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Industry & Alumni

HCDE Black Community Advisory Board

The Black Community Advisory Board (B-CAB) is a Seattle-based coalition of community-based organizations and civic leaders who collaboratively explore the Black community's opportunities and challenges within technology practices.

Facilitated through the University of Washington's Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering, The B-CAB advises on institutional design, data, and research efforts, and the members engage in dialogue, promote action, and envision solutions toward making technology more inclusive and equitable. The commission strives to foster a more just and equitable technology landscape that promotes growth and advancement for local Black people and communities by combining community-level knowledge with academic research.

Jay Cunningham, a fifth-year Ph.D. candidate in HCDE at UW, directs the advisory board and associated research programming. A team of undergraduate and graduate students within HCDE at UW also support this effort.


As civic stewards, we aim to shape technology development and research that empowers Black communities. By centering community voices and collective visioning, we advocate for technologies and practices that are inclusive, ethical, socially beneficial, and culturally sensitive.


Champion a just social and technological future where Black communities are visible and influential in shaping innovations, while addressing equity gaps across key aspects of Black life. 

Goals of the B-CAB

  • Center and elevate the voices of local Black community members and organizations in technology equity.
  • Recognize and understand issues and concerns of technology’s impact on Black communities.
  • Serve as an accountability mechanism, providing actionable feedback and guidance on potential harms of academic research from the perspectives of Black people and communities, suggesting measures to reduce unjust outcomes.
  • Promote technical competency and awareness among Black community members through civic technology stewardship.

B-CAB Inquiries

The B-CAB is exploring the following questions through participatory research and community action. 

  • What interests, concerns, and knowledge might Black organizations have about technology’s impact on their community members?
    • How do these factors align with Black community values and assets? 
  • What opportunities and challenges exist in developing collaborative partnerships between Black community organizations and universities?

B-CAB Member Organizations


Mission: Established in 1987, POCAAN is a multicultural, multi-social service agency serving marginalized communities in Seattle and greater King County, including Latino, Black, Asian/Pacific Islander, and Native Americans. For many years, our work has been rooted in HIV/AIDS prevention. Still, it has grown with the understanding that related issues such as substance abuse, incarceration, homelessness, sexually transmitted diseases, racism, sexism, and homophobia also contribute to community marginalization and health disparities.

POCCAN website

  • Olivette Foster

    Olivette Foster

    Pronouns: She/her

    Olivette Foster is a licensed Substance Abuse Disorder Professional/Program Manager. She has worked exclusively with HIV clients for twenty years. She has also managed a multitude of HIV prevention programs and is a housing Case Manager for HIV/AIDS individuals as well as the General Public. She is also very passionate about serving the LGBTQ community and others who need Advocacy and support. Olivette Foster is currently working with individuals who are in the sex trade and human trafficking and suffer from sexual assault and abuse as children. She is certified in Dialectical Behavioral Skills training. Olivette Foster has worked for POCAAN for fifteen years, working with the incarcerated, addicted, homeless, LGBTQIA+, and victims of criminal acts.

  • Ernest Walker

    Ernest Walker

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Ernest Walker is the Programs Director of POCAAN. He has over 25 years of experience in community engagement on a local and national level. He has been working in the realm of HIV prevention and education. Ernest Walker has a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the UW and an MPH from Trinity University in DC. 

Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Young Professionals (ULMS-YP)

Mission: The Urban League of Metropolitan Seattle Young Professionals (ULMS-YPs) are a volunteer auxiliary group that targets young adults ages 21-40 to empower their communities and change lives through the Urban League Movement. As one component of the National Urban League, Young Professional chapters across the country support their local affiliates by collectively organizing events and activities to empower the affiliate’s mission and support the affiliate’s essential programming and services. In addition to community engagement opportunities with the local affiliate, YP chapters strive to provide their members with personal and professional development opportunities to expand their networks, connect with other like-minded young professionals in the area, and build skills to help them succeed in their professional endeavors.

