Note 2 Self
Alisha Pina ’96 – Mistress of Ceremonies
Just named a YWCA Rhode Island Women of Achievement 2018 honoree, Alisha Pina has been a storyteller since elementary school with her first book, “How the Cat Got its Tail.” It had characters, magic, and a fake copyright seal.
Bullying, low self-esteem, and race strain were muses for her early poetry, and the pieces helped land her an internship with The Providence Journal at age 17. ‘The Race in RI’ series, which she was a significant contributor to, received national recognition and an award with the National Association of Black Journalists. It was one of many community and journalism awards Alisha has received in that chapter of her life. That series also amplified her urge to do more for social justice, women empowerment and children with possible dreams.
Alisha left the newspaper in 2017 to become Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. In addition to handling its communications, she also does marketing and brand consulting for nonprofits, churches and fellow community leaders and youth advocates. Alisha mentors high school youth through her business, Spike Down Volleyball.
The Moses Brown 1996 alumna also finds time to sing in two gospel groups, sits on the Moses Brown Board of Trustees and Enrollment and Marketing Committee, and is writing her first real novel. It isn’t about cats.
|Chanda Womack is the Founding Executive Director of the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE.) Chanda is a fearless and tireless advocate for equity and social justice. Chanda provided the inspiration and vision for the creation of ARISE as a non-profit devoted to educational access, equity and success. She is unapologetic for what she stands and how she carries out her work.
Her passionate, positive and proven leadership in the various organizations she serves is universally evident. Chanda has over a decade of experience in grassroots community advocacy and educational justice work. Her leadership and movement building has garnered local and national recognition for ARISE and Rhode Island. In 2017, Chanda was the recipient of NAACP Thurgood Marshall, the YWCA’s Women in Achievement Award, and the Providence Youth Student Movement POWER Award.Chanda was conceived and born in a refugee camp in Thailand, immigrating to the United States in January of 1981 with her family.
Chanda is married to Tiger Womack, her husband of over 10 years and has a daughter Amaya. She is a product of the Providence Public Schools and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 2004. She has a Masters of Public Administration, also from the University of Rhode Island, as well as a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Rhode Island College.
|Pilar McCloud is the CEO & Founder of A Sweet Creation Youth Organization which was founded in the Onlyville section of Providence Rhode Island. Pilar has served as the Chairwoman of The NAACP Providence Branch Youth HS & College Chapters as well as an officer & Executive Board member. Pilar previously served as the New England Area Conference Advisor for the YouthWorks Committee serving the 15 chapters of the NAACP in the New England area that have active youth councils.
Pilar is also Co-director of Unified Solutions, an incubator organization for grassroots nonprofit organizations in the city of Providence. After working with youth in various communities for over a decade Pilar completed her 3rd term as an AmeriCorps member at Youth Build Preparatory Academy as the Mentor Team Leader. She mentors youth with Big Brothers Big Sisters of The Ocean State, GoodWill Industries, The Met high school, Nathaniel Greene Middle School, and is a member of The National Mentor Partnership, which was initiated by The White House. Pilar has facilitated at Blackstone Valley Prep, Nathaniel Greene Middle School and Youth Build Preparatory Academy.
She teaches civil rights and social justice as well as The Phenomenal Women’s group at Greene Middle School and the Institute For The Study and Practice Of Non-violence. Pilar has received several awards and accolades including the Youth Build 2015 Humanitarian Award and the National Secretaries of State Medallion Award in 2015 for Civic Leadership and Advocacy, along with being the 2015 NAACP Rosa Parks Award winner and the 2017 YWCA Woman of Achievement Award, as well as recently becoming an inductee in the 2018 Martin Luther King Jr Hall of Fame.
|Eileen Hayes, LICSW, president and CEO of Amos House, received her master’s degree from NYU School of Social Work in 1984. Ms. Hayes has held a variety of positions throughout her career including the director of services for adolescents and young families at the YWCA of New York City.
Under her leadership since 2001, Amos House has grown into a comprehensive social service agency that includes 14 buildings that provide a range of recovery-based housing for homeless men, women, and families, training programs including culinary arts and carpentry/maintenance, and businesses that generate income and create jobs for the community including More Than a Meal Catering and Amos House Builds.
