Board of Directors
Kimberly Parris, Executive Director
When Kimberly was 10 years old, her fifth grade teacher, Barbara Gathers, took her and two dozen other young women from her classes aside and introduced them and their parents to a program that she designed, a rites of passage program. A year and a half later, she participated in a Rites of Passage ceremony in the African country of Ghana that changed her life forever. For decades after, she would talk about her experiences in the groundbreaking program, African Womanhood is Mine.
From her experiences at Temple University, to joining the non profit sector, Kimberly knew that she was destined to give back. She shifted careers to follow her dream of becoming a professional chef, ultimately founding her own catering and event planning company, The CaribDiva Company, in 2017. Kimberly knew, though, that she was going to come back full circle, & in January of 2020, herDIVASpot was reborn.
When she isn’t feeding the masses or running a non-profit, she is mindlessly eating white cheddar popcorn, watching her HS senior’s funny TikTok videos and hair coloring shenanigans, researching her newest crystal, and watching reruns of A Different World and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine.
Quaneisha Robinson, Associate Executive Director
Quaneisha is an activist, change agent, and community leader. From her time as a Girl Scout, in the 90s, through her current roles as a Girl Scout troop co-leader, member of the Junior League of DeKalb, and, most recently, member of herDIVASpot board of directors, she has always understood the importance of instilling resilience, confidence, and knowledge into young women of color.
Professionally, Quaneisha has served in many roles related to the development of others including positions as a Training Consultant, Sr. Instructional Designer, and as an Instructional Technologist. Her commitment to supporting the growth and development of others inspired the foundation of Q & Co., The Development Group (formerly QRG Consulting) in 2015. To date, she has helped countless professionals merge their purpose and passion with professional experience to achieve workplace satisfaction.
When her cape is in dry-cleaning, she can be found at a local farm harvesting fruit with her kids, somewhere enjoying live music and crab legs, or in the corner reading one of several books she’s started but hadn’t finished.
Joanna Diaz, Director of Mentee Operations
Joanna Diaz, MPA, has over 10 years of experience in human resources and public administration, but her heart is in giving back to the youth. She is a graduate of SUNY Oneonta and CUNY John Jay, as well as a fellow sister of the groundbreaking rites of passage program, African Womanhood is Mine. As a former service coordinator, she assisted youth of color with mental health services.
One of the original founders of herDIVASpot since 2012, Joanna was determined to be a part of shaping the minds of young ladies of color. She believes in equipping young ladies with essential resources needed to navigate their paths in life. To that end, she has created an online Instagram page, “Melanin Info”, with resources on the history of African originated people as a whole. She is the proud mom of a future herDIVASpot graduate, as well as of a delightfully precocious, sweet and spirited young man.
Monchell Johnson, Director of Mentoring
This Long Island, New York native who loves to read, travel, and laugh out loud is an unparallel force when she puts her mind to completing her tasks. Known mostly by her childhood nickname “Munchee” and her unfiltered opinion, Ms. Johnson is the “go-to” person in her circle of family and friends for advice or just a listening ear. No matter what, everyone knows that whatever advice “Munchee” is going to give, it will be raw honesty.
Born and raised into a very strong diverse village, Ms. Johnson was “trained-up” to be a leader, independent and unapologetically Black. With her no-nonsense, Southern-bred mother at the helm of her village, she was taught to never compromise her integrity no matter what and always aim for stars as there was no “glass ceiling” above her head. Ms. Johnson earned her BA from the Illustrious Howard University and her MBA from Keller Graduate School of Management.
Sophy Bonnet, Director of Fund Development
Born and mostly raised in NYC from a large Dominican family, Sophy considers herself a lover of the arts and of exploring the world. Receiving her Bachelors at the culturally diverse Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY, Sophy was able to create bonds with likeminded individuals after majoring in Management and dual minor in Spanish and Asian Studies.
She made a promise to herself to explore at least one new city every year to continue growing as a worldly person. Always lending a helping hand and taking time to talk to loved ones and random strangers on the street, Sophy enjoys bringing a bit of light into everyone’s lives.
She is an avid volunteer with STEM related events for teens, and she enjoys talking to the younger generation of her family on how to be strong females and to not be influenced by what others say.
She joined The CaribDiva Company as their executive assistant in 2020, and she brings some of her sunshine and ideas for the future with her.
Barbara Brown Gathers, Director Emeritus
Born in Brooklyn, NY to parents who had migrated from NC. She was educated from elementary school through graduate school in NYC. Attending NYC's High School of Music and Art (currently known as LaGuardia High School of Music and the Arts), was a pivotal point in the development of the young artist. Barbara was a creative young person who had been planted in an environment that would provide fuel for a life of sharing her creative products with the world around her.
Barbara always had a strong curiosity about her family history. Some thirty years ago, she officially became her family’s historian, and has numerous interviews, videos, photos, and documents telling the family story.
Barbara always knew that when she retired from more than thirty years of teaching middle school in NYC, she would use the historical data about the family to recreate a fictional version (based upon the facts) of what the family history might have looked like in 3D. She is a multimedia artist, a freelance educational consultant, a writer, and a quilter. Barbara’s most treasured life accomplishments are being the mother of one son, and a grandmother to her three girls. She resides in Central Florida.
To be filled.