Handcrafted Quality

The BlackBoard of West Contra Costa

BlackBoard of West Contra Costa

Dr. Fatima Alleyne,
Community Engagement 

Dr. Fatima Alleyne is an active and engaged
member of West Contra Costa County advocating
for education equity and empowering parents and
students to pursue quality public education. She is a New York native and community college graduate who relocated to California to pursue higher education at the University of California, Berkeley where she earned both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Materials Science and Engineering. For several years she was employed as a Research General Engineer at the USDA investigating thermal storage and renewable energy sources for agricultural communities while also serving on the Outreach, Diversity and Equal Opportunity (ODEO) Committee. She has served in a myriad of leadership roles, including but not limited to, School Site Council (SSC), Community Budget Advisory Committee (CBAC), Black Graduate Engineering and Science Students Association (BGESS), and Chancellor's Advisory Committee on Dependent Care (CACDC). Most recently, Dr. Alleyne was elected to the Contra Costa County Board of Education. In addition to her service on the board of education, Dr. Alleyne
continues to remain active in her community serving in a myriad of leadership roles in her community and non-profit boards including, but not limited to, 2016 BWOPA/ TILE DWJ Public Policy Fellow, Healthy Richmond - School Action Team, CalGirlS and Blackboard of West Contra Costa. She resides in Richmond with her husband and 4 children.

Anna Blackman
Anna Blackman has been a member of Blackboard
since 2013.  She has always been a strong advocate
for children and believes that given a chance, all
children can achieve their highest goals.
Anna worked in the West Contra Costa School District for nearly 40 years.  She taught at Juan Crespi in El Sobrante, served as an administrator at Kennedy High School, Richmond High School, Helms Middle School, and Principal of El Cerrito High School.  She was one of the administrators selected to assist with managing the district (Richmond Unified School District) after the bankruptcy.  Anna retired as Deputy Superintendent in 1999.      

    Currently, Anna trains teacher interns for Alliant International University and serves on several non-profit boards. She shares the Blackboard’s concerns about the failure of the District to educate the children in spite of the increased assistance that comes from the federal and state governments.  More money has resulted in additional non-teaching positions, a bonanza for contractors, and limited increased salaries.  But more money has not produced notable academic success in the classrooms.   Reduced suspension rate, higher graduation rates and no expulsions also does not mean that the students are learning and performing better.
     Anna states that data (both numerical and narrative) shows clearly that the African American student is not being served by the district’s program.  More attention needs to be paid to leadership, both at the school site and within the district.  Principals must be trained and given support as needed so that they can lead their schools. Teachers need support.  And sites must be given the leeway to think outside of the box:  if a child is not reading in the 2nd and 3rd grade, moving the child on to the next grade is not going to remedy the problem.  Our students can learn and will learn with the right system.
     Success requires effective leaders; leaders who not only know their craft, but are people who know how to respect and work with others. Leaders know how to lead, how to make people want to join and follow. Leaders do not move ineffective people from position to position because that is simpler than dismissing a person. Leaders also know how to facilitate trainings to make others capable of doing the job  Good leaders make a difference.

Sheryl Lane
Sheryl Lane is a native of Richmond California.
She is passionate about engaging communities
and constituents on public policy issues that
impact their lives and working with them to
develop ideas and solutions that result in a positive change and better opportunities for accessing financial security and prosperity, quality education and safer neighborhoods.
     She is the Director of Public Policy and Partnerships at EARN and manages EARN’s efforts to increase prosperity for low-to-moderate income households through a nationwide network of partners who can provide EARN’s savings products to their clients. She led an effort to advance a bill in the state legislature AB 1809 which would modernize the CalWORKs program and allow California’s poorest families to save and not lose critical financial assistance. She launched EARN’s policy ambassador program and trained EARN clients to become active in advocacy. Prior to joining EARN, she was the Campaign Coordinator for the Richmond Equitable Development Initiative (REDI) at Urban Habitat. Prior to Urban Habitat, she was an aide for San Jose Mayor Ron Gonzales.
     Sheryl has served on the City of Richmond’s Planning Commission for seven years and as Chair of the Commission for four of those years.

