download ferguson commission report (PDF)

Board — Forward Through Ferguson

A photo mosaic of Forward Through Ferguson's board members, which include five Black women, one South Asian woman, two white men, and one Black man. They are all smiling.

Meet the Board Members

Josina GreeneGary Parker | Dara TaylorElise Miller Hoffman | Natalie Self | Claire Schell | Lisa D’Souza | Seth Waite | Riisa Rawlins | Von Walker | Charlin Hughes 

Josina Greene

FTF Board Co-Chair, Josina Greene.

Josina Greene, MBA, joined the St Louis Community Foundation’s four years ago as the Donor Relations & Services Manager for the St. Louis Community Foundation, where she was responsible for stewarding donors/their grantmaking and served as a bridge between them and the non-profit work being done in the area. Josina later transitioned to the Development sector of the Foundation as the Director of Giving Strategies, where she is now responsible for ensuring that donors commit charitable assets for the benefit of the community. She does this by cultivating and maintaining strong complementary relationships with donors and professional advisors, helping them to initiate a relationship with the Community Foundation to address the donor’s charitable giving needs.
Josina is dedicated to inspiring purposeful philanthropy that connects community and donors to build and preserve a more equitable and vibrant region.

Josina is the Board Co-Chair for Forward Through Ferguson (member, 2019 – current) and a Board member for the St. Louis Council of Charitable Gift Planners. She came to St. Louis, MO from Columbus, GA, where she served on multiple Boards/Steering Committees, worked at the Community Foundation of the Chattahoochee Valley as the Donor Services Officer, and at the Columbus Consolidated Government as the Public Information Officer/Calendar Clerk for Mayor Teresa Tomlinson. She is a proud graduate of Leadership Georgia (c/o 2018) as well as the Southeastern Council Foundations Hull Fellowship Program (c/o 2018). Josina has an innate commitment to the progression of ‘community’ and is devoted to contributing her experiences, talents, knowledge, and expertise toward the conquering of racial equity. She’s married to her best friend, Derrick, and are proud parents of a daughter and son.

Top of page

Gary Parker

FTF Board Treasurer, Gary Parker.

Gary Parker, MSW, is Associate Dean of External Affairs at the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis. He has also been named the inaugural Director of the Clark-Fox Policy Institute, which envisions a more just and equitable world in which policy solutions are impactful and innovative. The institute’s mission is to advance social and economic justice for children and the adults who care for them by working collaboratively to connect evidence-informed policy solutions to public awareness, practitioner training, and policy decision-making. Prior to joining Washington University, Gary was Deputy Director of the McSilver Institute for Poverty Policy and Research at the NYU Silver School of Social Work. He is married to Jeremy Dewey.

Top of page

Dara Taylor

FTF Board Member, Dara Taylor.

Dara Taylor is Managing Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) for the Missouri Historical Society (MHS). In that role, she works collaboratively with MHS staff to design and implement new, actionable, and measurable initiatives that create meaningful change through a culture of diversity, inclusion, and accessibility. Prior to joining the Missouri Historical Society team, Taylor worked for 12 years at Community Catalyst, the largest national consumer health advocacy organization in the country, as the Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. During her time at Community Catalyst, Taylor worked on national and state coalition building and consumer engagement. Taylor’s career is rooted in health and criminal justice reform policy and system change, having worked for the Missouri Foundation for Health, the Eastern District of Missouri Federal Office of Probation, and the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Taylor received a B.A. in Psychology and Africana Studies from Wellesley College, and a M.H.S. in Policy and Management from The Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

Top of page

Elise Miller Hoffman

FTF Board Member, Elise Miller Hoffman.

Elise Miller Hoffman is a venture capital investor and startup executive with expertise leading digital health companies as an operator, board member, and investor. Elise has advised dozens of healthcare companies at all stages of the startup life cycle including idea generation, scale up, and exit. As a General Partner at Cultivation Capital, she invests in Seed – Series A stage healthcare IT startups. After investing in ImageMover on behalf of Cultivation Capital in 2018, she joined the company as COO in 2022.

Elise is active in the St. Louis and Midwestern entrepreneurial ecosystems, and can often be found on the campus of her alma mater, Washington University, where she serves as an Investor in Residence at the Skandalaris Center for Interdisciplinary Innovation and Entrepreneurship, a Director of the Holekamp Seed Fund, and a member of the Olin Alumni Board. In the St. Louis community, Elise serves as Co-Chair of the Board at Forward Through Ferguson, an Advisory Board Member for the Center for Civic Research and Innovation, and a member of St. Louis Forum.

Elise holds a BA in Spanish Literature and Latin American Studies, and an MBA from Washington University in St. Louis.

Top of page

Natalie Self

FTF Board Member, Natalie Self.

Natalie Self, MSW, SHRM-CP is the Senior Vice President of Equitable Economic Impact at the Cortex Innovation Community in St. Louis, Missouri. In this role, Natalie builds strategies, capacity and partnerships to ensure Cortex leverages its 200 acre innovation community to narrow the racial wealth gap in the St. Louis region. Natalie brings an extensive background in building more equitable economies through cross-sector collective leadership, national grant-making and entrepreneurship support. Natalie’s previous roles include Executive Director of STEMSTL, a regional coalition that builds more clear, rigorous and equitable STEM learning; Program Officer in Entrepreneurship at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, where she managed the Inclusion Open grant portfolio, Program Manager at BioSTL, where she was responsible for the operations and evaluation of the BioSTL Inclusion Initiative. Natalie is also the founder of the St. Louis Equity in Entrepreneurship Collective. Natalie is proud mom of 7 year old Lucy Mae, with whom she loves to read, paint and go on hikes.

