DU Black Community Advisory Board

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The University of Denver’s Black Community Advisory Board (BCAB) elevates and amplifies Black excellence, inclusion, and equity so that DU becomes a thriving academic haven for Black Lives, Black Culture, and Black Scholarship.


The mission of the Black Community Advisory Board is to establish an engaged Black community, inspire Black excellence, and promote the contributions of Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the University of Denver. Honoring the unique history of the Black experience, we strive to ensure Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni are respected, welcomed, equitably included, supported in actions that enhance learning, innovation, and wellbeing.


BCAB Origins

The University of Denver Black Community Advisory Board (BCAB) was established on March 4, 2021 with an initial meeting of a Black Community Steering Committee--a short-term committee that met for a month, created to develop the foundational structure of the Advisory Board. The purpose of the Board is to advise, propose initiatives, and support the work of the Black Community Experience Coordinator. With additional support from the Vice Chancellor of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, the Provost, and the Chancellor, the BCAB will address issues of inequity, systemic policy, and procedural irregularities that perpetuate disenfranchisement. The Board will provide a critical intellectual voice to the experience of Black people in the University of Denver community. The goal of the BCAB will extend beyond reactivity to incidents on DU’s campus, Denver, and nationally due to atrocities experienced by Black people. The BCAB will be proactive, ongoing, and progressive.

BCI colorsplash

What does Uhuru mean?

In Swahili, the word Uhuru generally means "freedom". To learn more about the meaning and importance of the word, please visit the New African Magazine as a resource. 

New African Magazine

UHURU Principle

first page of uhuru principle document

The University of Denver’s Black Community Advisory Board (BCAB) elevates and amplifies Black excellence, inclusion, and equity so that DU becomes a thriving academic haven for Black Lives, Black Culture, and Black Scholarship.

Our mission is to establish an engaged Black community, inspire Black excellence, and promote the contributions of Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni at the University of Denver. Honoring the unique history of the Black experience, we strive to ensure Black students, faculty, staff, and alumni are respected, welcomed, equitably included, supported, and empowered in actions that enhance learning, innovation, and wellbeing.

To accomplish these goals, we've authored bylaws establishing our membership, rules of procedure, and essential committees.

Read the Complete Bylaws

Black Community Advisory Board (BCAB) Members

  • Alexi Freeman

    She/Her - Faculty: Associate Dean of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Director of Social Justice Initiatives Professor of the Practice University of Denver Sturm College of Law

    Alexi Freeman

    Associate Dean Freeman leads diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts at Denver Law. She comes from an interracial and interfaith family and thus, discussions and advocacy around DEI have been at the forefront of her personal and professional identity. She teaches a variety of public interest and social change lawyering courses at the law school. Prior to Denver Law, she supported low-income communities of color across the country on campaigns related to education, voting rights, and housing justice at Advancement Project. Freeman is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

  • Alisha Stanton

    She/Her - Staff, Faculty and Alumni: International Education/ Program Manager/ Global Engagement

    Alisha Stanton

    I completed my masters and doctorate here at the University of Denver. I entered the field of education after spending many years in broadcast sports and music entertainment. Following the completion of an internship in Lancaster England, and traveling throughout Latin America with secondary students, I began work and research in global and international education. My current research initiatives focus on creating global experience opportunities for students of all economic, demographic and cultural backgrounds, and the inclusion of global and international understanding in education broadly.

  • Anthea Johnson Rooen - Action Committee Member

    She/Her - Staff: Interim Senior Director for Access and Transitions, Interim Director for Denver Promise, Director for Equity in STEM, Advisor for Sistah Network and National Society for Black Engineers (NSBE), Coordinate Black Male Initiative Summit (BMIS) and Black Women Lead, Empower, Achieve, Dedicate (BW-LEAD)

