Andrea L. Collins
Vice President, Financial Consultant
Andrea received her bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, her master’s degree from The King’s University, and is currently pursuing continuing education for the CFP – Certified Financial Planner designation.
Active in the community, she serves on the Board of Directors and Vice Chair for Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions, immediate past Co- Chair Board of Directors for Southern CA Leadership Network, as a member Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and has served as a panelist for the California Diversity Council Multicultural Leadership Roundtable, as well as, 50/50 Global Gender Equality Day; she previously held the role of Business Development co chair for the City National Bank Multicultural Strategy Initiative and was a pilot cohort member of the Charles Schwab CARE program, a career development incubator formed and led by women, for women, in finance.
Frequently teaching financial literacy workshops for schools and organizations, Andrea has been awarded the NAACP Youth Council Meritorious Woman Award and is a Southern CA Leadership Network – Leadership L.A. Class of 2018 Fellow.
In 2019 she published ‘A Word to the Wise’, a book helping to uncover the underlying obstacles that many face when striving to create generational wealth. Most recently, she has been featured on Charles Schwab Women’s History Month – Making History series, The Muse, Fox Soul, KPFK Questioning Everything, EugeRadio, Geno Jones Live Daily Show, and Money Making Conversations with Rushion McDonald.
President & CEO
Los Angeles Urban League
Cynthia Mitchell-Heard holds the esteemed position of President & CEO at the Los Angeles Urban League (LAUL). Her tenure is marked by groundbreaking achievements: she is the organization’s first female Chief Operating Officer and, notably, the first woman in more than 90 years to lead as President & CEO. Her leadership is instrumental as LAUL enters its second century, continuing its mission to serve Los Angeles’ underserved communities. Miss Heard has over 25 years of experience in nonprofit management, government, philanthropy, community and corporate engagement. Cynthia Mitchell-Heard has been an intricate partner in the field as a nationally acclaimed social impact strategist, coalition builder and philanthropic change agent. As a strong executive leader, Cynthia has worked to develop exemplary models to break through economic barriers to create systemic change for marginalized communities both locally, nationally and internationally.
Most recently, she served as the Vice President of Business Development for the YWCA of Greater Los Angeles. During her tenure, she developed a myriad of public/private, state, local and federal partnerships to fund “state of the art” program services and operations throughout Los Angeles County. Her efforts assisted with promotion of economic stability through social services including workforce development and community engagement to improve our most vulnerable at-risk communities. More importantly, increasing the visibility, sustainability, advocacy both legislatively through public /private partnerships and stakeholders.
In 2020-2021 Cynthia Mitchell-Heard masterfully worked diligently to secure the call to action securing a record-breaking funding in response to extraordinary economic, healthcare, housing, educational and food insecurity demands precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
he has helped to build and secure funding for acclaimed collaborative initiatives, public/private partnerships, educational partnerships and innovative programs also focusing on at-risk and foster youth throughout Los Angeles as well as in women and children economic, health and educational policy and programs in Belize, Bermuda and Bahamas. She has worked across party lines using legislative advocacy to focus on new avenues to break down the barriers of injustice that surround at-risk youth and families in poverty.
Previously, Cynthia has worked in various senior executive roles with Children Uniting Nations, Weingart Center and the City of Long Beach. Her community advocacy, leadership and tenacious spirit lead her to establish community advocacy, national agendas/strategies, social services collaborative partnerships and programmatic support for at-risk individuals and communities in America and internationally. As a strong leader, Cynthia has provided guidance to our local and national political leaders and corporate executives to focus and design fundamental concepts and strategies that focus on changes for communities, children and families who live in disadvantaged neighborhoods throughout the country.
Cynthia received her Bachelor of Art in Psychology from the University of Southern California and went on to pursue her Master’s degree from Howard University in Washington D.C. She continues to work diligently to facilitate social and economic changes within at-risk communities throughout Los Angeles County and across America. In 2018, she joined the New Strategies Global Social Enterprise Initiative Team. Cynthia currently serves as a Board Member on the California League of Women Voters, International Black Women’s Public Policy Institute (IBWPPI), University of Southern California Black Alumni Association and the KIS Foundation- Sickle Cell as well as many advisory roles foster youth organizations.
