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

WeRISE Board of Directors

James E. Prysock III – Board President

DEI Consultant for American Electric Power

James Prysock III is a DEI Consultant for American Electric Power and the former Director of Social Justice & Activism at Otterbein University. He received a B.A. degree in Sport Management from Otterbein University in 2009 and MBA in 2019. Immediately after college, he began working in an after-school ESL program for Somali refugee elementary and middle school students in Columbus, Ohio. James has developed curriculums that include goal setting, conflict resolution, networking, establishing healthy relationships, trauma informed teaching, civic discourse and identity development. He has implemented these curriculums with students, faculty/staff, community members and companies of varying industries. His experiences include business consulting, event planning, teaching, addressing campus climate needs, increasing alumni engagement, driving community service initiatives, advising student groups and branding organizations.

Colleen Moidu – Board Vice President

Executive Director, Westerville Education Foundation 

Colleen Moidu is a Westerville South Graduate and currently lives in Westerville with her husband and three children. Colleen serves as the Executive Director for the Westerville Education Foundation and co-chaired the 2019 levy campaign for Westerville City Schools. Colleen also serves on Boards for several other community organizations including Community Refugee and Immigration Services (CRIS), Kids Voting Ohio and Support Ohio Schools.

Emily Swanson – Board Treasurer

Emily Swanson is the owner of a consulting business, working with non-profits, private schools,  churches and other organizations all over the country in both the United States and Canada.  She has worked in nonprofit as a staff attorney for the Legal Aid Society and in the business sector as a Director of Human Resources.

Emily received her bachelor degree from The Ohio State University and her Juris Doctorate from Capital University Law School.  She lives in Uptown Westerville with her husband Mark, her two children, and two golden retrievers who bark at everyone who passes.  

Dr. Dorian Harrison, Secretary

Assistant Professor of Education, The Ohio State University at Newark

Dr. Dorian Harrison joined the OSU Newark campus in 2019 as an assistant professor of Teaching and Learning. She received her B.A. in Liberal Studies from the University of Memphis, M.A. in Learning and Teaching from Lipscomb University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2018 with an emphasis on Language and Literature. Dr. Harrison’s research interests center on equity issues in literacy education, paying particular attention to how race, class, and language affect teaching and learning. Drawing on her experiences as a K-6 educator, she seeks to encourage critical approaches to literacy in the classroom. By using theories of critical literacy, diverse literature, and multilingual learners, she works towards impacting classroom practice and preservice teachers in developing skills for literacy instruction in a global world.

Ashley R. Kennard

Assistant Professor of Communication at Ohio Wesleyan University

Ashley R. Kennard is Assistant Professor of Communication at Ohio Wesleyan University. Her curricula and research are centered on intercultural and intergroup communication, attitudes and persuasion, media effects, and health communication; particularly how each of these pertain to conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion. She received her B.A. in Communication from the University of Cincinnati, and a Master’s and Ph.D. in Communication from The Ohio State University. At Ohio Wesleyan, she has taught courses such as Intercultural Communication, Mass Media History, Conflict Management, Media Literacy, and a special topics course on Stereotypes, Stigma, and Polarization, among others. She has conducted research on strategic message design within the realm of crafting prosocial campaigns and effective interventions, and she has examined the impacts of media representations on identity. Prior to entering academia, she worked as a marketing and sales representative for a national medical equipment provider where she was tasked with developing more effective ways to communicate with doctors and patients. Outside of the university, Dr. Kennard likes to spend her time outdoors. In 2017, she traversed through 14 states on foot, covering the entire 2,189.8 miles of the Appalachian Trail. She also likes to read, play soccer, crochet, and spend time with her nieces and nephews.

Carolina Trindade

Senior Director, Human Resources for the Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH)

Carolina Trindade (she/her) is the Senior Director, Human Resources for the Alcohol Drug and Mental Health Board of Franklin County (ADAMH). She is passionate about building and cultivating workspaces that encourage individuals to collaborate, innovate, and participate as their authentic selves. Prior to joining ADAMH, Carolina served as the first-ever diversity, equity & inclusion administrator of the Franklin County Board of Commissioners, where she lead 12 county agencies to proactively apply a lens of diversity, equity, and inclusion to recruiting, learning and development, programming, and service delivery. Carolina has a bachelor’s degree in clinical psychology and an MBA with a concentration in human resources management from Liberty University. She grew up in Southern California and is proud to call Columbus home. She and her wife, Sarah live in the Strawberry Farms area with their two dogs, Zoey and Stan Lee. Carolina is a mental health advocate who believes that quality and affordable mental health care is a right for all. She loves exploring local restaurants and cheering on the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Cheri Brumbaugh

Manager of Workforce Planning & Staffing Analytics at Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc

Cheri Brumbaugh (she/her) is a lover of all-things-math, logic, and strategy who happened upon a career in HR. She has 9+ years of experience working in both manufacturing and non-profit industries, and is currently the Manager of Workforce Planning & Staffing Analytics at Advanced Drainage Systems, Inc. During those years, she has partnered with senior leaders at multiple organizations to identify areas of focus and develop strategies to advance DEI and served in Employee Resource Groups and Anti-Racism Focus Groups.

