Willye Bryan is a retired classical biological control entomologist, she worked in this field for 41 years. Willye began her working life as a public-school history teacher.
Willye began her entomological career with the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Agricultural Research Service (ARS) in Stoneville, Mississippi. She worked for 23 years doing research on the biological control of cotton insect pests in the Mississippi Delta. While at Stoneville Willye also initiated the first Black History Programs held in the USDA-ARS, Mid-South Area and became a consultant for other programs held ARS/Government wide. The programs became extremely successful and have continued as a much-anticipated annual event through the present.
Retiring early from USDA, Willye moved to Michigan and worked at Bethel College in Mishawaka, Indiana for a year as an Adjunct Professor of Multicultural Education and Race & Ethnicity. Following this year in academia, Willye went back to entomology and worked for private industry. She established the insect diagnostics department and marketed the first insect diagnostic test the company had produced in its 20-year history. The test definitively identified two cotton insect pests, the cotton bollworm, Helicoverpa zea and the tobacco budworm, Heliothis virescens in the egg stage.
Leaving private industry, she went to work at Michigan State University and again worked in biological control of insects. She ended her entomology career at MSU. Over the period of her career Willye has over 35 scientific publications and presentations on entomology. One of her proudest publications is a book she co-edited: Memoirs of Black Entomologists: Reflections on Childhood, University, and Career Experiences. Riddick, Eric W., Samuel-Foo, Michelle, Bryan, Willye W., and Simmons, Alvin M. (Eds.). 2015. Thomas Say Publications in Entomology: Memoirs. Entomological Society of America. Pp. 130.
Willye is the founder of the Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan. She contacted Rev. Stan Jenkins, her pastor at First Presbyterian Church of Lansing and Prince Solace in June 2021, to discuss starting a faith-based Reparations Project in the Greater Lansing Area. They both liked the idea and the JLGLM was born. Willye is married to Michael and has a young adult grandson whom she adores and enjoys spending lots of time with, Quintyn Harrison who also lives in Lansing.
My name is Prince Jerold Solace and I’ve lived in Lansing for 32 years. My career objective is to serve underprivileged communities by strategically connecting people to resources that promote financial awareness, wealth equity and self-love. As President of the African American Employee Resource Group at MSU Federal Credit Union, I worked strategically with our Human Resource department to execute collaborative projects that built a more positive work environment for African Americans.
It's a privilege to help repair the breach of wealth inequities faced by African Americans living within the Greater Lansing Region. It’s an honor to serve as President of the Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan.
I currently serve as Director of Congregational Life and Community Outreach at Lansing First Presbyterian Church. I am a graduate student at Michigan State University specializing in Strategic Communications.
My name is Sallie Campbell and I am currently the Secretary for the Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan. It is an honor and pleasure to serve this organization.
I am a married person (48 years) with 4 children of our own, and a few others we choose to claim. We have 5 grandchildren that we enjoy tremendously. Two of them live in the area, so we get to spend considerable time with them. The other three are all on the east coast, so it’s fun to go visit them as much as we can.
We moved to Lansing from the Detroit area in 1977. At that time, I ran a daycare in our home and worked part-time outside the home. I worked as a special education paraprofessional for about 8 years, while also working part-time in youth ministry. I was raised in the Episcopal Church but decided to join the Presbyterian Church after I married my husband, who had been raised in the Presbyterian tradition. I felt called to attend seminary at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI, and graduated in 2000. I continued to work in youth ministry, but also went to work for Lutheran Social Services in the Unaccompanied Minor foster care program. I was there for 10 years, then went back to work in the church at Lansing First Presbyterian. I served there in youth and family ministry and community outreach. I retired from there in June 2021. In October 2022 I accepted an Interim Executive Director position at Loaves and Fishes
Ministries. This has been a great experience of growth and learning for me. I am enjoying being there and learning more about how to help unsheltered people find peace and compassion while helping them move their lives forward.
I was raised in a household that believed that all people are created equally and in the image of God. As I grew up and learned more about the fact that people are not treated equally, I have become more and more committed to do my part to change that fact in any way I am able. That’s why I’m working with the Justice League; to make amends for the past, and establish new ways for the future. I look forward to what that is going to look like.
Ben is a Presbyterian minister in the Lansing area committed to the intersection of faith and racial justice. He has lived in the Midwest for most of his life but has also lived in the Northern Cheyenne nation in southeast Montana. He enjoys cooking with his spouse Lauren, fixing up their old house, and going on walks with their dogs Manchego and Gouda.