    Anthea Johnson Rooen

    Anthea brings over 29 years of experience in diversity, student success, and college access from the University of Colorado at Boulder and the University of Denver. At the University of Denver, Ms. Johnson Rooen has serve in various roles within the Center for Multicultural Excellence (CME) and the division of Campus Life and Inclusive Excellence (CLIE), including the Director for College Access and Pipeline Programs and the Director for Graduate Student Success. Four years ago, she was charged to develop a pilot program called the Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (E-STEM) Program. E-STEM is an academic program for historically underrepresented undergraduate students majoring in STEM, and is a partnership with SAIE, the College of Natural Science and Mathematics (CNSM) and the Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science (RSECS). She also currently serves as the Interim Senior Director for Access and Transitions and the Interim Director for the Denver Promise success programs for diverse students pursuing degrees at DU.

  • Anthony “Tony” Holder

    He/Him - Faculty: Associate Professor, School of Accountancy, in the Daniels School of Business, Ph.D., MACC, CPA

    Tony Holder

    Anthony D. Holder, Ph.D., CPA, is an associate professor at DU. He has previously taught at Case Western Reserve, the University of Toledo, and the University of Cincinnati. He also spent a semester teaching in Shanghai, China. He earned his Ph.D. in Accountancy at UC. Prior to obtaining his Ph.D., he worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP in their auditing and tax departments.

  • Antoinette Gifford

    She/Her - Community Member: Educator - Adjunct Instructor, JD

    Antoinette Gifford

    Antoinette is an educator and servant-leader. She is a passionate community advocate and teaches in the Criminal Justice and Law Program in Cherry Creek School District in conjunction with the Community College of Aurora. Antoinette remains inspired by the quote, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” – Nelson Mandela

  • Bertrand Evans-Taylor

    He/Him - Graduate Student: Marketing 

    Bertrand Evans-Taylor

    Bertrand Evans-Taylor is a graduate student in Arts and Culture Management with an emphasis in Advocacy and Outreach. As an army vet, former HBCU student and child of a single parent, Bertrand understands the difference opportunity can make in someone's life. He believes that art, as an economic vehicle, and as a human practice can save the world!

  • Biaze Houston

    She/Her - Alumni: Education; Director, Assessment Literacy & Instruction; PhD, Curriculum & Instruction, MA Teaching, BA English

    Biaze Houston

    Biaze Houston, Ph.D., is Director of Assessment Literacy and Instruction for Aurora Public Schools where she leads the curriculum and instruction work of Math, English Language Arts, Science, Social Studies, electives, and Gifted and Talented; leads the district's assessment strategy work that aligns local assessments with instruction; and supports the associated professional learning for the district. Biaze has ten years of school leadership experience, in which she served in the capacity of Teacher Leader, Assistant Principal, and Principal. Biaze holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Colorado State University, a Master of Arts degree in Teaching from the University of Phoenix, and a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Denver.

  • Cedric Smith II

    He/Him - Staff and Graduate Student: Technology, Application Developer, BS in Computer Science

    Cedric Smith II

    Cedric Smith is an Application Developer in Information Technology, where he develops student software applications for the University of Denver. He has worked in Information Technology at DU for the past 6 years, has completed an undergraduate degree in Computer Science at DU, and is currently pursuing a master’s degree in Computer Science at DU. Cedric has helped develop and is currently acting as co-chair of the IT Inclusive Excellence Committee whose goal is to promote awareness and education around the topics of diversity, inclusion, and equity in the workplace and to create a culture of excellence, appreciation, engagement, and collaboration between individuals and departments within IT @ DU.

  • Clemith Houston

    Faculty: Adjunct Faculty, University College, Information and Communications Technology Program

    Clemith Houston

    Professor Houston is an adjunct faculty member with University College. Clemith also works for a local enterprise in the field of project management and information technology. Clemith is also a proud alumnus of University College and is a Colorado native.



  • Danean Jenkins

    She/Her - Staff: Employee Relations & Human Resource Expert, M.B.A.

