Commission on African American Affairs

About the Pennsylvania Commission on African American Affairs
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About the Pennsylvania Commission on African American Affairs

Established by Executive Order 2015-07, the Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs (GACAAA) serves as the commonwealth’s advocate agency for the African American community in Pennsylvania. Our mission is to ensure that state government is accessible and accountable by advising the governor on policies, procedures, legislation, and regulations. GACAAA also works to expand and enhance the civic, social, educational, cultural, and economic status of the African American Community.

The commission is composed of twenty volunteer members appointed by the governor for a term of two years.


Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs Calls for Task Force on Improving Police-Community Relations


Jalila Parker – Executive Director
David Dix – Chair
Marisa C. Williams – Vice-Chair
Carl W. Bailey
Angela Euell-McNair
Cynthia James
Danielle Paige Jeter
Dr. Damone B. Jones, Jr.
Guerline Laurore
La’Tasha D. Mayes
Anton K. Moore
Bilal Abdul Qayyum
Fred Redmond
Wanda Richards
Jasmine E. Sessoms
Blane F. Stoddart
Rev. Walter Scott Thomas, Jr.
Dwan Walker
Rev. Dr. Aaron Willford, Jr.


Carl W. Baileycarl Bailey

Carl W. Bailey has a Bachelor of Business Administration from Almeda College and University, completed the Executive Education Program at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, and is a member of the NAACP Philadelphia Executive Board.


David Dix

David Dix is President and CEO of Luminous Strategies.

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    He was motivated to unite his career experience, his passion of politics and public policy to launch Luminous Strategies.

    As President and CEO of Luminous Strategies, David strives daily to develop innovative approaches to civic engagement, advocacy and government relations. Since its inception, his firm has risen to prominence, now holding the distinction as the largest African American owned lobbying firm in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    For the past two decades, David has built synergies on both sides of the aisle by working closely with Republicans and Democrats enabling him to forge broad and meaningful national relationships that lead to successful outcomes. Where there are challenges and discord, David has applied his fine-tuned skill in building consensus and buy-in from divergent groups.

    A native of Erie, Pennsylvania David studied political science and marketing at Indiana University of Pennsylvania where he was the student representative on the Board of Trustees. More recently, David was nominated by Governor Tom Wolf as the Chairman of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs (GACAAA) he also serves as Treasurer of the Community College of Philadelphia Foundation Board (CCP), and holds life memberships in both the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Incorporated.

    He currently shares time between the birthplace of American Democracy, Philadelphia and the Sweetest Place on Earth, Hershey Pennsylvania.

Angela Euell-McNairAngela Euell-McNair

Angela sits on the Erie School Board in the City of Erie, Pa, and serves as community liaison, initiating several projects to further include parent involvement.

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    Angela is very active in the community and host many activities and fundraisers for youth agencies. She and her husband, Andrew McNair, operate Erie Boxing Academy, a community boxing center for inner city youth. In addition, Euell-McNair is owner of Jump Start Early Learning center located inside of the Booker T Washington Community center where she facilitates inner city families, providing trauma focused therapy. She and her husband are proud parents of Angelina, Julius, Andrew and twin girls, MaKayla and MaKyah who are autistic. She advocates for her community and for those who need someone to be their voice. She earned her bachelors in science from Edinboro University and a masters in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.


Cynthia James

Biography to come.


Danielle Paige JeterDanielle P. Jeter

“Creative, visionary, and inspiring” are just a few words used to describe Ms. Danielle P. Jeter. Jeter’s a graduate of Spelman College where she majored in history, dance, and theater arts.

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    After honing her skills through her experiences serving as Director of Marketing with several Atlanta based companies, Danielle decided to take her unique combination of communication skills, leadership, and expertise to launch her own business. Jeter founded AOI Events & PR in 2009, a full service creative communications firm headquartered in Philadelphia, PA, which specializes in event production and public relations, representing clients nationally. Focused on professional growth, Danielle completed the Public Relations Society of America Philadelphia Chapter Nancy Bacher Long Public Relations Institute. In addition, Danielle pursued an Event Planning Certificate from Temple University. AOI’s signature annual Internship & Mentoring Program, has had over 25 high school and college students since 2009 successfully complete the curriculum for hands on experience in communications and business. As an award-winning, acclaimed, sought after social innovator, business, and civic leader, Jeter helps build national brands with her strategic approach and creative solutions.