Bettye Davis, Secretary
Ms. Bettye Davis, a native of Kansas City, Missouri,
has lived in the Greater Bay Area for more than
forty (40) years.  When Ms. Davis left the U.S. Navy,

she came to California and went to school on the
​G.I. Bill, earning an AA from San Francisco City College; a BA and a MA from U.C., Berkeley; and the Lifetime School Psychologist and Administrative Credentials from the State of California.
     Ms. Davis has had an interesting career.  She started as a School Psychologist in the Oakland USD and was promoted to Coordinator, Gifted & Talented Education.  Leaving Oakland, Ms. Davis accepted the position of Director, Special Education and Pup Services, serving with the Department of Defense Dependents’ Schools, in Karlsruhle and Wiesbaden, West Germany and in Alexandria, VA.  Upon her return to the United States, she accepted the position of Education Services Officer at the Oakland Army Base.  During this time, she also coordinated Bay Area Junior Bowlers, helping then earn college scholarships, and improve their skills as bowlers.  Returning to the education field, Ms. Davis accepted a School Psychologist position in the WCCUSD.  A few years later, she was appointed Principal of the first Community Day School in Northern California, Harbor Way Academy.  Ms. Davis retired from the WCCUSD in December of 1997.

Cora J. Ward, Treasurer  
Ms. Ward is one of the founding member of
The BlackBoard of West Contra Costa
and is very active on this Board.
     She is retired from the Department of
Housing and Urban Development.
She is an active member of the Community and her Church, and serves as the Servant Leader of the Women Mission Ministry.  She is the President of the NAACP El Cerrito Branch and is presently the Program Chair of the Kiwanis Club of Richmond, California.  Active Member of the El Cerrito Democratic Club, Contra Costa County Democratic Party and Member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority
     She worked with the Campaign Coordinator to elect Nancy Skinner as our State Senate for the State of California. 
      She is very interested and passionate about the Education, Lives, Involvement and Security of the Youth of the Community.  She has been a Public Servant working with outreach activities in the Communities, building relationships and informing  them of  legal, professional and social issues.  
     She has served on the Board of Directors of  YES, Girls Inc. and  was the Chair of the Richmond Police Commission for three years. She served a total of nine years on this Commission. She is a Past Delegate for State Assembly 15th AD. 
     She volunteers for the Homeless program and the Richmond Rescue Mission.
Ivy Winston
For the past 38 years Ivy Winston has championed
the enhancement of education for a multitude of
children and families in the Bay Area cities of
Oakland, San Francisco, Hercules, Pinole,
San Pablo and Richmond.  Ivy's first experience working with children was in 1978 at Longfellow Elementary School, as an active participant in the Summer Youth Program. In the summer of 1979 her passion to work with children was sparked while employed at The Oakland Boys Club of West Oakland as a Youth Recreation Coordinator. Her responsibilities consist of organizing a host of activities and events that would aide in the social emotional development of the children serviced, in addition to assisting with coaching basketball, baseball and counseling troubled youth, while concurrently studying Early Childhood Development at Merritt College.   
     Ivy developed The Out Reach Program for families, which maintained contact with families and provide family and youth counseling, crisis intervention with extremely aggressive youth, and training interns. The Outreach Program created and maintained a physical and emotional environment to meet the educational and therapeutic needs/goals of individual children and groups. During her ten-year employment at the center, she got the vision to start Bright Futures Day Care Center, which has now evolved into Bright Futures Growth & Development Center, a nonprofit organization servicing children and families of West Contra Costa County with education being her exclusive focus. Ivy has provided scholarships for a multitude of under served at risk youth to further their educational growth and achievements. She has for over the past twenty years organized and facilitated a host of community events centered around education. Ivy has been honored by the City of Richmond as well as Contra Costa County for the development and implementation  of her Youth Employment Program. Ivy was invited onto the Black Board of West Contra Costa County to advocate for equal education for all Children.  For more see: | www.brightfuturesgdc.org