Our Team

Raleigh PACT moves ahead thanks to the work of our staff who run the day-to-day, our very active volunteer Board, and our General Body who meets monthly to learn together and make decisions about strategy. You can check our Facebook page for information about our next General Body meetings open to all PACT members. 

Get to know our leadership team and reach out to any of us with your ideas or questions. For general or press inquiries, you can email info@raleighpact.org. 

 
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Rolanda Byrd | Executive Director

Rolanda serves as Executive Director. She became a member of PACT after her son, Akiel Denkins was brutally murdered by a Raleigh Police officer in February of 2016. It was his murder that opened the door for her to move forward with her life to become an advocate for justice in policing. Prior to becoming executive director, Rolanda was a member of PACT and a member of PACT’s transition coordinating committee. You can reach Rolanda at londaann41@gmail.com.  

 
  Raleigh PACT, Coalition Coordinator
 

Surena Johnson | Coalition Coordinator

Surena has been a community advocate since 2003 and is a mother of four. She has children who are adopted, disabled, homosexual, and a premature baby. Her life has encompassed the gamut of the struggle of what needs to be changed about the systems in which we live from the challenges facing people with disabilities, the homosexual community, and navigating the medical and child protective services system. She works hard to ensure her children won't have to continue to live within a broken system. She’s worked as a gang outreach worker, detention officer, and case manager for first time youth offenders. In addition to her work with PACT, she runs Orchid Bloom which serves people with low resources by creating more avenues to help maneuver through this broken system. Orchid Bloom uses art along with positive mental attitude training and information to connect to those in need. You can reach Surena at orchidbloomnonprofit@gmail.com. 

 
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BRANDON DOUGLAS | Leadership Coordinator

Brandon is a black man originally from Brooklyn, New York. He graduated with a Masters of Social Work from North Carolina Central University and is a member of the Raleigh Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. He is also the Statewide Police Accountability Coordinator for BLOC (Black Leadership Organizing Collective). He was previously a project manager for North Carolina Fair Share Community Development Corporation. You can reach Brandon at brandondouglas03@gmail.com.

 
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Barbara Smalley-McMahan | Board Chair

After a brief career as a public school teacher, Barbara earned her Masters of Divinity and completed an additional four years of clinical training in pastoral counseling at Duke Hospital and The Life Enrichment Pastoral Counseling Center in Raleigh, NC.  She was ordained into the ministry of pastoral counseling by Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in 1985 as an American Baptist minister. In 2013 her life took several unexpected turns the day she spoke out at a community forum against NC’s Voter ID Law, which a federal court later ruled was written to disenfranchise NC’s African American voters with “surgical precision”. Barbara’s protests of this unjust law, combined with her determination to empower the people at the polls led to her becoming a key volunteer with Democracy NC and to subsequently being elected as the Political Action Chair of Raleigh-Apex NAACP.  Her willingness to fight for justice also led to her three arrests with the Moral Monday NC NAACP & Forward Together Movement. In 2015 Barbara retired from a 30 year career in pastoral counseling to focus on multiple causes for racial and economic justice— including justice in policing. You can reach Barbara at blsmcmahan@nc.rr.com. 

 
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Jeff Land | Board Secretary

Jeff joined PACT after attending the Movement Builders workshop during the summer of 2016. Involved also with Triangle SURJ (showing up for racial justice) and Carolina Jews for Justice, Jeff recently retired as a middle school teacher, having worked in classrooms in Los Angeles, Oregon, and 18 years in Raleigh. A filmmaker and potter, Jeff was active in building the Us Green Party in the 1980s. He has written history of Pacifica Radio published by University of Minnesota press. He has been concerned with issues of race, class, and movement politics for a long time. You can email Jeff at drjland@gmail.com. 

 
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Jessica Lin | Board Treasurer

Jessica has been a member of PACT for two years. As a member of the board, she leads our fundraising efforts by writing grant proposals to help fund PACT's mission of police accountability. She is a former educator and is passionate about literature written by people of color. She has a degree in English from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. You can reach Jessica at jessie.o.lin@gmail.com.

 
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Ivanna Gonzalez | Board Member

Ivanna is a member of our board. She is a first generation immigrant from Caracas, Venezuela. She started organizing as a student at UNC-Chapel Hill where she got her degree in political science and public policy. Currently, she is a Project Coordinator at Blueprint NC. Ivanna was previously a college outreach coordinator for the Common Cause NC HBCU Student Action Alliance. She sits on the boards of Democracy NC and the Ignite NC Action Fund. You can reach Ivanna at ivannacg@gmail.com.

 
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Hakeem Dykes | Board Member

Hakeem is a member of our board and has been around since PACT’s founding. He is originally for Orangeburg, SC and attended Shaw University for 3 years (2014-2017) double majoring in Political Science and Psychology. Dropped out. Still Surviving. Does everything: Pictures, Graphics, Protest, Knock Doors but most importantly Listens. You can reach Hakeem at hakeem.dykes@gmail.com

 
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Jessica Turner | Board Member

Jessica Turner is a life long activist. She is currently the Field Manager at the ACLU of North Carolina where she works with activists, members, and volunteers. She is passionate about a variety of social justice issues and believes we must create a more just world for everyone's grandchildren. She has a degree in Journalism from Elon University and a M.Div from Candler School of Theology. You will most likely find her watching soccer, reading, or checking out the newest brunch restaurant in Raleigh. You can reach Jessica at jturner@acluofnc.org

 
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STEPHANIE LORMAND I BOARD MEMBER                                                                        

Stephanie began focusing heavily on racial bias and equity after a white teacher pulled a biracial 5th grade student from his desk at a Southeast Raleigh elementary school which ended with her joining the Community Equity Leadership Team (CELT) to work on race equity in Wake County schools. After witnessing the reactions to the voices and stories of community members during a February 2017 Raleigh City Council meeting, she joined PACT. Her advocacy work maintains a three-point focus on how white supremacy maintains the racist systems that create bias in policing, education, and housing.  She has a degree in Sociology from ECU, with a concentration on Applied Social Research, which she’s used to fuel research and writing. You can reach Stephanie at SJLormand@gmail.com.