    Jeter is the Visionary & Co-Founder of the Women in Media Network. Women in Media was created to empower, equip and encourage women from all walks of life who are in the media field or seek to enter it. This organization was founded as a response for the need of more upper leadership from women at media brands and to continue to challenge women to pursue every area of media from ownership, management, leadership, operations, and in front of the camera talent. Annually in September, the organization products a professional development conference which equips and encourages hundreds of women to be fore-front leaders in the industry of media.
    The African American Chamber of Commerce of PA, NJ, and DE named Jeter the Young Professional of the Year, where she was instrumental in founding the current Young Professional Network at the AACC. Danielle P. Jeter received the Next Generation of Women Leaders Risings Stars Award by Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown and the Philadelphia City Council. Jeter was honored by Influencing Action as a Woman Born to Make History in the Philadelphia Weekly Newspaper. For her dedication to civic empowerment and capacity to mobilize the community, Jeter was appointed to serve as the Chair for the Public Relations Committee and Chair for the Millennial Youth Committee with the Philadelphia Chapter of the NAACP. The Philadelphia Tribune Newspaper named Danielle P. Jeter, one of the most influential African Americans in Philadelphia Under 40 Years Old for her ability to inspire and lead. Joan Shepp named Danielle A Woman of Style & Substance during Black History Month for the outstanding work she is doing in the community and with her professional career. Just recently, Pennsylvania’s new state Governor Tom Wolf appointed Danielle P. Jeter to the Commission on African American Affairs, responsible for advising the Governor on initiatives needed for the advancement of the black community. Passionate about the creative arts, social change, economic empowerment and global impact, Jeter is devoted to developing the next generation of leaders, women’s empowerment, and making sure good stories about great people doing impactful work is highlighted in the media.


Guerline LauroreGuerline Laurore

After Ms. Laurore graduated from high school in French Guiana, she received a coveted scholarship to pursue her studies in France.

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    Within two years, she earned a diploma of general studies from the University of Poitiers. One year later, she earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology, in 1995 and a master’s degree in clinical psychology and psychopathology in 1996 both from the University of Provence Center of Aix, one of only five universities in France connected with the prestigious National Center for Scientific Research.

    In 2004, she received a juris doctor degree from Widener University School of Law in Wilmington Delaware. Ms. Laurore is licensed to practice law before the United States Supreme Court, the Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Michigan state courts. She has also been admitted in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. She is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Bar Association Leadership Institute (BLI) class of 2010-2011. Ms. Laurore is fluent in English, French, and Haitian Creole and she also knows Spanish and Portuguese.

    Ms. Laurore sits on the board of governors of the Pennsylvania Association for Gifted Education and the Pennsylvania Bar Foundation, where she chairs the scholarship committee. She also serves on the boards of CASA of Wyoming Valley and Luzerne County Dress for Success, the advisory boards of Big Brothers Big Sisters and Ruth’s Place. Ms. Laurore is the President of NAACP Wilkes-Barre. She is a member of the Pennsylvania Bar Association where she co-chairs the Minority Bar Committee Membership Subcommittee, a member of the Wilkes-Barre Law Library, and past co-chair of the PBA’s Immigration Law Committee.

    Ms. Laurore is the 2011 recipient of the Pennsylvania Young Lawyers Division Michael K. Smith Excellence in Service Award and was selected as a Pennsylvania Bar Association Minority Bar Committee, Rising Star.


La’Tasha D. MayesLaTasha Mayes

La’Tasha D. Mayes, MSPPM is a nationally recognized leader in the field of Reproductive Justice, Human Rights and leadership development for women and girls of color.

