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


Renée Thompson, Executive Director (Learn more about Renée.)

Headshot of Renee Thompson

WeRISE Board of Directors

  • Vashitta Johnson, Westerville Public Library Foundation Board, Westerville Black Parent Association – President / Chair
  • James E. Chaffin, APM, Quantum Health – Vice President / Vice Chair
  • Emily Swanson, Esquire – Treasurer
  • Dr. Dorian Harrison, Assistant Professor of Education, The Ohio State University at Newark
  • Desmond Fernandez, Otterbein Student and Community Engagement Organizer
  • Devray Kirkland, Chief Diversity Officer – Cardinal Health 
  • Colleen Moidu, Executive Director, Westerville Education Foundation 
  • Dr. Tiyi Morris, Associate Professor of African American and African Studies 
  • 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: 5/5/2021