ULMS-YP website

  • Nathan Ebikwo

    Nathan Ebikwo

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Nathan Ebikwo is one of the executive leadership team members for ULMS-YP focused on improving and advancing the community. Specifically, he works on outreach to new members along with other membership & marketing initiatives!

  • DeiMarlon Scisney

    DeiMarlon Scisney (D)

    Pronouns: He/Him

    As an Analytics/AI|ML specialist with extensive cloud computing experience, he has passionately contributed to closing the digital divide through leadership roles such as the Chairman for Professional Development with the Seattle Urban League Young Professionals. Dei'Marlon's tenure is marked by spearheading initiatives like the Seattle Tech Inclusivity Initiative, bolstering small and underrepresented businesses in embracing digital tools. D's commitment aligns with the Urban League's mission to empower communities and change lives, leveraging his technical acumen and advocacy to foster inclusivity and growth. With a strong foundation in data-driven decision-making, he champions equitable access to technology and education, vital for progressive community development.

Africatown Community Land Trust - William Grose Center

Mission: Africatown Community Land Trust (ACLT) is a nonprofit corporation that acquires land on behalf of the Black/African diaspora community, while serving as a steward for affordable housing, community gardens, civic buildings, commercial spaces, and other community assets. ACLT was formed in June 2016 culminating from the work of the Union Street Business Association and Africatown stakeholders to acquire and facilitate inclusive heritage and rich development. To acquire, steward and develop land assets that are necessary for the Black/African diaspora community to grow and thrive in the Central District as well as support other individuals and organizations in retention and development of land.

William Grose Center website

  • Evan Poncelet

    Evan Poncelet

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Evan Poncelet started his STEM career in the Boys and Girls Clubs of Pierce County as a teenager and now splits his time between Seattle and Silicon Valley. He holds undergraduate degrees in computer and electrical engineering from Gonzaga U. A master’s degree in Computer Science from Seattle U. He has worked on biopharmaceutical automation, innovative grid technologies, and embedded systems related to computer networks and spent a decade doing full-stack web development as a Senior Software Engineer for Cisco Systems in Silicon Valley before accepting his current role as IT Director for the Africatown Community Land Trust in Seattle. He is involved in developing the William Grose Center for Cultural Innovation @ Africatown. He is active in the Seattle startup ecosystem in Venture Capital/Angel investment education and startup investment.

Southeast Youth and Family Services (SEYFS)

Mission: Founded in 1974 by leaders of the local Black community, Southeast Youth and Family Services provides comprehensive early learning and mental health services based on the needs and strengths of the people who turn to us for help. We are a licensed mental health center and provide skilled, evidence-based, best-practice mental health treatment and prevention services. Through extensive outreach, we go to schools, homes, community centers, hospitals, juvenile detention, and other locations to engage with youth and families and make our services accessible to those in greatest need. Our staff are advocates dedicated to helping youth and families overcome traumas caused by generational poverty, economic and educational inequality, disparities in foster care and the criminal justice system, and other forms of institutional racism.

SEYFS website

  • Aaron Ruffin

    Aaron Ruffin

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Aaron Ruffin is the Board President for Southeast Youth and Family Services (SEYFS). He first joined the non-profit board in Spring 2022. Over the years, Aaron has served on a host of non-profit boards focusing on education and service. Professionally, Aaron serves as a Senior Land Development Manager for Microsoft in Seattle, WA, responsible for data center development program management. Aaron helps organizations overcome design and policy challenges by strategizing and prioritizing components of complex development projects. Aaron holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from Mississippi State University.

Seattle National Pan-Hellenic Council

NPHC - Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc.

Mission: Alpha Phi Alpha™, the first intercollegiate Greek-letter fraternity established for African American Men, was founded on December 4, 1906™ at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York. Initially serving as a study and support group for minority students who faced racial prejudice, both educationally and socially, the fraternity has supplied voice and vision to the struggle of African Americans and people of color worldwide. While continuing to stress academic excellence among its members, Alpha also recognized the need to help correct the educational, economic, political, and social injustices African Americans face. Alpha Phi Alpha has long stood at the forefront of the African-American community’s fight for civil rights through leaders such as W.E.B. DuBois, Adam Clayton Powell, Jr., Edward Brooke, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, Andrew Young, William Gray, Paul Robeson, and many others.