Legend in music and
MC LYTE – a legend in music and entertainment – is a pioneering artist and a formidable actress in television and film. Her most recent acting credits include ANGEL, whereby Lyte takes on the role of Detective Monroe, Viacom’s Hip Hop Family Christmas, B.E.T.’s Favorite Son’s Christmas, a series regular on last year’s New York Undercover pilot (a reboot of the original Dick Wolf series), and she has recurred on S.W.A.T. (C.B.S.), Power (Starz), and Queen of the South (U.S.A.). Lyte’s film roles include acclaimed Sundance Winner Patti Cakes, the Universal hit Girls Trip; Bad Hair, from Director Justin Simien; and the features Loved To Death, and Sylvie, with Tessa Thompson and Eva Longoria. She has taken on the show Creator & Executive Producer role alongside Lynn Richardson & Bentley Evans for AMC/ALLBLK TV’s sitcom, “Partners In Rhyme.” Recently, MC Lyte made her award-winning directorial debut with a feature short film, Break Up In Love, that garnered several awards during the festival season. This past spring, MC Lyte joined the cast of ONE NIGHT STAY, a thriller set to film this spring in New Jersey. MC Lyte is the Executive Producer of the Netflix docuseries, Ladies First: A Story of Women in Hip-Hop.
MC LYTE is an iconic trailblazing Rapper and D.J. Her groundbreaking music career spans 30 years. This Hip Hop LEGEND was the first female rapper ever to be nominated for a Grammy Award and has received honors and acknowledgments from organizations such as the B.E.T.’s I AM HIP HOP award, A.D.C.O.L.O.R., B.E.T.H.E.R., National Urban League, Black Music Collective, and more. She recently received the Pioneers of Hip-Hop Honor from the Recording Industry Association of America (R.I.A.A.), BET HER Hip Hop Legend Award, the Living Legend Award from AARP, and the 2023 Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Culture Icon Phoenix Award presented by President Joe Biden and Vice President, Kamala Harris.
Lyte is the first rap artist to perform at Carnegie Hall and the first female artist to earn a gold single. A true leader in the music industry, MC LYTE has also performed at the Kennedy Center Honors and the White House for President Barack Obama. MC LYTE serves on the Kennedy Center’s Hip Hop Culture Council and, in partnership with the Center, produces an annual event, “I AM WOMAN,” to celebrate women in Hip Hop.
In addition to a busy on-screen career, MC Lyte has several television and film projects — both scripted and unscripted — in various stages of development. She serves as the C.E.O. of Sunni Gyrl, Inc., a full-service entertainment management and production firm that provides Executive leadership and customized celebrity/artist support, development, and management strategies; brand development and management; wealth maintenance; community affairs and outreach; & production / creative services.
Her voice work is also well known and admired, representing dozens of Fortune 500 companies and serving as the voice of the B.E.T. Awards, Emmys, Grammys, Comcast, N.F.L. Superbowl’s Halftime show, Dell, N.B.A., Coca Cola, and the N.A.A.C.P. Image Awards.
As an author, motivational speaker, and philanthropist, MC LYTE has written books and speaks globally on many inspiring topics, from her vast knowledge of the entertainment and hip-hop industries to entrepreneurialism and economic empowerment. Her nonprofit, “Hip Hop Sisters Foundation,” has presented over $1,000,000 in scholarships.
Director of Social Justice &Football Development, LA Rams
Johnathan Franklin is a Los Angeles native in his eighth season with the Los Angeles Rams. As the Rams Director of Social Justice and Football Development, Franklin uses the power of football as a platform to address education inequities, youth justice and mentorship, all while growing the game at the youth and high school levels. Franklin’s work looks to ensure that all members of the community can rise to prosperity, while providing hope where it does not exist and maintaining it where it does.
Since joining the Rams in 2016, Franklin has spearheaded the team’s football development and social justice initiatives. He has led the growth of youth football throughout Southern California, even helping to sanction girls’ flag at the state level. Under Franklin’s leadership, the Rams work to address social justice issues and inspire change through programs like RISE with the Rams, Kenny Washington Memorial Scholarship, Pathways to Success Mentorship Program, Los Angeles Rams Academic Challenge, pLAymakers Program among others.