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    La’Tasha is the Founder and Executive Director of New Voices for Reproductive Justice, a multi-state organization based in Pittsburgh dedicated to the health and well-being of Black women and girls. La’Tasha is a proud graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and Carnegie Mellon University.


Anton K. MooreAnton Moore

Anton was born and raised in the inner city of Philadelphia, PA in the Tasker Homes Housing Development.

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    Reared in church, Anton had a relationship with God, knew the importance of prayer and supplication, and how to trust and have faith.

    God gave Anton a vision; He told Anton that he would use his niche for music to take his family out of those surroundings.

    By the age of 16 Anton began his career in radio, beginning with an internship and later became a staffer at Philadelphia’s leading station for Hip-Hop and R&B, WUSL’s Power 99FM. Anton was the youngest and hardest working intern at the station generating a buzz among senior staff and industry executives for having a unique and dedicated work ethic. During his tenure with Power 99, Anton helped coordinate the 2004 Unity Day Celebration (a free event in Philadelphia where over 200,000 people come to unite all genres of music with renowned artists and local vendors), the station’s annual Powerhouse concert, as well as a host of community sponsored events.

    Anton’s work didn’t go unnoticed and even as a young intern he networked and built relationships with key people in the music industry. Shortly thereafter, Anton was honored in a national campaign, Verizon Realize, an initiative that focused on young adults aspiring to have successful careers in the music industry. Anton was touted as an icon in the ads that featured his photo and the caption “Intern Today, Icon Tomorrow” on numerous billboards in Philadelphia and Washington, DC.

    Months later, Anton caught another break when he was extended an internship opportunity at Black Entertainment Television in New York City. Through hard work, dedication, determination and the favor of God Anton was promoted to Production Assistant for the classic BET show Rap City. Soon Anton was coordinating for various programs on the network including the BET Awards, 106 & Park, Spring Bling, Rip the Runway and later became one of the founding producers for the new show The Deal in 2010.

    While his career in the entertainment industry has granted him the privileges of working closely with popular celebrities and traveling across country, Anton has an immense love for children and his community in South Philadelphia. Since 2008 he has hosted an annual peace week and community block party for his neighborhood where he has provided giveaways and brought out recognized celebs like Jasmine Sullivan, Meek Mill, Angela Simmons, Lil Mama and more to perform. Anton is the founder and President of his own organization known as “Unity in the Community” which is based in South Philadelphia

    Throughout Anton’s career he’s been honored with the following awards: Philadelphia 76’ers Heroes Among Us Award, McDonald’s & Newsone Community Hero Award, the Knight Foundation/Black Male Engagement Award and many more. In addition to launching “Peace Week”, Moore’s organization is responsible for hosting various charity events such as community coat drives , prom drives, community feedings , school tours , mentoring sessions, fundraisers for local schools in his areas, turkey giveaways, operation holiday help, job fairs for the youth and just recently Unity in the Community launched a monthly “listen and learn” session that exposes the youth in his community to various professions free of charge. In May, Anton Moore was elected as the committeeman for the 48-8 Ward in South Philadelphia

    Anton resides in Philadelphia and works as a freelance TV producer, community activist and event planner.



Jalila ParkerJalila Parker headshot

Jalila Parker is the Executive Director of the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs and the Deputy Director of the Governor’s Southeast Regional Office.

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    In her dual capacity, Jalila works to ensure that the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is open and accessible to its citizens.

    Prior to joining the Wolf Administration, Jalila worked for many years as a political and fundraising consultant for numerous state and Philadelphia local elected officials, most notably Congressman Dwight Evans and State Senator Art Haywood. For nearly a decade under Rep. Evans mentorship, Jalila learned how effective government could revitalize a community.

    Giving back to her community is an integral part of Jalila’s personal life as well. In her downtime she mentors high school young ladies in the Quaker City Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Dr. Jeanne L. Noble GEMS Program.

    She resides in Philadelphia with her husband, Alan Parker, Jr. and son, Aiden.

Bilal Abdul QayyumBilal Abdul Qayyum

Bilal Abdul Qayyum serves as the President and Executive Director of the Father’s Day Rally Committee, Inc. (FDRC).

