- Rev. Dr. Tamara England Wilson, D.Min., Chair – Baltimore City
- Russell Frisby, Jr. Esq., Vice Chair – Howard County
- Iris Leigh Barnes, Ph. D. – Harford County
- Lynn Groesbeck Bowman-Allegany County
- Maya Davis – Prince George’s County
- Janice Curtis Greene – Baltimore County
- Marilyn Hatza – Baltimore City
- Edwin T. Johnson – Baltimore City
- Melvin Kelly – Anne Arundel County
- Steven X. Lee – Baltimore County
- Lopez D. Matthews, Jr., PhD – Baltimore County
- Cheryl A. McLeod – Howard County
- Kweisi Mfume – Baltimore City
- Dr. Barbara Paca, O.B.E.-Talbot County
- Tony J. Spencer – Anne Arundel County
- Elinor L. Thompson – Anne Arundel County
- Reggie Turner – Washington County
Rev. Tamara England Wilson, D. Min.,Chair
Rev. Dr. Tamara England Wilson is the pastor of Nu Season Nu Day Church & Ministries. She is also the found of Journey Ministries, Inc., which provides programming to empower women to embrace their authentic selves in order to fulfill their purpose and achieve their personal best. The author of The Journey To Self: Who Knows What A Woman Can Be When She is Free To Be Herself, Rev. Wilson holds degrees from the University of Maryland at College Park, St. Mary’s Seminary and University, and United Theological Seminary. She is a very passionate advocate for the preservation, strengthening, and empowering of the African American community and devotes much of her time working with various community and civic organizations.
Russell Frisby, Jr., Esq., Vice Chair
Commissioner Frisby is an attorney and partner in the Stinson Leonard Street firm in its Washington, DC location. His focus is on regulatory and corporate matters affecting entities in the communications, energy and technology areas. He represents clients in a wide variety of proceedings before the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Energy, state utility commissions and federal courts. As part of his practices, he also has served as special telecommunications counsel to several large municipalities and has testified before several Congressional committees on various issues. Commissioner Frisby previously served as chairman of the Maryland Public Service Commission.
Long involved in civic affairs in Maryland and a member of the Pepco Board, Commissioner Frisby has a familial connection to the Banneker-Douglass Museum. Commissioner Frisby’s grandfather, Dr. Herbert M. Frisby, donated his historic collection of Arctic artifacts to the Banneker-Douglass Museum and the third floor of the building is named after Dr. Frisby.
Lynn Groesback Bowman
Allegany County’s Commissioner, Lynn Groesback Bowman, is an associate professor of English and Speech at Allegany College of Maryland. In response to the deficiencies she saw in Western Maryland’s diversity education, she began to research the area’s African American history through primary documents and first-person interviews. Her research has led to four books: Being Black in Brownsville: Echoes of a “forgotten” Frostburg (2011), Crossing into the Promised Land: An Appalachian African American History (2012), Living the Lie: Separate but Equal in Cumberland, Maryland (2013) and Everyone Counts: A history of African American enslavement in Allegany County, Maryland (2018). In addition to researching and writing, Bowman also lectures regularly in Western Maryland, northern West Virginia and southwestern Pennsylvania. Her first book, which details the dissolution of the Brownsville community in Frostburg for the expanding Frostburg State University, has led to a reparations movement planned to culminate in a permanent monument to the community on campus. Another outcome of that movement has been the development of a traveling theatrical/teaching event, the Brownsville Project, through the Meta Theatre Company of New Jersey. Through Bowman’s work, local African American history has also been incorporated into the curriculum of a variety of Frostburg State University departments.
Janice Curtis Greene
Janice Curtis Greene is an award winning Author and Master storyteller, and an American Griot. She has been telling African, African American and Multicultural stories locally, nationally, and internationally for over 25 years. She is the immediate Past President of the Griots’ Circle of Maryland, Inc. and a Life Member and President-Elect of the National Association of Black Storytellers. Janice mesmerizes her audience with folktales, song, dance, audience participation, original stories, and Bible Stories set to syncopated Rap rhythms. Janice has performed with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra and is also known for her portrayals of historical African American females such as Harriett Tubman, Rosa Parks, Phillis Wheatley, Juanita Jackson Mitchell and Mother Mary Lange foundress of the Oblate Sister of Providence. Website:www.janicethegriot.com
Marilyn Hatza is a native of Cambridge, Maryland where she attended Dorchester County public schools and graduated from Cambridge-South Dorchester High School. She earned a Bachelors of Arts degree in Africana Studies from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) and a Master of Arts degree in Historic Preservation from Delaware State University.
