TRACY LLOYD MCCURTY, ESQ. (Executive Director)


Marcus is a committed advocate in the fight for social and economic justice while promoting community-based solutions for underserved agricultural communities. His professional experience includes assisting small-scale and limited resource farmers throughout North Carolina to create cooperative partnerships as a Cooperative Development Officer at North Carolina A&T State University's International Trade Center. Also, as a Project Manager for Concetric Management Applications, he was tasked with assisting small-scale and limited resource farmers seeking alternative enterprises. As a Produce Sales Officer for Glory Foods, he focused on market development with small-scale and large-scale farmers throughout the Southern United States to penetrate new markets and expand existing markets. Marcus has held executive board positions with the Black Farmers and Agriculturalist Association (BFAA) and worked with Operation Spring Plant, Inc. in North Carolina. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Agricultural Economics from North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University in December 1999 and May 2008 respectively. Currently, Marcus is pursuing a dotoral degree focused on urban agriculture amongst African American male students and the development of Black Belt Studies programs at 1890 Land Grant Institutions.


Stephanie is a graduate of the University of South Carolina and the University of North Carolina School of Law. In addition, she has attended the Master of Laws in Taxation program at Georgetown Law Center. She began her legal career with clerkships on the Maryland Court of Appeals and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. Following her clerkships, she worked in the Washington, DC metro area at several law firms with a practice concentration of corporate litigation and tax. Recently, Stephanie moved back to her native state of South Carolina to work as the Chief Executive Officer of Ruth's House, Inc., a special event and design company that she founded in 2005. She serves on several boards and community groups, which focus on economically empowering local rural communities and encouraging women in entrepreneurship. She is passionate about identifying direct market and retail opportunities for farmers in the South and is active with a thriving local food system network, Lowcountry Local, which is centered in Charleston, SC.


Rukia is a human rights activist, criminal justice strategist, thought leader and daughter of the late Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and Nubia Lumumba.

Recognizing the value of land in the attainment of self-determination and the development of economic stability in Black communities and under-resourced communities, Rukia has served on the board of the National Conference of Black Lawyers, as well as National Coordinator of the Malcolm X Grassroots Movement, a membership-based organization dedicated to promoting human rights and self-determination. She co-founded Katrina On The Ground, an initiative that organized over 700 young people to participate in post-Hurricaine Katrina relief efforts in Mississippi, Louisiana, and Alabama. Currently, she serves on the board of advisors for Cooperation Jackson, an organization dedicated to developing a network of cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises in Jackson, Mississippi that will expand economic opportunity, promote sustainability, and build community. In addition to her role as an advisory board member, she serves on the steering committee of Friends of Cooperation Jackson where she is responsible for the development of national resources to support the work of Cooperation Jackson.

Lumumba holds a B.A. in Political Science from Tougaloo College in Mississippi, a J.D. from Howard University School of Law in Washington, D.C., and has studied law and politics in South Africa at the University of Forte Hare and the University of the Western Cape.


Daa'iyah Salaam is a passionate speaker, community activist, an educator, poet, cultural planner, and entrepreneur. She specializes in non-profit management and cultural programming and has presented speeches at conferences and seminars locally as well as nationally. She is the founder and CEO of Community Works Inc., a cultural consulting firm that focuses on human development for organizational effectiveness. Daa'iyah works with organizations focusing on women entrepreneurship as well as with the Expansion of the Albany Civil Rights Institute on cultural programming and oral histories and with the Rosa Parks Home in Montgomery, AL.

Daa'iyah uses her love of history, culture, and entrepreneurship to facilitate the rebuilding of communities. Her education and past work experiences have prepared her in the area of research, collections management, grant writing, creative writing, management policies, business management, and community outreach and planning.

