Each day in February, we are featuring a local, Greater Green Bay Black Herstory/History Maker. This is a 5 part series. Check out part one here. Check out part two here. Check our part four here. Check out part five here.
Dr. Renita Robinson
Bio: Renita Robinson, EdD is the VP of Health Equity at Prevea Health, a multi-specialty group with primary care providers and specialists in clinics and hospital locations across Northern and Eastern Wisconsin. Renita brings over 30 years of experience in social justice and teaching to this role and is working to eliminate disparities in healthcare. She is formerly licensed as a graduate social worker (LGSW), 6th-12th grade English and social studies teacher, and was an adjunct professor at three midwestern universities. Additionally, she is the CEO of Teach ‘Em To Fish, LLC est. 1992 and the Midwest Survivor Institute est. 2023.
Reason Nominated: Renita exemplifies herstory changemakers with her positive impact on the community. She is an influential leader, mentor and role model for Black folks in our area. In addition, her unwavering dedication and commitment to supporting philanthropic efforts for the Black community is commendable and admirable. In alignment with the 2024 theme, Renita's multifaceted contributions reflect the significant impact of Black folks in our community, making her deserving of recognition. Thank you, Renita!
Bio: Ebony Austin was born on August 5th 1989 in Milwaukee, WI. She is currently working at We All Rise AARC as our Sexual Assault Advocate. Previously, Ebony has worked in health care within the Green Bay area. Ebony has a heart to help people. She grew up around crime and has lost family members to violent crime. Ebony loves to connect with people and get them guided on their way. She wishes We All Rise was around for her grandparents so they wouldn't have had to suffer the way they did. Because helping people is a natural source that pure hearts hold, when connecting with her clients she sends them on their journey to success. She walks with them through the ropes and hopes of showing them they can do it. Ebony enjoys reading, writing, poetry, and music. She graduated from Preble High School and now has 3 children, Jayquez and J'ream and James lll. Ebony is a hard working, natural, loving, mother. She sees only the good in everybody. Truly believe no matter your background you deserve a chance.
Reason Nominated: As a sexual assault advocate, she plays a critical role in supporting survivors, advocating for their rights, and fostering a culture of empathy and understanding. She works each day to make sure folks are supported and cared for. She often meets with people at one of the most difficult times in their lives, and her brilliance and compassion shine through in her connections with the community. She is also a rock of support for her family. She is someone you can always count on. Her work is instrumental in creating a supportive and healing environment for survivors and our community.
Bio: Rashad Cobb serves as the first ever Chief Operating Officer for the Brown County United Way. Working in the nonprofit sector speaks to Rashad’s calling because it affords him an opportunity to contribute to community while continually building and building upon relationships with partners that enhance the quality of life for residents in the Greater Green Bay community. With over twenty years in the nonprofit sector (workforce development, social services, prison reintegration, youth development) with the previous six being dedicated to roles in philanthropy, Rashad is a natural listener who has a passion for people and the varying experiences that they bring to the table. These traits are most evident when Rashad convenes nonprofit and community groups, and when he participates in local, regional, and statewide panels both as a moderator and panelist.
When not at work Rashad is involved in several activities and organizations around great Green Bay including but not limited to his participation as a current or former City of Green Bay Police and Fire Commission commissioner, City of Green Bay Transit Commission commissioner, NeighborWorks Green Bay board member, Literacy Green Bay board member, Family Services of Northeast Wisconsin board member, Advance Economic Development board member, Northeast Wisconsin School of Innovation ad hoc member. In addition to his service in these roles he also supports the work of the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce (CURRENT & Young Professionals Advisory Council), Green Bay Neighborhood Leadership Council, Green Bay Area Public School District and Downtown Green Bay & Olde Main Business Districts. When he is not involved in these activities Rashad also finds time to mentor a handful of high school students and young professionals in the community. This work has led Rashad to being named Young Professional of the Year in 2014 by the Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce and Citizen of the Year in 2022 by City of Green Bay Mayor Eric Genrich.
Originally from Milwaukee, Wis., Rashad likes to spend his free time watching soccer, traveling, losing to his wife in whatever sports related competition they engage in, and taking in as much live music as possible. He attended Marquette University where he graduated with a bachelors’ degree in Business Management with a focus on supply chain management. He has been a resident of the Greater Green Bay community for eighteen years and he is working to try to make the community a better place for those residents that are most often overlooked, misunderstood, and underrepresented.
Reason Nominated: Rashad Cobb's valued experience and insight has been instrumental in furthering advocacy across all communities. Rashad serves on a number of boards and committees but it's his personal investment in others that distinguishes him as a leader. Rashad's guidance and mentorship has helped a number of individuals and groups, including Latino Professional Associates of N.E.W., LPA, further our mission and reach. We are grateful for Rashad's friendship, guidance and relentless commitment to furthering a sense of belonging for all.
Bio: Hi I am Venus Robertson. I am the unit Manager at the Boys and Girls Club in Green Bay. I have been working there for eight years. I moved to Green Bay almost 20 years ago. I have four children who all went to public schools in Green Bay. I also have been involved in Special Olympics for 15 years, and a coach for 10.
