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Secretary LaRose Kicks Off The Ohio Secretary of State Diversity & Empowerment Council

COLUMBUS – Today, Ohio Secretary of State Frank LaRose launched the Ohio Secretary of State Diversity & Empowerment Council.

The Secretary hosted the first meeting of the council via zoom and invited a few members to join him in-person. The council, currently consisting of 35 community and religious leaders, will serve as the bridge between the Ohio Secretary of State’s office and the culturally diverse communities throughout the state.

“Steel sharpens steel and leaders surround themselves with many diverse voices who will challenge them to be their best,” said Secretary LaRose. “Whether it’s elections or entrepreneurship, together we’re going to find new ways to remove barriers and empower members of Ohio’s minority communities to make their voices heard as voters and to live their American dream as business owners.”

“I am so thankful for Secretary LaRose calling this Diversity and Empowerment Council together. Far too often, as African-Americans we are an afterthought or we are brought together at the eleventh hour," said Andre Washington, President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute. "I am so glad we have this council so that we can express the concerns of the African-American community, not just for voting in this November election, but voting all year round.”

Council Members:

  • CEO of the A.S.I.A. Asian Services In Action Inc., Elaine Tso
  • Director of Ohio Latino Affairs Commission, Lilleana Cavanaugh
  • Founder & President of CAMEO, Pierre Bejjani
  • President of Ohio NAACP, Tom Roberts
  • President of A. Phillip Randolph Institute, Andre Washington
  • Vice President of the Somali American Chamber, Jeyte Farxaan
Toledo Area
  • Founder & President of The City Park League of Toledo, Montrice Terry
  • Founder & President of The Movement Toledo, Tina Butts
  • President of Lucas County NAACP, Ray Wood
Cleveland-Akron-Canton Area
  • Bishop of the House of the Lord, Joey Johnson
  • CEO of the Greater Stark County Urban League, Diane Stevens-Robinson
  • Chief at Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging, June Taylor 
  • Pastor & President of United Pastors in Mission, Larry Macon
  • President of Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Ohio, Jeffery Jemison
  • President and CEO of the Urban League of Greater Cleveland, Marsha A. Mockabee 
  • President at LCR Enterprises LLC, Stacey Polk Esq.
  • President of Cleveland’s AFL-CIO Retirees Council, Marian Garth-Saffold
  • President of the Cleveland Clergy Coalition, Aaron Philips
  • Reverend of the Greater Abyssinia Baptist Church, Dr. E.T. Caviness
  • Senior Pastor “The Faith Place” First Apostolic Faith Church, Dr. Samuel Hampton II
Youngstown Area
  • Board Member at Mahoning County Board of Elections & Radio Host, Tracey Winbush
  • Founder & President of Sojourn to The Past Organization, Penny Wells
  • Pastor of Second Baptist Church, Todd Johnson
  • President of Baptist Pastors Council of Youngstown & Vicinity, Lewis Macklin
Columbus Area
  • Bishop of the Mount Hermon Baptist Church, Dr. Donald J. Washington
  • President of Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance of Columbus & Vicinity, Pastor John T. Coats II
  • Pastor of Missionary Baptist Church, Frederick LaMarr
  • Pastor of Baptist Pastors Conference of Columbus & Vicinity, Joel King
Dayton Area
  • Pastor of the Phillips Temple Church, James E. Washington
  • President of the Dayton NAACP Chapter, Dr. Derrick L. Foward
  • Regional Director for the Greater Dayton Minority Business Assistance Center, Senay Semere
Cincinnati Area
  • Co-Chairman of the Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc., District of Ohio Policy Council, Terrance Gragston
  • Cincinnati Councilman, Jeff Pastor
  • Founder & President of Journey Steel, Barb Smith
  • President of African American Chamber of Greater Cincinnati & Northern Kentucky, Eric Kearney

Left to right: Marsha Mockabee Facilitator of the Ohio Council of Urban Leagues, Andre Washington President of the A. Philip Randolph Institute, Frank LaRose Ohio Secretary of State, Monique Cox-Moore Ohio Secretary of State's Director of Community Engagement & Initatitives, & Lilleana Cavanaugh Executive Director of the Ohio Latino Affairs Commission


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Rob Nichols
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