President: Genaro Stewart
A native of Atlanta, Georgia, Genaro Stewart is the President of the Thursday Network, the young professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League. Professionally, he serves as a senior Foreign Policy Advisor to the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In this capacity he provides advisory counsel to the White House, Pentagon and National Security Council concerning national security policy considerations and emerging international geopolitical issues. Genaro has also served as a visiting lecturer at the U.S. Naval War College in Rhode Island and as a graduate-level course advisor at Duke University. Prior to relocating to Washington, D.C. he spent a considerable amount of time working abroad in over 20 countries ranging from Afghanistan to the stunning and scenic geography of East Africa.
When Genaro is not engaged in international affairs, he is very passionate about young male mentorship and professional development. He previously served as Personal and Professional Development committee chair and is an active participant in the 100 Black Men of Greater Washington’s Leadership Academy. His selfless service isn’t limited to his community but he is also a U.S. Navy veteran. Genaro’s extensive leadership experience is a welcomed addition to our executive board, and he is excited to serve and broaden relations in his role as President.
Vice President: Brittany Cummings
Brittany Cummings is the Vice President of Thursday Network, Greater Washington Urban League's young professional auxiliary. Brittany is an award-winning public relations and communications professional, currently serving as Vice President on the Brand Marketing team at Edelman. Her agency and consulting clients have ranged from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofit organizations to universities, focused heavily on travel and social impact.
Brittany is passionate about advocacy and social justice, having volunteered with the Southern Center for Human Rights in Atlanta and now with the Urban League. She has also led communications strategy for several issues-based campaigns for large brands. Brittany began her career as a journalist, producing at CNN for nearly five years. She earned bachelor’s degrees in both Journalism and Political Science from Georgia State University, as well a New Media Studies certificate from the George Washington University. She was born in Sacramento, California but considers herself an Atlanta native, having spent the majority of her life there. She lived in New York City from late 2013 to early 2017, before relocating to Washington D.C.
Treasurer: Joseph Kitchen
Born in Southern California, Joseph grew up in the Central Valley raised by his mother. He is an educator, community organizer and Democratic activist who got his start in community building organizing peers at his junior high school around school violence. Because of his activism, Joseph became one of the youngest members of one of the City of Fresno's planning advisory committees in the Third District.
For more than a decade he has worked in communities all over DC and the Maryland suburbs as well as Baltimore to improve the lives of young people. Joseph currently serves as an administrator and on the leadership team at a private all-girls school in Anacostia. Outside of the classroom, Joseph founded the Young Black Educators (YBE), a network of teachers, administrators and other education advocates committed to recruiting and retaining other young people of color to the classroom. He is also a Vice President of the Young Education Professional of DC. Joseph is also very involved in his community having served as a member of the NAACP’s Executive Committee in California and Prince George’s County, MD. He was a founding member of the New Leaders Council of Maryland and served on the National Diversity Committee. In 2009 Joseph became the first African American in over a decade and first openly gay person ever to be elected President of the Young Democrats of Maryland.
Joseph was appointed Treasurer of the Thursday Network in August of 2018 and elected to a full term in September 2018. Before his appointment, Joseph was a very active member of the Membership Committee. An ordained Baptist minister Joseph resides in Fairmount Heights, MD. He is a member of the First Baptist Church of Glenarden.
Secretary: Brittany Bell
A Native of Akron, Ohio, Brittany Bell now calls Washington DC her home. She earned her bachelor's degree in Business Communication from Kent State University and currently works as an administrator for the Facilities Planning & Management Division of Prince George’s Community College. Her ultimate goal is to influence and inspire positive change in our communities through education.
Her passion lies in social injustice and serving her community through education awareness and resources. In her free time, Brittany is involved with her church, where she belongs to the Young Adult Ministry. She also volunteers as a Reading Partner for the District of Columbia’s school-aged children. Brittany loves giving back any way she can through community service and loves to support entrepreneurship and inspiring entrepreneurs.
Her most recent endeavor is she received her Fashion Stylist certification from one of the top schools for styling, School of Style, in Los Angeles, CA. She uses her fashion stylist degree to serve as a personal stylist.
