Betty Sanford’s career spans more than 5 decades some in community service counseling in a residential treatment center for girls in Nashville, Tennessee and organizing military families living on the economy in Kaiserslautern, Germany. She discovered early on in her professional career that in her service to others she the happiest. The transition from community service to education came in 1987 at Michigan State University (MSU). There Betty advised, mentored, taught a freshman seminar, and directed SUPER, a summer Bridge Program. During her 27 year tenure at MSU, she has touched the lives of hundreds of students, supported students studying abroad in New Delhi, India, published, and brought national recognition to the University.
Uplift Our Youth Foundation is an extension of her desire to help shape young people’s aspirations for scholarship and service and for productive leadership with global reach. Mrs. Sandford serve as mentor for FAME (Fostering Academic s, Mentoring Excellence) at MSU and is the founder of “Words have Power”. This group takes a critical look at the perception, depiction, definition, and portrayal of “black/dark” in our language and its implications affecting the self-concept of young people. Betty is happily married for 50 years with two sons.
Bishop Samuel Duncan, Jr.
Bishop Samuel Duncan, Jr. is known as a man of character, integrity, and wisdom. Appointed as pastor of the Lansing Church of God in Christ in June 1992, he and 1st Lady Duncan began to walk in their place of destiny. He has served faithfully at all levels of ministry including Y.P.W.W., Budget Director, Platform Chairman, Board Member of the Jurisdictional Ordination Committee, District Superintendent and Administrative Assistant. Because of his faithfulness, God has richly blessed his ministry and provided opportunities for him to minister across denominational barriers.
Bishop Samuel Duncan Jr. was consecrated as Bishop in the Church of God in Christ on November 15th, 2010 in St. Louis Missouri during the 104th Annual Holy Convocation by Bishop Charles E. Blake, Presiding Bishop of the Church of God in Christ Incorporated.
As Prelate of the Michigan Southwest Third Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction COGIC he oversees more than 25 churches throughout the state of Michigan, including churches in Saginaw, Flint, Ann Arbor, Lansing, Grand Rapids, Kalamazoo, and Detroit.
Bishop Duncan is also the Founder & CEO of New Faith Ministries. Armed with a spiritual and moral agenda, New Faith Ministries seeks to effectively utilize its collective influence to benefit Lansing residents, and to respond to the challenges and issues that face the Greater Lansing Area and beyond.
I was raised with a quiet strength of God under the tutelage of Josephine and Condor Smith. As college was a requirement in our house, I attended Michigan State University. I graduated in 1984 with a B.A. in English. I embraced life, insights through experiences at MSU.
As divine order or inheritance works, I was employed by the Board of Water and Light in 1986. I was eager to learn the untraditional job, knowing confidently that God had led me to the BWL. I retired from the BWL as a Bulk Power Controller, financially managing resources, after 35 years. I had accomplished making a living, so now it’s time to make a life.
In hopes to use my divine gifts mindfully with intention, I’ve become a member of the Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan. As a novice to community involvement, I’m looking forward to providing support to the mission and vision of the JLGLM. I hope to successfully mentor recipients of the Endowment Fund to bridge the gap of financial wealth.
David Foreman was born again in July 1974 and he accepted the call into
ministry in December 1974. He preached his first sermon in January 1975 at Paradise Baptist Church, under the leadership of Pastor Herman Green. He was ordained in January 1980.
David’s education includes Lansing Community College, General Motors School for Supervision, and three years of Bible training at the Urban Center for Continuing Christian Education. He was at the top of his class in Expository Preaching. David also served in the U.S. Army for two years, of which he was stationed in Bamberg, Germany for 1 ½ years. In March 1986, David accepted the commission from God and founded the Reachout Christian Center Church. Starting with 10 members
Pastor Foreman worked for General Motors for twenty-three years before leaving to work in ministry full-time. During his years as a pastor, David has ministered to Promise Keepers’ groups, Ithaca/Reachout Fellowship, and numerous denominations in the United States. He also traveled overseas to various parts of Africa sharing his faith about the Lord Jesus Christ. Pastor Foreman also sat on the board of Justice for Greater Lansing and the Advisory Board of the Boys and Girls Club. He currently serves as the treasurer for the Clergy Forum of Greater Lansing.
Dr. Nakia Parker
Nakia Parker is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Michigan State University. Dr. Parker is a historian of nineteenth-century U.S. slavery, African American, and American Indian history.
She is currently working on her first book manuscript, Trails of Tears and Freedom: Black Life in Indian Slave Country, 1830-1866 which examines the lives of enslaved and self-liberated individuals of African and Afro-Native descent in Choctaw and Chickasaw communities in nineteenth-century Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).
Dr. Parker’s research has received funding and awards from several institutions, including the Association of American University Women (AAUW), the Organization of American Historians (OAH), and the Western History Association.
Her work has been published in The Journal of African American History, the East Texas Historical Journal, and in the New York Times best-seller, 400 Souls: A Community History of African America, 1619-2019. Her research has also been featured on several public history websites, including The History Channel, the podcast Teaching Hard History, and The University of Texas at Austin’s 15 Minute History.
