Roger R. Blunt is Chief Executive Officer of Essex Construction, LLC. He is a civil Engineer and a Nuclear Engineer, registered professionally in New York State and the District of Columbia. A West Point graduate, he holds two Masters Degrees in Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the Doctor of Public Service Degree from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.
Board of Directors
Antoinette Ford – President
Regan L. Ford – Secretary
William F. McSweeny
Charles H. Fuller, Jr.
Regan L. Ford, Secretary
Regan Ford is a top-notch management professional with more than 15 years experience implementing creative strategies and solutions related to project design, project management, project implementation and human resources. She is responsible for program success in strategic planning and execution, forecasting, budgeting, staffing and performance management. Some of her employers, clients and contracts have included (partial listing): The Corcoran Gallery of Art; The National Academy of Education; The National Academies (The National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council, National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine); Andersen Consulting; Lockheed Martin Corporation; ARINC, Incorporation; and the National Basketball Association.
Ms. Ford received her Bachelor of Arts Degree (BA) in 1991 (Cum Laude) from Villanova University in Villanova, Pennsylvania. She is currently pursuing her Masters of Arts Degree (MA) from Corcoran College of Art and Design in Washington, DC and was selected as a Graduate Fellow of the ArtReach at the Town Hall Education Arts & Recreation Campus (THEARC) in the Fall of 2006. She is a Board Member of the Double Nickels Theatre Company, Member of the One in a Million Campaign Committee at the Town Hall Education Arts and Recreation Campus (THEARC) and a Board Member of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID), Corcoran College of Art & Design, Student Chapter.
Anne Ashmore-Hudson is the chair of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. A clinical psychologist and social worker, Ashmore-Hudson was in private practice for more than 25 years. She was the founding president of Urban Psychological Associates in Brookline, MA before relocating to the District 15 years ago. Ashmore-Hudson has been a Washington Ballet board member for more than eight years and played a key role in establishing a Washington School of Ballet satellite branch at THEARC, a state-of-the-art arts center in Southeast, DC. She also helped establish an after-school visual arts program in Washington for children who had been homeless and had moved into transitional housing. As a writer, Ashmore-Hudson has published articles on jury selection, relationships and the psychological impact of language.
While earning her B.A. degree at Spelman College in Atlanta, she was a student leader on campus during the Civil Rights Movement and a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee. She was involved in the first sit-in in Atlanta and later spent four days in jail for protesting segregation. She also traveled to Africa with Crossroads Africa while at Spelman. Following her graduation, she earned a master’s degree in psychiatric social work from Simmons College in Boston. Following her graduation from Simmons, Ashmore-Hudson moved to San Francisco and worked with Bill Grier and Price Cobbs, authors of Black Rage. She then attended the University of California at Berkeley, earning a master’s and a Ph.D. in clinical psychology.
She was a visiting Fellow of the W.E.B. DuBois Institute at Harvard University from 1985 to 1987, and has taught at San Francisco State University and Boston College. A valued member of academia, Ashmore-Hudson is a visiting scholar at the E. Franklin Frazier Institute for Social Research in the School of Social Work at Howard University. Her numerous honors include receiving the Clark-Atlanta University Civil Rights Award and being named YWCA Volunteer of the Year in Cambridge, MA. She has published articles in several magazines and journals and is a popular guest lecturer, panel participant and media consultant.
Darlene “Star” Brown
Darlene “Star” Brown is a native Washingtonian and graduate of Ballou Senior High School. She proudly served her country for twelve years in the Unites States Navy. She traveled the world to places such as Germany, England, and Spain.
After military duty, Star came back to her home town of Washington, DC and in 1995 began working for the Historical Lincoln Theatre. She worked her way through the ranks and is currently the General Manager. She has worked with talented musical groups and artists from all over the world, including providing executive assistance to one of Tyler Perry’s production promoters. Star was the company manager for Bishop TD Jakes “Woman Thou Art Loosed” production that toured the United States. She was acknowledged by Tyler Perry for her assistance with the live video taping of his theatrical “I Can Do Bad All By Myself”, which was held at the Lincoln Theatre.
In the Spring of 2011, Star Brown was recognized by the City of Washington, DC with a Mayor’s Proclamation declaring a “Darlene Star Brown Day” for her longevity of service and commitment to the success of the Lincoln Theatre and its surrounding community.
