Chief Executive Office (CEO)
Gregory Hodge is a social change activist and organizational development consultant with Khepera Consulting. Working as a strategist, meeting designer, racial equity trainer, facilitator and coach, Gregory works with a range of groups from small non-profits and foundations to public agencies, particularly school districts and foundations. Greg served as the Executive Director for the Executives’ Alliance for Boys and Men of Color and currently as the Chief Executive Officer for the Oakland-based Brotherhood of Elders Network. He is a coordinating partner in designing the Healing Generations Institute with the National Compadres Network.
His clients include the Association of Black Foundation Executives, The California Endowment and Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation. As a leader in his community, Gregory served two four-year terms as a member of the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education beginning in January 2000, including a year as president of the board. Greg is a
Fulbright-Hayes Fellow, recipient of the Gerbode Fellowship and board chair of the Rockwood Leadership Institute. He is a proud father of five, active gardener and lives in
Joe is a founding member of the BOEN Leadership Council. He is a Senior Fellow at PolicyLink, advising the Financial Security for All and Boys and Men of Color Teams. Joe headed the Berkeley Anti-Poverty Agency in the War on Poverty era and was a faculty member of the inaugural Black Studies departments at two Universities—UC Berkeley and San Francisco State University. He has published several articles in Journals and written a book chapter focusing on politics and economics. Joe served as the President of the Emergency Land Fund for 13 years, saving Black-owned land in the rural southeast. He also served as an Assistant to the City Manager, Office of Economic Development, and Executive Director of the Rent Board, Berkeley California. He also served as a Program Officer for Neighborhood and Community Development at the San Francisco Foundation. He is currently a board member of OCCUR–Oakland Citizens Committee for Urban Renewal, and for 14 years, Chair of the Urban Habitat Program of the Bay Area.
Joe has a Master’s degree in City and Regional Planning, from UC Berkeley, and a Bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics, from San Jose State University. He has been a mentor to scores of young people and has been a commentator on politics, policy, and history.
Ron Cole Bridgeforth, human rights activist, has been involved in social justice, literacy, and mentorship initiatives throughout the last sixty years. His work took him to Mississippi, the Bay Area, and the Midwest. As a SNCC Field Secretary in the 1960s during the struggle for Civil Rights, he was a Project Director, organizer and educator in Mississippi as well as San Francisco.
As a community college counselor and educator in Michigan, he organized student development and community education programs focusing on Africa American history and culture. He continues as an educator and advocate for social justice with the Civil Rights Movement Archive, where he facilitates intergenerational explorations of social justice and human rights issues that confront us today.
In Oakland, Baba Cole has served as a Mentor and Board Member with the Alameda County Court, Crossroads Mentoring Program. He continues to serve with the Brotherhood of Elders Network, on the Leadership Council, and on the Education Committee. He remains committed to supporting the next generation of leaders.
Dr. Kweli Tutashinda is a member of the BOEN Leadership Council. He works with healing generations and is the author of 8 books. He is a founding member of BOEN, has been active since [its start in 2009], and has served on its Leadership Council since its inception. He has a bachelor’s degree in Philosophy from the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California. He has practiced Chiropractic since 1989, and owns Imhotep Chiropractic and Wellness Center in Berkeley, California. Also a teacher, he taught English and led workshops in health, science, and technology in the Upward Bound programs of the University of California at Berkeley and Mills College for 31 years, beginning in 1984. Additionally, he taught at Life Chiropractic College West for ten years as well as New College of California and JFK University.
Roward Pinderhughes is a member of the BOEN Leadership Council. Howard Pinderhughes, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of California, San Francisco. Dr. Pinderhughes is the author of Race in the Hood: Conflict and Violence Among Urban Youth which examined the dynamics of racial violence in New York City and his forthcoming book, Dealing With Danger: How Inner-City Youth Cope with the Violence that Surrounds them, examines the production of youth violence and how urban adolescents think about, experience and make decisions about the use of violence. Howard is also a consultant with The Prevention Institute. Additionally, he served as the Co-Principal Researcher for the Center on Culture, Immigration and Youth Violence Prevention, one of the CDC’s Academic Centers of Excellence in Youth Violence Prevention.
