Mark Boss has lived in Washington, DC since he moved from Los Angeles, California, and enrolled at Howard University in August of 1985. He married a native Washingtonian; bought a house in Ward 1; raised two exceptional children and sent them both through DCPS. And he pays local and federal taxes, without representation. Still, these bona fides do not make him a Washingtonian (as his wife and children like to remind him). But he loves DC and the native Washingtonians that make up this incredible little southern town none the less. He has worked in the non-profit, for profit and federal sector, throughout his career, and each position he has held has in some way supported children and families. Mark is also a reader, and loves supporting all the local independent bookstores in the city. On any given day, you can find Mark commuting to and from work on his bike (rain or snow), and on any given weekend, you will find Mark, his wife, and their dog on long walks throughout the city on the search for the perfect croissant.
Robert Berger is an attorney and has worked in the area of attorney ethics for over 20 years. He is employed at the Securities and Exchange Commission and is an adjunct professor at George Washington University Law School. Robert is passionate about history and art and has served on multiple nonprofit boards, including the Ohio History Connection, Stonewall Columbus and the Rainbow History Project. Robert received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the Ohio State University and a JD from Capital University Law School.
Rubie Coles was the Program Director of the Diverse City Fund from 2020-2022 and currently serves on the Steering Committee of its Board of Instigators. Before joining the DC Fund staff in 2020, Rubie was Deputy Director of the Moriah Fund where she was responsible for directing and managing the foundation’s economic justice and reproductive justice grantmaking for twenty years. Past board service includes the African Continuum Theatre Company, which she chaired for seven years, the YWCA of the National Capital Region and the Safe Spaces Project. Rubie was a founding board member of the Black Philanthropic Alliance and the Black Benefactors Giving Circle.
Sojin Kim is a curator at the Smithsonian Center for Folklife and Cultural Heritage, where she works on multifaceted, collaborative projects addressing migration, music, and public history. Her work spans public programs, exhibitions, workshops, as well as research and documentation initiatives. She serves as an advisor for the 1882 Foundation and on the board of Asian and Pacific Islander Americans in Historic Preservation (APIAHiP).
Ayanna Smith is an innovator, an ecosystem builder, and an executor who is passionate about her commitment to uplifting, amplifying and supporting marginalized people. Smith is an award-winning entrepreneur, startup enthusiast, social impact leader and longtime executive communications strategist. She opened the first live escape room for children in the country, voted best new business of the year in Capitol Hill and “Best of DC” every year until closing. Smith is an advocate in her Washington, DC community, mother of two and spouse to a US Air Force Officer.
Daryl Smith serves as Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for KETTLER. With over 20 years of multifamily marketing experience, Daryl brings a wealth of knowledge and strategic leadership to KETTLER’s marketing department. He specializes in digital media, marketing operations as well as brand strategy. Daryl is known for his innovative next-generation marketing strategies. He received a masters’ degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin before moving to Washington, D.C., where he now lives. Prior to entering the multifamily market, Daryl worked in Public Television for 10 years in broadcast operations and station relations for Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) in Alexandria, Va., WETA-TV, Washington, D.C., and Wisconsin Public Television, Madison, Wisconsin.
Ramya has had a varied career working in the education policy field all over the globe (in the U.S., Africa, Europe and Asia), with NGOs, governments, UN agencies and other international organizations. Currently, she is Senior Education Specialist and Thematic Lead for Teaching and Learning at the Global Partnership for Education, a multi-stakeholder partnership and fund supporting education in the developing world. Ramya is motivated by a desire to connect the rich humanities landscape of our city, including international perspectives, with education and youth programming. She is parent to a DCPS 3rd grader and is currently a member of the DCPS Parent Advisory Board.
Maceo Thomas is an advocate in the local creative community with over 10 years of experience in programming and event planning. Receiving his Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina, Thomas has applied his instincts for public service to creating opportunities for artists in Washington, DC. Working with musicians and painters alike, Mr. Thomas has created various programs including a monthly art exhibit and music festival, garnering the recognition of The Community Foundation with the Linowes Award in 2011.
Malgorzata (MJ) Rymsza-Pawlowska
MJ Rymsza-Pawlowska is Associate Professor of History at American University, where she researches and teaches U.S. cultural history and public history theory and practice. MJ is also very active in DC’s history community, collaborating with a number of local organizations on research initiatives and public programming–she loves seeing how history and the humanities can help people– both natives and newcomers—connect with the city and with each other in new ways. MJ grew up in Ward 5 and now lives with her husband in Ward 3.