    Denean Jenkins

    She is a master’s educated human resources professional with extensive experience providing leadership and guidance to drive the achievement of key organizational human resources-related goals and objectives. Danean is skilled in developing and implementing strategies and solutions in a proactive manner to resolve issues and mitigate human resources-related risks to the organization. In addition, she brings proven strength building and maintains strong, long-term relationships with business partners and human resources stakeholders to identify potential issues and to draw alignment with key human resources initiatives.

  • Doshia Woods

    She/Her - Staff: Head Women's Basketball Coach

    Doshia Woods

    Doshia Woods was hired on July 21, 2020, to direct the women's basketball program at the University of Denver. A coach who is passionate about leading and mentoring her team on the court and off. She is thrilled to bring her energy to DU.



  • Franklin Jackson

    He/Him - Staff: Director of Digital Media Services & IT Field Support. Undergrad in Communication and Theatre with an Emphasis in Multi Media and a Minor in Journalism. Certified Crestron Digital Media and NVX through 2025

    Franklin Jackson

    I'm a dedicated professional and father of two wonderful children whom care deeply about our community. I am a 6th generation Denver Native who's grandfather and great grandfather were Governors of Colorado. I'm also a second generation life member of Kappa Alpha Psi both at the provincial and national level.

  • Giovanni Forrest

    She/Her - Community Member: Executive Director

    Giovanni Forrest

    Giovanni currently serves as the Executive Director for the Downtown Denver YMCA. She has over 12 years of experience in the not-for-profit sector in both Missouri and Colorado. In her free time, Giovanni cherishes raising her son, Oliver, and is an avid urban gardener.



  • Imani Manley-Coats

    She/Her - Undergraduate Student: Accounting Major, Leadership Minor 

    Imani Manley Coats

    Imani is a 3rd-year undergraduate student at the University of Denver, majoring in Accounting and minoring in Leadership. She is also a member of the National Society of Leadership and Success, a scholar of the Colorado Women's College, and Volunteers in Partnership Member.



  • Jason Jeffries

    He/Him - Faculty: Assistant Professor of Religion in the Americas, Ph.D. in religious studies

    Jason Jeffries

    Jason O. Jeffries joined the University of Denver in Fall 2019 as Assistant Professor of Religions in the Americas. He obtained his Ph.D. from Rice University. His research focuses on Black religious traditions, with interests in connections between African American religion, embodiment, and popular culture.

  • Jenipher Jones Bonino - Action Committee Member

    She/Her - Staff: Program Manager-Sturm College of Law -Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Social Justice Initiatives

    Jenipher Jones Bonino

    After serving as the Civil Rights Fellow in the Sturm College of Law's Civil Rights Clinic in the fall 2020 semester, Jenipher Jones Bonino is now Program Manager for Diversity, Equity, Inclusion (DEI) and Social Justice Initiatives, helping advance Denver Law's institutional commitments to DEI and social justice. Working closely with Associate Dean Lexi Freeman and other staff members, Jenipher supports a range of student-related initiatives, including academic advising, academic success, inclusion, well-being, and professional development, as well as our pipeline partnerships. Prior to joining the law school, she graduated from Bennett College for Women with a B.A. in Political Science. She then attended law school at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law with membership to the Loyola Maritime Journal Law Journal, The International Legal Honor Society of Phi Delta Phi, and clinical study. Jenipher began her career in civil rights as a Fellow at the Albert Schweitzer Fellowship at the Southern Poverty Law Center. Jenipher has worked on law enforcement accountability issues, including a clerkship at the civilian law enforcement oversight agency, the City of New Orleans Office of the Independent Police Monitor (OIPM), and a landmark federal consent decree involving the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD). She has also practiced at the National Employment Litigation Unit (NELU) of the United States Postal Service handling class action employment discrimination matters. Most recently, at a civil rights law firm, Jenipher litigated complex civil litigation cases involving prisoners’ rights, law enforcement misconduct, and employment discrimination. She has been published in both domestic and international publications. Jenipher has also advocated for the rights of prisoners in the United States before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, The United Nations Association, and the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor.