Jason Seals is a member of the Leadership Council. He is an African-centered educator, carrying the tradition of activist-intellectual to address critical systemic issues and empower individuals for personal and social transformation. An Oakland native, Jason has over two decades of experience serving his community locally, nationally, and globally as an educator, thought leader, speaker, and change agent.
While completing his BA in Sociology at San Jose State University, Jason began his career in youth development serving in multiple roles across the nonprofit, mental health, and juvenile justice sectors. After obtaining his master’s in Africana Studies from the University of Albany, Jason leveraged his love for transformational educational practices and Africana studies in the classroom, teaching ethnic studies and manhood development courses at multiple high schools, colleges, and universities across the Bay Area.
Jason went on to earn a Master of Education in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco and began working fulltime at Merritt College, where he currently serves as the Chair of Ethnic Studies and as a tenured Professor of African American Studies.
Beyond the traditional classroom, Professor Seals facilitates community workshops and professional development trainings on a wide range of topics inclusive of radical healing, anti-racism, parenting/fatherhood, and systems change. Jason is often called upon to provide his expertise as a consultant, curriculum designer, and speaker.
The role that Professor Seals is most passionate about is his role as a father. His love for his own children is reflective in the work he does to rebuild families and communities as a means towards healing and wellness.
Quinton is a Project Manager for the Brotherhood of Elders Network. He was born and raised on the eastside of Cleveland, Ohio. A strong work ethic with a loving and supportive family helped him navigate the challenges of racism and poverty. He studied Urban and Regional Planning at Michigan State University and received an M.A in Community Development and Planning from Clark University. Determined to continue his social justice work, Quinton and his soul mate moved to Oakland in 2009. Since then the Town has become the place they call home and the birthplace of their first child, a smart and beautiful little boy. Now, with over 15 years of community based social justice work, Quinton brings an array of skills to the BOEN, such as community organizing, development, strategic planning, and fundraising. You can find out more about Quinton’s work on LinkedIn and his company website, Sirius Creativity.
Originally from Cleveland, Kevin has been rooted in the Bay since 2000. He firmly believes that educating our young people is the best investment we can make in building a healthier, safer, more vibrant, and more inclusive community for everyone.
With 30+ years of volunteerism experience, and 23 years of experience in the technology and public sectors, he has significant experience in research, quantitative analysis, consulting, project management, higher ed curriculum development & teaching, tutoring/mentoring, entrepreneurship, and community organizing. He earned a BA in Finance from Ohio University and an MBA from UC Berkeley.
He founded the Black Lives Voter Guide, serves on the OUSD Reparations for Black Students Task Force, and does organizing around Black-led youth development programs. He accepts his responsibility to lead positive change in our community, and is intensely motivated to continue the good work laid down by our ancestors.
Olafemi B. Akintunde
Olafemi B. Akintunde currently serves as Director of the Ubuntu Leadership Institute. Olafemi’s work focuses on healing centered engagement, curriculum development, and differentiated learning.
A graduate of California State University, East Bay with a B.A. in Sociology and an emphasis on social services, Olafemi is a multi credentialed teacher who continues to serve many different communities throughout the country. With an extensive background in teaching, facilitation, program development, and social service delivery, Olafemi’s focus has been geared towards the healing and education of boys and men of color. Through his work with Flourish Agenda, Inc, Alameda County of Education, Juvenile Hall, and the African American Male Achievement program over the last several years, he has created opportunities for individuals to explore toxic social constructs while providing a comprehensive lens needed to heal self and community.
