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DeJuana Thompson Named Permanent President and CEO of BCRI

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The Birmingham Times

DeJuana Thompson will serve as president and CEO of Birmingham Civil Rights Institute without the “interim” designation, the board announced on Wednesday.
Thompson, founder of Woke Vote and cofounder of Think Rubix, began serving as interim president and CEO one year ago. Since that time she’s made a number of changes.

“Over the last year we’ve worked to address critical issues to ensure the Institute was able to recover from the effects of resent transitions and the impacts of national events. I knew that we needed to return to our investment in community; growth; academic and social programming,” said Thompson. “We’ve raised $2.4M and, on the heels of celebrating our 30th anniversary.”

In addition to Thompson, BCRI announced seven new board members:

  • Natalie Kelly, director of Corporate Responsibility at Brasfield & Gorrie, one of the nation’s largest construction firms.
  • Arian Simone, co-founder, president, and CEO at the Fearless Fund, a venture capital fund investing in women of color LED startup companies.
  • Mashonda Taylor, community strategist and innovative thinker who leads as Executive Director of Woodlawn United.
  • Deontée Gordon, President and CEO of Tech Birmingham who spent two years as Director of Business Development at REV, and led the launch of REVeal Kitchen in the Pizitz Food Hall, the nonprofit’s restaurant incubator.
  • Nick Willis, Greater Alabama Regional President at PNC Bank.
  • Alice Bowsher, who has helped spearhead efforts to protect structures and neighborhoods that give the Magic City much of its unique character and charm.
  • Dr. Anthony C. Hood, Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for First Horizon Bank.

The Institute also announced new members to its staff. Dr. Kimberly Brown Pellum has joined as curator-in-residency. Dr. Samantha Briggs joins the team as Vice President of Education. Katina Smith is the Institute’s Executive Assistant to the President and Carrie McGowan serves as Office Manager.