Dolly Joseph

Dolly Joseph was born and raised in the Charlottesville area. Dolly cares for the community as an educator, connector, and general jack of all trades. Dolly wishes that the Charlottesville area nurtured all its inhabitants in an equitable and just way.





Pat Seay

Pat Seay has lived in Charlottesville all her life. Pat grew up on Preston Ave with a wood stove and no running water inside. Pat has worked as a top-notch server for decades in Charlottesville restaurants and catering companies, making bridal parties feel special on their important day.

Kerney Eubanks

Kerney Eubanks has lived in Charlottesville all his life. Kerney has been a cook and chef for 50 years in Charlottesville restaurants, catering, and UVA dining. Kerney loves to hunt and fish. He knows how to prepare just about every type of meat.


Bass Wolf

Bass Wolf is the Director of Outreach and Philanthropy at the Sexual Assault Resource Agency (SARA), a nonprofit that provides vital support services to survivors of sexual violence and prevention programs in the greater Charlottesville area.





Rosa Key

Rosa was born and raised in Charlottesville. She served as a security guard on the University of Virginia grounds and at hotels around Charlotteville for 15 years. She has also worked in the construction sector and was the first black female construction worker in Charlottesville, in the 70s.

Ms. Key holds 6 certificates from Piedmont Virginia Community College, including certificates in air-conditioning, electrical systems, and construction work. Ms. Key also owned several businesses including drywall repair, cleaning, and landscaping businesses.

She is a gardener with very green thumbs. She kept flower gardens since the age of 12. Ms. Key has been a longtime advocate of fresh produce for older residents and others who can’t get out on their own. She is a member of the Cultivate Charlottesville Advocate team, where she has been very involved for years in fighting food insecurity before and during the pandemic distributing fresh produce to neighbors and residents.


Lois Castle

Lois was born and raised in Franklin Square, New York, and studied higher education at Hofstra University in Hempstead New York. She married after college and had two sons and one daughter. She worked in various levels and schools in Long Island, New York, for 48 years. She started as a first-grade teacher and after a few years became a reading specialist for the rest of her tenure. Lois retired in 2003 and moved to Stuarts Draft, Virginia. She has been actively involved with her church in Waynesboro since arriving and has helped with various projects since her arrival. Lois has also sponsored children educationally in Belfast, Ireland, Latin America, and the Philippines.

Before there was a clothing closet at the International Rescue Committee, Lois helped Cherry Stewart to find clothing and household furnishing for newly resettled refugees in Charlottesville. Together, their work of supporting new families has lasted for over ten years. Lois also has spent years sending shoeboxes filled with goods for children around the world with a national Catholic organization but started making shoeboxes for our local IRC office many years ago. She continues to do this every holiday season.

She has enjoyed traveling the world, meeting the locals, trying different kinds of food, and learning about various cultures. In her free time, she likes to cook meals for local homeless people in Waynesboro with her church, read books, knit, socialize, and spend time with her children and grandchildren. She has always felt the need to serve and help the less fortunate and continues to help people when she can.


Rosa Hudson

Rosa’s career began in 1967 when she served as a counselor with the Monticello Area Community Action Agency (MACAA). She served in various positions, during her 13 years tenure with MACAA, such as a Neighborhood and Outreach Worker and a Housing Counselor. Rosa’s career continued to expand toward serving individuals and Families. She was a Public Health Outreach Worker, a teacher at Trinity Child Care Center, and a teacher aid at Johnson Elementary School in Charlottesville.

Rosa joined the Piedmont Housing Alliance in 1990. She has helped over 200 families become homeowners during her tenure there. Rosa has been a member of the Virginia Federation of Housing Counselors, Inc. She is a member of the advisory board of the Public Housing Association of Residents (PHAR), the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority (CRHA) Grievance Panel, and the Charlottesville Quality Community Council (QCC).
Rosa founded Albemarle County’s Neighborhood Efforts at Work, Southside Neighborhood Organization in May 1977. The goals of the organization included promoting community programs, basic education in community relations, and improving the general welfare of the community.

Rosa’s housing counseling, financial advice, and community advocacy made a huge difference for so many people, and she helped hundreds of families purchase their first homes. Whether in the office or the grocery store, Rosa was a one-of-a-kind go-to for information and guidance.

“My approach has always been to meet people and ask them “what do you need?”


Charles Lewis

Charles is a proud husband and father who was born and raised in Central Virginia. As a Senior Telehealth Engineer at UVA Health, Charles has been able to experience and help in multiple African countries. He is also active in the surrounding communities with leading roles in multiple civic & community organizations including BEC & BPN. To learn more about Charles’ community work can be found at his Linktree.