Prior to joining the Los Angeles Rams, Franklin worked at the University of Notre Dame in Student Welfare and Development. In 2013, Franklin had a short stint in Green Bay, Wisconsin, where he was drafted by the Green Bay Packers and spent time serving in a rotational internship after retirement. Franklin attended University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) where he majored in political science. He graduated with honors and received the UCLA Chancellor’s Marshall Award. Franklin interned with former Mayor of Los Angeles Antonio Villaraigosa during his time at UCLA and was invited to be the keynote speaker at the Los Angeles Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast during Villaraigosa’s final term. Franklin also had a standout football career at UCLA – he still holds four records at UCLA, including being the Bruins leader in all-purpose and career rushing yards.
Franklin is a recent graduate of the NFL League of Leaders Program through the Stanford Graduate School of Business and of the Southern California Leadership Networking Class through the Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce. In 2020, Franklin was named the UCLA Alumnus of the Year. In 2019, he received the Conejo Valley 40 under 40 award. Franklin currently serves on multiple boards including the Associated Students UCLA, Sidelined USA, Pac 12 Alumni Advisory Council and the Greater Conejo Valley Chamber Board.
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D.
President, California State University, Dominguez Hills
Thomas A. Parham, Ph.D., is a family man who resides in the Southern California area with his wife, Davida. Dr. Parham is the 11th president of California State University, Dominguez Hills (CSUDH), a highly diverse, metropolitan university primarily serving the South Central and South Bay areas of Los Angeles County. Established in 1960, CSUDH, an institution anchored in the roots of social justice, is one of the 23 campuses that comprise the California State University system, the largest system of public higher education in the nation.
A psychologist by training, Dr. Parham previously served as vice chancellor of student affairs and an adjunct faculty member in Psychology and African American Studies at the University of California, Irvine, where he spent thirty-three years. Prior to his role as vice chancellor, he served as assistant vice chancellor for counseling and health services, Counseling Center director, and director of the Career and Life Planning Center at UCI. Early in his career, Dr. Parham also held a tenure track appointment on the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, where it is rumored that he became the first African American academic psychologist Penn hired in its 200+ year history, after being founded by Benjamin Franklin.
Parham is a transformative leader who prides himself on defining and framing the discourse on necessary institutional change. A nurturing spirit who guides, mentors, cultivates, and trains others in the context of teachable moments, he is also a vociferous advocate for the value of higher education, as well as diversity, equity, and inclusive excellence. Many describe him as an inspirational leader with a compelling message.
“Dr. P.,” as he is affectionately known, is a licensed psychologist in the state of California with more than 40 years’ experience as an academician, scholar, practitioner, consultant, and administrator. He has sustained a research focus in the area of psychological nigrescence, specifically on racial identity development, African psychology, and multicultural counseling. In addition to writing over 45-50 journal articles and/or book chapters, he is the author of Psychological Storms: The African American Struggle for Identity (African American Images, 1997) and Counseling Persons of African Descent: Raising the Bar of Practitioner Competence (Sage, 2002). He also is co-author of Culturally Adaptive Counseling Skills: Demonstrations of Evidence-Based Practices (Sage, 2011), and the highly regarded The Psychology of Blacks book series (1990, 2000. 2011), now in its fourth edition, The Psychology of Blacks: Centering Our Perspectives in the African Consciousness (Pearson Education, 2011).
He has also produced several videos, including Counseling African Americans, Youth and Violence, and Innovative Approaches to Counseling African Descent People available through Microtraining & Associates/Alexander Street Press, and Working with African American Clients, available through the American Psychological Association.
Dr. Parham is a proud alumnus of the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program, and strives to align his professional endeavors with the legacies left by MFP’s founders and former directors, Drs. James Jones and Dalmus Taylor. He holds Fellow status in Divisions 17 and 45 of APA, fellow status in the American Counseling Association, and the title of Distinguished Psychologist in the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi).
