BCRI Board Gets 12 New Members, 5 Reappointed

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A steady stream of people visit the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute on Martin Luther King Jr. Day 2019.

Sherrel Wheeler Stewart,WBHM 90.3 FM

The Birmingham Civil Rights Institute Board received a makeover Tuesday with the City Council’s appointment of a dozen new members and reappointment of five current members.

The former board faced local and national criticism after it rescinded the presentation of the Fred L. Shuttlesworth Human Rights Award to activist Angela Davis in January. Three board officers resigned amid community outcry. Following the controversy, the BCRI reversed its decision and reoffered the award to Davis.

The BCRI recommended new appointments for council approval.

Andrea Taylor, the institute’s CEO, says 50 people were nominated and 20 were interviewed.

The new board includes corporate leaders and community activists, among them Gwen Webb, a civil rights foot soldier who was jailed in Birmingham’s 1963 civil rights protests.

In addition to Webb, the board members are:

Cassandra W. Adams, Samford University, Cumberland School of Law; Dr. Tamera Coyne-Beasley, University of Alabama at Birmingham; Nyesha Cheyenne Black, Noire Analytics; William H. Burgess III, The Burgess Group; Yolanda Clayton, Alabama State University & Alabama A&M University/Clayton and Associates, LLC; Robert Dickerson, Birmingham Resource Center; Daryl R. Grant, KPMG Advisory Services; Rosilyn Houston, BBVA USA; Danny Markstein, Markstein; Angela D. McKenzie, Regions Bank; J. John Oros Jr., Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau; Jonathan Porter, Alabama Power Company; Richard A. Rice, The Rice Firm, LLC; John D. Saxon, John D. Saxon, P.C.; David A. Thomas, Starbucks; and Rev. Thomas L. Wilder Jr., Bethel Baptist Church.

BCRI wants to expand the board to 21 members and there will be more board nominations, Taylor says.