Over the next year, Notley will distribute $10,000 in unrestricted funding to each individual in support of their organization. In addition, Notley will provide connections, national exposure and strategic guidance from our growing support network to help further their impact, including hyper-local Market Directors in each of their cities.
Ernest Levert Jr.
Ernest Levert Jr. is a passionate, community-oriented and ambitious servant-leader. A native of Dallas, TX and the son of two buckeyes, Ernest received his Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering from The Ohio State University before pursuing his passion for financial health and economic empowerment.
Ernest currently serves as the Founding Director of The Royal Oak Initiative (ROI), an innovative chess-based social change agency that uses the wisdom of chess to protect, heal and build community by cultivating collective wellness, mindfulness, and critical thinking. Through his work with ROI, Ernest hosts chess-based community gatherings at local businesses, supports and launches chess clubs in partnership with youth-serving organizations, and facilitates intensive and engaging chess-inspired leadership development training for youth and the young at heart.
Ernest strives to provide culturally-responsive chess enrichment experiences for all, with a specific focus on creating a welcoming and affirming environment for Black and Brown people. Ernest currently resides in Columbus, OH with his partner, Ivory and daughter, Zamya.
Rebecca CE Brown
Rebecca (Becca) CE Brown is married to her husband of 11 years, Teddy Brown, and is a mom of four children ages 8 and under. On their small Franklinton homestead they care for a pup, two cats, six hens, and a large permaculture-style garden.
She began working as the Executive Director of Franklinton Farms in 2020. The nonprofit urban farm hosts two social enterprises alongside food access, community beautification, and garden education programs. Alongside the Farms’ team of 14 staff and hundreds of volunteers, Becca strives to nourish neighborhood wellbeing and connection. She serves as a Commissioner on the Franklinton Area Commission and is a founding member of Friends of the Franklinton Forest—a group committed to plant trees, protect trees, and connect people to trees in Franklinton.
Rebecca has a bachelors’ degree in Conflict Transformation and she believes in the power of conflict as a constructive force in our workplaces, communities, and families. In addition to working in local nonprofit administration, she has built local and national cross-cultural peacemaking programs. Rebecca’s education and grassroots activism support the Peace and Conflict training she provides to diverse groups. In her work as a Peace and Conflict Practitioner—including her role as the Farms’ Executive Director—she is mindful of historic/emergent elements within communities including socioeconomic, gender, religious, and racial dynamics.
Jami Duffy is a locally and nationally recognized thought leader and innovator in company culture, creative youth development, the global impact of artmaking, public policy advocacy, music ecosystems, and inclusive leadership. She is the longtime Executive Director of Youth on Record, a leading Creative Youth Development nonprofit organization in Colorado, and the first female Co-Manager of the Underground Music Showcase, Denver’s Largest Music Festival.
Jami joined Youth on Record as Executive Director in 2009 and has since provided the strategic vision and fundraising expertise that has led to consistent growth and national brand recognition for the organization. She spearheaded a $2M capital campaign to build YOR’s state-of-the-art Youth Media Studio in west Denver, and has grown the organization by 2,000+% during her tenure. Her strategic vision and “maverick” nonprofit leadership is pushing the boundaries for what’s possible in the sector. Most recently, Youth on Record purchased the Underground Music Showcase as a mission-aligned investment, and is currently incubating a music and entertainment company for social good.
“Jami is widely recognized as a leader within the nonprofit and creative communities, as she has married impact with community service, in order to spread Youth on Record’s programs to youth across the city.”
Papa M. Dia is Founder and Executive Director of the African Leadership Group (ALG), an established Colorado nonprofit created in 2006 to help improve the quality of life for African immigrants and members of the diaspora. Through social, economic, and educational programs, ALG helps families successfully integrate into their local community.
A native of Senegal, Papa immigrated to Denver in 1998. He used his first job, stocking books, to teach himself how to read, write, and speak English. Beginning with an entry level position in a local bank, over the next 18 years, Papa ultimately climbed the ranks to become a regional vice president. In 2017, Papa left his banking career to focus his full attention on running and growing ALG.
“Papa Dia is one of the most charismatic and effective advocates in the Denver area, as he represents his community passionately and tirelessly. The Denver area, and Aurora specifically, is one of the most diverse communities in the country, with more than 100 languages spoken, and African immigrants represent the majority. ALG serves its community in an extremely successful way, with responsive programming, active engagement and proud leadership.”
TeRay Esquibel is a Denver Public Schools graduate from Abraham Lincoln High School. He was awarded the Daniels Fund Scholarship that gave him the opportunity to attend the University of Denver. While attending DU, TeRay dedicated himself to breaking down barriers to higher education within his community.
After college, TeRay went on to participate and work with the El Pomar Foundation Fellowship program. Eventually, he found himself back at DU as an Admission Counselor serving Denver and Aurora Public Schools. In this role, TeRay engaged with DPS and its community to empower students (and their families) on their journey to furthering their educational horizons. To do this, he acted as a liaison between DU and external organizations dedicated to increasing the enrollment and persistence rates for students who were from underrepresented communities throughout Denver.