Charles produces and co-hosts the talk show In My Humble Opinion, a radio program that builds community and has been created with a dedication to empowerment. His work on the show is the reason behind his Philanthropy Champion nomination. You can listen to In My Humble Opinion when it broadcasts locally and streams worldwide Sundays from Noon-3 on WVAI,


Omiwra Nkere

Omwira was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and a refugee in Burundi for more than 15 years, Omwira moved to the USA in 2018, where he studied electricity at CATEC. He feels that Charlottesville is a good place to learn, teach, meet, and receive. He volunteers with the IRC as an interpreter who specializes in French, Swahili, Kirundi, and Kinyarwanda. For Omwira there is always a joy when seeing a smiling face.

Omwira enjoys helping others and gardening, which has led him to serve in the National Guard. This along with finishing his electrical course and meeting his wife are some of his milestones.



Jaronda Miller-Bryant

Jaronda is an educator, director, and community advocate who has made significant strides in higher education and nonprofit management for nearly two decades. She serves as the Assistant Director of Engaged Scholarship at the Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center at the University of Virginia where she oversees programming that centers on pressing social justice issues affecting women and minoritized communities. Her work includes fostering diversity, equity, and inclusion at the Center as well as establishing equitable community engagement partnerships in the Charlottesville community. Jaronda has managed a robust internship program for the past 8 years and serves as the founder and director of the nonprofit, Culture for Wellness, which focuses on improving the narrative around Black Wellness and promoting change in communities through awareness, partnerships, and storytelling. Her scholarship and community engagement work include topics and issues related to leading with compassion, servant leadership, empowerment strategies, educational stratification, race and ethnic relations, social justice advocacy, and community outreach.

For Jaronda, Charlottesville has been a great place to raise her children, and feels it is small enough to know your neighbors and your circle of friends.  She feels that the nonprofit Culture for Wellness gives her an opportunity to talk about what she loves, healthy eating and exercise. She enjoys working with the ladies of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc and the Charlottesville Chapter of the Links, Inc for our initiatives to uplift our community. I enjoy working with the Black Empowerment Coalition because it feels like a grassroots effort to give Black people in Charlottesville a voice and a platform.

“My work with the Black Empowerment Coalition was influenced by my desire to tap into the issues affecting Black people in Charlottesville including seeing them serve on more boards and committees at the different organizations in Charlottesville. My work as a member of the Live Arts Board was a result of me wanting to not only talk the talk but walk the walk.”


Charlottesville High School Black Student Union

The Charlottesville High School Black Student Union strives to make a difference inside of school by offering a safe place for their black students and POC peers, and outside by offering the community a helping hand. The organization was nominated for its advocacy for healthier and financially accessible school lunches and a community of unity and equity for all identities.

In 2020, during CHS’ virtual year, the Black Student Union was able to gather and assemble care bags for students to aid in motivating their peers. BSU got the opportunity to speak with Dr. Royal Gurley, the superintendent discussing the issues that they face every day as CHS students along with possible ways to mend those issues. Get to know more about BSU through their Instagram

“My favorite thing about Charlottesville is how the activism in this town is usually led by the youth and people listen to us. I enjoy making changes in people’s lives. Even if they don’t know who’s behind the change, at least they know that there is someone behind the scenes advocating for their needs.” -Gloria Gaye

Rocio Zamora Cruz

Rocio loves Charlottesville for its nonprofit organizations that support the community in different ways.

Through her work with Sin Barreras (Without Borders) Rocio has been able to help the community feels that having a driver’s license opens the door to folks having a better life, by being able to work and take care of their families with the peace of knowing that at the end of the day, they will be able to return home.

“The satisfaction of seeing a father of a family who has lived 20 years in Virginia without a driver’s license and being able to help him obtain his driver’s license and for him to have peace of mind to drive without fear of being jailed just for not having a driver’s license is my greatest satisfaction.”


José Luis Hernández

As a Charlottesville resident for 17 years, José loves the diverse community and enjoys leisurely walking around town. It also gives him great joy to witness the happiness of fellow Latino community members as they gain the independence and security of obtaining their driver’s licenses through the organization Sin Barreras (Without Borders). José gains joy through his work by seeing the happiness of his Latino community being able to obtain a driving privilege card and keeping the roads safe.

“I am proud to have been a part of the fight to advocate for driver’s licenses among other things, I participate in other groups and organizations that impact at the local level to ensure that our representatives work to improve public services.”


