Diane Williamson was born in the city of Pittsburgh, PA. She joined the Army in the summer of 1976, becoming a Nuclear Weapons Maintenance Specialist. As a woman in the military, she knew I had to be the best at what she knew to do. Her father instilled that philosophy in her. She didn’t know until later that he was also in the service, as was his younger brothers and sister. So, there is a legacy of service in her family at a time when it was difficult for African Americans to serve their country. Even though he enlisted during another generation, he knew the risks she was taking, as his daughter, as a female and as an African American. He continued to cheer her on and kept reminding her to finish school. Diane came home to complete her A. S. in Graphic Design. She and her daughter moved to Oakland CA, where she worked for the government until the base closures in 1997. Continuing her education, received a certificate of completion from Silicon Valley College in Computer Graphic Design and 3 certificates from City College of San Francisco in Video Production and Broadcasting. She graduated in May of 2014 from San Francisco State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Broadcast and Electronic Communication Arts. She became a disabled veteran in 2004. It took 8 years and a bout with homelessness before the VA approved her disability.
How can she give back, pay it forward? She decided to create a nonprofit helping vets get their benefits. Diane did not want any vet to go through what she did in applying for what was rightly theirs. This is the catalyst for THE VETERANS COMMUNITY MEDIA NETWORK.
She is a member of The Breakthrough Christian Ministries, Inc. of Oakland, a Commissioner of the Alameda County Veterans Association, a member of the West Oakland Senor Center, a member of THE OWH STUDIOS of Oakland, and on the board of VETV (Veterans TV).
Academic Program Manager, UC San Francisco
TVCMN BOD Member
Kathy Jackson brings over 44 years of administrative and educational experience to bear, as well as 13 years in non-profit administration, while working at The United Way of the Bay Area from 1990 – 2003 and as the Board of Directors Secretary-Treasurer for the non-profit Pros for Youth from 1998-2000. She is currently the Academic Program Manager for the Department of Humanities and Social Sciences at UC San Francisco, where she administers two PhD and one MD/PhD program. Kathy is a second generation native San Franciscan who attended George Washington High School. She has an AA degree from College of Marin in Social & Behavioral Sciences and she is currently working on her BA degree in History at UC Berkeley. Kathy’s family includes a number of veterans, including her father who served in the Army during the Korean War.
Rev. Mabel D. Banks
TVCMN Board of Trustees
Rev. Banks, Pastor of Lily Grove Missionary Baptist Church in Oakland, CA., brings over 50 years of paid administrative skills and responsibilities to TVCMN. She is a graduate of Berkeley High School and has an AA Degree in Management and supervision from Laney Community College. Experience: Assistant Vice President of World Savings & Loan Association, and Administrative Assistant, IT Department at Neighborhood Housing Services of America. Pastor Banks has also volunteered as Recording Secretary for several religious and community organizations.
Aaron Jackson is a veteran of the U.S. Army, having served as an airborne infantryman with the 1/501st Airborne. He deployed to Afghanistan between 2003 and 2004. After the military, Aaron decided to pursue a career as a historian and college professor, where he hopes to pay forward the benefits of his experience to his students and community.
Currently a Ph.D. candidate at the University of California, San Francisco, Aaron studies the history of the veterans' healthcare system--particularly how that system decides who gets access to benefits and the potential ramifications of those decisions.
Aaron hopes to be able to contribute his personal and professional expertise to help The Veterans Community Media Network in serving the veteran community in advocating for those who served.
Ivey Williams is a long-time community activist born and raised in East Oakland California. With nearly 20 years of community activism and small business development experience he has built strong relationships within economically and socially disadvantaged communities. From designing (CBPR) community based participatory research to co-authoring business model canvases for startups, Ivey is passionate about evidence-based decision making. Ivey is currently operating as a Program Service Manager for The Bread Project in Berkeley in addition to volunteering with the Black Cultural Zone in East Oakland. Ivey is committed to delivering socially competent, data-driven expertise to magnify the voice of all who are unjustly marginalized.