The Umoja Community Education Foundation is led by a board of directors. These directors represent a variety of stakeholders and skill sets. Each director is uniquely passionate about the success of African American students.

The Board of Directors meets four times a year (in-person) and on an as-needed basis throughout the year. Agendas and meeting minutes can be found here.


    Dr. Teresa Aldredge has been a counselor/instructor at Cosumnes River College since 1992.  She also serves as the Program Coordinator/Counselor for the Diop Scholars Program on the campus and also teaches in the Human Services department.  Dr. Aldredge brings statewide organizational leadership to the board from her experience as President of both the California Counseling Association (CCA) and... READ MORE
    Ms. Jordan Beckwith is a student member of the Umoja Community Education Foundation Board of Directors. She is a freshman at Sacramento City College, majoring in Psychology. Professionally, Ms. Beckwith would like to become a trauma therapist and a professional photographer. Ms. Beckwith’s hobbies include spending time with children, taking photos, and singing. 
    Dr. Deborah G. Blue retired as Chancellor Emerita from the State Center Community College District in July, 2015, after serving as a California Community College CEO and administrator for twenty-five years with the priority of student learning, success, and leadership development.  Dr. Blue’s prior administrative positions included: Vice Chancellor, Districtwide Planning and Educational Services... READ MORE
    Yaw JP Wiafe is a recent graduate of Fullerton College that has had a profound impact on students and faculty alike. He strives to be a leader in his community through dedication to the service of students on campus, in his church, and in his surrounding community. Yaw demonstrates Black Excellence both through his academic endeavors, and work in mentoring students.  He attended Fullerton College... READ MORE
    Dr. Darla M. Cooper is an educational leader and expert in research and evaluation dedicated to using inquiry, data, and evidence to improve the lives of all community college students. After serving for the past several years as the Director of Research and Evaluation for the Research and Planning Group for the California Community Colleges (RP Group), Dr.... READ MORE
    Brenda Washington Davis is a Principal in the Brenda Davis Law Group and provides legal services, mediation and policy advocacy regarding permitting and compliance in the highly regulated water rights, land use, endangered species, and agriculture industries. Ms. Davis helps public entities, nonprofits, advocacy groups, and private individuals successfully resolve complex business matters in... READ MORE
    Bernard Jefferson serves as the Associate Director at the Aerospace Corporation, Electronics and Power Systems Department. In this capacity, Bernard serves a multitude of government customers in the acquisition and delivery of multiple satellite assets as both an engineer and manager.  Bernard Jefferson started his professional career at United Technologies where he gained experience as an... READ MORE
    Dr. Judy Mays currently serves as the Interim Dean of Counseling at American River College. Dr. Mays has been counseling and teaching in California Community Colleges since 1985.  She has worked in the Kern Community College District, the Contra Costa Community College District and is presently in the Los Rios Community College District.  Throughout her career she has taken on faculty... READ MORE
    Jeri Marshall is an Outreach Specialist and Adjunct Faculty member at American River College. As an adjunct faculty member he teaches college success with an African American emphasis for the Umoja-Sakhu Learning Community.  Jeri has served as a youth minister with Faith Fellowship Community Church, South Sacramento Christian Center and has been instrumental in the church educational programs and... READ MORE
    Denise F. Noldon, Ph.D., is currently serving as interim president of Los Angeles Valley College (LAVC), which is one of the nine college of the Los Angeles Community College District, where she oversees the entire operations of the campus,. Dr. Noldon has extensive experience in higher education. Prior to LAVC, she served as interim president of Los Angeles Southwest College from 2016 to 2018.... READ MORE
    Taj currently serves as Senior Director of investments at LACI, focusing on companies in the energy, transportation, and the circular economy. Taj also makes personal investments and serves as a board member to a number of companies via his Babylon Ventures entity.  Prior to LACI, Taj was the Director for the Incubator at the University of California in Riverside, California. During his tenure... READ MORE
    Garcel Zardes is an alumni student of the Project Success Program at El Camino College. Project Success is an Umoja Community affiliated program focused on the recruitment, retention, and success of African American students attending El Camino College. During his time in Project Success Garcel served as a math and science tutor, peer mentor, and student leader who spoke to government officials... READ MORE