As an educator, he has been featured in the Detroit Free Press, Ubuntu Leadership Academy, and the African American Male Achievement Documentary, “Kingmakers.” In addition, his work has been published by the Campaign for Black Male Achievement, which featured his unique approach to educating young black males, as his engaging and charismatic approach reflects his background in performing arts. His interactive teaching is spoken from a place of absolute understanding of the Black male experience through education. He sees the education and healing of black men and boys as his life’s work and looks forward to continuing the legacy of great African educators.
ULI Assistant Director
Aremu Mbande (Anthony Smith, he/him) is the Assistant Director of the Ubuntu Leadership Institute and brings to ULI nearly a decade of experience working with African American boys at the middle school, high school, and college level.
Previously, Aremu served as the Director of the African American Male Resource Center at Chicago State University. In this role, he spearheaded a department that radically addressed the social, cultural, and educational needs of CSU’s Black male students. In five years, he became known for promoting robust cultural heritage month programs, facilitating critical race and gender dialogues among students and staff, mentoring and advising various identity-based student organizations, and pioneering the first study abroad program within the Division of Student Affairs.
Aremu is a PhD student at the University of Illinois at Chicago where he is studying Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Human Development and a concentration in Black Studies. At UIC, he has taught undergraduate and graduate courses related to youth development, emerging adulthood, and social research methods. His current academic work explores how gender and race socialization emerge in community-centered spaces for men of color. He earned his BS in Psychology from Howard University and MS in Applied Psychology from Sacred Heart University.
He is a loving parent of four beautiful children and a proud partner to a brilliant birth worker.
The purpose of the Economic Development Committee is to explore and engage in projects that address socioeconomic needs while creating wealth for the black community.
Chair Paul Pryde- Economist, Owner of Capital Access Group
Co-Chair Deen Hasaan- Program Director at College Bound Brotherhood.
The purpose of the Education Committee is to support outstanding educational projects that primarily impact the lives of Black boys and young men. The committee does this in diverse ways that include volunteer engagement, parent training, and direct service.
Co-chair Ron Bridgeforth, College Counselor and Educator (Ret); Veteran of the Southern Freedom Movement
Co-chair Kelvin Potts, Founder, and CEO, Positive Communication Practices
Health and Wellness
The purpose of the Health and Wellness committee is to develop healing rituals/ceremonies for BOEN participants and to provide them with resources to optimize their personal health as well as the health of their families.
Chair Kweli Tutashinda- Writer, Teacher, Chiropractor, and Holistic Health Practitioner. Owner of Imhotep Chiropractic & Wellness Center in Berkeley, CA
Co Chair Ron Shaw- Program Manager at Youth Service Bureau in Richmond, CA
Our Very Own Tech
OVO Tech is a project of the BOEN Technology Committee. The purpose of this committee is to increase digital literacy and access to computer technology in low-income communities in Oakland; with a primary emphasis on impacting Black boys and young men.
Co-Chair Dr. Fred Blackwell III Orthopedic Surgeon
Co-Chair Robert Wilkins- (Retired) C.E.O of YMCA Bay Area
To monitor and address policies and practices, in the City of Oakland and Alameda County that contribute to, or undermine African American boys and young men’s ability to thrive.
Co-Chair Joe Brooks Board Member and Senior Fellow at Policy Link
Co-Chair Calvin (Uthman) Williams, Fellow at Movement Strategy Center
Special Events and Activities
The purpose of the Special Events Committee is to plan, coordinate, and facilitate core BOEN events including the Annual Kwanzaa celebration and the Speaker’s series.
Committee Chair Open
National Compadres Network
A historical Gathering of Wisdom Keepers. Elders and community leaders from across the nation gathered in Oakland, CA, on February 26 & 27, 2015 to initiate what was a collective voice of wisdom keepers and wisdom teachers. They will continue to lift up the sacredness of our youth and demand that they be afforded every opportunity to fulfill their sacred purpose in life. An effort led by The National Compadres Network in collaboration with The Brotherhood of Elders Network and CURYJ.