Top of page

Claire Schell

FTF Board Member, Claire Schell.

Claire leads the Employee Experience team at US Bancorp Community Development Corporation, where she oversees strategy development and implementation for internal diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, employee engagement and leadership development programming and culture change initiatives. Prior to her work at USBCDC, Claire spent several years creating customized diversity and inclusion strategies, training and resources for organizations throughout the St. Louis region. She serves on the board of Forward Through Ferguson, on the national advisory board of Creative Reaction Lab, and is a member of the Racial Equity Fellows advisory board for Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work. She holds a Masters Degree in the Sociology of Religion from the University of Chicago Divinity School and received her undergraduate degree in Sociology and Religion from Wellesley College. She lives in St. Louis with her husband, Luke, and two kids, Quinn and Milo.

Read Claire’s story.

Top of page

Lisa D’Souza

FTF Board Member, Lisa D’Souza.

Lisa J. D’Souza is the Hon. Richard B. Teitelman Chair at Legal Services of Eastern Missouri. She focuses on litigation and other impact advocacy tools to address policies and practices that create barriers to equal opportunities in education, housing, health care, public benefits, immigration or other basic civil rights for individuals that our society pushes to the margins due to their lack of resources, race, disability, or other circumstances. Prior to her work at LSEM, Lisa represented migrant farmworkers as a staff attorney at Texas Riogrande Legal Aid, enforced federal employment laws as a trial attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice Civil Rights Division, conducted Medicaid class action litigation and policy work as a staff attorney at the Tennessee Justice Center, and zealously advocated for the indigent accused as an assistant public defender with Nashville Defenders. She graduated from Harvard Law School in 1996.

Top of page

Seth Waite

FTF Board Member, Seth Waite.

Seth Waite is an entrepreneur, technology leader, and experienced strategist. He is the Founder of Loam Health, a healthcare studio focused on helping providers design & implement new ideas fast. Previously, Seth served as the Chief Experience Officer and technology executive for the United Van Line and Mayflower moving brands. He also has founded and led multiple technology businesses and worked within software development firms for Fortune 500 clients.

Seth and his family are engaged with a variety of service organizations that include family focused community events, child safety, and faith-based service through The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He believes no one should fall through the cracks and we all must listen, learn and serve each other so that all people can truly feel at home. Additional non-profit leadership includes Meals on Wheels, Singularity University, and Workforce Connections.

Top of page

Riisa Rawlins

FTF Board Member, Riisa Rawlins.

Riisa Rawlins is the Chief Operations and Strategy Officer for the St. Louis Regional Health Commission. She has served in leadership positions and as an independent consultant for various nonprofits in the St. Louis Region since relocating to the area in 2004. She has over 20 years of experience in cultural competence and stigma reduction, integration of primary care and behavioral health, and positive youth development which she employs in her professional and volunteer service on numerous local nonprofit boards and committees. Inspired by her parents and motivated by her 3 children with a 19.5 year age span, Riisa is committed to a visionary yet tactical pursuit of just and equitable systems. “My guiding priority is to create mechanisms and accountability that refuses to take us off the hook but reorients us to action. We know what is wrong – now is the time to create anew.”

Read Riisa’s story.

Top of page

Von Walker

FTF Board Member, Von Walker.

Von Walker was born in raised in St. Louis, Missouri. Von completed his Student Teaching Practicum at Betty Wheeler Classical Junior Academy in St. Louis Public Schools. He possess a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education from Harris-Stowe State University, the only Historically Black College or University in St. Louis. At Harris-Stowe, Von was heavily involved in extracurricular activities. He served as the University’s Student Government Association President and was a member of the Semper Fidelis Pre-Law Organization and Mock Trial Team. Von was also apart of the 2020 Cohort of the United Negro College Fund Education Fellowship. Von also served as the Membership Engagement Director for the St. Louis Young Democrats. In addition, managed a successful campaign for a local School Board Director in the Ferguson-Florissant School District. He also serves on the Generation Listen Leadership Council for National Public Radio St. Louis. Most recently, he served as a Political Organizer for a Missouri U.S. Senate Campaign in 2022. He aspires to obtain a degree in law.

Top of page

Charlin Hughes

FTF Board Member, Charlin Hughes.

Rev. Charlin Marie Hughes, M.S.W. is the LEAD Co- Program Manager at the St. Louis County Prosecutor’s Office. Her breadth of intentional and impactful work as a community leader, advocate and change agent spans more than 30 years. Charlin’s courage, creativity and capacity to inspire participation and collaboration have been and continue to be instrumental in making sure community voices are heard and community needs are met. Her limitless efforts have positively affected teen moms, the unhoused, those with mental illness and St. Louis’ community at large. Moreover, the unjust verdict in the Philando Castile case bolstered a need to help bridge the gap between police and community so as a result Charlin birthed Humanity in the Middle in an effort to do so.

She holds a Bachelor of Social Work degree with a minor in Psychology including an emphasis on Trauma from the University of Missouri St. Louis. She also earned a Master of Social Work and certified in Non-profit Leadership and Management from the University of Missouri St. Louis as well. At this point in her career, we are not surprised by her efforts of excellence but rather warmed by knowing that she is committed to making the world a better place to live!

Top of page