All about WeRISE for Greater Westerville

The mission of WeRISE is to eradicate individual and structural racism in the greater Westerville community. This organization will lead collaborative anti-racism efforts, driving meaningful, lasting and equitable change.

WeRISE will:

  • Promote an equity and justice lens in order to dismantle systems of oppression.
  • Advance collaboration with governmental entities, residents, community partners, and institutions to develop coordinated equity and justice efforts.
  • Cultivate learning spaces that further racial healing and normalize a culture of equity and justice.
  • Monitor outcomes to ensure the goal of racial equity and social justice is being achieved


Vashitta Johnson, Executive Director

WeRISE Board of Directors

  • Dr. Tiyi Morris – Board President, Associate Professor of African American and African Studies 
  • James E. Chaffin – Board Vice President, APM, Quantum Health – Vice Chair
  • Emily Swanson – Board Treasurer, Esquire
  • Dr. Dorian Harrison, Assistant Professor of Education, The Ohio State University at Newark
  • Devray Kirkland, Chief Diversity Officer – Cardinal Health 
  • Desmond Fernandez – Student Liaison and Community Engagement Organizer
  • Colleen Moidu, Executive Director, Westerville Education Foundation 
  • James E. Prysock III, Director, Social Justice and Activism at Otterbein University 
  • Judith S. Ridgway, Ph.D., Asst. Director for Life Sciences Education, The Ohio State University – Secretary
  • Lee Rutherford, Teacher/ELA Department Facilitator, Blendon MIddle School 
  • Jon C. Walden, Board of Trustees, Westerville Public Library

Last updated: 10/19/2021