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 Master of 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 & Program Director
Eddie is an award-winning mass media veteran and speaker with a background in talent acquisition. He is the director of Communications and Marketing at Dillard University. Eddie's mass communication expertise is in broadcasting, blogging, public relations, and marketing. A member of Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity, he is also the founder of the Pledge to Serve initiative.
Eddie made his mark at iHeart Media in New Orleans where he received the 2011 Press Club of New Orleans "Best Radio Entertainment Feature" award for his talk show interview with Rwandan genocide survivor Immaculee Ilibagiza. He now hosts the podcast For Our Edification, home to the Write to Bear Alms segment. Eddie also served as the public relations director at Southern University at New Orleans where he led the effort to defeat the State of Louisiana's 2011 proposal to remove the university from the Southern University System, a move which could have potentially closed the university.
A native of New Orleans, Eddie holds a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from Loyola University New Orleans and is pursuing a Master of Professional Studies in strategic leadership from Tennessee State University. He is conducting research on how followership in organizations is influenced by narcissistic leadership. Eddie is a former board president of the Dallas-based nonprofit, Inspiring Tomorrow's Leaders.
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.