The National Black Child Development Institute Welcomes Three New Board Members

February 15, 2017


Contact: Crystal Prater, (202) 833-2220 ext. 6085



          The National Black Child Development Institute Welcomes Three New Board Members

Fortifying the Organization’s Research and Advocacy Leadership

Washington, DC - The National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) is honored to announce three new additions to its Board of Directors: Representative Rahn Mayo, Blythe Keeler Robinson, and Dr. Onnie Rogers. The three serve as powerful champions for the educational development of Black children and families in their own rights and join a committed and effective Board.

“I am ecstatic about the expertise, thought-leadership, and passion each of these exceptional individuals brings to our organization,” says Dimitrius M. Hutcherson, Chairman of the NBCDI Board of Directors. “Today we greatly enhance our capacity to serve our mission, which is ever more critical given the country’s educational, political, and social justice environments.”

From its founding 47 years ago, NBCDI has been focused on achieving positive outcomes for vulnerable children impacted by poverty and racial discrimination. Today, the National Affiliate Network operates in communities across the country, implementing programs for children and families in key early childhood education areas, including: family engagement, health and wellness, and literacy.

NBCDI’s Board of Directors now includes:


  • Representative Rahn Mayo, Former Member of the Georgia House of Representatives from 2009-2016, who represented more than 55,000 citizens in DeKalb County. In this capacity, he successfully developed strategic alliances with elected officials, corporate partners, local government, and community leaders and sponsored legislation to address critical needs for Georgia’s citizens. He also served on key committees including education and appropriations. Currently Mayo is a Business Consultant with Honeywell Building Solutions, where he develops new energy services through business and strategic relationships in a regional territory. In addition to his service in the legislature, Representative Mayo previously worked as a real estate broker, radio co-host, and sales executive.


  • Blythe Keeler Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer, The Sheltering Arms Early Education & Family Centers, Atlanta, Georgia, who has nearly 20 years of nonprofit management experience with expertise in educational programming and early childhood education. As a recognized leader in early education, Sheltering Arms is a National Head Start Center of Excellence and one of Georgia’s largest and most respected nonprofit organizations, serving nearly 2,500 children daily, ages six weeks to five years old, and their families in 15 early care and education centers across metro Atlanta. Prior to joining Sheltering Arms, Robinson held senior leadership positions as the Senior Vice President & Chief Programs Officer of the Early Learning Coalition of Miami-Dade/Monroe, Florida and as the Vice President of Strategic Planning and Initiatives at Reading Is Fundamental, where she directed programs and strategic initiatives, including the Multicultural Literacy Campaign; a national effort to promote and support early childhood literacy in targeted communities.


  • Dr. Onnie Rogers, Assistant Professor, Department of Psychology & Faculty Fellow, Institute for Policy Research, Northwestern University, is a developmental psychologist whose research studies the intersection of psychology, human development, and education and investigates identity development among racially diverse children and adolescents in urban contexts. She asks how our social groups—and the cultural stereotypes that accompany them—shape how we see ourselves and interact with others. Dr. Rogers is a decorated researcher, receiving postdoctoral fellowships from the National Science Foundation, Spencer Foundation/National Academy of Education, and the Ford Foundation. Her research has been published in scholarly journals, including Child Development, Journal of Adolescent Research, and Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology, in addition to invited edited volumes about child development and identity. She is currently an associate editor for the Journal of Adolescent Research and member of the Society for Research on Child Development, Society for Research on Adolescence, and American Educational Research Association.

“Investments in early care and education, advocacy, and evidence-based research are important cornerstones of our strategy to a make a difference in the lives of Black children and families,” says Tobeka G. Green, NBCDI President and CEO. “I am thrilled that our newest Board members possess the vision, innovation, and commitment needed to ensure we continue to strengthen and replicate these efforts all over the country, now, and in the years to come.”

NBCDI is widely known for its convening power, holding an Annual Conference featuring some of the nation’s most respected leaders, as well as for its focus on changing the narrative surrounding Black children and families, including the publication of its "Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor" national and state reports. First published in 2013, these reports challenge the prevailing discourse about Black children—one which typically overemphasizes limitations and deficits—to highlight the strengths, assets, and resilience demonstrated by Black children and families. The reports feature contributions from noted early care and education leaders and organizations throughout the National Affiliate Network states. Five state reports have been published to date: Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin. The report for the state of Georgia will be released in 2017.

About NBCDI 

For 47 years, the National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) has been at the forefront of engaging leaders, policymakers, professionals, and parents around critical and timely issues that directly impact Black children and families. With the support of the organization’s National Affiliate Network, NBCDI is committed to its mission “to improve and advance the quality of life for Black children and families through education and advocacy.” 

NBCDI delivers high-quality resources that respond to the unique strengths and needs of Black children around issues including early childhood education, health and wellness, child welfare, literacy, and family engagement. NBCDI’s volunteer-driven National Affiliate Network operates in communities across the country, partnering with children, families, and other organizations to implement culturally-relevant, culturally responsive, trauma sensitive, and evidence-based programs. 

For more information about NBCDI, please contact: Crystal Prater, (202) 833-2220 ext. 6085 or visit us online at