Civic Engagement Chair: Kawanza Billy
Kawanza Billy is the Civic Engagement Chair of Thursday Network, Greater Washington Urban League's young professional auxiliary. She is Founder and Social Impact Strategist at K.Billy Push, a consulting company dedicated to creating and improving social initiatives. She’s been a member of Thursday Network since 2016, graduate of the Fall 2018 cohort of The Washington Bureau Advocacy Certification Program and 2019 Volunteer of the Year for Thursday Network.
Kawanza received her B.A. from The City University of New York at John Jay College where she majored in Political Science concentrating in Urban and Community Affairs. Kawanza started her career supporting former Public Advocate and current New York Attorney General Letitia James with outreach coordination in Southeast, Queens, Harlem and Brooklyn. Since her time is Washington, DC , she has served as the Director of Enrollment at Momentum Education where she coordinated outreach, built strategic partnerships and managed community engagement. She also supports local advocacy initiatives related to education, environmental, and health policy. Kawanza is known for her ability to utilize her creativity to foster new programs and systems that impact experience, sustainability and visibility. She’s a leader who gravitates towards opportunities to provide resources and support to those in need.
When Kawanza isn’t igniting the light in others, she is serving as Washington, DC Chapter Leader for the National Cervical Cancer Coalition and facilitates a civic engagement and leadership workshop for young people.
Community Service Programs Chair: Maggie Butler
A native of Burkeville, Virginia, Maggie K. Butler PhD is the Community Service Programs Chair of the Thursday Network, the young professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League. Professionally, she serves as a Director for the Office on Disability Issues in Psychology for the largest membership organization for psychologists in the United States. In this capacity she provides programmining and technical assistance to, Psychologists, policy makers, and the general public regarding systemic barriers impacting persons with disabilites and mental health diagnosis. Maggie has also served as a Adjunct Assistant Professor for the University of Alabama were she taught graduate-level counselors. Prior to relocating to Washington, D.C. she completed a doctoral degree from the Univesity of Iowa, College of Education and worked in the state of Virginia as a counselor and chief university official at a four year liberal arts college.
Community Service Events Chair: Briana Lynch
Briana Lynch is a dynamic leader and go-getter from the southern suburbs of Chicago, Illinois. She is an alumna of the University of Missouri with a degree in Biological Sciences. During her time as an undergrad, she was involved in many scientific research activities including completing three research internship programs — two at the University of Missouri studying medicinal plants and one at Harvard University studying environmental nanoparticles. She also volunteered in many activities including the local food bank, the Ronald McDonald charity house, and the Dream Outside the Box program where she performed experiments with kids in the classroom. Additionally, Briana also traveled abroad to Nicaragua and Ghana as a volunteer to provide health care needs as a triage nurse and public health educator in underserved villages.
After graduation, Briana completed Post-Baccalaureate education through the National Institutes of Health Infectious diseases branch at Johns Hopkins University. There she studied cross-sectional incidence of HIV infections, and conducted DNA sequencing and analysis of HIV to investigate disease progression of the virus in Baltimore, Washington DC, and various African countries. Briana presented her work at the Conference of Retroviruses and Opportunistic infections in 2016 and was published in the Journal of AIDS research and Human Retroviruses in 2017 as a first author. Soon after completing her Post-Baccalaureate, she continued her passion in the field of science as a Scientific Information Analyst at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland where she works with experts in scientific policy through congress to report, analyze and budget areas of scientific research.
Outside of work, Briana currently volunteers as a mentor to young black women in science through a program called Elevate and offers free tutoring to Howard students majoring in Biology. Briana hopes to one day pursue a graduate degree in Data Science and Analytics and to become a college professor and mentor to young black students in STEM. In her free time Briana enjoys working out, event planning, and traveling. She also hopes to teach aerobic classes and to open a healthy, affordable grocery store in a black community.
Fund Development: Derin Oduye
Derin Oduye works in the Intelligence Publishing and Ad-Operations team at Politico. A native of Austin, Texas, Derin graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors of Arts in Political Science in 2016. Before relocating to Washington DC, she served as an AmeriCorps member as the Volunteer and Outreach where she was responsible for coordinating the volunteer program and building partnerships. In 2018, she was selected as the National AmeriCorps Member of the Year.
