Black History Month 2019

Back to Commemorative Programs

On February 26, 2019 at 9:30 a.m. the Council will recognized Black History Month by focusing on the theme “Honoring Black History and Empowering Racial Equity.” In previous Black History Month commemorations, the Council has heard from African American residents who traced their family histories in the County back for generations. This year’s program will focus on the importance and urgency of preserving this history and its connection to the County’s Racial Equity & Social Justice Policy, which was spearheaded by Council President Nancy Navarro in 2018 with a resolution.

The ceremonies will include a video segment featuring members of the African American Historic Sites Project including: Tina Clarke (chair); Charlotte Coffield, Warren Fleming, Anita Neal Powell, Patricia Tyson and Office of Human Rights Director James Stowe. A panel discussion on African American history and racial equity will follow. Panelists include: Shebra Evans, president of the Montgomery County Board of Education; C. Marie Taylor, president and CEO of Leadership Montgomery; Elijah Wheeler, deputy director and social justice director, Montgomery County Collaboration Council; Nate Tinbite, student at Montgomery County Public Schools; and Rashani Ward-Williamson, student at Montgomery College.

Black History Month 2019


Biographies of Panelists

Shebra Evans

President, Montgomery County Board of Education
Shebra Evans

Mrs. Shebra L. Evans was elected to her first four-year term on November 8, 2016. She currently serves as president of the Board of Education after having served as a vice president in 2018. She is a member of the Board's Strategic Planning Committee.

Mrs. Evans serves on the Maryland Association of Boards of Education's Board of Directors and the Policies and Procedures Committee. In addition, she has served in numerous volunteer leadership roles with the Montgomery County Council of PTAs (MCCPTA), including vice president of Educational Issues, vice president of programs, recording secretary-delegate assembly, and Wheaton Cluster coordinator. Mrs. Evans also was active in the Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) Superintendent’s Operating Budget Group and Math Exam Work Group. She also was co-leader of the African American Student Achievement Group.

In addition to Mrs. Evans’ volunteer education activities, she also has served as the vice chair of Fiscal Responsibility for Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. - Theta Omega Omega Chapter, as a Board member for Big Learning, Inc., as well as been involved with the YMCA – Youth & Family Services Advocacy Committee.

Mrs. Evans has worked as a financial analyst in the cable and energy industry since 1996. She received a degree in Economics and Finance from Tennessee State University. She has two children who attend MCPS.

Carolyn D. Lowery

Wheaton Network Builder, Impact Silver Spring
Picture of Cindy Rosales

Carolyn has worked as a senior network builder at IMPACT Silver Spring since February 2016. Her professional experiences have centered on challenging and addressing racial equity disparities in mental health and substance abuse; clinical trials; food justice; and criminal justice. Most recently at IMPACT, she has broadly focused on addressing racial equity disparities at the individual, systems, and structural levels. Immediately before joining IMPACT, she lived abroad in a rural town in Colombia, South America for two years. While there, she created an English learning program for Servicio Nacional de Aprendizaje (SENA) -- a government initiative to develop education and effectuate employment-- in which she co-developed the curriculum and taught classes. Additionally, she created community-based opportunities for the town, taught at a nursery school, and developed her Spanish skills. Carolyn previously served on the board of directors for Gapbuster, Inc. and she currently serves on the board of directors for the Montgomery County Collaboration Council as the secretary. She received her B.A. in psychology from Syracuse University and her M.S.W., with a focus on management and community organizing, from The University of Maryland School of Social Work.

Dr. DeRionne P. Pollard

President, Montgomery College

In 2010, DeRionne Pollard assumed leadership of Montgomery College, a three-campus community college with 60,000 credit and noncredit students. She spearheaded the development of a new Montgomery College mission and strategic plan. She has partnered actively with Montgomery County Public Schools and the Universities at Shady Grove in the creation of Achieving Collegiate Excellence and Success (ACES), a support program designed to help students transition from high school to college completion.

Dr. Pollard formerly served as president of Las Positas College in Livermore, California. She served on the American Association of Community Colleges’ 21st Century Commission on the Future of Community Colleges and the Commission on Academic, Student, and Community Development. Dr. Pollard is a member of the Community College Advisory Panel at the College Board and the Higher Education Research and Development Institute Advisory Board.

Closer to home, she serves on the board of Montgomery County Business Development Corporation, Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce, Universities at Shady Grove, and Generation Hope. She was recently named one of Washington’s 100 Most Influential Women by Washingtonian Magazine, and was awarded a Visionary Award by the Washington Area Women’s Foundation.

