Features

Village Council (Board of Directors 2008-2009)
January 1, 2009

Hoffman Moka Lantum, M.D., PhD
Founder/President of the Board, & Chief Curator
Moka is employed as Director of Practice Variance in a not-for-profit Healthcare Management Organization. Dr. Hoffman obtained his medical degree in Cameroon, Africa and his doctorate in Pharmacology from the University of Rochester.

J. Bediaku (J.B.) Afoh Manin, Esq.
Board Member
J.B., is an attorney, and is currently an Adjunct Professor at Monroe Community College in the departments of Criminal Justice and History and SUNY Geneseo in the department of political science and International Relations. J.B. earned his BA from Michigan State University in American Public Affairs with a specialization in History and Political Science, and his law degree from Queens College in NYC, with a special interest in International Affairs and Criminal law.

Terry Chaka
Board Member, Co-chair, School Outreach Initiative; Gallery Curator
Ms. Chaka, a Rochester, N.Y. native, is a visual and performing artist and interior designer. She received her formal education in art education at the State University College at Buffalo. She has exhibited her works in Rochester, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. She became involved in theater performance and production in Buffalo community theater during the 1970ís and established a strong arts program, including acting, dance, and visual art for a YMCA teens. In the early 1980ís she managed a gift shop in Los Angeles for an interior designer. Ms. Chaka taught parenting programs in the Rochester City School District for more than ten years. She saw a need for cultural awareness and self-esteem building for families and in 1986 co-founded Kitabu Kingdom, Rochesterís first African-American bookstore. The bookstore also sold art, provided custom framing services, and offered educational workshops for area school districts and other organizations. As an interior designer, Ms. Chaka has designed residential and business interiors and participated in the 2008 Rochester Philharmonic (RPO) Designer Showcase. She is currently a volunteer curator and community liaison for cultural education at the Baobab Culture Center. She is also president of the local chapter of the National Conference of Artists.

Chereeze Hall
Board Member, Youth Voices Coordinator
A thirteen year veteran of the Rochester City School District, Ms. Hall coordinates the Youth Voices dialogue series, specifically designed to educate and empower youth on issues of civic engagement.

Mary Ho
Board Member
Ms. Ho is founder and president of the China Millennium Council, www.chinafrontier.com. A leading advocate of diversity initiatives and educational advancement, Ms. Ho spearheads innovative educational, business and cultural programs for the global community. Her consultancy includes development of cross-cultural communication and training strategies, and diversity competency programs. She is a graduate of Cornell University and the University of Rochester.

Steve Humphrey
Board Member, Community Outreach
Steve is a dancer, teacher, and dance coach. He is the remaining original member of world renowned Garth Fagan Dance. As a 36 year veteran of the company, Steve had danced all over the world to critical acclaim and has had numerous roles created for him by Mr. Fagan. He is one of the first Bessie Award (New York Dance and Performance Award) recipients. He sits on the SOTA Dance Departmentís annual adjudication committee.


Mara Posner Metzger
Board Member, School Outreach Initiative Committee Co-Chair
Mrs. Metzger serves as President/Director of Human Resources, Jet X Courier & Delivery, a certified Woman-Owned business. Previously, she worked as an independent grant-writing consultant (from 2000-2002) for various not-for-profit organizations based in Rochester and Washington, DC. She also worked as the Community Relations Manager for Wilson Commencement Park from 1999-2000.
Before moving back to Rochester in 1998, Mara lived and worked in Washington DC. Most notably, she worked for the Peace Corps (1990-1995) and the International Foundation for Election Systems (1996-1998). Mara also served as a volunteer in the Peace Corps from 1988-1990, in Mauritania, West Africa.
Mara has a B.A. in Politics from Brandeis University and an M.A. in International Affairs from the George Washington University. She has been involved in many community organizations since moving back to Rochester, including Quad A for Kids, an organization that funds after school activities in poverty-stricken areas of the city. Mara is married to David Metzger, who also works at Jet X, and together they have two daughters. .

Beth Midavaine
Board Member
Beth is an interpreter for the Rochester Institute of Technology. She has a B.S. degree in ASL/English interpreting and is certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. Beth dances and teaches Lindy Hop (a form of swing dancing that originated in the Black Community in the late 1920s) with Groove Juice Swing. She is currently on the Board and is one of the leaders for Roots & Rhythms Club for the Baobab Cultural Center. Beth had a passion for art, literature, language, music, dance and folkloreóspecifically works coming out of various cultures in Africa.

Melinda Phillips
Board Member
Melinda is employed by and affiliated with Rochester City School District, Crestwood Children's Center (of Hillside Children's Center), ROWA (Rochester Outreach Workers Association), AfriKuumba Drum and Dance and Ba Bes Dance.

Ghislaine Radegonde-Eison
Board Member, Film Series Dialogue Committee
Mrs. Radegonde-Eison serves as Program Manager for the Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies at the University of Rochester. The Frederick Douglass Institute for African and African-American Studies was established in 1986 to promote the development of African and African-American studies in undergraduate and graduate education and through advanced research at the University of Rochester.

Douglas Van Roo
Board Member, Gallery Curator
Douglas has worked at IBM for the past 26 years as a Software Support Specialist. He is President and founder of A Jazz Listening Group; President of IBM's Quarter Century Club; volunteer on IBM's Spirit Committee for the Tri State area. He is also an active board member for the Wilson Commencement Parkís Jazz Committee.

Victoria Van Voorhis
Board Member, Membership data and information technology support
CEO, Second Avenue Software
P: 585-419-6527, http://www.secondavesoftware.com/
tory [at] secondavesoftware.com

Ian J. Wilson, M.D.
Board Member & Chair, Community Dialogue Committee
Ian graduated in 1999 at the University of Rochester with a Doctor of Medicine Degree. He is a member of the Society of Interventional Radiology and a member at the Radiological Society of North America.

VOLUNTEERS

Cheryl Kodjo, M.D., MPH
Co-founder
Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics, University of Rochester, NY, Co-founder

Meghan Wagner
Youth Voices Coordinator
Along with board member Chereeze Hall, Meghan coordinates the Youth Voices dialogue series (see above).

ADVISORY

Cecelia Horwitz
Advisory Member and Vice President Emeritus of the Board of Directors
Cecelia is Executive Director for the Center for Future Health at the University of Rochester. As executive director she is responsible for center development and program management. Cecelia's Bachelor's degree is in communications and art history; her Master's in Business Administration (MBA) is in leadership and change management. She has 30 years experience facilitating multi-cultural teams nationally and internationally. Cecelia is a graduate of the Mosaic Partnerships Program and has earned multiple certificates in Diversity Training. (chorwitz@rochester.rr.com)

STAFF

Bethany Butler serves part time for The Baobab Cultural Center, assisting with marketing and fundraising efforts and various administrative tasks. She has a bachelor's degree in Art Studio/Anthropology from S.U.N.Y. Geneseo. Ms. Butler has been involved with arts programming, administration, exhibit curation and marketing/outreach efforts for more than 15 years. Ms. Butler served for eight years as Program, Outreach and Associate Director for the Arts Council for Wyoming County. Her duties at the Arts Council included coordinating arts programs, such as lectures, gallery exhibits, concerts and performances, poetry readings, an online student poetry contest, and numerous other arts and fundraising events. In addition, she served as grants administrator for the councilís Community Arts Grants program and Young Artists Grants program. As a volunteer, Ms. Butler served as president of the Sea Serpent Art Guild, coordinating an annual series of artistsí demonstrations and workshops. Currently, she is employed full time as Industry Services Associate for Grants Office, LLC, a grants services company based in Rochester, NY.