In 2001, Daa'iyah graduated with a B.A. in English and minor in Africana Studies from Georgia Southern University. In conjunction with her B.A. in English, Daa'iyah also has a B.A. in History from Albany State University and has a master's in Public Administration with a concentration in Community and Economic Development. Daa'iyah is Six Sigma Green Belt Certified. Daa'iyah has worked with the National Parks at the New River George National River, where she worked in Cultural Resources. Additionally, she has been an academic consultant to the College of Business at Albany State University and now currently serves on the department's advisory board. She aspires to aid communities in revitalizing their vitality. Daa'iyah has served in the capacity of Deputy Director for the Southwest Georgia Project for Community Education, Inc., a nonprofit founded as a product of the Civil Rights Movement. There she was successful at co-leading the organization, facilitating the racial healing program, leading and designing the Smithsonian's NMAAHC Save our Treasures Program, and among other things, leading the organization's first Farm to School Program. She is also a certified business counselor with S.C.O.R.E. and aids both nonprofits and for-profit businesses garner the structure they need to be sustainable. Presently, Daa'iyah serves as Albany Technical College's Research Analyst, where she aids the college with research, collecting and evaluating statistical data to help identify organizational and student performance trends. Daa'iyah is the very proud mother of a twelve year old son and believes that to the only way to sustain a community's vitality is to invest in its people.


Miessha attended Cornell University as an undergraduate before enrolling in the J.D./M.P.H. dual degree program at Emory University School of Law and the Rollins School of Public Health, in Atlanta, Georgia. As a law student, she competed in the National Frederick Douglass Moot Court competition, where she and her teammate placed second in the national competition. She graduated from Emory with a Juris Doctor and Masters in Public Health, with a concentration in Health Policy Management, in May 2001.

Following graduation, Miessha was awarded a post-graduate fellowship with the nonprofit organization, Equal Justice Works. As a fellow, she worked at the Federation of Southern Cooperatives/Land Assistance Fund as a fellow for two years, and continued working for the organization for five years following the conclusion of the fellowship program. As a fellow and staff attorney on educating and representing African American and limited resource farmers on rural land retention issues and ways to promote intergenerational sustainability of small farms in the Southeastern region of the United States.

Miessha moved on to represent DeKalb County Department of Family and Children Services on child deprivation matters as an associate at The Law Office of Jerry W. Thacker. She now works as the Assistant Director of Students at Atlanta's John Marshall Law School, where she provides advisement to and coordinates legal professionalism programs for students.


Tim is the Director, Finance & Treasury with First Potomac Realty Trust, (NYSE: FPO), a publicly-traded REIT and one of the leading owners of office and industrial properties in the Greater Washington D.C. region. Previously, Tim was with RLJ Lodging Trust, where he worked on a variety of assignments including the negotiation, execution and closing of asset acquisitions and dispositions, loan financings, and asset management. Prior to joining RLJ, Tim worked for several years in the Leveraged Finance Originations group at Credit Suisse, where he worked on various capital raising and merger and acquisitions transactions. Tim's professional career began with Banc of America Securities, where he worked as an analyst in the Real Estate Investment Bank. Tim holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from North Carolina A&T State University, where he graduated Cum Laude and he received his MBA from the Ross School of Business at the University of Michigan. Tim serves as a Trustee of Achievement Prep, a Tier 1 public charter school based in the District of Columbia.


Veronica attended the University of Alabama where she received her Bachelors in Public Relations, Masters in Public Administration, and PhD in Political Science.She joined the faculty at Georgia College & State University in the Department of Government and Sociology in 2002. Veronica currently is an Associate Professor of Political Science and Public Administration and Coordinator of the MPA program. She also serves as Interim Director of the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity. She is currently coordinating several community-university initiatives in the Black Belt of Georgia to address issues of underdevelopment. She has written a book entitled, "Underdevelopment in the Black Belt, America's Third World, by Mercer University Press. Her work has also been published in the Harvard Journal of African American Public Policy as well as book chapters and other works. Vernoica also works on Farm Bill policy and Rural Development. Her research areas of interest include regional poverty and rural economic developement.

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Copyright 2012 Black Belt Justice Center. All rights reserved.

Black Belt Justice Center is a 501(c)3 organization.

EIN/Tax ID # 45-4441783