Most recently, TeRay held the title of Partner of Community Partnerships and Advocacy at the Denver based philanthropic organization RootED. In this role, he led research, strategy, and community grant making. This is where the seed of Ednium: The Alumni Collective was planted and watered. TeRay now acts as the founding Executive Director of Ednium: The Alumni Collective, partnering with DPS Alumni to change the way the city educates and reinvests in its homegrown talent.
“TeRay is an example of making change out of necessity – he saw a dearth of opportunities for fellow DPS alumni, so he and his co-founders created a program to supply their classmates with opportunities based on their unique backgrounds. With Denver’s BIPOC community growing rapidly, this gap needed an effective answer, and TeRay has offered solutions on two fronts: leadership programs for DPS alumni and incisive, data-based policy recommendations for current curriculum. Denver’s students already have benefited from TeRay’s leadership and he will continue to do great things.”
As a native Texan and Libyan-American with extensive global experience, Nadia Mavrakis brings the perspective of these worldviews to her role as Chief Executive Officer of Culturingua, a nonprofit that elevates the people and heritage of the Middle East, North Africa, and South Asia (MENASA). Culturingua brings education opportunities to San Antonio K-12 students to improve their global competencies and activate their voices; community development programs to the Northwest Bexar County neighborhoods in and around the Medical Center Area to enable all residents to reach their full potential and lead prosperous lives; and economic development programs to support workforce development and small business success for Bexar County residents.
Ms. Mavrakis graduated magna cum laude from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Business Administration in Business Strategy and Finance with a minor in French. She completed nonprofit fellowships through both Social Venture Partners San Antonio and HOLT Values-Based Nonprofit Leadership Program at the San Antonio Area Foundation. She has taken business leadership courses at INSEAD, Harvard Business School, Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and HEC Paris. She is a frequent speaker and panelist at conferences discussing best and equitable practices on global education as well as immigrant integration and empowerment.
“Nadia is a powerhouse, and also one of the most kind and thoughtful people I’ve encountered. She has the perfect mix of business savvy + vision + compassion to lead an organization that is much needed in San Antonio as our refugee population is often overlooked as a contributor to economic development, specifically in the small business sector. She has barely begun to make the impact that she can with Culturingua, and with the support of Notley’s network, I think her existing programming + new initiatives will thrive and grow.”
Robert Salcido Jr.
Robert Salcido, Jr., he/him, is committed to civic engagement and social justice of underrepresented individuals. He is active in various community roles and has extensive experience working with issues of equity, diversity and inclusion, LGBTQ+ education, and matters of discrimination.
Robert is the Executive Director with Pride Center San Antonio. The primary focus of The Center continues to be the primary one-stop-shop organization in south Texas to promote health, wellness, support, education, activities, and advocacy for the local LGBTQ+ community. Between 2020 – 2021, The Center began offering free case management services and has since added group therapy and individual and family counseling. To-date, The Center has 4 paid staff members, 6 interns, and many volunteers that work tirelessly to ensure that we are positioned to empower San Antonio and the surrounding area’s LGBTQ+ community.
In addition, he serves as the co-principal investigator of Strengthening Colors of Pride, a community-based participatory action research project addressing health disparities and health equity in the South Texas LGBTQ+ communities.
“Robert is absolutely relentless in driving change, support, and access for the LGBTQ+ community in San Antonio and Texas. He is such a strong leader for this community, and has shown tremendous grit + dedication through his work with local and statewide organizations that incorporate data collection, reporting, advocacy, and much needed mental and physical health support for this community. He has been able to grow the Pride Center and whip it into shape with so little resources, and I believe that more network connections, strategic guidance, and innovate thought partners will help him get the Pride Center to an even better place so it can continue to provide life saving resources for an under resourced community that serves so many in San Antonio.”
H. Drew Galloway
H. Drew Galloway (he/him) is the Founder and Executive Director of Building Resourced Infrastructure for Diverse Grassroots Engagement (BRIDGE), a civic engagement innovation hub guiding the next generation of social entrepreneurs in Texas. BRIDGE’s flagship program, Accelerator, is the first seed-funding state-based accelerator program designed especially for grassroots democracy and justice startups in the United States. Since June 2021, BRIDGE’s programs have empowered 9 founders and their organizations to launch and create change from the ground up.
Prior to BRIDGE, Drew served as the Executive Director of MOVE Texas, supporting its statewide expansion and registering 120,000 new young voters over five years. He also served at The Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life at The University of Texas at Austin and The White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. Drew is an alumnus of The University of Texas at San Antonio, San Antonio College, and The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
“Drew is clearly dedicated to the work he does, and is a multiplier not only via his past work at MOVE, but now through BRIDGE. He is incredibly open and hungry for higher level strategic guidance, connections, and is building an integrative & unique new model for supporting grassroots organizations that has potential to support so many local, statewide, and nationwide changemakers. He is also just the sweetest, and building out his program with so much intention and thought–its very inspirational and admirable.”
Notley Changemaker Program Announcements to date:
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