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    Since 1989, FDRC’s mission is to implement grassroots, call-to-action, responsibility community campaigns in response to societal and community challenges facing African American fathers, males, and the community at-large in Philadelphia and the surrounding Delaware Valley.


Fred RedmondRedmondVisa

Mr. Redmond joined the Steelworkers union in 1973 and worked his way up from a shop steward to local union vice-president.

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    He serves as Chairman of the USW Container Industry Conference, Chairman of USW’s Civil and Human Rights Department and is joint chairman of USW’s Next Generation Program.


Wanda RichardsImage of Wanda Richards.

Wanda Richards is a financial services attorney. 

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    During her more than twenty years as an attorney, Ms. Richards has provided legal and regulatory compliance support for small and large financial institutions in various areas such as consumer lending, deposits, consumer product marketing, consumer/commercial insurance, and most recently treasury management and consumer directed health care.

    A graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, Ms. Richards is admitted to the bar in Pennsylvania, New York, and the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. Ms. Richards holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Accounting from Niagara University.  She is a 2014 Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Fellow and is also a mentor for the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity Success in Law School Mentorship Program.

    Ms. Richards has been both a panelist and co-chair for the American Conference Institute “Women Leaders in Financial Services Law and Compliance,” and also serves on the conference’s Advisory Board. Ms. Richards has always focused on serving her community and has served on the boards of various non-profits in Montgomery County. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors of the SeniorLAW Center, which focuses on protecting the rights of older Pennsylvanians.


Jasmine E. SessomsJasmine Sessoms

Jasmine holds a Master’s in Organizational Development and Leadership from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine; a Bachelor of Science in Hospitality Management, with a minor in Marketing from Morgan State University; and a certificate in Fund Development from Villanova University.

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    She is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Community Wellness, a company that owns and operates medical marijuana businesses in 4 states. She also currently holds the role od Government & Community Relations Officer at Community College of Philadelphia. Prior to these roles Jasmine owned and operated her own consulting firm, J&S Strategies. In the past, Jasmine was employed as the Vice President for Institutional Advancement and External Affairs at Cheyney University; Managing Executive Director of Fund for Philadelphia; and Senior Manager of Corporate Giving for the ACE Insurance Group (ACE Charitable Foundation). Jasmine is very active in the community, including serving on Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs and is the Chairwoman of Pennsylvania Legislative Black Caucus Foundation, She is also on the Board of Directors for Smith Playground and PA Voices.

Blane F. Stoddart

Blane Fitzgerald Stoddart is President and CEO of BFW Group, LLC.

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    BFW provides construction project management, construction administration, owners’ representation, and development consulting services to non-profit and for-profit developers, government, large general contractors, schools, and institutions in the Mid-Atlantic region. Mr. Stoddart formerly served as Vice President of Business Development for Innova Services Corporation. Innova Services Corporation provides construction project management; program management, and green building consulting services to a $2 billion-dollar real estate portfolio in the Mid-Atlantic region. Prior to that, Mr. Stoddart served as CEO of The Partnership CDC (community development corporation) and its subsidiaries. Under his leadership, The CDC created over 114 new jobs, built 300 commercial and affordable housing units, and invested close to $100 million dollars in West Philadelphia, directly west of the University of Pennsylvania.

    Mr. Stoddart holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Economics and Marketing from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Mr. Stoddart is Vice Chairman of the Global Philadelphia Association. He is the Co-Founder of the Black Jewish Alliance of the Anti-Defamation League. He is the founder of the Better Living Center in Chester, PA which provides a free computer lab and emergency food to residents in Chester. He was recently appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf to the Governor’s Commission on African American Affairs. Mr. Stoddart is Co-Founder of the CEO Access Network at the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce which partners large company CEOs to mentor small business CEOs; and President of Young Caribbean Professional Network. Mr. Stoddart has been named “One of 50 People to Watch” by Philadelphia Magazine; “10 Under 40” by the Philadelphia Tribune; and Outstanding Minority Business Leader by the Philadelphia Business Journal. Mr. Stoddart was recently bestowed the “Globy Award” by Global Philadelphia Association for his efforts in making Philadelphia a more International City. Mr. Stoddart is a LEED Green Associate and OSHA Certified.