  • Kerry-Ann Lewis-Pearcy

    She/Her - Faculty and Alumni: Ph.D. in Research Methods and Statistics. Master of Science in Social Policy. Expertise: Statistics, research, evaluation, measurement

    Kerry-Ann Lewis Pearcy

    Kerry-Ann Lewis Pearcy is a first-generation college graduate who hails from Jamaica. She holds a Ph.D. in Research Methods and Statistics from the University of Denver where she also teaches statistics, research, evaluation, and policy. Kerry-Ann believes that her life must be spent reaching toward others and creating the environment to allow them to attain every she climbed and going beyond.

  • Mia Ballard

    She/Her - Undergraduate Student: Communication Studies Major

    Mia Ballard

    Mia is a first-year undergraduate student majoring in Communication Studies with hopes of minoring in Spanish and Critical Race and Ethnic Studies. Mia is from Aurora, Colorado, and aspires to pursue a career in diversity, equity, and inclusion. At DU, Mia is also a member of the Black Student Alliance executive board and the Excelling Leaders Institute.

  • Michele Hanna

    She/Her - Faculty: Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Michele Hanna

    Dr. Michele Hanna has been on faculty at the Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) at the University of Denver. She currently serves as GSSW's inaugural Associate Dean for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Dr. Hanna's scholarship and teaching focuses on child welfare, foster care, adoption, and critical race theory.

  • Morgan "Rusty" Deane - Action Committee Member

    Staff: Director of Facility Management, BS in Architectural Engineering, MS in Management

    Convergence Painting

    Rusty Deane is a Leader in the practice of Facility Management and Operation. Born and raised in Cincinnati Ohio, Rusty graduated from North Carolina A&T State University in 1981 and via ROTC went on active duty with the US Air Force that same year. Rusty went on to retire from the USAF at the rank of Major after 17 years of service. After the Air Force, Rusty served as a Director of Operations and Maintenance at Denver Public Schools, then as Program Manager for the restoration of Tulane University after Hurricane Katrina, then as a Senior Manager Lockheed Martin and then as a the Leader of a Smarter Building and Cities group at IBM. Rusty currently serves as the Director of Facility Management here at DU. Rusty is a Certified Facility Manager (CFM) and a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity.

  • Renea Morris

    She/Her - Staff: Communications and Marketing, Vice Chancellor, BA Communications, MEd Education, Organizational Leadership

    Renea Morris

    Renea Morris has more than 25 years of marketing and communications experience and joined the University of Denver in 2019 as the vice chancellor for marketing and communications. She has private sector and public higher education experience and previously served as co-founder of a nonprofit organization formed after the 1992 Rodney King riots in Los Angeles. Renea and her husband have four adult children and 10 grandchildren.

  • Robert "Bob" Willis

    Staff: Deputy Athletic Director for Community and Diversity 

    Robert Willis

    Robert "Bob” Willis joined the University of Denver Division of Athletics and Recreation staff in Oct. 2006.  Prior to joining the Pioneers, Willis held several senior positions in the corporate community with Wells Fargo Bank, AT&T, Colorado Black Chamber of Commerce, Colorado Rockies Baseball Club, and the University of Colorado Foundation. Active in the community and on campus, Willis currently serves on the Chancellor’s Diversity and Inclusion Committee and the steering committee on DU Denver Advantage Projects. He is on the board of Porter-Billups Leadership Academy, Urban League of Metropolitan Denver, and Shaka Franklin Foundation.

  • Roderick Rose

    He/Him - Staff: Director of Diversity Enrollment and Community Partnerships

    Roderick Rose

    Rod is a DU alumnus ('04, '12) that has worked in Undergraduate Admission since 2006. He is from Denver, Colorado, and grew up in the Montbello neighborhood.



  • Rosalynn Feagins

    She/Her - Staff: Assistant Treasurer, MBA in Administrative Management

    Equity photo

    Rosalynn Feagins (aka Roz) brings a passion to all that she embarks on. Her 21 year career in higher education has provided a journey of continuous learning and improving. Roz has a special passion for lifting up the voices of the unheard and is committed to doing the work of improving the black experience at the University of Denver. Her motto is "Together We Can Do All Things"!

