Esmeralda Simmons, a resident of Brooklyn, and an activist / leader has been involved in the community empowerment movement and in progressive political causes for more than 38 years. As an attorney, Ms. Simmons specializes in racial justice issues, such as quality public education for students of color and voting and cultural rights. She chooses to work locally with community organizations using advocacy, community education, coalition–building and organizing methods, as well as civil rights and human rights legal tools. A deeply spiritual woman who is grounded in African culture, Ms. Simmons finds constant inspiration in the vision of her ancestors, her belief in peace and her respect for life and cultural diversity.
Sara Horowitz is an innovator for tomorrow’s workforce. As the founder and Executive Director of Freelancers Union – and CEO of the social-purpose Freelancers Insurance Company – Ms. Horowitz has been helping workers build solutions together for nearly two decades.
Job Mashariki is a Founder and former President/CEO of Black Veterans For Social Justice, Inc. (BVSJ). He guided the organization through 30 years of service to veterans and their families, as well as the community at large.
Born in Bedford Stuyvesant in 1943, Job earned his Associate Degree from NY Technical College, his Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and his Masters from the City University of New York. He is also a graduate of the Columbia University School of Business Executives Program.
Bernell K. Grier is the CEO of Neighborhood Housing Services of New York City, Inc. (NHSNYC). Ms. Grier joined NHSNYC in 2004 as its chief operating officer. Prior to this position, Ms. Grier enjoyed a 30-year career in banking beginning at Chase and spanning through Bank of America and its predecessor banks, NatWest USA and Fleet Bank. Parallel to her career in the banking industry, Ms. Grier has over 25 years of experience serving New York communities in leadership positions with a variety of not-for-profit organizations.