Rev. Walter Scott Thomas, Jr.Image of Rev. Walter S. Thomas.

Being an example to others not only in word, but also in deed is a principle that Pastor Walter Scott Thomas, Jr. aspires to live by.

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    In November of 2014 Pastor Thomas was called to pastor the First Baptist Church of Steelton in Harrisburg, PA. Since taking over as pastor, the church has grown by leaps and bounds and new ministry components have been added including public safety, social media, web streaming, and online giving.

    Pastor Thomas attended Morehouse College and graduated Cum Laude with a major in religious studies and a minor in psychology. He also graduated as the top-ranking senior in his major department. In 2001, Pastor Thomas acknowledged the call on his life to preach the gospel and preached his initial sermon on July 20th of that year. In 2007 Pastor Thomas was ordained into ministry. After Morehouse, Pastor Thomas continued his education and earned his Master of Divinity degree from the Howard University School of Divinity. At Howard, he served as a graduate assistant at the Historic Andrew Rankin Memorial Chapel.

    Pastor Thomas has worked to facilitate change wherever he has been. From working on reform in schools, to traveling to Hiroshima, Japan, to take part in a peace summit, Pastor Thomas has always had a mind to work on behalf of others. In 2016 he was elected to serve as the vice-president of the African American Ministerial Alliance of Steelton and Vicinity. Pastor Thomas has also been recognized nationally and inducted into the Morehouse College Martin Luther King Jr. Board of Preachers in 2018.

    Pastor Thomas is married to Mrs. Jarrette L. Thomas, and they have two lovely children, Lillian Grace and Walter, III. Pastor Walter Thomas is committed to serving God with a spirit of excellence.


Dwan Walker

Biography to come.


Marisa C. WilliamsMarissa Wiliams

Marisa has always been passionate about creating opportunities for those in need, particularly women and children.

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    After working in financial services for 10 years, she joined the YMCA in 2015, as the Executive Director for the 3 locations that made up the PNC YMCA in downtown Pittsburgh. In that role, she was responsible for cultivating donors, developing board members, and engaging participants, and staff to create a safe, fun, and engaging environment. Every day, the Y works side by side with its neighbors to ensure that everyone regardless of age, income or background, has the opportunity to learn, grow and thrive. In 2018, she was elevated to Associate Vice President, Community Outreach & Impact, expanding her responsibilities to include the entire Greater Pittsburgh Association footprint. Marisa was charged with developing a department from ground zero and is grateful for the opportunity to expose new families to the service culture of the YMCA. Her main focus in this new role is to bring the Y into communities who desperately need services, but do not have brick and mortar facilities to provide those needs. Marisa’s areas of expertise are relationship management, fundraising, and leadership development.

    Marisa is extremely involved in the Pittsburgh community; she recognizes her responsibility and is passionate about serving the community where she works, and lives. Marisa is a Pittsburgh Magazine “40 Under 40” alum, and serves on the following boards Imani Christian Academy, The Allegheny Regional Asset District, Johnson Institute for Responsible Leadership, and the Pittsburgh Downtown Partnership.

    “All the work we do is connected; we want to build healthy families, who produce amazingly whole and healthy children, regardless of their zip code. Those children will then go on to become the leaders we need for future generations. It’s a cycle.” Marisa leads by her actions. She is committed to changing her little part of the world for the better. She is a proud alum of the University of Pittsburgh. Marisa is a native of Media, PA. She currently lives in Pittsburgh with her husband Eugene and they are the proud parents to Eugene D. Williams IV.

Contact Us

For more information regarding the Governor’s Advisory Commission on African American Affairs please contact:

Jalila Parker, Executive Director
110 N. Eighth Street, Suite 505, 11th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19107
(215) 965-4603