Alpha Phi Alpha website

  • Rodney Moseley

    Rodney Moseley

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Rodney Moseley is a cybersecurity professional with expertise in defense protection, security compliance, and threat mitigation. He started his career at Texas Tech University and led his way to completing his Master's in business from the University of Phoenix. He is a husband and father of 3 living in the Great Northwest region—a member of the church of Christ. Rodney has committed over 20 years in Management, Networking, and Cyber Security Architecture. He works for Microsoft as a lead cybersecurity manager and an intelligent concepts thinker. As an activist for empowering disadvantaged communities, he encourages all who strive to achieve more and better their position. As an advocate for the advancement of youth in technology, he aspires to help all those who wish to gain more excellent & reach their dreams.

NPHC - Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc.

Mission: Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc. is the first international fraternal organization founded on the campus of a historically black college. On the evening of November 17, 1911, Omega Psi Phi was founded inside the Science Building (later renamed Thirkield Hall) at Howard University located in Washington, D.C. The founders were three undergraduates — Edgar Amos Love, Oscar James Cooper, and Frank Coleman. Their faculty adviser, Ernest Everett Just, joined them. From the initials of the Greek phrase meaning, “friendship is essential to the soul“, the name Omega Psi Phi was derived. That phrase was selected as the motto. Manhood, Scholarship, Perseverance, and Uplift were adopted as Cardinal Principles.

Omega Psi Phi website

  • DeSean Rodgers

    DeSean Rodgers

    Pronouns: He/Him

    As the President of Zeta Upsilon, the Seattle Chapter of the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity, Inc., DeSean Rodgers has established partnerships with community leaders and organizations that direct their programs towards empowering our youth. He is also a US ARMY veteran with previous experience as a Data Scientist here in Seattle before transitioning to practicing medicine in Primary Care. He also serves as a mentor for high school students and a college tutor in math, chemistry, and genetics.

NPHC - Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc.

Mission: Kappa Alpha Psi®, a college fraternity, was born in an environment saturated with racism. The state of Indiana became the 19th state of the Union in 1816, and it founded Indiana University in Bloomington four years later. This city was largely populated by settlers from below the Mason-Dixon line and, therefore, found many sympathizers of the Southern cause. Consequently, the few Blacks who took up residence in Bloomington in those early years were socially ostracized and encountered extreme acts of prejudice and discrimination. The state of Indiana became a stronghold for the Ku Klux Klan. Their intolerance toward Blacks fueled the negative mindset of other Whites residing there. Vigilante lynchings of Blacks were commonplace. This environment made day-to-day life for Blacks an arduous task and attempts to achieve in school nearly impossible. Despite the growing hostility of Whites toward Blacks in Indiana, some Black students sought a college education at Indiana University, as it was a tuition-free university of the highest quality. However, few Blacks could remain longer than a year or so without having to withdraw in search of employment.

Kappa Alpha Psi website

  • Howard J. Brantley

    Howard J. Brantley

    Pronouns: He/Him

    As the Polemarch (President) of The Seattle Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc., Howard J. Brantley is very committed to upholding our fraternity motto, “Achievement in Every Field of Human Endeavor.” Our ten illustrious founders believed the key to success was through high academic performance across college and university campuses and achievement in all aspects of life, including personal, social, and community. Our mission is to impact the Seattle community, inspire youth development, and train young men for leadership while fostering an environment of achievement among our members and community.

  • Shawn Armour

    Shawn Armour

    Pronouns: He/Him

    Shawn Armour is originally from St. Louis, Missouri, but has lived in Seattle, Washington for 20 years (GO SEA- HAWKS!). He considers himself to be a mentor, motivator & educator. Shawn has also worked with youth for the past 35 years via non-profit organizations, coaching little league football and being visible in the schools & community. He firmly believes there is no such thing as a failure but only opportunities for lessons to be learned. I help build successful students to become successful adults. I bring years of corporate strategy and my strength in communication and collaboration to create a better community for our youth.