Reason Nominated: Every year, Miss Venus brings Black History Month to life for Boys & Girls Club members by each day portraying herself as a notable Black historical figure who has contributed to the richness of our American history. When young people see leaders and change-makers like Miss Venus who look like them, they’re inspired to dream big. Not only is Miss Venus honoring Black history, she is inspiring Black futures among our community’s emerging leaders, innovators, teachers, artists and advocates each day through her leadership at the Boys & Girls Club.
Social Justice and Activism
Bio: Ivy Summers is passionate about community engagement. She cultivates relationships through intentional outreach in her role as the associate director of the Mulva Library and special events coordinator at We All Rise. Additionally, she is actively involved in advocacy work, she is a co-facilitator for United Arts, a local nonprofit that looks to amplify opportunities for underrepresented artists in the area. Ivy is committed to driving positive change, she envisions a thriving Green Bay for all.
Reason Nominated: Ivy Summers is amazing. Ivy can be found at the center of so many important and impactful institutions and events i.e., SNC, We All Rise, United Arts and more. For several years, I've attended events at the SNC Mulva library and throughout the community that Ivy made possible, they have been instrumental to my (and other's) education and sense of belonging. Ivy's brilliance, commitment to people, and enthusiasm is contagious; her vision and impact creates ripples across the community!
Reason Nominated (2): Ivy is an amazing human being and a treasure within our community. She exemplifies herstory changemakers with all she does to celebrate, support, uplift and advocate for Black folks in the community. She is a leader and her passion for social justice and activism is evident in her intentional community involvements. In alignment with the 2024 theme, Ivy's thoughtful contributions reflect the significant impact of Black folks in our community, making her deserving of recognition. I am honored to call her a mentor! Thank you, Ivy for all you do and all you are!
Bio: My romance with photography started in high school, long before digital photography was even a thought. The journey to technical proficiency in the craft has taken me from college to the Navy School of Photography to the San Francisco Art Institute, to working twenty plus years in some of the best commercial photographic laboratories in the world in New York City, Los Angeles, and San Francisco.
All of that experience, and more, has led to the formation of The Photo Opp. The new non-profit dedicated to developing a welcoming community and inspiring life-long learning through the lens of a camera.
Reason Nominated: Mark Ferrel is John R Nance’s mentor (also nominated), educator, and like a father figure to so many Black and brown people in the arts in Appleton. He is a board member and co-founder of Photo Opp which is a non-profit in Appleton supporting local photographers and videographers. The nonprofit plans to create a workspace — which will include a studio for photo and video shoots, a darkroom for developing film and much more — for amateur and professional visual artists alike.
Mark has also supported facilitating People of Progressions Photography workshops for Black youth and has focused his time to shoot at our Back to School Block Party and other culturally focused events.
With more than 40 years of artistic experience that spans from street photographer, to custom photo lab pro, to lighting technician for concerts across the nation, Mark’s eye for impression is exceptional. His work has created opportunities with Herbie Hancock, Miles Davis, and Duane Allman, while landing in Rolling Stone and Life magazines.
Just shy of participating as a U.S. Olympian track athlete in 1972 due to a major knee injury, Mark turned his attention to a life of photography and multimedia. He worked for one of the early pioneers in dye transfer photo labs making color separation negatives in the early 1970s in New York. His organization’s clients included major advertising agencies on Madison Avenue and galleries around the country.
Later, Mark was instrumental in capturing the essence of several San Francisco cultural events through his work while attending the San Francisco Art Institute. Those experiences fueled his entrepreneurial spirit. He went on to produce several image galleries for nonprofit organizations, corporations, and elected officials, in addition to those who are inspired by nature.
Mark recently amplified his knowledge from a life of coast-to-coast endeavors by earning an associate degree in Network Systems Administration from Fox Valley Technical College (FVTC) in 2014. In 2015, he launched his own business, Eye Photograph, LLC. His extensive knowledge of the darkroom and the printing process and his exemplary talents have found a home in the Fox River Valley to serve the visual storytelling needs of individuals and organizations.
Bio: Ingrid Parker-Hill, affectionately known as Ms. Ingrid says that, “Every rock, given the right environment, has a ripple effect.”
In her personal and professional settings she hopes that her life is her message. She is often seen inspiring, influencing, and igniting others to be their best self. This has had positive ripples throughout the communities she is serving in. In 2023, she had many accomplishments including becoming a college graduate, a podcast co-host for The Biracial Effect on Spotify, and celebrating a milestone birthday after several health challenges. She currently works for the Green Bay Area Public School District
Reason Nominated: Mrs. Ingrid, is a shining example to all. Her leadership in the GBAPS and across the community serves to inspire anyone who wants to have a positive impact on individuals and the community at large. An example of her work are the GBAPS Student Summits for 8th grade BIPOC students. These session center students as individuals and seeks to inspire them to pursue an array of careers by connecting them to BIPOC professionals. During the Summit, BIPOC community members are given an opportunity to meet, share insight/experience and learn from students.