For many years, she served as the assistant Registrar for the Howard County Center of African American Culture where she supported the routine processing and database maintenance of over 6,000 objects. Mrs. Hatza later worked as the Archivist for The Afro-American Newspapers (AFRO), developing a multi-year initiative to describe and digitize content of the newspaper’s archives. As Preservation Services Director for Preservation Maryland, Marilyn served as the Grants Administrator and provided technical assistance and preservation recommendation to stewards of historic properties. She is currently employed as the Program Office for Grants and Strategic Partnerships at Maryland Humanities, where she is responsible for the Grant Program and community outreach.
Marilyn resides with her husband, Greg, in Baltimore City.
Edwin T. Johnson, PhD
Edwin T. Johnson was born in Washington, DC., and grew up in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. He is a product of the Prince George’s County Public Schools. A 1988 graduate of Crossland High School, Johnson was active in student government, serving as the county’s third Student Member on the Board of Education.
Johnson is a graduate of Morgan State University Honors Program, completing his undergraduate studies in 1992 with a B.A. Speech Communication. He was listed twice in Who’s Who Among American University and College Students. Johnson then earned a M.A. in Mass Communications from nearby Towson State University in 1996. Johnson then returned to Morgan and earned a second M.A. in African American Studies, and the PhD in History in 2003 and 2009 respectively.
Johnson has spent most of his professional career as a higher education administrator. He has served as an Admissions Director, Disability Support Services Coordinator, and an Assistant Dean. For more than 20 years, his work has primarily served non-traditional students to include: at-risk males, minorities, first-generation college attendees, adult learners, veterans and disabled students. His research included: the systematic disenfranchisement of African Americans, African American male identity, African American secret societies, and the African American experience in public education. Johnson has taught at several Maryland universities and colleges. He is currently an Associate Adjunct Professor at the University of Maryland University College where he teaches both African American and U.S. History. Johnson currently works full-time as the Assistant University Archivist/University Historian at Morgan State University.
Melvin L. Kelly
Commissioner Melvin L. Kelly grew up in Howard County. After graduating from Harriet Tubman High School, he spent two years at Johns Hopkins University McCoy College and then enlisted in the U. S. Air Force. After his honorable discharge, he and his wife moved to her hometown in Severn where he led a successful nine year (1967-1976) effort to construct a new Metropolitan United Methodist church building campaign. Melvin worked for Litton Industries in College Park. Commissioner Kelly left his career of electrical engineering to own his business of residential waste removal which was on the Baltimore Sun’s list of the “Top 50 Minority Businesses in Baltimore”.
Commissioner Kelly served on the Board of Directors for Annapolis and Anne Arundel County, Chamber of Commerce, and the Anne Arundel Community College Foundation. He also served as chairman of the board for Mount Washington Pediatric Hospital and the University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center.
Currently Commissioner Kelly is chairman of the Fairfield Outreach and Sponsors Association, a nationwide organization that fundraises for the Fairfield Children’s Home at the United Methodist Mission at Old Mutare in Zimbabwe. Commissioner Kelly resides in Severn with his wife Regina. They have a daughter, a grandson, and a granddaughter.
Steven X. Lee
A native of Baltimore City, Commissioner Steven Xavier Lee graduated from Northwest School there. He earned his Bachelors of Fine Arts degree from the School of Fine Arts at Howard University, a degree he earned while working as a news reporter at WHUR Radio. Commissioner Lee furthered earned a Master’s of Science degree in exhibition design from Pratt Institute in New York while being employed as a graphic artist and exhibit designer.
In the span of his career the work of Commissioner Lee includes: exhibits for the Studio Museum of Harlem and the National Conference of Artists; work as the Art & Animation Director for Le Centre Bossuet in France (a cultural/medical center for French immigrants living in Paris); teaching as an instructor at the University of Maryland; he served as the Assistant Curator for Baltimore City, as well as the director for the Foundation for Minority Film and The Heritage Museum. More recently he concluded a 15-year tenure as the Founding Director of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum in Oella, Maryland. He has received numerous awards and recognition for his work developed in exhibitions, cultureal and environmental preservation.
