HALIMA LEAK FRANCIS, Ph.D. | Founder & Board Member
Halima is charitable giving professional and educator whose experience includes grass roots nonprofits. She has a proven track record in the development of comprehensive and sustainable fundraising programs focused on donor-centered relationships. She shares her insights through the Write to Bear Alms blog and on the Write to Bear Alms podcast segment. Halima is also the director of the John Lewis Public Administration Program in Tulane University's School of Professional Advancement.
Her work and expertise have led to significant support for organizations. She was responsible for more than a 50 percent increase in funding for the Texas Muslim Women's Foundation. Halima also cultivated relationships resulting in multiple leadership gifts for institutions such as New York University and Barnard College of Columbia University. She served as the director of Alumni Relations and Development at the City University of New York School of Professional Studies, she worked in alumni relations at NYU's School of Law, and did work at Communities in Schools of Wake County (North Carolina).
A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Halima holds a Ph.D. in higher education from the NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Human Development where her dissertation, "Making Bricks Without Straw: The Kresge HBCU Initiative and Fundraising and Historically Black Colleges and Universities", focused on organizational capacity building and fundraising. Holding a master's in educational sociology from NYU, her thesis was "Alumni Giving and Historically Black Colleges and Universities". Halima's earned her bachelor's degree in English from Hampton University.
EDDIE FRANCIS | Board Member & Communication Specialist
Eddie is a marketing and communications professional, speaker, and award-winning mass media veteran who dedicates his time to helping people and organizations express the value of their identities so that their brands stand out. Eddie produces and hosts the “For Our Edification” podcast as well as the Enrollify Podcast Network’s “I Wanna Work There!” He also presents “The Black Greek Success Program” to show members of African American fraternities and sororities how to enhance their leadership skills and “Lectures to Livelihood” to help college students prepare for their careers.
Eddie became a familiar voice to New Orleans as on-air talent and a show producer on WQUE-FM and WYLD-FM where he earned the Press Club of New Orleans’ Best Radio Entertainment Feature award for his interview with a Rwandan genocide survivor. Seeing an opportunity to lead, Eddie moved on to higher education, directing marketing and communications at Southern University at New Orleans, Paul Quinn College, and Dillard University where he led the “Write Your Legacy” brand refresh. Because of his efforts, Eddie was nominated for the AMA Foundation’s Higher Education Marketer of the Year.
The New Orleans native earned his master’s degree in strategic leadership from Tennessee State University and his bachelor’s in mass communication from Loyola University New Orleans. He is a member of the American Marketing Association, the International Leadership Association, and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.
LESLIE M. BROWN | Board Member
A mental health professional, Leslie is a licensed relational counselor. She has extensive experience working with military veterans, veterans' families, and women/families in substance abuse recovery. Leslie also has an extensive background in fundraising, outreach and programming in the nonprofit and government sectors.
Leslie is a doctoral student in counseling at Barry University where her research interests include the evolution of families, polyamory families, race/class/gender and cultural competency as well as indigenous and traditional mental health healing modalities. The Winston-Salem native earned her bachelor's degree from Hampton University in mass media arts and her Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy from St. Thomas University in Florida.
GREER CHRISTIAN | Board Member
Greer is a nonprofit and business professional who has advised organizations in financial management, business management, brand management and corporate social responsibility. She is the vice president of Community Relations at Wells Fargo in Fort Worth. She has also served as a vice president at Citibank and JPMorgan Chase as well as the director of New Business Development for the Tom Joyner Foundation. Greer's track record includes having managed philanthropic budgets totaling $25 million.
Unparalleled is Greer's commitment to the community. She has held several board and committee seats with the Texas Diversity Council, Dallas Black Dance Theater, United Negro College Fund, United Way Income Council and the University of Texas at Arlington College of Business Financial Literacy and Personal Finance Program among others.
A Dallas resident, Greer holds a Master of Business Administration in Sports and Entertainment Management and Marketing Management from the University of Dallas and she earned her bachelor's in accounting from Grambling State University. She also holds graduate certificates in Master Negotiation, Marketing Management and completed the Certificate Program in Financial Planning at Southern Methodist University and is a Certified Financial Planning candidate. Leading an active lifestyle, Greer is a spin instructor and races with the Dallas United Crew rowing team.