  • Stephanie O'Malley

    Staff: Associate Vice Chancellor - Government Relations & Community Affairs

    Stephanie O'Malley is an experienced servant leader, executive, and community proponent. She comes to our Board with over 17 years of dedication and attention to the public policy arena having served at varying levels of leadership including elected office. Ms. O'Malley is a Denver native who continues to prioritize action that uplifts and positively encourages individuals and communities of all kind.

    Stephanie O'Malley is an experienced servant leader, executive, and community proponent. She comes to our Board with over 17 years of dedication and attention to the public policy arena having served at varying levels of leadership including elected office. Ms. O'Malley is a Denver native who continues to prioritize action that uplifts and positively encourages individuals and communities of all kind.

  • TaWanna French - Action Committee Member

    She/Her - Faculty: Adjunct Professor - Graduate School of Social Work (GSSW) - has a Master's of Social Work - MSW

    TaWanna French

    TaWanna has committed her life to helping people. She is extremely passionate about helping people rise out of the ashes that life sometimes brings and help them walk in their purpose. Once one understands that the 6 inches between our ears (our mind) is the battleground, so much change can take place in your life, no matter what the challenge is before you.

  • Theo Chapman

    He/Him - Alumni: BSME, MBA

    Theo Chapman

    Theo Chapman is a Colorado native who earned both his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering and Master of Business Administration from the University of Denver in 2008, graduating from the University Honors Program as well as earning a minor in Leadership Studies from the Pioneer Leadership Program. Theo is a Project Engineer, specializing in interdisciplinary coordination of engineering design activities, quality assurance of deliverables, and collaboration with procurement, construction, project controls, and client personnel. At the University of Denver, Theo is a member of the DU Alumni Council, the Pioneer Leadership Program Alumni Board, the President of the Black Alumni Affinity group (BAA), a Ritchie School of Engineering and Computer Science Equity in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (E-STEM) Volunteer, and a Young Alumni Professional Advisory Board Member.

  • Toni Dunlap

    She/Her - Alumni: Computer Science and Computer Science/STEM Education - Bachelor of Science, Computer Science (DU) and Master of Science in Education (UPenn)

    Toni Dunlap

    Toni is a recent DU class of 2019 graduate, founder of the university's National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) chapter, a veteran resident assistant within DU first-year housing, and proud alum of the Equity in STEM and Wellness LLC programs. She received a B.S. in Computer Science, with minors in Mathematics and Psychology. Toni is currently teaching middle and high school computer science while working on her M.S.Ed. degree via the Day School Teaching Residency (DSTR) program at the University of Pennsylvania.

Black Community Steering Committee Members

You are not a slave by Leroy Campbell

You are Not a Slave” by Leroy Campbell

This Steering Committee was formed in order to create the foundational documents for the Black Community Advisory Board (BCAB). The Committee was dissolved April 1, 2021, after the final wrap-up meeting.

  • Alexi Freeman – Faculty
  • Alisha Stanton – Alumna/Staff/Faculty
  • Andriette Jordan-Fields Alumna
  • Anthea Johnson-Rooen – Staff
  • Anthony “Tony” Holder – Faculty
  • Biaze Houston – Alumna
  • Brittani Mc Clendon – Staff
  • Clemith Houston – Faculty
  • Danean Jenkins – Staff
  • Doshia Woods – Staff
  • Eze Uchechukwu – Law student
  • Giovanni Forrest – Community member
  • Jenipher Bonino – Staff
  • Kerry-Ann Lewis-Pearcy – Alumna/Faculty
  • Maleah Robinson-Castillo – Undergraduate student
  • Michelle Hanna – Faculty
  • Rev. Del Phillips – Community member
  • Robin Lyons – Alumna
  • Roderick Rose – Staff
  • Shana Atkinson – Graduate student
  • Stephanie O'Malley – Staff
  • Theo Chapman – Alumni
  • Toni Dunlap – Alumna