Currently Mr. Lee resides in Baltimore’s historic Gwynn Falls Stream Valley, where he continues to work in diverse projects for heritage and environmental conservation and education.
Lopez Matthews, PhD
Born in Baltimore, Maryland, Lopez D. Matthews, Jr. earned his BA in history from Coppin State University in 2004, a master’s degree in Public History in 2006, and a PhD in United States History from Howard University in 2009. He has worked for the Maryland State Archives, National Archives, the Humanities Council of Washington, DC, and as an archivist in the Howard University Archives. Currently, he is the Digital Production Librarian for the Howard University Libraries and the Moorland-Spingarn Research Center. He is also an adjunct professor at Coppin State University, where he teaches courses in United States, African American, and World histories.
Cheryl A. McLeod
Commissioner Cheryl A. McLeod graduated from Prince George’s County Public Schools, and the University of Baltimore School of Law. She received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Non-Violent Conflict and Change & Sociology from Syracuse University in upstate New York. As a UniServ Director for the Maryland State Education Association (MSEA), she has supported educators in Montgomery, Howard, Frederick, Carroll, and Washington Counties in collective bargaining, advocacy, professional learning, dispute resolution, and training.
Commissioner McLeod has served as a judge in the Howard County Black Saga competition and has established a strong relationship with the docents of the Banneker-Douglass Museum. She has worked diligently on the grassroots efforts to name the “Thurgood Marshall BWI Airport” and to establish the Thurgood Marshall Tribute at Lawyers Mall in Annapolis.
Each February, the McLeod Family hosts activities, lectures, discussions, and networking for Black History Month, commonly known as, “The McLeod Black Experience.” She has also provided Cultural Diversity Awareness training for community organizations throughout Maryland.
Commissioner McLeod has travelled to Africa and the Caribbean with the People to People Ambassador Program, and with Syracuse Alumni, providing resources to developing schools and communities. She has served as mediator for the Maryland Commission on Human Rights, and has advocated against discrimination and bias. As a strong social justice and citizenship advocate, Ms. McLeod serves as an election observer and provides voter rights protection in many states throughout the country.
Dr. Barbara Paca, O.B.E.
Dr. Barbara Paca is a full research professor in the Dept. of Anthropology at the University of Maryland, College Park. She runs a private practice in sustainable landscape and architectural design in Maryland and Manhattan. Dr. Paca was recognized by Her Majesty the Queen with an Order of the British Empire in 2018 for her lifetime achievement of working to preserve culture and heritage in the Carribean.
Dr. Paca has a PhD in art history from Princeton University, a professional five-year degree in landscape architecture, and is the author of four books. Further to that, she has been awarded numerous postdoctoral fellowships, including a Fullbright Scholarship and a post at Princeton’s Institute for Advanced Study, as well as status an Expert Member at ICOMOS in Archaelogy and also Cultural Landscapes.
She currently serves as Cultural Envoy to Antigua and Barbuda, In that capacity, Paca is also the curator for Antigua and Barbuda’s National Pavilion at the Venice Biennale in 2017, 2018, and 2019, where the visitation numbers exceeded the population of the island nation. She was guest curator to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum’s touring exhibition: Revelations of African American Life in Maryland and the World under the patronage of Eddie and Sylvia Brown. All of her exhibitions have been well received for the positive outcomes of their inclusive message, and have enjoyed record-breaking attendance.
Reggie Turner is the founder and president of Turner Wealth Management located in Hagerstown, Maryland. He has been a financial advisor for 18 years. Prior to founding Turner Wealth Management, he spent his career as an advisor for a Wall Street wealth management firm and two Fortune 500 banks as a Vice President. His focus is on retirement planning, protection planning, and wealth building strategies. He has served as an advisor for HBCU investment clubs, presented seminars for major corporations (such as Burlington Northern Santa Fe, Potomac Edison, and a host of other companies) as well as mentored children’s groups on the basics of investing.
Commissioner Turner served on the board of the Boys and Girls Club in Martinsburg, WV and has served four years as the president of the Doleman Black Heritage Museum in Hagerstown, Maryland. He continues to be involved in his community as an advocate for African American preservation and economic empowerment.
Currently, Mr. Turner resides in Hagerstown, Maryland with his two daughters, Kayla and Sidney as he prepares to marry the love of his life Stacie and her daughter Emoni. He has coached boy’s and girl’s youth basketball and continues to serve his community in many facets.