- 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
- 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
- Kayce Munyeneh – Prince George’s County
- Adi Nkwonta – Baltimore County
- 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.
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
An educator, designer, museologist and writer, Steven Xavier Lee has been a progressive leader for the advancement of multicultural heritage and history for decades. His is a body of work in art & culture that spans teaching, broadcast news reporting; award-winning art, history and science exhibitions; education and cultural institution program development; perfomance and published articles ranging from social commentary to heritage preservation.
A native of Baltimore, Steven X. Lee graduated from Northwestern High School. He earned his bachelor degree from Howard University, Washington, D.C., majoring in Design in the School of Fine Arts, while he worked as a News Reporter at WHUR Radio.
A Master of Science degree was earned at Pratt Institute, New York, where he majored in Exhibition Design & Technology, while employed as a graphic artist and exhibit designer. Special projects included an exhibition designed for the Studio Museum of Harlem and the National Conference of Artists.
Mr. Lee’s career has been dedicated to education, cultural and environmental conservation, and minority community advancement. He has worked: in France as an Art & Animation Director for Le Centre Bossuet (a cultural/medical center for French immigrants living in Paris); as an Instructor at the University of Maryland, University of Baltimore and the Maryland Institute College of Art; as the Assistant Curator for the City of Baltimore; as the Director for the Foundation for Minority Film and The Heritage Museum. After concluding a 14-year tenure as the Founding Director of the Benjamin Banneker Historical Park & Museum in Oella, Mr. Lee now serves as a Commissioner, on the Maryland Commission on African American History & Culture of the Governor’s Office.
In Commissioner Lee’s work as a Project Director withThe Heritage Museum, he has developed and written the first storybook and programming on a free Maryland African American soldier of the American Revolutionary War, ‘The Story of Mr. Thomas Carney’. Residing in Baltimore’s historic Gwynns Falls stream valley forest, Steven X. Lee continues to work in diverse projects for the preservation of our cultural and environmental heritage.
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.
Mrs. Munyeneh started her career as a Grants Management Specialist for the South Carolina Attorney General’s Office, working on Violence Against Women’s Act grants and compliance. She also worked in concert with the South Carolina Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault (SCCADVASA) to support the Hope Lights Project for Sexual Assault Victims.
After relocating to the District of Columbia, Mrs. Munyeneh was hired as the first domestic violence victim advocate for the Metropolitan Police Department. Determined to build the Victim Services Program to a full fledge resource for victims, she worked with a team to address all victimization in the District of Columbia. Instrumental in creating what is now known today as the Victim Services Branch, she held positions with the Metropolitan Police Department and the National Center for Victims of Crime in full-time and part-time positions respectively while also serving as an Adjunct Professor for the Department of Homeland Security’s FLETC Domestic Violence Intervention Program. She acted as a liaison inter-departmentally, created public policy and education initiatives, as well as advocated on behalf of victims of violent crime and vulnerable adults. In her tenure, she has served over forty thousand victims of crime.
Mrs. Munyeneh also extended her advocacy role to supporting her colleagues and staff when she was elected as Chief Shop Steward of the National Association for Government Employees. She served as a Certified EEO Counselor to all District of Columbia employees which laid the groundwork for labor management partnerships with the Metropolitan Police Department and the Department of Forensic Science. Mrs. Munyeneh ultimately transitioned into conducting investigations as an Employee Labor Relations Manager and contract EEO Investigator/Reviewer.
Ready for a new challenge, she joined USAID and serves as a Program Manager for the Office of Civil Rights and Diversity.
In her “spare” time, Mrs. Munyeneh serves as the Ward 4 Councilmember and Vice Mayor for the Town of Cheverly and volunteers in her respective sororities, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Incorporated and Order of the Eastern Star. She is the proud wife of Alonzo and mom of her rambunctious son, Justice.
Commissioner Nkwonta whose origin is from West African, was born in the United Kingdom, and migrated to the United States in 1997. She obtained a Bachelors of science in Medical Technology, at the Oregon Health Science University, School of Medicine and Allied Health, a Masters Degree in Health Care Administration at the University Of Maryland University College, and a Doctorate of Education in Organizational Leadership with Emphasis in Organizational Development at Grand Canyon University. Commissioner Nkwonta also Volunteers for The Center of Disease Control (CDC) and Clinical & Laboratory Standards Institute, where she visits resource constrained countries to audit and educate on improved health care quality and international accreditation in Laboratory Medicine and Management. She has 15 years of Leadership experience in healthcare, and currently works at a Baltimore hospital as the Administrative Director of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. Adi also serves on the Potomac Center Citizens Advisory Board. She currently lives with her husband and 4 kids in Randallstown MD.
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.