Annika Adams is a Global Citizen at heart and has left a positive footprint on several continents through Education and the Arts. She has assisted teachers in Croatia with English courses for children. She shared her talents as a former cheerleader for the NBA Memphis Grizzles by teaching free dance classes to students in Croatia. On her trip to Cuba, Annika provided school supplies for children and and dance workshops for young adults. Locally, she is an excellent role model for women and girls in her community and around the country. Annika also organized a trip to the United Nations General Assembly conference in New York City to provide students from Maryland an opportunity to engage in dialogue with leaders from around the world. Her Motto is, "See the World...Serve the World."
She recently launch her non-profit - The Global Citizen Collective. It is an international non-profit organization based in Washington, DC. The organization provides a wider world view through exposure to new places, people and cultures. Grounded in the belief that we are stronger together, The Global Citizen Collective works to build community and strengthen values and practices with a commitment to sustainable development. When she is not traveling abroad, she is the Owner of Revere Event Planning & Design in Washington, D.C. and proudly holds 13 years of experience as an event management professional.
Annika received a Master of Science in Project Management from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and a Bachelor of Professional Studies in Performing Arts from The University of Memphis. A former beauty queen and professional entertainer, Annika is a theatre and dance enthusiast who brings creativity and artistry to the team.
Ed Prater is a professionally trained coach, with a strong background in sales, engineering, marketing, leadership development and emotional intelligence. As CEO of Significance Services, Ed approaches his clients with the goal of successfully helping them find what they are truly passionate about, and helping them create lives, businesses and careers they love. He has twenty-five years experience providing services as a coach, facilitator, leadership trainer. Ed's corporate background includes thirty-five years in the telecommunications industry serving in executive leadership roles nationally and internationally. he served as Director of product development at Newbridge Networks and Business Executive at AT&T Government Solutions.
Ed also worked in higher education as an adjunct professor for college level mathematics at Clark Atlanta University and workforce development at University of District of Columbia. His professional training includes Professional Co-Active Coach, Coaches Training Institute (CTI) and John Maxwell Certified Coach, Speaker, Trainer. He is actively involved with community organizations (AWANA, Big Brothers, Teen Life) focused on enabling youth to lead better, more fulfilling lives. Ed has served on several Boards including American Council of Technology/Industry Advisory Council and Solutions of Enterprises Worldwide, Inc.
Ed earned his Bachelor of Science from Clark Atlanta University. He enjoys golf, photography basketball, and tutoring mathematics.
MARYLAND STATE SENATOR
Charles was sworn into the Maryland State Senate on January 8, 2020, after serving as an elected delegate representing District 44B beginning in January 2015. Charles served on the House's Judiciary Committee and the Judiciary's Civil Law & Procedure and Criminal Justice subcommittees. He is a member of the Baltimore County Delegation where he serves on the Public Safety Committee and is a member of the Legislative Black Caucus. Charles was born and grew up in Baltimore City, Maryland. Professionally, Charles is a member of the American Bar Association, Maryland State Bar Association, and Baltimore County Bar Association and admitted to practice before Maryland and District of Columbia Courts and the United States Supreme Court.
Charles is also a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., the national leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa, Inc., and the American Constitution Society. Charles also served on the Chesapeake Executive Council Citizens Advisory Committee, the Maryland Consumer Council, and the Maryland Red Line Citizens' Advisory Council. As a result of his service to the community, Charles has received numerous awards acknowledging his service; including Maryland Consumer Rights Coalition's Legislator (2017), the Daily Record’s Leadership in Law (2012), the University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law’s Public Service Award (2000) and Johns Hopkins University’s Student Excellence Award for Leadership and Service (1996).
Charles matriculated at and received his Juris Doctor and Master of Policy Sciences from the University of Maryland School of Law and University of Maryland Baltimore County, respectively. Charles also matriculated and received his bachelor’s degree with departmental honors from Johns Hopkins University and his A-course diploma from Baltimore Polytechnic Institute. He is married to Myra and they have three daughters. He and his family reside in Catonsville, Maryland.
