National Youth Works Committee, Appointees

Akosua Ali

ak-ali-4x6Mrs. Akosua Ali is the President of the NAACP Washington, DC Branch and member of the National Board of Directors.  At 34, Mrs. Ali is one of the youngest Presidents of an NAACP Branch throughout the nation.  As President, Mrs. Ali works to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial discrimination in the District of Columbia.  The strategic priorities for her administration include advocating for equal access to employment, financial literacy, health and wellness, equal access to high quality education and voter empowerment.  She leads the implementation of programs administered by 20 standing committees, including Climate, Criminal Justice, Economic, Education, Finance, Fundraising, Health, Housing, International Affairs, Labor, Legal Redress, Membership, Political Action, Public Relations, Religious Affairs, Veteran Affairs, Women in NAACP (WIN), Young Adults, Youth Works, and the Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO).  Akosua Ali is also a member of the NAACP National Board of Directors.

President Ali has led the NAACP in processing over 300 discrimination complaints, since 2010.  In 2011, President Ali testified before DC City Council in support of the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive Designation Act of 2011, hosted the NAACP Region VII Conference, and conducted various programs including a Health Fair, Religious Leaders HIV/AIDS Discussion, Campus to Career Panel Discussion, Health Forum, Veterans Forum, Financial Management Workshop, Healthy Eating Nutrition Workshop and Get Out The Vote (GOTV) Civic Engagement Training.

During her tenure with the NAACP, Akosua Ali has served in numerous positions. From 2008 to 2010, she served as Second Vice President of the DC Branch. From 2006 to 2008, she served as Young Adults Chair and Assistant Secretary of the DC Branch. From 2001 to 2003, Akosua served as President of the Johnson & Wales University NAACP College Chapter.  Her accomplishments include implementing a series of initiatives in celebration of the NAACP’s 100th anniversary, including town hall forums, health symposiums, professional development workshops, HIV awareness trainings, voter registration drives and education forums.

Mrs. Ali holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science from Johnson & Wales University in Providence, Rhode Island.

Mrs. Ali is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., a service sorority.  Akosua was initiated into the Lambda Iota Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. in 2003.  Today, Akosua Ali is an active member of the Washington, DC Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  Mrs. Ali is also a chartering member of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Blacks In Government (BIG) Chapter.

Akosua Ali is a native of Washington, DC.  Mrs. Ali attended Ujamaa Shule and graduated from School Without Walls, Senior High School in Washington, DC. Akosua was born to parents Kofi Tyus and Shirley Suber-Tyus among four siblings, including Andre, Yao, Ama, and Aba Tyus.  Akosua Ali is married to Mustafa Santiago Ali and they reside in Ward 7 of Washington, DC.

Roslyn Brock

roslyn_brockMHSA, MBA, M. DIV.
Chairman Emeritus, NAACP National Board of Directors 

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Roslyn M. Brock is a driven, steadfast executive-level advocate of health and social justice initiatives, a noted public speaker and mentor, and the youngest person and fourth woman to chair the National Board of Directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

As the Vice-President of Advocacy and Government Relations for Bon Secours Health System, Inc., a not-for-profit Catholic health care provider with 19 acute-care hospitals and over 25,000 employees, Brock directs health care policy and reform, health equity, and social justice legislative and regulatory efforts. Her wealth of experience in health programs includes a decade of advocacy and policy development at the W. K. Kellogg Foundation. Her 30+ years of professional experience includes health care policy and equity analysis, social justice advocacy; financial management, philanthropy, leadership formation and community development.

Recognized for her leadership skills by several national publications and organizations, Brock has been featured on Essence magazine’s list of “40 Fierce and Fabulous Women Who Are Changing the World” and in Black Entertainment Television’s (BET) inaugural “Black Girls Rock” broadcast, and she has received the National Urban League’s Women of Power Award; the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated Coretta Scott King Award, National Newspaper Publishers Association’s Leadership Award and the 2017 Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Incorporated Humanitarian Award.

