Sheryl E Davis

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Sheryl E Davis is the Executive Director of the San Francisco Human Rights Commission. Davis has been a school teacher and program director working with a diverse group of people from pre-school to senior citizens.

Davis encourages everyone to exercise respect, honor diverse experiences and to be inclusive. Over the last year Davis has been helping to build out an equity framework with community stakeholders and city departments in San Francisco.

Davis earned her BA from San Francisco State, an MPA from the University of San Francisco and is currently pursuing an Ed.D. from the University of Southern California.

April Fenall | BlackFemaleProject Member

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April Fenall is a business professional with a background in Marketing and Communications bringing over 15 years of broad experience working in the retail and service industries and across multiple college campuses in Sacramento. She received a B.A. degree in Intercultural Communications from California State University Sacramento.

She is also the founder of Piikup, a socially responsible delivery hub in the Bay Area that supports food, retail and other businesses with local logistics support. Created in 2015 as part of the solution to strengthen communities and empower and uplift people who are not only looking to change their narrative in need of a first chance and often second chance, but also to help them level up in their technical skills so that they can gain the type of employment that will sustain them.

In her spare time, you can find April mentoring entrepreneurs in the early stages of starting a business or teaching adult learners how to use 21st-century applications needed in the Bay Area and job markets of the future.

Member Spotlight: April Fenall

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When April Fenall first crossed paths with BlackFemaleProject Founder Precious J. Stroud, she was a business owner in the process of learning how to tell her own story in a compelling way; connecting to our storytelling project was timely and serendipitous. “I was excited to be a part of a project that focused on empowering and creating a space for Black women to have a voice,” April shares.

April is a survivor. A Bay Area native, mother, stepmother, and entrepreneur, April has persisted through significant barriers, missteps she’s made in her past, and trauma inflicted on her at the hands of others. She has overcome experiences with sexual abuse and domestic violence, substance abuse, and incarceration, and navigates life with a disability. Like all of our _____ BlackFemaleProject contributors, April refuses to be defined by her circumstances and challenges. “I am living my best life and empowering those that are ready to change their narrative,” she says. By extracting the wisdom available from her journey and focusing on possibilities, April is thriving on the entrepreneurial path she has forged for herself.  

Her connection to BlackFemaleProject—as a participant and inaugural leadership team member—has played a major role in getting her to this point. The connection has been fruitful in a technical sense, as April says that working on the Project and watching its growth over the years “has provided a great template to follow in growing [her] own businesses and social media presence.” Since her first exposure to BlackFemaleProject, she has transformed what was once an idea into a thriving and successful business: PiikUp is an innovative and socially responsible delivery hub for businesses, employing and supporting people who face barriers to employment.

Beyond the technical, though, the women who make BlackFemaleProject what it is have provided April with invaluable interpersonal benefits that can only come about through the support of powerful community. She says she’s gained “a sense of belonging to a special group of women who are fighters and have found their voice,” remedying feelings of isolation, and points out that it was a fellow BlackFemaleProject sister who talked her through her plans to confront her mother’s abuser, a loaded and life-changing step to take. The relationships April’s developed through our community have been, in her words, “inspiring, supporting, and caring.” What’s more, this sense of support that April has received has come in different forms, not just from in-person relationship building. She speaks to the benefits she’s gained from listening to our podcasts and reading written content as well, pointing to several specific pieces in which she’s found reflection and affirmation. We are so happy to be able to lift up the remarkable stories of our sisters and that the various formats we offer can have this level of impact within our immediate community and beyond.

These things and more encouraged April to join the #100SistersStrong movement by supporting the Project through membership. If you haven’t already, we hope you’ll consider doing the same!



April Fenall is a business professional with a background in Marketing and Communications bringing over 15 years of broad experience working in the retail and service industries and across multiple college campuses in Sacramento. She received a B.A. degree in Intercultural Communications from California State University Sacramento.

She is also the founder of Piikup, a socially responsible delivery hub in the Bay Area that supports food, retail and other businesses with local logistics support. Created in 2015 as part of the solution to strengthen communities and empower and uplift people who are not only looking to change their narrative in need of a first chance and often second chance, but also to help them level up in their technical skills so that they can gain the type of employment that will sustain them.