Dr. Pollard received her PhD in educational leadership and policy studies in higher education from Loyola University Chicago and her MA and BA in English from Iowa State University. She has also been honored by Leadership Montgomery, The Daily Record, Bethesda Magazine and the Washington Business Journal.

C. Marie Taylor

President and CEO, Leadership Montgomery
Marie Taylor

Ms. Taylor has dedicated her life’s work to supporting the community. For more than 25 years, she has worked in service organizations, holding vital leadership positions within the Washington metropolitan area. In her many leadership roles, Ms. Taylor has demonstrated a gift for thinking strategically. Her experience in finance, management, and program evaluation have positioned her to balance the many demands of leading high-impact organizations. She has a talent for envisioning how the work of diverse community partners can complement each other while propelling their independent work to new levels.

Ms. Taylor’s commitment to serving diverse communities stands out among her many people-focused priorities. She is tirelessly attuned to the roles of gender, race, and national-origin in issues of social inequity. Currently, she is developing a yearlong Race Equity program the will be hosted by Montgomery College this Fall. She published an innovative study in 2015 on the opportunity gap in Montgomery County, Maryland, “Connecting Youth to Opportunity: How Black and African American Youth Perspectives Can Inform a Blueprint for Improving Opportunity in Montgomery County.” The Washington DC Metro Area Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals presented her with its 2012 Outstanding Diversity Leader Award in recognition of her work in advancing diversity. Ms. Taylor’s influence extends regionally as she was recently named one of 2018 The Daily Record’s Top One Hundred Women in Maryland.

Ms. Taylor is a board member of Shady Grove Medical Center, The Montgomery County Workforce Investment Board, and Generation Hope. Ms. Taylor holds a B.A. and M.B.A. from Trinity Washington University, is a native Washingtonian, currently residing in Montgomery County with her husband and daughter.

Nate Tinbite

Student, Montgomery County Public Schools
Nate Tinbite

Nate Tinbite is a 16-year-old from Montgomery County, Maryland. He currently serves as the President of the Montgomery County Student Government Association, leading the district’s 163,000 students to fight for English Language Learner program funding and frank classroom discussions of implicit bias.

Nate is also one of the founding members of Montgomery County Students for Change, an advocacy organization that led a walkout of more than 5,000 students to the steps of the US Capital to protest gun violence in 2018.

Earlier this year, he co-led a district-wide high school voter registration drive that registered more than 3000 high school students in four weeks, and is currently working to pass a law in the Maryland General Assembly mandating at least one voter registration drive in every Maryland high school annually.

Elijah Wheeler

Deputy Director & Social Justice Director, Montgomery County Collaboration Council
Elijah Wheeler

Elijah Wheeler serves as both the deputy director and social justice director of the Montgomery County Collaboration Council. The organization is a local management board that serves as a quasi-non-profit agency charged with identifying issue areas in the County on behalf of children, youth and families and working with government and other non-profit partners to target resources and supports to the community to redress issues. In his role as social justice director, he is charged with working alongside partners to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of people of color who interact with various systems and agencies. He has worked on a number of issues including reducing disproportionate minority contact for youth of color who come into contact with the juvenile justice system, and advocating for policy changes to spur the reduction of the school to prison pipeline.

Elijah also serves in the role as chair for Montgomery County's My Brother's Keeper initiative. He is a 2015 National Juvenile Justice Network Y.J.L.I. Fellow Alumni and a 2016 Center for Urban Families Public Leadership Institute Fellow Alumni.

Rashani Ward-Williamson

Student, Montgomery College
Rashani Ward-Williamson

Rashani Ward-Williamson a full time student at Montgomery College majoring in Biology and also minoring in Pan-African studies and Political Science. She is the current vice president of the Student Senate and chair of the Senate Activities Board on the Takoma Park/ Silver Spring campus. Ms.Ward-Williamson makes it a priority to do for others, and models the way for her fellow student leaders. She avidly listens to students describe their daily experiences and tries to balance entertainment events with educational programming as the chair of SAB. She pushes the students on the committee to really be the best they can be, especially if she see something in them they may not see in themselves. In the near future Ms.Ward-Williamson plans on being a motivational speaker for young girls and women. Through sharing her life experiences she hopes to motivate young girls and women to rise above their situations, dream big and reach their goals.