Dr. Sean L. Holland
Dr. Sean L. Holland is a national keynote speaker, recording artist, and successful entrepreneur. He serves as a chaplain and an appointed Ambassador to the United Nations (U.N.) Economic and Social Council. Dr. Holland is the CEO of I AM Equipped to Excel (IAM e2e), an organization committed to inspiring and equipping tomorrow's leaders. For over 25 years, I AM E2E has helped transform hundreds of leaders through a unique 5-Seed leadership and mentoring model.
In 2018, Dr. Holland joined Purpose Prep's K-12 SEL content creation and leadership team. He has coordinated with school districts and helped implement creative K-12 SEL strategies. Purpose Prep, now known as IMAGINE Purpose, is a premier K-12 Social and Emotional Learning curriculum committed to bringing evidence-based, media-rich, and relevant curricula into schools worldwide.
Currently, Dr. Holland serves as the Director for Transformational Leadership with One Love Global, where he works with systems leaders creating new pathways for students. Dr. Holland graduated from Florida A&M University, obtaining a B.A. in Political Science and Public Administration. He holds a M.A. in Leadership Development from Cornerstone University, Grand Rapids, MI. Dr. Holland has been married to Tayana for 26 years, and they reside in Lansing, MI, where they enjoy raising their four children.
Oprah Jrenal (she/her) has worked in higher education for over ten (10) years serving marginalized students and keeping their experiences at the center of her work. She earned her bachelors in Creative Writing with an emphasis in poetry from the University of Arizona and a masters in higher education from the University of Kansas.
Oprah served as co-director for the Salus Center, Lansing's LGBTQIA2S+ community resource center in 2020 and currently serves as the Assistant Director for Michigan State University's Gender and Sexuality Campus Center. Though Oprah was raised in Los Angeles, California, she calls Lansing, Michigan her home.
Oprah enjoys singing Broadway musicals, laughing, watching horror movies, and manifesting new worlds. She invites you to ask big questions and seek the answers. We have always been whole. It is time.
“You can either lead, follow, or get out the way”- Jidenna
Terrence J. King and his wife Cynthia have been Married since June 1989. They have three adult children and three grandchildren. Mr. King's greatest joy is being a husband, father, and grandfather.
Terrence has served Lansing Community College since 1997 fulfilling roles including several Adjunct Professor, Senior Leadership Trainer and Facilitator, and a nearly six year assignment as the Associate Dean of English, Humanities and Social Sciences. He currently serves at Cornerstone University as the VP for Spiritual Formation and Christian Community.
Terrence has served in ministry for over 30 years. He is an ecumenically ordained pastor of the Ecclesia. In 2002, Terrence and Cynthia launched Kingdom Ministries, a family of ministries purposed to empower local and global communities with the kingdom of God. At kingdom ministries he serves as co-founder and Chief Servant Officer overseeing board and ministry operations along with corporate and community partnerships which collaboratively offer a variety of services that advance the lives of people.
He has trained and coached corporate and community leaders for nearly 20 years. These leaders serve in dozens of corporate and nonprofit organizations throughout the country. He was also involved in training leaders from the Technical & Vocational Training Corporation of Saudi Arabia. In 2008, he launched the Wired Leadership Academy for high school students, graduating and assisting in producing hundreds of college graduates, leaders and corporate professionals who now serve throughout our nation.
As a missionary to Africa, he has served in three countries to date including: Ghana, Malawi and Uganda training Millennials in leadership and spiritual formation.
Terrence has also served as a keynote and inspirational speaker for Lansing Community College's speaker forum, Kalamazoo Valley Community, CASE Credit Union and several nonprofits throughout the U.S. and Africa.
Terrence holds credentials as certified collegiate and corporate leadership trainer through Phi Theta Kappa, Achieve Global and Development Dimensions International. He holds a counseling certification from the American Academy of Christian Counselors, a Bachelor of Science from Western Michigan University, and a Master of Arts in Ministry Leadership from Cornerstone University.
As the Chief Equity Development Officer for LEAP, Tony leads the organization in establishing and extending programs to support equitable economic development throughout the Lansing region. With the goal of creating a stronger, more competitive economy that works for all; Tony works to dismantle barriers and expand opportunities for low-income people, communities of color, and other underrepresented groups.
Tony is also the President of PROTO Accelerator, the region’s first corporate innovation platform and the only accelerator in the state of Michigan with a program focused on JnsurTech.
Tony has worked in multiple capacities at LEAP starting as Business Acceleration Manager and VP of Entrepreneurship and Innovation, before being promoted to Chief Equity Development Officer.
Prior to joining LEAP, Tony worked in commercial lending with an emphasis in startup/small business lending.
Tony is a proud Spartan, having earned a BA in Communications with specialization in PR from Michigan State University. Tony also attended Lansing Community College prior to transferring to Michigan State University.