Ms. Hayes serves on 5 boards of directors including SouthSideCommunity Charter School, OIC of Rhode Island, Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless, Rhode Island Continuum of Care, and Building Futures.
|Performing artist and producer Dr. Rose Weaver tackles anti-aging, Alzheimer’s, sexism, racism and menopause through writing, performances and workshops.
Her work “acknowledges pain while celebrating the spirit to thrive in difficult times.” A practitioner of Yoga, Meditation, the Power of Intention, the Law of Attraction, and Zumba, Rose is the author of the award winning solo show, Menopause Mama about pro-aging, and Black Women Taking Off the Mask, about black women speaking about the lack of enough love.
Rose helps others view human experiences through performance and helps individuals create their own vision board to imagine improving different aspects of their lives.
Sierra Barter is a founder, social entrepreneur, and social media strategist.
She is currently the CEO of The Lady Project and serves on the Board of Directors for The Lady Project, Congressman Cicilline’s Women’s Task Force, Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England’s “Leading Women” committee, and The Collaborative board, and is an active mentor and volunteer with Year Up.
She has previously served on boards for Girls on the Run, the Summit Neighborhood Association, the Millennial Professional Group, and StyleWeek Northeast. Sierra has been honored as one of Providence Monthly’s “10 to Watch,” listed as one of Rhode Island Monthly’s “Most Powerful Women,” named a YWCA “Woman of Achievement,” one of Glamour’s ‘Hometown Heroes,” a “Leading Woman” by Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, and a “Leader as Host” by Leadership Rhode Island. In 2015, she was appointed by Mayor Jorge Elorza to serve on the City of Providence’s Millennial Task Force. She was a TEDxProvidence speaker in 2016.
A Wisconsin native, Ms. Barter moved to Providence in 2005 to attend Johnson & Wales University. She graduated in 2009 with her BS in Marketing & Advertising Communications. She is currently pursuing her MBA at Johnson & Wales University with a concentration in marketing.
Sierra lives in Warren, RI with her fiancé and their three dogs, Lucy, Dee Dee and Zelda and enjoys practicing barre, a good craft beer, and eating Mexican food whenever possible.
O. Rogeriee Thompson currently serves as a Circuit Judge for the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Appointed by President Barack Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate in 2010, Judge Thompson is the first African-American and the second woman to serve on the First Circuit Court of Appeals. Previously, she was an Associate Justice for the Rhode Island Superior Court, a position she held from 1997 to 2010. Before that, she was an Associate Judge with the Rhode Island District Court for nine years. During her 39-year law career, Judge Thompson has been a senior partner with Thompson & Thompson, Assistant City Solicitor for the City of Providence, an associate with the law firm of McKinnon and Fortunato, and a senior staff attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc.
An author and consultant, she has served on numerous committees and boards. Some of her current activities includethe U.S. Supreme Court Committee on Information Technology, the First Circuit Judicial Council and First Circuit IT Committee, Brown University Emeriti Council, Rhode Island Save The Bay Leadership Council, and College Unbound Board of Trustees.
A recipient of numerous awards and honors, Judge Thompsonearned her A.B. degree at Brown University in 1973 and her J.D. from Boston University School of Law in 1976. She holds honorary degrees from the University of Rhode Island, Bryant University, Roger Williams University School of Law, and Johnson and Wales University.
Judge Thompson was married to the late Rhode Island District Court Judge William C. Clifton and she is the proud mother of Reza, William, Jr., and Sarah Clifton.
|Marcy Reyes is the Founder and Executive Director of The Financial Literacy Youth (FLY) Initiative, a non-profit organization that provides culturally-responsive financial literacy programming to underserved and underrepresented students; empowering youth with the knowledge, skills and experiences to end generational poverty.
As a Puerto Rican born into a family with little resources or support networks, Marcy understands the challenges of the community she serves. She started her own academic career by putting herself through Rhode Island College and later received her Masters in Finance from Northeastern University.
In addition to her work with The FLY Initiative, Marcy serves as an adjunct faculty member in RIC’s School of Business, is the former assistant vice president of consumer credit for Santander Bank, N.A., and current manager of Small Group Rating and Operations at Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI).
Marcy serves on the board of the BCBSRI Diversity and Inclusion Council, chairs BCBSRI’s Latin@Link, an employee resource group, and was recently named to the Alumni Association Board of Directors at Rhode Island College.