Star loves working with all of her clients and community organizations. In addition to fulfilling her full-time duties as GM, she spends some of her free time volunteering in various capacities at the Lincoln Theatre to ensure successful events for all organizations. She also manages an usher company at DAR’s Constitution Hall for all events. Star is passionate about subscribing to sisterhood and helping other women. She loves GOD, her family, and her friends. She believes that each person should be a part of the village that cares for our children and senior members of society.
Dr. JC Hayward has been consistently rated one of the top journalists in television. With almost 40 years experience, she has volunteered her services with many non-profit organizations dealing with the elderly, teens, cultural, and social activities. For over 30 years, as a reporter and anchor for WUSA Channel 9 in Washington DC, JC has become one of the most familiar faces in the city. It is no doubt that when Hayward hosts an institutional banquet, awards show, ceremony, or celebration, the event picks up instant cache, weight and star power.
With a passion for truth and justice, JC has documented tragedy in Africa. She has won Emmy awards for her acclaimed documentaries on Ugandan refugees “We Shall Return” and “Sahel: The Border of Hell” early in her career and later for “Somalia: The Silent Tragedy” which received international recognition. Hayward’s work on television has opened the floodgates as an icon in the local African American community and in the larger political stage of the nation’s capital. A Renaissance media woman who has hosted her own talk show, produced documentaries, reported on local, national and international stories, and anchored the news with both warmth and seriousness, JC is a prominent figure in the local community. She’s active in everything from the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Washington, to the NAACLP Legal Defense Club, to hospice care and opera.
JC Hayward was named a Washingtonian of the Year by Washingtonian Magazine and received the prestigious Board of Governors Award. She was recently inducted into the DC Hall of Fame and in 2011 was inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame. She currently serves as Vice President of Media Outreach for WUSA- TV9.
Dorothy McSweeny is Chair Emeritus of the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities, serving 12 years as Chair, Vice Chair and Commissioner. She is Vice Chair of the regional Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation and board member of the national Americans for the Arts. As a 40 year resident of Washington, DC, she is committed to arts education and advocacy and access to the arts for all ages. In addition, on April 10, 2011, Mrs. McSweeny was inducted into the Washington DC Hall of Fame. She is the most proud wife of William F. McSweeny, mother of two children and one grandson, native born Washingtonians.
Rev. Dr. I. Benni Singleton is an Associate Minister at the Nineteenth Street Baptist Church in Washington D. C., where he has been a member since 1957. He was ordained as a Baptist Minister in September 1989. He is active in numerous church activities including The Board of Christian Education and the Progressive Adults. He served as minister for the youth church from 1989 to 1997 and has been editor of the church’s newsletter “The Epistle” since 1977. Singleton is an active member of the Missionary Baptist Minister’s Conference of DC and Vicinity and the District of Columbia Baptist Convention. He recently served 5 years as a missionary in Saltillo, Mexico.
Rev. Singleton has served as Interim Pastor of the Hillandale Baptist Church, Director of Church Relations and coordinator of spiritual activities at the National Center for Children and Families, Interim Pastor of the First Baptist Church of Georgetown, and Interim Pastor of the Pennsylvania Avenue Baptist Church. He is former Chairman of the Board of Social Services for Prince George’s County (14 years) and is active, or has served, on many other boards, and community and social organizations, nationally and in the local metropolitan area, including the D.C. Street Academy, the D.C. Repertory Theatre, and Health and Homemaker Services.
Singleton was the first director of Public Information for the D. C. Public School system from 1968 to 1971. He served in the Office of Public Affairs in the Office of the Mayor of the District of Columbia from 1971 to 1980. He retired from the District Government in August 1980 as Chief of the Office of Information and Volunteers in the Department of Human Resources. Singleton served the D.C. government in various other capacities from 1954-1968. Following retirement, he worked three years as public relations and community relations coordinator for Howard University’s WHMM-TV, Channel 32, and one year as director of alumni affairs for Shaw University. Singleton received the President’s “White House Initiative Award” for Howard University’s WHMM TV, for his “Community Initiative”. Other work experiences include reporter for the Afro American Newspaper; Radio Disc Jockey (WOOK-AM) and moderator for several radio and television broadcast programs focusing on the D.C. Public Schools and the District Government (radio stations WOOK, /WFAN, WOL, WGAY, and television station WFAN-TV).
Dr. I. Benni Singleton received his B.A. Degree in English from Shaw University, Raleigh, N.C.; He earned his Master of Arts Degree in Counseling, and pursued additional studies in Divinity at Howard University. He received the honorary degree, Doctor of Divinity from the Shaw University School of Divinity. Singleton is a WWII veteran. He served in the 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion of the 82nd Airborne, The U.S. Army’s first Black Airborne unit.
