Board of Directors
Shelly Gordon-Gray, Co-founder and Board Chair
Shelly Gordon-Gray moved to Mesa, Arizona in late 2017 from the California Bay Area. Trying to make a difference has been one of Shelly’s core values and she has a 40-year volunteer history, from fundraising for international NGOs to serving on the Human Relations Commission and as a volunteer mediator for the city of Palo Alto, to producing a county wide conference on hunger and poverty to serving on the Commission on the Status of Women in Monterey County. Shelly also served on the executive committee of the largest Sierra Club Chapter in California.
Shelly has run her own medical marketing and PR firm for 20+ years and was named one of Silicon Valley’s Women of Influence.
Today Shelly is a precinct committee volunteer for her legislative district in Mesa. She is a member of the National Council of the Social Studies, including the Arizona Chapter, and a member of the East Valley chapter of the NAACP. In 2019, Shelly started an organization called Arizonans for Community Choice to bring more renewable energy to Arizona through community choice energy programs.
Shelly is married to Gordon Gray – yes they share a name in common – and enjoy visiting their 2 grandsons in Washington every summer.
Todd Bailey is an Arizona native. His travels as a professional dancer have taken him around the world many times in 25 years. At 54, being active in Civil Rights and Black/LGBTQ history has simply been part of his journey. Todd’s close knit and accomplished family migrated from the south to Arizona in the 1940s and education was a central focus.
Todd has taught dance for 30 years around the Valley and in California, and has spent 15 years presenting a community changing outreach program in south Phoenix after falling in love with outreach working for the Boston Ballet community outreach program. Currently he works for the Arizona Historical Society as Special Projects Coordinator. His desk is in the Arizona Heritage Center Museum at Papago Park.
Laura Schaffer Metcalfe
Laura Schaffer Metcalfe is a lifelong Arizona resident, born in Tucson, and she has been a resident of Mesa since 1972. Laura graduated from Westwood High School, Arizona State University, and Northern Arizona University. Laura holds a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership from Northern Arizona University, and she considers herself to be a lifelong learner!
Laura is an educator, by profession, and has served Arizona public schools as a teacher, principal, special education director, grant writer and a district-level leader. She is currently serving as the Director of Innovation and Transformation for a charter school in Phoenix. Laura also is also a faculty member at Grand Canyon University, Baker University and the University of Dubuque, teaching graduate-level education courses, and undergraduate business classes. Finally, service is very important to Laura, as she serves in a number of capacities that are community-focused, including the East Valley Arabian Horse Association, City of Mesa Historic Preservation Board, and as a precinct committee volunteer in Mesa.
Laura is married to Jeff Metcalfe, and they have one son, Brennan, who is preparing to serve in the Peace Corps, teaching English in Albania.
Josephine (Josie) Rincon has been teaching social studies and making a difference in the lives of her students for over 25 years. With a Masters in Education from Stanford University, Josie currently teaches political science and social studies at Pueblo High School in Tucson. She has designed and taught culturally relevant curriculum as well as ESL for economically and ethnically diverse students throughout her career. She also wrote and taught service-learning based curriculum for the following courses: Cultures and Identities, American Government, American History and World History.
Over her long career, Josie has created and facilitated numerous professional development programs, including chairing a freshman program for English, history, science and math and facilitating weekly meetings to create cross-curricular lessons. She has also led numerous service-learning projects with students centered around social justice, immigration and recovery programs in developing countries. Josie has won a number of grants and awards including from the American Federation of Teachers, Civic Voices Fellowship funded by the Education for Democracy Act through the US Department of Education Office of Safe and Drug Free Schools, and others.
Lisa Olson, Co-founder and Board President
ROSAmerica co-founder Lisa Olson is an ASU alum of the Mary Lou Felton Teachers College and the School of Music, where she obtained her Bachelor of Music in K-12 Education in 1991. She has served Mesa Public Schools and New School for the Arts and Academics (Tempe) as a choral and general music teacher and has subbed in all subject areas.
Lisa has been an active member of several professional education organizations including American Orff Schulwerk Association, American Choral Directors Association, and the National Association for Music Education. She is currently a member of Arizona Council for History Education, Arizona Council for the Social Studies, National Council for the Social Studies, Arizona Historical Society, the East Valley chapter of the NAACP and she is President of the Board of East Valley Children’s Theatre. She is a precinct committeeperson and serves as 2nd Vice Chair of her legislative district. For 25 years, she served as children’s choir director in Lutheran churches and led ecumenical choral festivals in Fountain Hills for many of those years. Leadership experience in church includes Coordinator of lay leadership, Praise Team leader, Superintendent of Sunday school, Vacation Bible School Leader and church council membership.
Lisa is married to Jim, the boy she met on a playground in Minnesota in 5th grade. They have five children, three dogs and two cats and reside in Mesa.
Joanna de’Shay serves as the Executive Director of Diversity Leadership Alliance, an education nonprofit. She has been in this role for the past 5 years.
Joanna is also an International Fashion Designer, Entrepreneur and Educator with over 10+ years of experience in the Fashion Industry and 20+ years in Corporate America. She has been a University level professor for 5+ years and loves to share her passion and expertise in Fashion Marketing, Branding and Design with the many students she coaches and teaches. This ASU Alumni, is also a dynamic, Global leader with expertise in overseas manufacturing and sourcing as her collection is manufactured in Bali, Indonesia.
Born in Accra, Ghana on the Western Coast of Africa to a Nigerian father and a Russian mother, Joanna deʼShay grew up heavily influenced by the exotic people, cultures, and textures of her homeland. Inspired by both her international upbringing and her motherʼs chic European fashion sense, Joanna created Black Russian Label in 2013 for the global woman who is unapologetic, bold, and empowered by her individual style. Her strong focus on innovation, versatility, and adaptability continues to be a hallmark of her unique collections.
Bravely leaving a 15+ year career in Corporate America, Joanna is the epitome of a Passionate Entrepreneur who has designed an intentional life filled with success on her terms. Joanna is an avid Servant Leader who believes in Community Service as a way to change this world for the better.
A mother of two amazing young men ages 12 and 16, Joanna is determined to shine as a beacon of light for Warrior Moms, who strive daily to balance passion, family and community.
Dr. Arnett Carl Duncan
Executive Director, Kweli Educational Enterprises, Inc. (a non-profit corporation)
President/CEO, Kweli Educational Entertainment, LLC
Arnett Duncan, PhD, is an educator (doctorate in Education and ABD in Sociology) with over 34 years of professional experience. He is an award-winning teacher who has taught in college, high school, and middle school. In 2005, Dr. Duncan started Kweli Educational Enterprises, Inc., a non-profit corporation. KEE’s mission focuses on educational equity through cultural learning from an evidence-based human centered foundation.
Dr. Duncan is a community education leader with successful grassroots initiatives addressing cross-ethnic solidarity and the sociology of community based economic development. He has also served the community in youth ministry for 10 years. He has been married for 39 years and is the proud father of two daughters.