Board Members

School Board 

 

Dr. Lumas Helaire (Board President) is a positive youth development practitioner working to empower adolescents and young adults through mentoring programs, projects, and workshops aimed at personal, social and academic growth. He specializes in two areas: curriculum design and development and academic coaching. He received his BA in Psychology with Honors from Morehouse College, where he was a Phi Beta Kappa graduate, and his MS in Developmental Psychology and PhD in Education and Psychology from the University of Michigan. Lumas works as an Associate Director for the Office of Academic and Multicultural Initiatives (OAMI) at the University of Michigan, directs the college preparatory program GEAR UP (Gaining Early Awareness and Readiness for Undergraduate Programs), and coordinates the University's annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Symposium. In GEAR UP, he has developed relationships between the University of Michigan and middle schools, high schools, and various community organizations in Detroit, Highland Park, Romulus, Southfield, and Ypsilanti over the past ten years to support a college-readiness culture within schools.

Lumas is also co-creator of the THREADS (Truth Honor Respect Education And Development of Self) mentoring program, which currently has sites at Horizons Upward Bound (HUB) program at Cranbrook and Brick Academy in Newark, New Jersey. His personal educational experiences, work in mentoring, and collaboration and networking with educators at all levels drives his interest in holistic community revitalization anchored in schooling development. Most recently, he began Lumas Solutions, LLC, a consulting company with a vision to transform public education and a mission to train students in achieving academic excellence.

 

Alice B. Jennings attained her B.A. at Michigan State University and her Juris Doctorate at Wayne State University Law School. She is a founder of the firm Edwards & Jennings, P.C., specializing in civil rights and employment law, where she has been a partner since 1981. Formerly, she worked as an associate attorney and partner at the firm Philo, Atkinson, Darling, Steinberg, Harper & Edwards, P.C., specializing in workers’ compensation and personal injury. She is a current member and former chairperson of the State Bar of Michigan, serving on the Civil Liberties Committee from 1994-1995. 

In 2015, Alice was the honoree at the National Lawyers Guild Detroit and Michigan Chapter's annual event.  She is affiliated with the National Conference of Black Lawyers, the Wolverine Bar Association, the Black Women Lawyers Association (received the Harriet Tubman Trail Blazer Award in 2007), and the Michigan Trial Lawyers Association (sustaining member). She has received an NAACP Legal Award.  She has served as a pro bono trial attorney with Sugar Law Center and was involved in landmark case of NAACP v. John Engler, Governor, et al. The numerous boards Alice has served on include the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self-Development, the Grace and James Lee Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership, the Subcommittee of Artist & Children Creating Community Together (coordinator), and Detroiters Working for Environmental Justice (DWEJ). She was general counsel for DWEJ, Detroit Summer, and Save Our Sons & Daughters (SoSad) and served on the legal committee for the Coalition to Save the City of Detroit Human Rights Ordinance.  In addition, Alice has authored a number of articles and chapters addressing education, civil rights, and activism. Having had her six children educated in the city of Detroit and focusing her legal work on the rights of Detroiters, she is personally and professionally committed to improving educational opportunities for Detroit children with projects like the Boggs School.

 

Patrick Crouch (Board Vice President) found his true calling in organic agriculture after graduating with a fine arts degree. Patrick has been with Earthworks Urban Farm/Capuchin Soup Kitchen since 2004. As Program Manager, Patrick oversees all programs, staff and interns. He directly oversees the farm, greenhouse and apiary and teaches monthly working lessons. Patrick is responsible for weekly Detroit Earthworks updates e-mails. He has been teaching urban gardening classes for the last eight years and assisted in the writing and development of the Urban Roots program, a community gardening training program. Patrick assisted in the development of a nine-month adult education program, the Earthworks Agriculture Training Program, and teaches many of the classes for it.  He serves on the Detroit Agriculture Network Board as well as the Food Policy Council of the City of Detroit.  Patrick’s commitment to working for safe food for all Detroiters will be an asset to our principles of sustainable living as well as social justice issues facing our community. 

 

Klotylda Hartshorn Phillippi (Board Secretary) recently retired from her teaching at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.  She received her undergraduate degree from Alma College and her MA and PhD from Michigan State University where she also taught. Her research interests include early reading and writing and professional learning communities where University interns, mentor teachers and University instructors learn together.  Her goal is for every school to be a learning community for everyone – the students, teachers, staff and families.  Her teaching philosophy emphasizes caring, social justice and equity as essential.  She taught literacy courses at the undergraduate and graduate level, mentored doctoral students in her classes and taught in the Elementary Master of Arts with Certification (ELMAC) program since it began in 1998.  Amanda Rosman was one of her early star graduate students. She has worked with her university interns in urban and suburban districts.  Prior to and during her University teaching, Phillippi taught all elementary grades as a classroom teacher and learning specialist. She says that her 50 years in education have led her to the Boggs School which epitomizes all that she believes a wonderful school can be.
 

 

 Soh Suzuki (Board Treasurer) was introduced to Detroit’s grassroots community organizing initiatives through the planning of the twentieth-year remembrance of Vincent Chin’s murder and then working with Detroit Summer to create a community-based mural in Chinatown.  He resided at the Boggs Center to Nurture Community Leadership in his earlier years in Detroit, where he interacted with various organizations and individuals making differences in the city and beyond.  He co-founded Detroit Asian Youth Project and has also been involved in APIA Vote-Michigan, Japanese American Citizens League, and Ladybug Studios.  Soh graduated from Michigan State University with BFA in Studio Art, BA in Interdisciplinary Humanities, and Specialization in Museum Studies.  He currently works at Avalon International Breads. 

 

Yolanda Curry merged her love of art and science to earn dual degrees in Industrial Design and Jewelry Design at the University of Michigan.  She also studied gemology at the Gemological Institute of America.  She now markets her work in local boutiques and galleries and operates www.thedjewelry.com, which pays homage to the City of Detroit, celebrating the city’s industrial and innovative spirit.  


Teaching is also a passion of Yolanda's; she has taught youth art classes at non-profit organizations and other metro Detroit schools. Her ultimate mission is to commence philanthropic endeavors aimed at Detroit's creative youth, focusing on mentoring, cultural and artistic exposure, and scholarship creation. Yolanda envisions a studio space, providing youth interns with constructive outlets and opportunities to study design and entrepreneurship. Her goal is to serve young people in her community, exposing them to art, design, and business education.  She believes strongly in entrepreneurship and guiding young people to be self-sufficient, productive members of the community, as they will ultimately be responsible for it as adults. 

 

Leseliey Rose Welch earned her BA in Women’s Studies and her dual MA in Business Administration and Public Health from the University of Michigan. She returned to UM as a Women’s Studies Lecturer and is now the Associate Director of the Sanger Leadership Center at the Ross School of Business. Leseliey has also worked as a strategist and fund developer for several public and private public health organizations across Southeastern Michigan, with a special focus on organizations serving Detroit. Her passions include teaching and learning, women's leadership development, cross-sector collaboration, creative-problem solving, and maternal-child wellbeing. In her work, Leseliey strives to blend a purposeful business savvy with an unyielding commitment to social justice.  

Leseliey has made it her mission to instill an understanding of equity, authentic community engagement, and creative vision into the leadership of both the organizations and students with which she works. She has helped both emerging and seasoned leaders question the status quo and actively work to create value-driven results. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring Detroit food and cultural events with her family. Books, wine, and flying are among her favorite things.  Leseliey has a nine-year-old daughter who attends the Boggs School.