Special format: Talk show panel

Topic: Advancing Equity

Many nonprofits are grappling with the issue of serving a substantial number of people of color especially African American males. The statistical rationale for why we are so focused on African American males is robust, as indicated here by the following (Anne E. Casey):

  • 54 percent of African Americans graduate from high school, compared to more than 75 percent of white and Asian students
  • Only 14 percent of African American eighth graders score at or above the proficient level; these results reveal that millions of young people cannot understand or evaluate text, provide relevant details, or support inferences about the written documents they read
  • On average, African American 12th graders read at the same level as white eighth graders
  • The majority of the 2.3 million people incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails are people of color, people with mental health issues and drug addiction, people with low levels of educational attainment, and people with a history of unemployment or underemployment

However, for much of the human service sector’s executive leadership, racial diversity continues to be an uphill challenge especially in the executive suite, according to Fortune magazine (2016). For black men, the challenge of matriculating to the c-suite is extremely complex and often made difficult by an uneven playing field, unconscious bias, and emotional baggage.

Black men are often the symbolic unicorn in their own work environments being the sole professional to represent the African American male. There is a notion that the scarcity of black men in the nonprofit leadership circle is the result of a simple supply problem—the notion that fewer black men have college degrees and even less have a desire to pursue a career in the helping professions. Many black men executives confront this school of thought by indicating that nonprofit organizations are missing opportunities to enhance the talent within their agency and community at large. If real change is to occur, male executives of color must take the lead in teaching, advocating, and promoting the strategies and benefits of advancing equity.

The genuine voice of advocacy is critical to hear from those who are impacted the most. Presenters will share their 10 Rules of Authentic Engagement. Black men are uniquely qualified to articulate the narrative while ensuring that all executives have access to authentic intelligence and best practices. Using a conversational format, several African American male leaders will share their stories, experiences, and recommendations for increasing organizational capacity to impact a broader cultural consumer base.

Learning Objectives

  • Engage in a courageous cultural dialogue about the African American male presence in nonprofit organizations and the implications for leadership development
  • The psychological depth and emotional trauma beneath the surface that help to explain mistrust, anxiety and discomfort of African American men in the workplace
  • Effective strategies (10 Rules of Authentic Engagement) to recruit and mentor African American males to leadership positions
  • Benefits to organizational impact and service delivery effectiveness of improving the black male presence in leadership roles  


  • Julius Mullen, chief clinical officer, Children & Families First
  • Undraye Howard, vice president of the Center on Leadership, Alliance for Strong Families and Communities
  • Raphael Holloway, CEO, Gateway Center
  • Jesse McLean, executive director of Western Pennsylvania, Pressley Ridge
  • Reyahd D.J. Kazmi, director of business & government strategies, National Youth Advocate Program
  • Claude Robinson executive vice president of external affairs and diversity, UCAN
  • George Winn, COO, The Children's Center

Julius Mullen
Chief Clinical Officer
Children & Families First

Julius Mullen Sr. is the chief clinical officer for Children & Families First in Wilmington, Delaware, where he serves as an integral member of the executive management team. He oversees many departments related to mental health, child welfare, and education. He also has a passion for inspiring professionals to develop their leadership and management competencies.

Mullen is a graduate of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Executive Leadership Institute, which is offered through a partnership with the University of Michigan. He also earned a bachelor’s in behavioral science, a master’s in educational counseling, and a doctorate in educational leadership from Wilmington University.

Mullen is an expert in trauma-informed care and brain science. He is a phenomenal leader, clinician, and trainer. He has spent over 10 years on the campuses of Wilmington University as an adjunct professor teaching in the master’s of clinical mental health, school counseling and bachelor’s of psychology and social sciences program. Mullen is a national certified counselor which he is also licensed to practice mental health in Delaware. He loves to mentor doctoral students as they pursue their educational dreams at the highest level.

In his spare time, Mullen and his wife Tasha spend countless hours embracing the spirit of volunteerism where they have mentored youth for the last 15 years. So much so, they developed a program called IMPACT which encompasses two gender-based programs, MAN UP and UNIQUE! Although they have been recognized by ESSENCE magazine, The Washington Post, the Jefferson Award presented by the Delaware News Journal, Delaware Superstars in Education, local TV/newspapers, and numerous community advocacy awards, their most prized accomplishment comes from the fruits of their labor. 100 percent of youth graduated from their program and 96 percent of their youth are college graduates, college attendees, military enlistees, or gainfully employed. Whether it be a first-generation college student, a budding professional or a traumatized child, Julius believes that each person is just one caring adult away from living out their dreams regardless of any adverse event.

Undraye Howard
Vice President of the Center on Leadership
Alliance for Strong Families and Communities

Undraye P. Howard is a strategic team member of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, serving as the vice president for the Center on Leadership. In his current role, he leads in the coordination of Alliance offerings and collateral related to leadership development. This includes development, implementation, and coordination with network members and key Alliance departments in providing strategy, solutions, and support for the development of leaders in the social sector. Howard was instrumental in developing the Alliance’s current leadership platform model, the rEvolutionary Leadership Model, premised on the development of change leaders driving for system and population level results.

Howard provides strategic leadership and direction related to the Alliance’s equity efforts as defined within its theory of change for network members to include managing the Advancing Equity Alliance Peer Exchange group and co-creating deliverables and resources that lift the efforts of best promises and practices related to equity throughout the network. Howard has been with the Alliance over 10 years serving in various capacities that include director of consultation and leadership services and vice president of intellectual capital.

