Board of Directors
Alisa Peskin-Shepherd is an entrepreneur, attorney and legal blogger. An approved mediator statewide, Alisa Peskin-Shepherd has more than 20 years of experience practicing law in the state of Michigan. She is specially trained as a family, divorce and custody mediator as well as a collaborative family law attorney. She also has experience in school and employment law and has acted as a guardian-ad-litem protecting the interests of children within the legal system.
Board Vice President
Lisa Brody is a long-time journalist and writer who currently serves as Editor of Downtown Publications in Oakland County, Michigan.
Sean de Four
Sean de Four has a long history in the nonprofit sector, focused on effecting social change. “I wanted to have a role in changing the direction of people’s lives by giving them an opportunity they may not have had, or taking them out of circumstances that may have set them on a bad path,” he says. Currently Chief Operation Officer, Child and Family, for Wellspring Lutheran Services, Sean has bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Michigan and has worked with homeless families, in prison settings, in leadership at the Judson Center and since 2012 as a VP at Samaritas (formerly Lutheran Social Services of Michigan). He lectures at the University of Michigan School of Social Work, where he served six years on the Alumni Board of Governors, and has been a board member for the Wayne Youth Services Advisory Board, the Rowan Educational Network and Project H. He is a licensed master social worker with many accreditations to his credit. Originally from Trinidad and Tobago, de Four lived in Utah and Colorado before settling in Farmington Hills, Michigan with wife Lori and their three daughters.
Dan Golodner is an archivist with American Federation of Teachers who creates exhibits, workshops and seminars related to storytelling, archival studies and education in America.
M. L. Liebler is an internationally known & widely published Detroit poet, university professor, literary arts activist and arts organizer, and he is the author of 13 books and chapbooks including the Award winning Wide Awake in Someone Else's Dream (Wayne State University Press 2008) featuring poems written in and about Russia, Israel, Germany, Alaska and Detroit. In 2005, he was named St. Clair Shores (his hometown) first Poet Laureate. Liebler has read and performed his work in Afghanistan, Israel, Palestine, Russia, China, France, UK, Macao, Italy, Germany, Spain, Finland and most of the 50 States. M.L. Liebler has taught English, Creative Writing, American Studies, Labor Studies and World Literature at Wayne State University in Detroit since 1980, and he is the founding director of both The National Writer’s Voice Project in Detroit and the Springfed Arts: Metro Detroit Writers Literary Arts Organization.
Stephen Henderson is a journalist who won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for commentary and the 2014 National Association of Black Journalists Journalist of the Year Award. A native of Detroit, Michigan, Henderson graduated from the University of Detroit Jesuit High School in 1988 and the University of Michigan in 1992. He is the former Editorial Page Director of the Detroit Free Press and hosts WDET FM's Detroit Today radio show.
Rhonda Brown has spent her adult life working as an educator at the secondary and postsecondary levels. Having spent more than ten years as a teacher and counselor at the secondary level in both the Detroit and Boston areas, Rhonda has spent the past 30 years at Oakland Community College, serving as a counselor and instructor, and is now beginning her 19th year as Chairperson of the Counseling Department at the Orchard Ridge campus. In addition to her work with young people as an educator, Rhonda has served as a Mentor in the Farmington Public Schools Mentoring Program, President of the Michigan Career Development Association, and Board member of the former Two Muses Theatre, non-profit organization dedicated to providing opportunities for women in theatre.
John J. Dignan
John Dignan has been a proud and passionate public educator for the past twenty years. Mr. Dignan attended Michigan State University earning both a BA in Integrated Studies and Communications. He also has a BA from Wayne State University in Education, MA from Eastern Michigan in History, MA in Educational Leadership from Madonna University and EdS. from Oakland University in Educational Leadership. John has been a teacher, assistant principal and High School principal (most recently at Warren Mott High School). He currently is the Director of Post-Secondary Options and Community Partnerships for Southfield Public Schools.
Sports have been a big part of John's life, spending many childhood weekends with his father on the field or in the gym. John played football at MSU and was inducted in the Ypsilanti High School Hall of Fame in 2013.
Originally from Ypsilanti, John currently resides in Shelby Township, Michigan with his wife Rosanna and their three children (Brendan (13), Ava (10), and Siena (8)). In his spare time, he loves to follow high school and college sports and cheer on my children. John's biggest passion and calling is education and making a difference in a student’s education and life.