Above any specific accomplishment, Cheri’s main goal in life is that when she leaves an encounter, it can be said of her that she was thoughtful about the people and circumstances involved, courageous enough to advocate for what was right, and remained true to her values.

Cheri is a proud HBCU graduate, holding a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics with a Minor in Leadership Studies from Hampton University. She, her husband Gregory, two sons, Evan and Wesley, and dog “Ziva the Vizsla” are residents of Westerville, Ohio.

Denise Harrison

Clinical Social Worker 

Denise Harrison, LISW, MSW, is a clinical social worker committed to providing anti-oppressive and affirming mental health care to BIPOC and LGBTQIA communities. She is grateful for the opportunity to have practiced in various states and across clinical settings. Most recently she is a mental health counselor at Otterbein University’s Counseling Center. In addition to her clinical experience, she has a history of community involvement with organizations focused on positive youth development, tutoring and mentoring, migrant and immigrant populations, and LGBTQIA issues. She joins the WeRise of Westerville Board of Directors to continue the mission to dismantle systems of oppression and create sustainable change in our community. She’s excited to use her knowledge of mental health and wellness to develop programs that raise awareness on racial trauma and offer resources for community restorative healing. Also, Denise currently serves as Interim President of the Westerville Queer Collective. Denise is originally from Chicago, IL, and has made Westerville, OH her home since 2019.

Devray Kirkland

Chief Diversity Officer – Cardinal Health 

Devray Kirkland is vice president, Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) and chief diversity officer (CDO) for Cardinal Health, a global, integrated healthcare services and products company, providing customized solutions for hospitals, healthcare systems, pharmacies, ambulatory surgery centers, clinical laboratories and physician offices worldwide. As CDO, Devray has led the development and implementation of a comprehensive, enterprise-wide diversity strategy through related programs, initiatives, and projects. He also provides direction to business segments on tactical programs and systems related to attracting, retaining, and promoting a diverse workforce. In partnership with the Cardinal Health Executive Committee and Diversity & Inclusion Council, Devray fosters critical dialogue and strategic counsel across the business to progress and sustain an inclusive work culture. He was integral in the formation of both the D&I Council and employee resource groups at Cardinal Health.

He resides in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife, Nicky, and their son, Devray II. Devray is a sports fan, loves traveling, working with the youth community, and most of all – spending time with his family.

Kelsy Gibson

Description coming soon. 

Sammantha Robinson

Sammantha (Sammi) Robinson is a current BFA Acting student at Otterbein University, and has spent all of her youth creating and organizing means of activism throughout her community. As an advocate for marginalized communities, she has spent time being a youth public speaker and performer, and focuses on educating others in the community in hopes to build a stronger Westerville, and a stronger world.

She has led multiple protests, and walkouts around Westerville, and is often seen speaking at many events in Columbus. She urges anyone who needs help organizing to reach out (Sammi.mkz on all social media platforms) and is always open to be a support system for anyone who needs it in the community.

Vashitta Johnson

Vashitta has 20 years’ experience working in politics, on campaigns, and in policy.

She is currently a doctoral student with aspirations of becoming an economist working to shape and change policies that will fix systemic racism and close the gap that exists between the wealthy and the poor.

As a community organizer, Vashitta’s volunteer experience includes being the President of the WeRise Board, Vice – President for the Westerville Library Foundation Board, and Co-Chair of the Westerville Black Parent Association. Vashitta was also a volunteer at Children Services crisis center for a few years.

Vashitta holds a master’s degree in International Business and a bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration as well an associate degree in Business Management Technology.

Being involved in the community is a passion for Vashitta where she advocates for children, voting rights, lgbtq+ rights, racial equity, abortion rights, and low-income communities. Vashitta has been a resident of Westerville for 11 years and is a mother to two beautiful children ages 7 and 10 who attend Westerville City Schools.

Last updated: 10/4/2022