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Willye Bryan

Founder

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.

Prince Solace

President

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.

Peggy Roberts

Secretary

Peggy worked in the field of child welfare prior to moving to Michigan in 1986 where she worked for 26 more years in child welfare, refugee resettlement and community collaboration. Recent volunteer interests include: The Justice League of Greater Lansing Michigan, Voters Not Politicians, One Love Global, and the Immigrant and Refugee Resource Collaborative.

Peggy has been married to her husband, Jack, for over 51 years and follows the lives of her 2 sons and goddaughter and their respective families, and 3 grandchildren.

Ross Yednock

Treasurer / Board of Directors

Born in Evanston, Illinois, Ross grew up in the northern suburbs of Chicago until his parents moved to Birmingham, Michigan in 1988. He moved to the Lansing area in 1992 to attend Michigan State University and, apart from a few years when work took him back to southeast Michigan and Saginaw, has never left. 


Since 2021, he has worked for the Michigan Department of Insurance and Financial Services (DIFS). Prior to working at DIFS, Ross spent 13 years at a nonprofit advocating to advance in public policy and programs to help low-to-middle income households increase their financial stability through wealth and asset building. He also worked in the State House of Representatives, the State Senate, and Office of Attorney General. He is a graduate of the James Madison College at Michigan State University and has a master’s in Public Administration from Western Michigan University.

Ross lives on the northside of Lansing with his two dogs, Mitt and Bella.

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