Russell Williams joined American University’s School of Communication after an illustrious career in Hollywood, where he won two Academy Awards for his sound work on Glory and Dances with Wolves. He is an experienced producer, and his work has brought him honors and recognition from the mayors of both Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles, from the American Film Institute, and from Cal State Northridge, Howard University and American University. He has taught at UCLA, USC and Cal. State Northridge.
Ms. Wooten has had a varied career as a Federal Government Executive, Administrator, Licensed Social Worker, Training Officer, and Contract Compliance Officer. She entered the Federal Senior Executive Service (SES) in April 1980, ten years after joining the headquarters staff of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance at the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). Ms. Wooten served as NY Regional Administer, DOL’s Employment Standards Administration from April 1982 to retirement-completing 25 years of service. She is currently a home-based travel consultant and CEO of Africa-Tour-Rific, which organizes group tours worldwide.
Ms. Wooten is an active member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority and is on the Board of Directors, Harlem YMCA; Board Vice President, Heritage, Health and Housing Inc.; First Vice President, International Board of Directors, Africa Travel Association, (ATA); member, Caribbean Travel Organization (CTO); and Pacific Asia Travel Association (PATA). Ms. Wooten holds a BA degree from Morgan State College, a MSW from Howard University and completed the manager’s course at the Federal Executive Institute, Charlottesville, VA and the Senior Managers in Government Program at Harvard University.
William F. McSweeney
William F. McSweeny is a Presidential Trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center and is Life Trustee of Meridian House International and The Ford’s Theatre Society. He is also trustee of the Shakespeare Theatre.
Long active in educational activities, he is a Senior Overseer of the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and a Board Member of the MIT Cooperative Concepts Board, as well as a Director of the Joint Center for Economic Policy. Mr. McSweeny had an extensive career as a reporter and a war correspondent for 25 years, winning many awards around the world. Active in the Civil Rights movement in its early days, he coauthored “Go Up for Glory” with his friend basketball superstar Bill Russell which has been selected as a Modern American Classic.
A combat soldier and later officer in the Korean War, he helped Chair the Korean War Memorial in Washington D.C. and is Treasurer of the Botanic Garden at the Capital. With his wife, Dorothy- chair of the DC Arts and Humanities Commission– he recently co chaired the opening of the museum of the American Indian at the Smithsonian. Mr. McSweeny is currently a Director of Chevy Chase Bank FSB and Chair of its Community Committee. He also chairs the Cultural Crossovers Foundation, with which his wife, Dorothy, shares responsibility as Treasurer.
Charles H. Fuller, Jr.
Fuller, Charles H., Jr. (b. 1939), playwright, writer of fiction, and essayist. As a playwright, Charles H. Fuller, Jr., is one of America’s most innovative and provocative voices. Fuller’s contributions range from cofounding and directing the Afro-American Arts Theatre in
Philadelphia, and writing and directing “Black Experience” on WIP Radio in Philadelphia, to writing Pulitzer Prize-winning plays. Although the literary world recognizes Fuller as a great playwright, his literary career began with poetry, short stories, and essays. Theater came after he realized that his short stories were filled with dialogue. From creating skits, he moved into writing one-act plays and finally into creating full-length dramas.
His realistic treatment of his subject matter and his humanistic approach to many of society’s atrocities makes his a sensitive but forceful voice in the African American literary community. In the play The Village: A Party, Fuller examines integration and implies that it often magnifies racial tension. In addition, Fuller’s four-year experience in the U.S. Army in Japan and Korea created the images of military life revealed in many of his works, including The Brownsville Raid and especially in the Pulitzer Prize-winning A Soldier’s Play. Fuller’s Zooman and the Sign won Fuller an Obie and proved to many critics Fuller’s talent as a playwright.
Not allowing critics to determine his genius, Fuller next wrote A Soldier’s Play (1984), a dramatic presentation of institutional racism and self-hatred set in the 1940s that explores the psychological effects of oppression on African Americans. The setting of the play is in 1944 during World War II on an Army base in Fort Neal, Louisiana. The tragic hero, Sergeant Vernon C. Waters, takes upon himself the role of savior of all African Americans in a racist society. Fuller, only the second black playwright to win a Pulitzer Prize for drama, has had an impact on the subjects discussed in theater, and his work is increasingly appreciated by audiences who cross traditional cultural boundaries.