The Board of Trustees of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation is a collaborative group composed of 5 Descendant representatives, 3 Jesuit representatives, 2 representatives from former slave-holding institutions and 3 representatives from the world of business and philanthropy. This board composition creates a balanced partnership to guide the activities of the Foundation.
Cheryllyn M. BranchePresident, GU272 Descendants Association | Co-Chair, GU272 Foundation Leadership Committee
Cheryllyn M. Branche is the President of the GU272 Descendants Association and Co-Chair of the GU272 Foundation Leadership Committee. She is a fourth-generation granddaughter of Hillary and Henrietta Ford, the Jesuit-enslaved parents of Basile Ford. Cheryllyn is a retired principal of Xavier University Preparatory School. She is Coordinator for the School of Religion and a member of the St. Gabriel Parish Council in New Orleans.
Cheryl E. HallParliamentarian, GU272 Descendants Association
Cheryl E. Hall is a Parliamentarian of the GU272 Descendants Association. She is a sixth-generation granddaughter of Isaac Hawkins, a Jesuit-enslaved man. Cheryl is Director of Sponsored Research at Southeastern Louisiana University in Hammond, Louisiana, where she maintains oversight of research and intellectual property and externally funded activities. She is a former United States Department of Defense civilian employee who graduated from the U.S. Army Material Command Intern Program in St. Louis in the field of Contracts and Acquisitions. Cheryl is a Certified Federal Contracts Manager and a licensed attorney.
Joseph M. StewartCo-chair, GU272 Foundation Leadership Committee
Joseph M. Stewart is Acting President of the Descendants Truth & Reconciliation Foundation and co-chair of the GU272 Foundation Leadership Committee. He’s a fifth-generation grandson of Isaac Hawkins, a Jesuit enslaved man. Joe is a retired Senior Vice President of Corporate Affairs and Chief Ethics Officer of Kellogg Company in Battle Creek, Michigan. He was a trustee of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and chaired the board for two years. He is co-founder and CEO of Stewart Industries, LLC.
Monique Trusclair MaddoxTreasurer, GU272 Descendants Association
Monique Trusclair Maddox is Treasurer of the GU272 Descendants Association. She is a fifth- and sixth-generation granddaughter of Isaac Hawkins and a fourth-generation granddaughter of Nace Butler. Monique retired from Carlson Wagonlit Travel in 2015 to found Macrame Technologies. She is active in the angel investment community. She is a native of Maringouin, Louisiana, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from Prairie View A&M University. She currently serves as Trustee for Our Lady of Grace Catholic Church in Edina, Minnesota.
Rochell Sanders PraterVice President and Membership Committee Chair, GU272 Descendants Association
Rochell Sanders Prater is a Maringouin, Louisiana, native and the Vice President and Membership Committee Chair of the GU272 Descendants Association. She is a third-generation granddaughter of Isaac Hawkins and is also descended from the Butler, Blacklock and West descendant lines. Rochell has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and master’s degree in business management from Southern University A&M College and Indiana Wesleyan University. Her work experience has ranged from design engineer to higher education/college access professional. Currently, Rochell is a freelance personal development coach based in Cincinnati, Ohio.
Father Brian PaulsonProvincial, U.S. Midwest Province
Father Brian Paulson, S.J., Provincial, U.S. Midwest Province, entered the Society of Jesus at Loyola House Jesuit Novitiate in Berkley, Michigan. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1992. He holds a bachelor’s degree in international economics from Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service, a master’s degree in political philosophy from Loyola University Chicago, a bachelor’s of sacred theology from Centre Sevres in Paris, a master’s in education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a licentiate in sacred theology from the Weston Jesuit School of Theology in Massachusetts. Prior to serving as Provincial, Fr. Paulson served as Director of Vocations, President of St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago, and Rector of the Loyola University Jesuit Community in Chicago. He is a native of Waukegan, Illinois.
Father Scott SantarosaProvincial, USA Jesuits West Province
Father Scott Santarosa, S.J., is Provincial of the USA Jesuits West Province. Prior to his 2014 appointment, Fr. Santarosa served as the pastor of the Dolores Mission Church in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles, where much of his pastoral work was done in Spanish. His previous assignments as a Jesuit have included teaching for three years at Bellarmine College Preparatory in San Jose, California, and for five years at Verbum Dei High School in Watts, Los Angeles, where he and other Jesuits worked to bring the failing high school back to its former reputation as a quality, inner-city Catholic college preparatory school.
Father Timothy P. KesickiPresident, Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States
Father Timothy P. Kesicki, S.J., is the President of the Jesuit Conference of Canada and the United States. Headquartered in Washington, D.C., the Jesuit Conference promotes common goals and oversees international projects for the Society of Jesus. As Conference President, Fr. Kesicki works with the Jesuit Provincials of the United States and Canada in implementing programs and represents the Conference internationally. Prior to leading the Jesuit Conference, Fr. Kesicki served from 2008 to 2014 as the Provincial of the Chicago-Detroit Province of the Society of Jesus. From 2000 to 2008, he served as president of Saint Ignatius High School in Cleveland, Ohio.
Joseph A. Ferrara, Ph.D.Vice President and Chief of Staff, Georgetown University
Joseph A. Ferrara, Ph.D., is the Vice President and Chief of Staff of Georgetown University. He works with the President and the Board of Directors to manage major university initiatives and in developing strategies to achieve the university’s operational objectives. Prior to his service at Georgetown, Joe worked with the federal government, mostly in the Department of Defense. He is originally from Charleston, South Carolina. He is married to Martha Ferrara and they have three adult children.
John K. PierreChancellor, Southern University Law Center
John K. Pierre has devoted his career to molding lawyer leaders and being a champion of innovation. Prior to his appointment to Chancellor of the Southern University Law Center in 2016, he served as the Vice Chancellor of Institutional Accountability and a faculty member. He taught courses such as tax law, security devices, local government law and more. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Southern University, a master’s degree in tax accounting from Texas Tech University and a juris doctor degree from Southern Methodist University School of Law.
La June Montgomery TabronPresident and CEO, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
La June Montgomery Tabron is the President and CEO of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation (WKKF) in Battle Creek, Michigan, one of the largest private foundations. Prior to becoming the first African American President and CEO to lead the foundation in its 89-year history, she served in a variety of positions during her more than 30-year career at the Kellogg Foundation. Tabron holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Michigan Ann Arbor and a master’s degree in business administration from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University.
Bishop Fernand Cheri, O.F.M.Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans
Bishop Fernand Cheri O.F.M. presently serves as the Auxiliary Bishop of New Orleans. He is the episcopal moderator of the Catholic Campus Ministry Association (CCMA); Episcopal Liaison to the African Conference of Catholic Clergy and Religious in the U.S. (ACCCRUS); an episcopal member of the USCCB Safe Environment Committee and the USCCB Catholic Campaign for Human Development. He is a member of Quincy University Board of Trustees and serves as Vice President of the National Black Catholic Congress Board of Trustees and is convener of the U.S. African American Bishops.
Monica HaslipFounder & Executive Director, Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center
Monica Haslip is the founder and executive director of Little Black Pearl Art and Design Center (LBP) and Academy in Chicago. Founded in 1994, LBP is an innovative Arts and Culture Institution designed to create positive vehicles for all children to thrive. She has passionately advocated for real solutions to the epidemic of racism and youth violence and has been recognized in the City of Chicago and nationally. Ms. Haslip was among 12 leaders honored by President Barack Obama as part of the White House Champions of Change and the National Forum on Youth Violence Prevention for her efforts to address youth violence. She is a national consultant, trainer and racial healing practitioner.