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. 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
    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
    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
    Romelia “Meme” Turner is presently a student at San Diego City College. A native of Southeast San Diego, Meme is very active in her community with organizations such as Pillars of the Community, and proudly serves Greater Life Baptist Church as an usher and participant in the women’s ministry. After a long career in the beauty industry and conquering breast cancer in 2009, Meme returned to school... 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