In her spare time, you can find April mentoring entrepreneurs in the early stages of starting a business or teaching adult learners how to use 21st-century applications needed in the Bay Area and job markets of the future.

 
 
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Debrah Giles

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Debrah Giles is a philanthropic and non-profit management professional who serves as a Senior Program Officer for the East Bay Community Foundation in Oakland, CA. She specializes in supporting initiatives within EBCF that foster education and youth development. In her role, she serves as the Senior Program Officer for the Clorox Company Foundation’s Responsive Grantmaking Program and continues to lead the work that focuses on boys and men of color.

Prior to joining the East Bay Community Foundation, for nearly 15 years Debrah worked for Sun Microsystems in their Global Community Development Group (Foundation). At Sun Microsystems, she managed all aspects of their national and regional grant-making programs and developed strategies to improve their grant-making procedures. During her tenure with Sun Microsystems, she also developed and guided major funding programs, including their international disaster relief program, multi-year educational grants, and global gift matching programs. Additionally, she was responsible for regional and field management for both community relations and volunteer projects.

Debrah received her bachelor’s degree in Business Management from St. Mary’s College.  She is a native of Oakland.


Regina Jackson

Regina Jackson has made it her mission to invest in the future of children. She has taken on the challenge of molding, and mentoring young people in her hometown of Oakland, CA. Regina believes her biggest challenge is combating hopelessness. When young people don’t have high expectations, they often won’t try. Because she and her staff believe that youth can perform at high levels, they often rise to meet and exceed those expectations.
BlackFemaleProject Voices: Regina Jackson
Location: Oakland, California

 
 
 
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Regina Jackson takes us from Deep East Oakland in California to the Far East in China to understand the importance of taking risks and how doing so can support us all in becoming better versions of ourselves. Her proposed transformation process while applied to the youth perspective demonstrates global application.

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Vanessa Siverls

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Born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, Vanessa has experienced the curtain, the shield, the three letter word and currently a blank slate to start all over again. She graduated with a BA in Theatre from Hunter and has performed multiple genres of theatre. In addition Vanessa has had the rare opportunity to work for one of the biggest brands on earth, The NFL., where she FoundHer passion for people through developing national training programs for youth, former players and women who wanted to get and stay connected to the game. Recently, Vanessa decided to get her MBA at Hult International Business School where she experienced 45 different nationalities, studied abroad in the Middle East and ultimately gained the courage to start her own business, BUPeriod, a lifestyle brand for women to be empowered through menstrual health. Vanessa was inspired to build a community and smart health products for women who have issues managing their periods after a 10-year bout with uterine fibroids; of which 22 were surgically removed April of 2015. This age old, politically charged and patriarchal industry, that Vanessa has decided to embark upon, is literally a bloody red ocean, no pun intended, of taboo, stigma and shame.  Vanessa's goal is to take her bag of creative skills, branding experience, and business education to a place where it will educate, engage and ultimately empower women, who may suffer in silence, shame and stigma, so they can take their lives back. Period.

 
 

Liz Williams

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Liz Williams is a finance professional and lifelong Californian. In addition to now serving as Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for a tech start-up, focused on disrupting the hair color industry, she was also finance manager at Sephora US Retail, managing a P&L with revenue over $3B and expenses of over $800M. Liz also had the exciting opportunity to fulfill her dream of being in the entertainment industry by leading the FP&A efforts for Lucasfilm's Animation Division.

Liz received her MBA with an emphasis in Global Business from University of Redlands and attended undergrad at the University of California, Riverside.

Liz has been happily married to creative/entrepreneur Mashama Thompson for four years. When not working, she enjoys gardening, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.


Location: Oakland, California

Che Abram

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Her deepest joy being a mother, Che brings 10+ years of higher education experience to the BlackFemaleProject including extensive knowledge in the areas of enrollment, student services and retention. My specialties include: strategic planning and implementation, policy review and implementation and organizational culture change. Follow on Twitter at @Cheawesum.
Location: Oakland, California