Anita Jones Roehrick
Co-Founder, Executive Director
Anita is a Writer/Visual Artist/Storyteller, born and raised in Albany, Georgia. She has a Fine Arts degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, NC. In the early 90s, writing and illustrating children’s stories lead Anita to oral tradition storytelling, working in San Francisco Bay Area schools as an artist-in-residence and tailoring storytelling programs for libraries, corporations and private clients. In 2002 she and husband, Rob, co-founded The Gaines-Jones Education Foundation in memory of her mother, father and sister who all passed away in the 1990s.
Co-Founder & Trustee
Rob is a Graphic Artist and principal of Roehrick Design, a communications design studio formed January 1993 in the San Francisco Bay Area. He collaborates with a variety of for-profit and non-profit clientele, creating innovative solutions to promote their organizations.
Rob’s professional design experience prior to 1993 includes staff positions in the firms Destiny Two (Minneapolis), Lance Wyman, LTD (New York), Ace Design and Phippen Design Group (San Francisco). He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Macalester College in 1981 and a Master of Science (Communications Design) degree from Pratt Institute in 1987. Rob serves as Gaines-Jones Finance Manager.
Flora B. Devine
Founding Board Member
University Attorney and Title XI Coordinator at Savannah State University, the oldest HCBU in Georgia. During her career, Flora has practiced law across many sectors including federal and local government, private industry, and higher education. Her career in education includes executive-level leadership positions in legal affairs, mediation and conflict resolution, diversity leadership, and cultural competence.
Natasha is a native Canadian living in Oakland, California. She graduated from the University of Toronto: Honors B.A., Women’s Studies, Canadian Studies with a focus on Aboriginal rights/self-determination. Her MFA (Fiction) degree is from Sarah Lawrence College. She is a sexual literacy educator who teaches about consent, sexual ethics, plus a whole lot more. She works with schools, design curriculum, train teachers, and offer workshops to both parents and students.
Natasha first joined the Gaines-Jones Advisory Board and moved over to the main Board. She is also the Founder and Executive Director of Asha Rising, a nonprofit that creates permanent housing solutions for and empowers older women who have aged out of the sex industry.
Gaines-Jones Scholar & Board Member
Tim’s educational and professional careers have provided him a wealth of experiences both locally and abroad. As a Middle Grades Education major at Albany State University (2012), he had the opportunity to teach in Ghana West Africa (2011) and taught fifth grade at Radium Springs Elementary in Albany, Georgia.
As of 2021, he is the Data and technology Specialist at Monroe Comprehensive High School in Albany, Georgia.
Tim was also the very first Gaines-Jones Scholar in 2004. He joined the Board in 2017.
Abraham Johnson is a native of Albany, Georgia, and an alumnus of Monroe High School. Since 2011, Abraham has been an active and proud Gaines-Jones Scholar, and joined the Board in 2018.
In 2015, he earned a BS in Biology from Savannah State University where he also served as a peer educator and Vice President of Collegiate 100 Black Men of Savannah State. In 2018 Abraham earned his Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Community Health Education from Georgia Southern University. Abraham now resides in North Carolina where he works for an international NGO supporting community engagement for HIV clinical trials.
Founding & Advisory Board
Chancellor of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. A native of Dawson, Georgia, Robert was a founding member of the GJEF Board. He earned a bachelor’s degree in agronomy from Fort Valley State College, a master of science degree in crop physiology from the University of Georgia, and a doctorate in crop physiology from the University of Missouri, Columbia. For 34 years he worked at the University of Minnesota, where he had most recently served as senior vice president for academic administration since 2004. Before that, Robert spent more than 15 years in several key administrative leadership positions at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities. In January 2013 he became the 19th president of U of Albany (New York). On September 2016 he became Chancellor at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. And yes, Anita and Robert are cousins!
Cynthia is the Assistant Director of the Office for Graduate Diversity at the University of California, Berkeley. As a proud Cal alumna, she has worked for over 18 years to increase the access and academic success of diverse students on the Berkeley campus—with a focus on first-generation, historically underrepresented, BIPOC, LGBTQ, undocumented, system-impacted scholars and those with disabilities or from educationally and economically disadvantaged backgrounds. Her role includes outreach, recruitment, admissions advising, building and supporting graduate student networks, and developing programs and methods for increasing the pool of diverse applicants to all UCB graduate and professional programs.
A long-time resident of Marin County, California, she is the mother of two; both graduates of Columbia University in New York City. Cynthia served many years on the Gaines-Jones Board of Directors before moving to Advisory.
Miranda is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area; graduated from Marin Academy in San Rafael, CA in 2013. She went on to Pitzer College in Claremont, CA, graduating with a B.S. in Psychology in 2017.
After nearly two years as Associate Marketing Manager for Amour Vert—a San Francisco sustainable clothing company—she branched out as an Independent Marketing & Creative Strategist in 2019. She works with value-driven businesses to create marketing campaigns and brand strategies.
Miranda grew up watching her parents create and manage the foundation. When she turned 13, they charged her with getting involved. One month later, she organized friends to create a Gaines-Jones Junior Board of Directors with a mission to “Help others locally and globally.” They chose the name, Positive Impulse. For five years they raised money and designed programs for homeless adults and children in Marin County and made donations to Heifer International.