When she’s off the clock, she keeps busy performing poetry, serving as a mentor for Big Brother Big Sister, and volunteering within the community. Derin is theFund Development Chair for the 2019-2020 ELC year.
Membership Chair: Harper Matthews
Harper Matthews is a southern California native, world traveler, and avid foodie. As a two-time graduate of Pepperdine University, earning a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Ethnic Studies and a Masters degree in Education, Harper has a love for student affairs and a deep passion for student identity and leadership development. After working in college admission and dedicating her graduate research to better understanding student retention and success, especially amongst students of color, Harper felt called to a career in student affairs. . She currently is the Program Manager for Pepperdine University's Washington DC study away program where she oversees student affairs, program management, and building operations. Inspired by the many inspirational women in her life, Harper spends much of her free time giving back to organizations that aim to build strong women. Harper currently serves on the young professionals board of Girls on the Run Montgomery County. Additionally, as a dedicated member of the Gamma Phi Beta Sorority, she serves as a lead facilitator, presenting on a variety of leadership development topics at various conferences and workshops around the country.
Harper plans to bring her deep value for building authentic community and her skills in recruitment, retention, and member experience to the position of TN’s Membership chair during the 2019-2020 term.
Personal & Professional Development Chair: Antwion Jefferson
Born and raised in Prince George’s County, Antwion Jefferson serves as the Personal and Professional Development Chair of Thursday Network, the young professionals auxiliary of the Greater Washington Urban League. Professionally, he serves as Executive Assistant to the VP of Community Engagement, Advocacy, and Government Affairs at Children’s National Hospital (CNH). In this role, he oversees the fiscal budget, leads administrative operations and facilitates efforts to address the social determinants of health through government organizations and community partnerships under the umbrella of the Child Health Advocacy Institute.
Prior to joining the CNH, Antwion served as Deputy Project Manager for Zimmerman Associates Inc. (ZAI), a government services contractor dedicated to providing technology-enabled solutions in processing management and customer satisfaction to the Library of Congress. He also oversaw multiple projects and served as a primary liaison between ZAI and the Library of Congress. Antwion earned a Bachelor’s of Applied Science in Business Administration with a minor in Sociology from University of Maryland University College (UMUC) and an Associate’s of Applied Science in Business Management from Prince George’s Community College.
Public Relations Digital Media Chair: Brian Tolbert
Brian Tolbert is a multi-disciplined designer with a unique experience of working with some of the world's largest brands all the way down to single entity start ups to reach a variety of audiences. Brian has over a decade of experience developing brands and developing visual experiences. As PR Media chair, he will draw on that experience to contribute to Thursday Network in a meaningful way. Brian is working on implementing a 7-step social media marketing and optimization strategy to increase engagement with our current audience and grow beyond our existing base. Brian is focused on working with our membership body and executive committee to curate dynamic & highly engaging content to expand awareness of the Thursday Network, Greater Washington Urban League and NULYP.
Social & Cultural Chair: Chyna Grant
Chyna Grant is on a journey to collaborate, curate, and inspire. As the Social and Cultural Chair her hope is to trigger transformative ideas and collaborations among members and the community. Helping to create events that enables us to elevate the community through experiential learning and collaborations.
A Chicago native, she currently serves as a Brand and Communication Manager focused on U.S. and global branding and event production. Chyna spent much of her career in marketing as an account manager and business event planner for non-profits. As a former Corporate Citizenship Manager, she was instrumental in the company’s diverse markets and outreach efforts that contributed to the development and advancement of communities in the Chicagoland area. She has established a solid reputation for assessing challenges through campaigns, creating solutions, and laying the groundwork to attract new customers. Collaborating with more than 110 partners, Chyna helped to strengthen relationships with customers and organizations through a number of signature events and programming.
The ISU grad’s passion for life is to help others achieve their goals, whether it’s through mentorship, consulting or, event planning. If she’s not out entertaining friends, you’ll find her scrolling through Pinterest for “do-it-yourself” projects, volunteering, or helping new home-buyers as an Interior Aesthetic Consultant.