JJ Green is the National Security Correspondent at WTOP radio. He reports daily on international security, intelligence, foreign policy, terrorism, and cyber developments and provides regular on-air analysis. He has traveled to dozens of countries investigating, reporting, and analyzing the U.S. war against terrorism and has interviewed the leadership of all the key national security components of the U.S. government and many security and foreign government officials around the world. JJ hosts the weekly podcast, Target USA, which examines the threats facing U.S. He also hosts the weekly broadcast program “The Hunt,” and conducts in-depth interviews with experts on ISIS, al-Qaida, the Taliban, and other emerging terror threats. In addition to his work at WTOP, JJ lectures regularly at universities and colleges on national security issues and speaks often to U.S. government, military, and national security organizations. He is also a contributor to Jane’s Intelligence Review magazine.
He is the recipient of the 2017 Gerald R. Ford Presidential Foundation award for Distinguished Reporting on National Defense for his series Anatomy of a Russian attack. He has also received a National Edward R. Murrow Award (2009) for “Hidden Hunter” — his reporting aboard a nuclear-powered, Los Angeles Class submarine underway in the Atlantic Ocean. He also won the prestigious Associated Press Douglas S. Freeman award in 2010 for his investigative series, “Dignity Denied,” which explored decades of neglect at America’s hallowed Arlington National Cemetery.
JJ graduated magna cum laude from Hampton University. Green is fluent in Spanish, speaks working level French and is studying Korean. An avid athlete, he is an accomplished speed skater, a regular runner, and swimmer, cross trainer and is an expert kickboxer.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
HONORARY BOARD MEMBERS
Ms. Varner-Gaskins is committed to enriching the intellectual, academic and social skills of students through peer mentoring and cultural competence as they journey toward excellence. Mrs. Varner-Gaskins has provided more than twenty years of consultation and leadership in multi-culturalism and diversity to academicians, administrators and students at The College of Charleston, the George Washington University and other institutions of higher education throughout the United States.
She has created and implemented programs designed to enhance the leadership skills of college and university students with a focus on diversity and cross-cultural communication. In her role as director of the Office of Multicultural Student Affairs at The Johns Hopkins University, she implemented one of the first successful multi-cultural mentoring programs for international and minority students. The model she designed has been adopted by many colleges and universities throughout the United States. She has also developed successful strategies to sensitize faculty, administrators and staff to the special needs of students of various cultures and nationalities. As a complement to her interest in diversity, Mrs. Varner-Gaskins serves on the Board of the African Art Museum in Columbia, MD and co-founded The Johns Hopkins University Black Faculty and Staff Association. She is also a member of the National Academic Advisors Association.
Mrs. Varner-Gaskins is currently completing a graduate program In Educational Studies with a concentration in Leadership through Community and School Partnerships and holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Maryland.
SASHA E. BUTLER
Sasha E. Butler is a dynamic leader who leverages her 20 years of experience advocating for quality education, positive social change, and economic development opportunities for women and youth. In addition to her role as Executive Director, Ms. Butler is the President of InXcellence Consulting: Coaching and Training Solutions, LLC. She also is serving a two-year appointment with the World Council on Intercultural Competence as the Coordinator for Intercultural Competence and Community-Based Global Learning/Connections Working Group. Ms. Butler's expertise includes intercultural and global competence, diversity, equity, and inclusion, program and curriculum development, and global education consulting. She is a highly sought-after certified speaker, trainer, and coach with the John Maxwell Team who inspires her clients to reach their full potential by teaching them how to align their thinking and actions with their goals.
Ms. Butler trains leaders to become change agents in their sphere of influence with a commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. She is in high demand for her ability to cultivate highly effective partnerships and establish best practices for building strong teams and sustainable programs. Ms. Butler consults with educational leaders to implement strategies for systemic change in the design of education programs and to evaluate how cultural proficiency competencies are achieved. Her initiatives include early college credit programs, global citizens academies, STEAM innovation labs, and the development of online courses. Most notably, Ms. Butler designed a six-week e-learning course for teachers in Owerri, Nigeria. The "Why Global Citizenship Education Matters" course is tuition-free for all teachers in the Imo State region.