Graduating magna cum laude from Virginia Union University, Brock also obtained a master’s degree in health services administration from The George Washington University, an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, and a master’s degree in divinity from the Samuel DeWitt Proctor School of Theology at Virginia Union University. Additionally, she holds honorary doctorate degrees from Virginia Union University, University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and Smith College.

As an active member of the NAACP for nearly three decades before becoming chairman, Brock founded the NAACP Leadership 500 Summit, a recruitment and training initiative to cultivate a new generation of civil rights leaders. Brock also developed and directed the board’s historic policy decision to support urgent, impactful issues such as marriage equality and The Black Church and HIV: The Social Justice Imperative. Brock’s impact extends globally, as she built cross-cultural understanding and professional networks with young leaders in China as a Young Leaders Fellow with the National Committee on U.S.-China Relations.

Brock’s personal philosophy is embodied in an African proverb: “Care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe, dream more than others think is practical, and expect more than others think is possible.” This outlook is reflected in her work as Associate Minister at the historic Alfred Street Baptist Church in Alexandria, Virginia.

A believer in service and community participation, Brock is a member of the Board of Trustees of The George Washington University, and past chair of the Board of Advisors of the Milken Institute School of Public Health at The George Washington University, as well as being a member of the Kellogg School of Management Global Advisory Board at Northwestern University, and Interfaith Center for Corporate Responsibility (ICCR), the American Public Health Association, the American College of Healthcare Executives, , Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and The LINKS, Inc. She is a former Trustee of the Catholic Health Association of the United States of America.

“Courage will not skip this generation!” is Brock’s trademark mantra.

Debra Brown 

debra-brownDebra F. Brown is the daughter of the late George H. Jones and Mary F. Jones.  She is the 4th child born of 5 children.  Debra was born and reared in Emporia, Virginia.  She completed high school in 1975 and matriculated to Virginia Commonwealth University receiving a B. S. Degree in Psychology.  In 1982, she married Richard E. Brown and they have one daughter, Richanda Lynnise Brown.

Debra Brown has been employed with Five County Mental Health Authority for 18 years and serves as a Care Coordinator in their Administrative office in Henderson, NC.  She is a Notary and Certified Forensic Screener with the State of North Carolina.   Debra Brown became President of the Greensville Emporia Unit in November 2000 and received the Branch Revitalization Award from the Virginia State Conference in 2001 followed by the Leadership Award in 2002 and the next year the Membership Award.  Mrs. Brown also received the Membership Medallion at the National Convention in New Orleans for selling over $1,000.00 in memberships.  The Greensville Emporia Unit has received 3 consecutive awards at the Virginia State Convention for Life Membership during her tenure.

Mrs. Brown, a life member of the NAACP, was re-elected President of Greensville Unit in November 2010.  She also serves as Area 6 Chair, holding that position since 2003.  She was elected to the Board of Directors in 2008.

Currently, Mrs. Brown serves on the following committees on the National Board of Directors of the NAACP: National Health Committee -Vice Chair, Election Supervisory Committee, Advocacy and Policy, Youth Works, Life Membership, and Housing. She also serves also serves on the Virginia State Conference Executive Committee and chairs the Branch Revitalization Committee and serves on the Housing Committee and Retirement Planning Committee for the Virginia State Conference Administrative Assistant, Ms Mary Easter.  She is also a member of Lawrenceville Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., and is the recording secretary and Chair the Social Action Committee.  She was elected President of the American Legion Auxiliary Post 151 in June of 2010.  She is a member of the Diamond Grove Baptist Church and serves as Secretary of the Sunday School and a member of the Greensville County Sunday School Union.  In December of 2009, Mrs. Brown was unanimously appointed by Emporia City Council to represent the City of Emporia on the District 19 Health Advisory Board.  She was honored by her Unit and received an award for Service beyond the call of Duty in 2003.  In 2007, Mrs. Brown received the Moses D. Knox Award, given to a citizen in the Greensville Emporia Area for outstanding works in Civil Rights.  Mrs. Brown has also been honored by Habitat for Humanity.  She is also a past member of the Board of Directors for the Boys and Girls Club.

