The Central New York Community Foundation is welcoming three new Black Equity & Excellence Advisory Council members: Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling, Cal Corriders and Lekia K. Hill. The advisory council is charged with reviewing grant proposals and making funding recommendations as well as identifying gaps and opportunities to create a more equitable and economically inclusive Central New York for the Black community. Members represent a cross-section of industries and backgrounds reflecting varying viewpoints.
The Community Foundation launched the Black Equity & Excellence Fund in June of 2020 to support projects that encourage self-sufficiency and improve the physical and economic conditions that affect Black community members’ quality of life. It also seeks to encourage dialogue that will strengthen collaborative engagement on race-related matters and support social and educational growth in the community.
Current members of the Black Equity & Excellence Fund Advisory Council include Jalyn Clifford, Bishop Ronald Dewberry, Dr. Tanisha M. Jackson, LaToya Jones, Naquia Lacey MSN, RN-BC and Minister Mark Muhammad. We now welcome our three newest members: Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling, Cal Corriders and Lekia K. Hill.
New council member bios:
Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling — Me’Shae Brooks-Rolling is the Executive Director of the Upstate Minority Economic Alliance (UMEA), CNY’s regional minority chamber of commerce. She is also a serial entrepreneur: Me’Shae made history in 2018 as the first Franchise Owner/Operator of EventPrep NY. She is also the and Executive Producer of the Financial Empowerment Summit, Syracuse’s first-ever financial literacy education conference. Me’Shae is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance in conjunction with her micro-social enterprise, Just The Basics Financial Literacy. Me’Shae’s businesses are certified with the City of Syracuse and New York State. Me’Shae is the recipient of the NAACP Madam C.J. Walker Small Business Award in 2019. Me’Shae serves on numerous executive and advisory boards, enjoys volunteering and—along with her husband, Dr. James H. Rolling, Jr.—contributes philanthropically to the local community.
Cal Corriders — Cal Corriders currently serves as the Manager of Neighborhood Economic Development at CenterState CEO. In his role he is focused on creating economic inclusion within Syracuse’s Southside neighborhoods through real estate and business development as well as workforce innovation. Cal previously worked in the banking industry and most recently at Pathfinder Bank, where he served as a Mortgage Originator, assisting people in acquiring residential properties. Cal is committed to his community and is always looking for ways to give back. He volunteers his time by sitting on boards like United Way of Central NY and The Stand Newspaper, which is an organization committed to telling stories from Southside Syracuse residents’ viewpoints. Cal also sits on a variety of committees including the Syracuse City School District Audit Committee, 100 Black Men of Syracuse, Salvation Army Young Leaders and more. Cal, a Say Yes Syracuse scholar, graduated from Syracuse University and attended Corcoran High School. In his tenure at both institutions he played a variety of sports like basketball and football and participated in several clubs like International Business Club, Club Track and more.
Lekia K. Hill — Lekia K. Hill is the community outreach and diversity coordinator for Hueber-Breuer Construction where she manages engagement and oversees MWBE utilization for company projects. She has an extensive background in the areas of anti-racism/Diversity, Equity & Inclusion training and development, community engagement and government relations. Lekia is especially interested in human rights, civic evolution and the welfare of Black Americans. She has 15 years of experience in sales and marketing for companies such as Wachovia, JP Morgan Chase and Clear Channel. Lekia recently launched an emerging Tech startup named Lekia Tech LLC and founded Powerful Voices, an app that connects constituents with elected officials that drives to improve social and economic welfare in underserved communities. She is currently on the board of directors for both ACR Health and the YWCA of Syracuse & Onondaga. In 2019, Lekia received the Manufacturers Alliance of Central New York’s Mentor of the Year Award and continues to mentor young girls, aspiring leaders and professionals in the CNY area. She resides in Syracuse with her family and is committed to making a difference in the community she loves.
Black Equity & Excellence Fund
The Community Foundation’s Black Equity & Excellence fund was launched in June 2020 in response to the tragedies and ensuing national conversation on race that has brought to light a common truth – that anti-Black racism is still woven into the fabric of the country. The Fund supports community-based projects for the Black community of Central New York that promote and encourage self-sufficiency and improve the physical and economic conditions that affect quality of life. It also encourages dialogue that will strengthen collaborative engagement on race-related matters and support social and educational growth in the community.