As it celebrates its 115th anniversary, YWCA Greater Charleston is welcoming its incoming board of directors.
Kendra Snipe of Nucor Corporation, Jennifer Dunlap of Baker Donelson, Janet Hart of Amazon, and Courtney Johnson of Prudential Financial will continue to serve as board chair, vice chair, secretary, and treasurer, respectively. Judge Tamara C. Curry of the Charleston County Probate Court, past board chair, will serve as chair of the nonprofit’s governance committee.
Also continuing to serve on the board will be Radia Baxter of the Charleston County Sheriff’s Department, Ardmease Cunningham of Charleston Development Academy, Natasha Chisolm of The Chisolm Law Firm, and previous board treasurer Belita Green.
New board members include Carol A. Jackson, Kenya Dunn, Adrianne Grimes, and Crystal T. Robinson Rouse.
CAROL A. JACKSON
Jackson, a former City of Charleston Council member and retired executive with 40 years of experience in nonprofit management, served as the Council’s human resources chair from 2018 to 2021 and as the City of Charleston Mayor Pro Tempore in 2021. She was also the founder and only female president of the public/private partnership nonprofit that was the precursor to the City of Falls Church VA Economic Development Commission, and the originator and first president of her Falls Church community first overnight winter shelter to prevent hypothermia among the homeless population. She has served on a host of boards and committees, including a term as vice chair of the Charleston Commission on Women, and graduated cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree.
“I look forward to seeing the day when all children love their own skin and never encounter situations that would lead them to believe any less of themselves,” Jackson says. She also enjoys supporting women “to find and solidify their firm footing wherever they choose to walk, while they grow and spread their wings to fly far beyond any vision I have for their future.”
Dunn founded her own consultancy after a stint as vice president of retail sales at T-Mobile, where she was one of the few women executives in the company, an active advocate for diversity and inclusion, a mentor to multiple women, and an inspiration to many. Today she concentrates entirely on coaching women for success as chief executive officer of The Power Filled Woman, and also serves as fractional chief operating officer for Life tagger, Inc., an African American technology startup, where she mentors the founders while preparing the company to scale up.
The recipient of YWCA Greater Charleston’s 2020 #WhatWomenBring award in the business category and the 2021 Like a Girl: Dare to Dream award, she was also the 2019 nominee of Black Entertainment Television Network’s Women in Corporate America award. She holds a bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Phoenix.
A former TV news producer, Grimes is the director of marketing and communications for the South Carolina Research Authority. She previously led external affairs and marketing communications for the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance and the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) Center for Telehealth. While at MUSC, she founded Telehealth Awareness Week, which was adopted by the American Telemedicine Association.
Grimes also serves on the boards of the South Carolina Public Relations Society of America, Dorchester Two Educational Foundation, and Charleston Youth Leadership Council, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism from the University of South Carolina and a master of science from The Citadel Graduate College.
CRYSTAL T. ROBINSON ROUSE
Rouse, a community advocate passionately committed to social justice, serves as director of collective action networks for Tri County Cradle to Career as well as director of the Center for the Education and Equity of African American Students at the University of South Carolina. Among other honors, she was named one of South Carolina Black Pages’ 2021 Top 20 Under 40. She holds a master’s degree in adult and community education from North Carolina Agricultural & Technical State University and a master of education degree in early childhood education from the University of South Carolina, where she is currently pursuing a doctorate of philosophy.
Rouse, who serves as president of the National Council of Negro Women’s Bethune Leonard Section in addition to roles on many other boards and committees, says she will consider racism eliminated when all systems operate from a racial equity lens and when all decisions, policies, procedures, and practices are racially equitable.
“True empowerment for women comes when actions align with words of empowerment,” she adds. “Empowering women means helping each other fix our crowns and hold our heads high in the face of adversity.”
For 115 years, YWCA Greater Charleston has worked to eliminate racism and empower women in South Carolina’s Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester Counties.
Among its initiatives to eliminate racism are its multi-day MLK Celebration, one of the city’s longest running events; annual Stand Against Racism; and Racial Equity Institute workshops equipping local leaders and laypeople to address racism. It empowers women with its annual What Women Bring event, attended by hundreds to empower South Carolina’s women in business, community, and culture; WE 360°, helping women of color overcome barriers in entrepreneurship; Own The Room public speaking workshops empowering women’s success; and women’s health programs. It brought the first Girls Who Code club for middle school girls to Charleston; today its Y Girls Code program includes female students of all ages. Its SheStrong program empowers young women in high school to develop as leaders and changemakers. For more information, visit ywcagc.org.
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