Dr. Parham is a past president of the National Association of Black Psychologists and the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development (a division of ACA). He served on the editorial board for the Journal of Multicultural Counseling and Development, and completed a term on the editorial board of the Journal of Counseling and Development as well. He has also served as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Black Psychology. He also served as a treating clinician for the NFL program for substance abuse (NFLPSA).
In consultations, public addresses and television appearances throughout the United States, Dr. Parham has addressed such issues as multicultural counseling, counseling African Americans, cultural competence, educating African American youth, youth and violence, coping with stress, characteristics of exceptional people, multicultural education, managing a diverse workforce, effective communications, developing effective management and supervisory skills, organizational dynamics, managing people, conflict resolution, and team building.
In addition to his duties as president, Dr. Parham contributes his talents in the areas of social advocacy, community uplift and youth empowerment to communities in both Los Angeles and Orange Counties.
In 1986, the City of Irvine appointed him to its Human Relations Committee, on which he helped draft the city’s first human rights ordinance. He also served as chair of UCI’s Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium for 10 years and sought to extend the boundaries of the university community countywide. Parham recently Co-chaired the CSU systemwide committee on Black Student Success and elevating Black excellence within the CSU, which produced a groundbreaking report that will serve as an institutional blueprint for the CSU and institutions nationally for years to come. Link to report: https://www.calstate.edu/impact-of-the-csu/diversity/Documents/CSU-Black-Student-Success-Workgroup-Report-2023.pdf
In the early 1990s, he helped charter the Orange County chapter of the 100 Black Men of America, 100 BMOC. While serving as their first chair of the education committee, he helped to develop the 100 BMOC’s signature Passport to the Future program and is the architect of their Rites of Passage component. He extended his reach and influence to the greater Los Angeles area by collaborating with the College Bound program to produce a similar Rites of Academic Passage component for African American high school students. After much encouragement, he has taken the Rites of Academic Passage model and turned it into an intellectual property now available for commercial lease. That program is known as The Bakari Project.
Dr. Parham has been interviewed and quoted extensively in regional and national newspapers and magazines, including the LA Sentinel and Inside Higher Education, participated in the 2005 State of the Black Union hosted by Tavis Smiley which aired on CSPAN, and appeared in the 2010 documentary Fair Game?, directed and produced by Mario Van Peebles.
In characterizing him, some have written: “Parham is a gifted and charismatic speaker in the tradition of Martin Luther King and Malcolm X. Indeed, for many, his presence as a public figure is transformative; the power of his innate humanity and manifest love conveying an overwhelming sense of acceptance and understanding. You feel a great many things in the presence of Dr. Parham; mostly, you just feel better” (Mears, 2002).
Dr. Parham grew up in Southern California and received his bachelor’s degree in social ecology from the University of California, Irvine, his master’s degree in counseling psychology at Washington University in St. Louis and received his Ph.D. in counseling psychology at Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.
Honors & Awards
- Honoree, Bridge Builders Foundation, “40th Anniversary Salute and Scholarship Award, June 2022
- Honoree, “2022 ACA Fellows and Citation Winner,” American Counseling Association, April 2022
- Honoree, UC Irvine Lauds and Laurels, Extraordinarius Award,” May 2022
- Honoree, Greater LA African American Chamber of Commerce (GLAAAC), “Community Service Award,” May 2022
- Honoree, “2022 American Counseling Association Fellows and Citation Winner,” American Counseling Association, April 2022
- Honoree-100 Black Men of Los Angeles, “Man of the Year award,” October 2021
- Honoree, City of Los Angeles’s Hall of Fame award for “Outstanding Achievement in Education” February 2020
- Honoree, American Psychological Association, “Division 45 Lifetime Achievement Awards,” August 2019
- Honoree, The HistoryMakers, “History Maker in Higher Education,” December 2018
- Honoree, Los Angeles Business Journal, “500 LA Most-Influential,” October 2018
- 2018 Illustrious Leadership Award from the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program
- Honoree, Orange County Business Journal, “OC’s 500 most Influential Community Members,” October 2017