During Mrs. Brown tenure as President of the NAACP Unit in Greensville County, the Unit has made several accomplishments: First Founders’ Day Celebration, First time to have local, State and National officials at their Freedom Fund Banquet, First Memorial Day Observance of local Fallen Civil Rights Activist, First Historical Documentation of the Unit, Proclamation written by Mrs. Brown  for Black History Month to include the accomplishments of local African Americans, advocated for promotion of African Americans within the Emporia Police Department leading to the first African American Chief of Police and the first African American Lieutenant and many successful  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission decisions for the members of Area 6 with the Unit’s assistance.  For the past two years, the Greensville Unit has sponsored 20 High School students to participate on their Annual Freedom Fund Program.

John Gaskin

Ashley Lester

ashleylesterAshley Lester is an appointed member of NAACP National Youth Works Committee.  She has spent most of her life as a community developer advocating for youth justice. She joined NAACP while attending Columbus State University where she later earned her degree in Accounting and minor in Criminal Justice. She was elected to the National Youth Works Committee in 2015 and has served on many sub- committees including Advocacy and Policy, Awards and Memberships. She has also served as Georgia State Conference Youth and College Secretary. As region 5 Youth Rep. and currently resides in Atlanta, Georgia she continues to help build membership and develop action plans for the organization.

Ashley currently works for Randstad USA as a Payroll Specialist and with her knowledge and skills, hopes to develop a financial literacy plan to teach youth council and college chapters creative ways to fundraise. Ashley will soon be a Silver Life Member and will continue to make NAACP a strong civil rights organization.

Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” – Martin Luther King, Jr.

Marquise S. Hunt

marquise-sterling-huntMarquise S. Hunt is a proud native of Hampton Roads, Virginia. He is currently a student at Tougaloo College in Jackson, Mississippi, majoring in Mass Communication with an emphasis in Public Relations and Journalism.

Marquise’s involvement in the NAACP began in 2015 as a national competitor in the NAACP ACT-SO program. In April 2015, he got the urge to become more involved with his local NAACP chapter when there was the shooting of unarmed 18-year-old William Chapman who was shot and killed in a Walmart parking lot by local Portsmouth Police Department Officer, Stephen Rankin. From August to May the local NAACP, Community leaders, and members of the community led protests in the city to stop the wave of senseless police killings of unarmed African Americans across the country. Not only were there protests, but there were meetings with elected officials, members of the city council and the Chief of Police and the department’s administration. In August 2015, after a lengthy trial, Rankin was not found guilty of first-degree murder, but found guilty of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to jail.

In 2016, Marquise became the first freshman to hold the position of President of the Tougaloo College Chapter of the NAACP. The chapter was able to successfully be a partner in the #IAmAnImmigrant campaign which encourages all Americans to celebrate the monumental contributions that immigrants have made—and continue to make every day. In 2017, Marquise became one of the youth organizers for the ‘March on Mississippi’ which was a campaign launched to allow the employees of Nissan (Canton, MS) to decide without fear and intimidation to be represented by a union while ending voter suppression at Nissan and all employers across Mississippi. The Tougaloo NAACP also stood with the family of Emmett Till in February 2017, in response to Carolyn Bryant’s new response saying that her statement in 1955 that was the driving force behind the murder of Emmett Till was a lie.

In 2017, Marquise became President of the Mississippi State Conference Youth and College Division of the NAACP. He is always excited to serve in any capacity within the NAACP as this is an organization that he genuinely loves and cherishes. He hopes to continue to the legacy of fighting for equity and justice in this 100 plus-year-old organization.