RURAL DEVELOPMENT LEADERSHIP NETWORK
BOARD OF DIRECTORS/OFFICERS

Moises Loza (Chair, Founding Board Member) - Executive Director, Housing Assistance Council; Chair, National Rural Housing Coalition; Lecturer in Hispanic and Farmworkers Affairs, Maryland University. Formerly Regional Administrator for Western States, Farmers Home Administration, USDA; member, Governor's Interdepartmental Council on Farmworkers (Pennsylvania); Board member, McAuley Institute, Rural development and Finance Corporation. Grew up in migrant farmworker family.
John Zippert (Treasurer, Founding Board Member) - Director of Program, Federation of Southern Cooperatives; Publisher, Greene County Democrat; Member, Minority Farmers Advisory Committee, USDA; Board Chair, Rural Coalition: Board Member, Southern Rural Development Initiatives; Leader of planning process, Greene/Sumter County Enterprise Community; Founding member and former Chair, National Rural development and Finance Corporation; Board member, National Rural Housing Coalition, Alabama Council on Human Relations, Panola Land buyers Association Housing Development Corporation. Leader in local Enterprise Community.
  G. David Singleton (Secretary, Founding Board Member) - Partner, Applied Development Economics; Consultant: Indian Heritage Commission, Tribes and towns, California Indian Manpower Consortium; C-Founder, Native Entrepreneur Opportunity Fund; Member, Rural Economic Development Committee, Formerly responsible for rural economic development activities at State CETA and OEO (California); State Chair, California Rural Development Committee; Executive Secretary, Small Farm Task Force (State of California); Former Executive Director, Jefferson County Committee for Economic Opportunity, relating to farm and mining towns in Alabama.
  Twila Martin-Kekahbah (Parliamentarian) - Former Chairperson, Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians; Consultant and Founder, United Tribes Technical College; Member, Office of Women's Health - Minority Women's Health Panel of Experts; former Director, Turtle Mountain Community College; Vice Chair, Aberdeen Area Tribal Chairmen Health Board, Senate Appointee, White House Conference on Indian Education, Executive Committee, Native American Rights Fund. Former Kellogg Fellow M.ED., Pennsylvania State University, B.S., University of North Dakota.
  The Honorable Dr. Unita Blackwell - Having picked cotton in her youth, she became a civil rights leader with SNCC and a pioneer in registering to vote. In 1964, she was a member of the Mississippi Freedom Democratic Party that challenged the Democratic Convention. She was the first African American woman elected mayor in (Mayersville) Mississippi. She has chaired the National Council of Black Mayors, headed the U.S. China Peoples Friendship organization, worked with the National Council of Negro Women, received a MacArthur Fellowship, and taught at the JFK School of Government at Harvard. As a National Rural Fellow, she earned a Master's in Regional Planning from the University of Massachusetts. See her autobiography Barefootin', co-authored with Joanne Prichard Morris (Crown, 2006).
Shirley Sherrod Shirley Sherrod (former Vice Chair) - Co-Founder and Executive Director, Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education; Georgia Lead, Southern Rural Black Women's Initiative; Partner, New Communities at Cypress Pond. Former Georgia State Director, Rural Development, USDA; Former Director, Georgia field office, Federation of Southern Cooperatives. Formerly Executive Director, Community Alliances of Interdependent Agriculture; Board Chair, Farmers Legal Action Group, Rural Leadership Award, National Rainbow Coalition. Former Kellogg Fellow. Author, The Courage to Hope: How I Stood Up to the Politics of Fear, a memoir about her life, Civil Rights work, forced resignation from USDA, and future plans. Graduate, Rural Development Leadership Network, M.A., Antioch University.
Mily Treviño-Sauceda - She grew up in a migrant farmworker family and became an organizer at the age of sixteen with the United Farmworkers Union. Later she formed a group of farmworker women in the Coachella Valley, a forerunner of Organización en California de Lideres Campesinas, a statewide farmworker organization which she co-founded and led. More recently, she organized a national association of farmworker women groups Alianza Nacional de Campesinas. She sits on many boards and, nominated by RDLN, has received an international Women's World Summit Foundation Prize for Creativity in Rural Life, an Alston/Bannerman sabbatical, 100 Heroines of the World, and Leadership for a Changing World awards. A RDLN leader, she holds a B.A. from California State University of Fullerton has completed her master's degree from Antioch through RDLN.
Starry Krueger - Starry Krueger is founding President of the Rural Development Leadership Network, established in 1983. She was founding Director of National Rural Fellows program from 1977-1983. Ms. Krueger has been consultant to the Ford Foundation and other organizations, Evaluator for the New York City Community Development Administration, and a volunteer organizer for the Agricultural Workers Organizing Committee in Stockton, California. She has volunteered on several political campaigns, assisted anthropologist Oscar Lewis on La Vida, contributed to the New York Women's Directory and is the author The Whole Works: The Autobiography of a Young American Couple (Random House), the life story of a farmworker couple living in a migrant camp in California.

Emerita/us

Billie Jean Young - (founding Chairwoman), who grew up in a sharecropping family, is an activist, poet, and educator. Her books include Fear Not the Fall and The Child of Too (poetry), Now, How You Do? (memoir), and Family Secrets (non-fiction).  She has contributed to Wild Women in the Whirlwind and Mississippi Writers Vol. I.  She is well known for her creation and performance of Fannie Lou Hamer: This Little Light and her play Jimmy Lee about the young man whose killing lead to the Selma Montgomery March across the Edmund Pettus Bridge on Bloody Sunday in 1965.  A MacArthur Fellow, she currently is Artist-in-Residence of Judson College and heads the Southwest Alabama Rural and Minority Women's Association. 

 

 


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