- Honoree, Orange County Chapter of The Links, Inc., “Salute to American Heart Month,” celebrating African American Leadership, Excellence and Dedication in the field of mental health, February 18, 2017
- Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, The Chicago School of Psychology, Washington, DC, October 10, 2014
- Recipient of Orange County Human Relations Award – in recognition of extraordinary contributions to Orange County in human or civil rights, Anaheim, CA, May 5, 2011
- 2010 Janet E. Helms Award for Mentoring and Scholarship
- 2009 Honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Phillips Graduate Institute
- 2008 100 Black Men of America’s Wimberly Award
- August 2007 American Psychological Association – Division 17 – Society of Counseling Psychology Award for Lifetime Achievement in Mentoring
- July 2007 Association of Black Psychologists, Certification and Proficiency in African Centered/Black Psychology – Board Certified Fellow and Board-Certified Diplomate
- 2003 University of California, Irvine’s Lauds and Laurels Award (one of UCI’s most distinguished honors) for staff achievement
- 1999 APA “Dalmus Taylor Award” for Leadership, Scholarship and Advising
- 1998 Election to the title of “Distinguished Psychologist” by the Association of Black Psychologists (ABP’s highest honor)
- 1998 Distinguished Service Award from the Orange County Black Chamber of Commerce
- 1997 Selection to Fellow status in the American Psychological Association’s Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues (Division 45)
- Exemplary Community Service Award from the Orange County, CA Chapter of the N.A.A.C.P.
- 1995 Samuel H. Johnson Award for Exemplary Service and Scholarship from the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development
- 1994 Election to Fellow status of Division 17 (Counseling Psychology) of the American Psychological Association
- 1991 Research Award for Contributions to the Counseling Profession from the Association for Multicultural Counseling and Development
- 1989 Research Achievement Award from the American Psychological Association’s Minority Fellowship Program
- 1988 Research/Scholarship Award from the National Association of Black Psychologists
- 1987 Management and Professional Service Award from the University of California, Irvine
- 1984 Selection as an Outstanding Young Man in America
- 1982 Receipt of the Outstanding Staff Person Community Service Award from the University of California, Irvine
- Selection as an American Psychological Association Minority Fellow in 1979 through 1982
- California Campus Compact (CACC), now known as LEAD California
- City Year Los Angeles (CYLA)
- Jumpstart – Children First
- Coalition of Urban Metropolitan Universities (CUMU)
- Tiger Woods Foundation – Advisory Board
- 100 Black Men of America (100 BMOA) – Advisor to the Board & National Office
- WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC)
- Los Angeles Chamber of Commerce (LAACC)
- Los Angeles Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC)
- Los Angeles Sports Council (LASC)
Michael Koger is a five-time LA Area Emmy Award-winning television producer and a Golden Mic Award winner. Born and raised in South Los Angeles, Mr. Koger graduated from Westchester High School and went on to attend the University of South Alabama in Mobile.
His first exposure to the television industry came through the YES to Jobs program, which matched young African American students with internships in the field. Koger’s internship turned into a permanent role in the sales and traffic department with KTLA in 1992. Thirty years later, he remains in the business. He draws on this experience daily to empower other up-and-coming African American television producers. Michael credits his career trajectory to the opportunity received through YES To Jobs and Mrs Jaleeza Hazzard.
Currently, Michael Koger works for Spectrum Network in original programming. He serves as the senior producer for several shows, and has produced many shows for Spectrum Networks including Backstage Galaxy, Backstage Lakers, Lakers Top Ten, Beyond the Sport, SoCal Scene and many news specials including, Emmy nominated SoCal Heroes, Power of Moms and most recently 50 years of Hip Hop: From the Westside. In addition to shows, Koger produces many news features for Spectrum News 1. With experience across various companies such as A. Smith and Co. Productions, Fox Sports Network, NBC, BET, Discovery, Tv One, Spike TV, Universal Kids, he is well-versed in television production.
Koger worked at Fox Sports Net on the network side in Programming and other roles until 2009, when he took a leap of faith and decided to leave his full-time role to focus specifically on the production side independently, going on to Produce such shows as Full Throttle Saloon for Spike TV and American Ninja Warriors for NBC.
Koger is also a devoted family man – a husband of 30 years and father to his three sons.