Additional past career placements for Howard include being the executive director of a small community-based organization, human resource development manager, and trainer for an executive recruitment firm and training manager for a small nonprofit employment agency.

He serves as an adjunct professor for several universities in Milwaukee, teaching courses in youth work, ethics and boundaries, human services skills and techniques, and many communication and leadership courses. Other outside interests include serving as board member for an assisted living facility organization and serving as vice president of the board of directors at his local congregation. In addition, Howard provides training and consultation to community-based organizations. He has a bachelor’s in business and marketing and a master’s in communication with special interest in training and development from the University of Wisconsin -Milwaukee. Howard is also pursuing his terminal degree.

Raphael Holloway
Gateway Center

Raphael Holloway joined the Gateway Center in July 2016 as the CEO. Holloway is an accomplished leader with more than 20 years of experience in the social services arena, specializing in behavioral health, correction, homelessness, and public health sectors. He has displayed a strong nonprofit and state government business acumen and understands “how to change when change is hard.” Holloway is a proven professional with expertise in motivating human resources and aligning multiple groups with divergent objectives and priorities towards a common goal. He uses skills, theories, and strategies that are not only relevant but necessary for leading results based organization and team of professionals that desire to be agents of change. Holloway has displayed a commitment to the use of data, desire to use a human-centered approach in service design, strong initiative and exceptional skills in leading a company’s business.

A native of Toledo, Ohio, Holloway received his bachelor’s in child and family services and master’s in mental health counseling from Bowling Green State University.

Reyahd D.J. Kazmi
Director of Business & Government Strategies
National Youth Advocate Program

Reyahd Kazmi is the director of business & government strategies for National Youth Advocate Program. In this role, he oversees multiple programs, manages all service contracts, and advocates at all levels of government. In addition, Kazmi is the owner of Kazmi Advisors LLC, a strategic consulting firm. Also, he is an instructor at the University of Illinois – Chicago. Kazmi serves as a commissioner on the Chicago Commission on Human Relations and was appointed by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights to serve as a member of its Illinois Advisory Committee. He is an elected member of the Local School Council at Otis Elementary, a member of City Church Chicago, a board member of :20 Second Timeout Foundation, a board member for Mikva Challenge, and an associate board member for Chicago Scholars. Finally, Kazmi is a graduate of The Ohio State University’s Moritz College of Law and Glenn School of Public Affairs, where he received his Juris Doctorate and master’ in public policy and management.

Claude Robinson
Executive Vice President of External Affairs and Diversity

Claude A. Robinson Jr. was born in Philadelphia. To beat the negative ills of the inner city, he attended St. Johns Northwestern Military & Naval Academy in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. Robinson excelled as a student athlete and leader. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, earning a bachelor’s in psychology. He was also captain of the 1989-1990 NCAA Division III men’s basketball championship team. Robinson went on to earn a master’s in counseling at Chicago State University. His interest in sports education turned into a passion for serving youth. He currently serves as an AAU basketball coach for The Athlete Within and Kenwood Academy High School. 

Robinson specializes in the personal development, education, and motivation of youth and children. He continually challenges adults to examine their perspectives and diligently strives to build positive youth and adult partnerships. Robinson serves as the executive vice president of external affairs and diversity at UCAN. His work has yielded numerous accolades, including awards from former city of Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, Miss Illinois Leadership Award 2001, and WGN-TV Channel 9’s 2000 “Unsung Hero” award. In 2008 Robinson led a U.S. delegation on a four city “Best Practice” exchange to the United Kingdom to assist policy makers and community leaders on positive youth development.

George Winn
The Children's Center

George Winn serves as COO at The Children’s Center in Detroit, where he leads a team of behavioral health care, child welfare, and educational professionals in all aspects of program innovation and implementation. Winn takes a visionary approach to carefully overseeing the agency’s systems of care strategies, while focusing on community partnerships and improving internal systems. He has passion for and belief in the family system and believes our children are our future and that we must provide innovative, high-quality services to children and families. It is our mission “to help children and families shape their own future” and it is our duty and responsibility to nurture and provide guidance to our children. Winn’s passions are fueled by his strong belief in the importance of family. Thus, he has become a vocal advocate for the deliberate inclusion of fathers in the daily lives of children.

In June 2013, he was the recipient of the Michigan Chronicle Men of Excellence Award, which celebrates men who personify the exemplary qualities of respect, responsibility, passion, brotherhood, and leadership. Winn is a Detroit native, a product of the Detroit public school system, and a graduate of Cody High School, where he was an outstanding scholar and athlete. He received an athletic scholarship from University of Wisconsin-Stout and later transferred to St. Mary’s College in Orchard Lake, Michigan, where he earned his bachelor’s in science. Winn earned his master’s in social work from Wayne State University in 1996.

Winn is highly regarded by his peers, who speak of his strong work ethics, his passion for providing quality services and his outstanding administrative capabilities. Winn has also led and participated in the Mayor’s Taskforce against abuse and neglect, diversity initiatives, and other advocacy initiatives engaging elected officials on ensuring every child has their basic needs met. He has enjoyed a range of professional successes, having co-chaired the first fatherhood conference in Wayne County and piloted the first private agency contract on family to family in Michigan to maintain the family structure during the foster care placement process.

Winn serves on the board of Neighborhood Legal Services of Michigan and is currently participating in the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities Executive Leadership Institute. Winn coaches AAU basketball for two area teams, mentoring boys ages 8-17 years old.