Ms. Butler's impact locally and globally has resulted in recognition and invitations to speak at conferences, including the United Nations General Assembly Conference, American Counseling Association, National Association of Professional Women, National Employment Counseling Association, New York City Public Schools, Howard County Public Schools (Maryland), and the Uganda Broadcasting Corporation. She is a member of Harvard University's Graduate School of Education Think Tank on Global Education. She is also a liaison for the Global Peace Foundation PeaceHub Community Peace-Building Campaign. Additionally, Ms. Butler presented at the 64th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women on “The role of education for young women leaders to create sustained youth participation in peacebuilding”. Ms. Butler was commissioned to co-lead a diverse panel discussion of youth and adult leaders to explore strategic opportunities for addressing social and racial issues within the local community.
Ms. Butler holds a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Writing from Manhattanville College. A Master of Science in Adult Education & Human Resource Development from Fordham University Graduate School of Education. Currently, she is a Doctoral Candidate in the Higher Education and Adult Learning program at Walden University.
Diya K. Wynn is an AI/ML Ethicist in Emerging Technologies & Intelligent Platforms GSP at Amazon Web Services. She has worked in technology for 25 years. Leveraging her experience working with early stage companies, deep understanding of Operations, IT Service Management and delivery, she works with a global team to position enterprise customers to unlock value and experience the transformation they expect with technology.
In addition to her work in technology, she is an Ambassador for Inclusion & Diversity and a pioneer in the company starting and leading the Women in Professional Services, an affinity group focused on gender diversity. Diya expanded her focus beyond the Women in Professional Services and has led several inclusion & diversity initiatives across the business globally including hosting Inclusion Forums, Inclusive Leader Summits, and participating on a leadership team establishing a new affinity group for under-represented minorities. For her model of leadership in this space, she was recently awarded an Inclusion Ambassador Award from her company and is a finalist for the Women in IT Awards Advocate of the Year.
Diya's expertise and passion has taken her internationally to Canada, the United Kingdom, Ukraine, China, Germany, Australia, Denmark and throughout cities in the US where she has been a speaker at industry events, delivered presentations and training.
Joseph Jenkins is a well known speaker, bestselling author, social advocate, and social entrepreneur. Joseph works with many nonprofits and other social and academic programs to help students and children with certain social, academic, and economic challenges. Joseph writes books to all ages and scopes of life to help overcome hardships and life and show people they are only limited in life by their thinking.
Joseph has received a Bachelor's degree from University of Maryland Baltimore County in Business Technology Administration and a minor in Entrepreneurship. Joseph has written numerous books to help encourage and inspire his readers both non fiction and fiction.
Nichool Castro is the Director of Communications and Administrative Assistant at Acts12:24 Churches, a network of churches that aims to provide churches within the Northeast and abroad with resources to develop leaders, stability and local church structure. She has worked with various news organizations, non-profits, and corporal organizations, as a journalist/Staff Writer, Editorial Assistant, Assistant to the Director of Sales Marketing & Business, and Social Media Manager.
Nichool has participated in various international development programs hosted by the Global Peace Foundation, Global Young Leaders Academy, and World Assembly of Youth. She has also represented her native countries in various international forums and programs held at the United Nations, the World Bank, the US National Constitution Center, and the Kurdistan Parliament in Iraq. These programs focused on the empowerment of young leaders, the achievement of the 2030 UN SDGs, and the impact young people can have in their communities around the globe. One of her goals is to work as a journalist in the international arena by focusing on the importance of human rights as well as refugee and immigrant populations around the world, and the empowerment of youth and women, especially in refugee camps.
She graduated from St. John’s University with a Bachelor’s in Journalism and a Master’s in International Relations. She also holds a graduate certificate in International Law and Diplomacy.