Dr. Max Luna

Dr. Max Luna is a native of Guatemala where he obtained his medical degree from the University of San Carlos, Guatemala. He obtained his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of Cincinnati and in Cardiovascular Diseases at the Brigham and Women’s Hospital/ Lown Cardiovascular Center, Harvard University. At UVA he is the Vice-Chair of Diversity, Equity, and Community Engagement of the Department of Medicine, University of Virginia School of Medicine where he is a clinician and educator in clinical cardiology and echocardiography.

Dr. Luna has a passionate interest in health disparities and the prevention of non-communicable diseases in low to middle-income countries and US Latinx communities. He is the director of the UVA Latino Health Initiative which aims to improve the health and well-being of the Latino community in the Central Virginia area while enhancing cultural humility and competency among UVA Health staff, students, trainees, and faculty.

During COVID-19 he co-led the UVA COVID & Community Health Equity working group and the COVID-19 Community testing program. Through the Latino Health Initiative, he coordinated community efforts with the Health Department to enhance trust in the COVID-19 vaccine and secure an equitable distribution of vaccines. With these efforts, he was awarded the Governor’s Virginia Advisory Latino Board Civic Engagement Award for 2020. In 2022 he was awarded the University of School of Medicine, Dr. Henry Harrison Wilson, Jr. Everyday Humanism in Medicine Award.


Zafar Khan

Originally, from Afghanistan, Zafar worked with the United Nations Peace Keeping Mission from 2003-2013 aiding the Afghan government in terms of political, and economic peace and reconciliation.

Zafar migrated to the United States in 2014, due to a threat to his and his family’s well-being. Zafar attained a degree in foreign affairs from UVA in 2020 which aided him in his work with IRC. From 2021-2022 he focused his skills on helping immigrants, specifically Afghan parolees transition to the United States.



Beverly Adams

Beverly Adams is an Assistant Dean, at UVA College of Arts and Sciences, and an Associate Professor, in the Department of Psychology, at UVA. Originally from Youngstown, Ohio, she earned a BA in Psychology from Spelman College (Atlanta, GA), an MS (Developmental Psychology), and Ph.D. (Cognitive Psychology–Psycholinguistics) from the University of Pittsburgh. She studied language processing within the framework of the psychology of reading as a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Massachusetts (Amherst, MA) and the NIAS:  The Netherlands Institute of Advanced Studies in the Humanities and Social Sciences (Wassenaar and Leiden, Holland, The Netherlands).

She and her daughter, Jasmine, moved to Charlottesville, after her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research interests include the examination of microaggressions as one of the contributing variables to the decline of physical and mental health in strong black women. Beverly holds leadership and membership roles in the Black Faculty and Staff-Employee Resources Group (a founding member), Virginia Social Sciences Association (VSSA), Charlottesville Live Arts, Colonnade Club (UVA) Board of Governors, City of Promise, The Women’s Initiative, African American Authors Book Club, Charlottesville Chapter of The Links, Inc., and Charlottesville Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.


Zeba Rizvi

Zeba Rizvi moved to the United States of America from India in the year 2011. This move presented her with the chance to serve the community through the Islamic Center of Central Virginia.  She found herself surrounded by so many opportunities to connect with attendees from different cultures and backgrounds. This diversity has become her favorite thing about Charlottesville.

Zeba alongside the Islamic Center of Central Virginia has successfully run Sunday School and after-school programs. Her ability to serve the larger Charlottesville community through the IMPACT and PACEM food and shelter programs for the homeless has become her favorite part of being involved.

“I feel blessed and humbled to be a part of interfaith events and community service opportunities. It gives me personal satisfaction to see the kids grow in faith and to see them blossom into happy souls.”


Gloria Beard

Gloria is a retired Nursing Assistant and Certified Phlebotomist from UVA Health Center. She is the mother of 3 sons, 8 grandchildren, and 3 Great Grandsons. She is a member of First Baptist Church on West Main St. in Charlottesville, VA, and is very involved in her community. Her nonprofit, We Care, Seniors specializes in creating baskets/bags for seniors in nursing homes and the community of Charlottesville.

“I thought of Seniors like myself, sitting at home and in nursing homes that can’t get out or have no visitors that come to see them. This came to mind during the beginning of the Pandemic, and I was at home afraid to come out.”

She is truly a “people person” who loves putting a smile on faces and bringing a little cheer to her community. She loves how unselfish her community has been in donations and asking if they could be of any help to me.