knowledge across various different domains serves his clients well. He maintains strong verbal and written communication skills, with a proven track record of writing and publishing for peer-reviewed publications. 

Askia is an impassioned community advocate and activist, and his commitment to obtaining equity and social justice for all has helped foster positive change in the lives of countless individuals for years.

Barbara Jessie-Black

Barbara Jessie-Black received her BBA from Augusta University, in Augusta, GA, before moving to North Carolina, where she's lived ever since. She earned her MBA from Meredith College, in Raleigh, NC, and became co-founder of a nonprofit organization whose mission it is to search for innovative ways to achieve socioeconomic equalities in communities through holistic and entrepreneurship-based education.

Currently, Barbara is the President/CEO of CommunityWorx (formerly the PTA Thrift Shop, Inc.), a 68-year-old organization dedicated to enriching lives by building collaborative partnerships and transforming charitable donations into educational and community investments. She's also active in the communities in which she lives and works, by serving on several boards and volunteering her time to causes close to her heart.  

Barbara considers herself a "lifelong student" of all things holistic and spiritual, with emphasis on how those concepts influence one's activism.