Board of Directors
Pastor Danté R. Quick, Ph.D. – PRESIDENT
Pastor Danté R. Quick was born and reared in Washington, D.C. He relocated to Atlanta to attend Morehouse College where he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Political Science with a concentration in Pre-law. While at Morehouse, he was one of the first recipients of the William H. Cosby Grant for Landmark College’s gifted-dyslexic student program.
Pastor Quick accepted his call to ministry under the Pastorate of the Reverend Dr. Aaron L. Parker of the Zion Hill Baptist Church in Atlanta, Georgia. In response to his commitment to serve God, Pastor Quick received a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Theology from Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He was the recipient of the Jean Anne Swope and James L. Mechem Prize in Christian Ethics. He served as the President of the Association of Black Seminarians, an organization that represents all Princeton seminarians of the African Diaspora. Pastor Quick also served on numerous student/faculty committees and as a Graduate Chaplain for the African-American students at Princeton University. Pastor Quick published his first article entitled, “The Relevance of Race,” in The Princeton Theological Review and is a contributor to The African-American Lectionary.
Pastor Quick has served in the offices of Mayor Marion Barry, Congressman John Lewis and Governor Zell Miller. He also served as the Legislative Representative for the Atlanta Board of Education. In these capacities he has addressed audiences at the National Conference of Black Mayors, The World Conference of Mayors and the National Conference of Black Men. He also served as the Special Programs Administrator for the Fulton County District Attorney in Atlanta, Georgia.
Pastor Quick relocated to the Bay area to pursue a Ph.D. in Philosophical and Systematic Theology at the Graduate Theological Union, as well as African-American Studies. Upon his acceptance, he was awarded the President’s Award and the William Randolph Hearst Scholarship. His studies are focused on the theology of Howard Thurman and the political philosophy of Ralph Bunche en route to the construction of an African-American political theology. He was the first appointed Howard Washington Thurman Teaching Fellow at the American Baptist Seminary of the West where he was responsible for teaching Constructive and Systematic Theology and Ethics. Pastor Quick was also one of only twelve Ph.D. students selected as a Walbash/Teagle Religious Educator Fellow at the Graduate Theological Union. He also served as the student representative to the Graduate Theological Union Board of Trustees.
On September 8th, 2017, Reverend Quick was conferred with his Ph.D. in Philosophical and Systematic Theology with a focus on African American Studies from the Graduate Theological Union, University of California at Berkeley.
Rev. Dr. Quick is the proud parent of Alexander Danté and Kennedy Danielle.
Lawrence Barnes – VICE PRESIDENT
Mr. Lawrence Barnes graduated from High School in 1965, at which time he joined the U. S. Air Force. There he served as an Air Traffic Control & Warning System Technician and was Honorably Discharged in 1969. Mr. Barnes graduated from Merritt College in 1976.
Upon leaving the military, he began his career with the USPS as a Distribution Clerk. Due to his exceptional performance and leadership abilities, it did not take long for him to begin moving through the ranks and into management.
In the years that followed, he served in many postal positions. Following his extraordinary service in those positions, he was appointed Postmaster of Oakland, California on December 23, 1995. As Postmaster, he worked tirelessly to not only improve USPS functions for individual customers and employees, but also to build a stronger community. As a regular speaker at neighborhood meetings, Mr. Barnes always made the effort to reach out to Oakland residents and to be available to hear their ideas and concerns.
In addition to being a dedicated government servant for over 4 decades, Mr. Barnes is a committed husband, father, grandfather, bowler and fan of the Oakland Raiders. Furthermore, he is a leader in the Faith Based Community, serving as an active member (Deacon) of FMBC under the direction of Pastor, Dante R. Quick.
I firmly believe that all citizens should invest in the community which they reside. I serve as a Mediator in the Small Claims Division, Solano County Superior Court, Commissioner, Juvenile Justice Commission, Solano County, Arbitrator, Juvenile Community Accountability Program, Solano County, and Vice President, Dawson Ridge Homeowners Association, Vallejo Ca.
As Vice President of New Dawn Development Cooperation, he embraces the mission, goals and objectives to better our community.
Edison Kelly, ED.d. – Secretary
Edison Kelly is a native of Vallejo California, by way of Detroit Michigan. He is married to Lisa Kelly, who is the love of his life, for over 22 years. He has 3 beautiful daughters Nicole Dudley, Kree and Edye Kelly.
Dr. Kelly has been working with the Vallejo City Unified School District since September 1991. He began at Park Vista preschool as a substitute teacher assistant, then moving to Springstowne Junior High/Middle School where he served for 12 years.
While at Springstowne he served as Para Educator/Campus Supervisor while attending school himself. He then went on to teach 6th grade Language Arts/Social Studies, and eventually Special Education. Dr. Kelly moved on to Hogan Senior High School where he taught Modern World History/Geography.
In 2005 Dr. Kelly left the classroom and began a career in administration.
He served as Vice-Principal at Solano Middle School, Assistant Principal at Vallejo High School, and the Principal of Alternative Education.
He is currently Coordinator of School Management and Support at the Vallejo City Unified School District office.
Dr. Kelly has been a member of the Association of California School Administrators (ACSA) for approximately 11 years. He has served on state committees, currently the Equity, Achievement and Diversity for Success
committee and President of ACSA’s local Vallejo chapter. He has served as Co-Chair for the Solano County Educational Initiative (SCEI) a county wide program developing programs to address the underachievement of African-American Males. He also sits on the board of trustees for Fighting Back Partnership.
Dr. Kelly currently serves as an ordained Deacon at Friendship Missionary Baptist Church where he has been serving for approximately 15 years. He is also the Servant Leader for the FMBC Sunday School Department. Dr. Kelly has also worked with the youth ministry teaching Bible study, and has served as a choir member, and piano player. Those who know him will tell you that he is very dedicated to his spiritual relationship with God, and demonstrates this in his lifestyle.
Dr. Kelly has volunteered with programs such as the Willie B. Adkins Project, The Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club, amongst other programs. He re-started the Emerging Gentlemen and Ladies-in-Training program which is centered on mentoring at-risk students. This program is now district wide and serving three schools. He has also worked on political campaigns here in Vallejo.
Dr. Kelly’s main work in the community was the Keystone Leadership Program at the Continentals of Omega Boys and Girls Club. This program has now merged with the Willie B. Adkins program. The program meets every Monday, mentoring and preparing students for adulthood and college.
Every Spring break for the past 15 years Dr. Kelly has taken students to the Southern States and East Coast to visit Historically Black Colleges and Universities as a part of the Willie B. Adkins Scholars Program where many students receive on-the-spot admission during these trips.
In October 2004 Dr. Kelly was initiated in the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Incorporated where he serves as Assistant Chaplain and works with the Omega Gentlemen program.
Dr. Kelly received his Associate Degree in Liberal Arts from Solano Community College, his Bachelor of Arts Degree and Teaching Credential in Social Science from Chapman University, his Masters of Arts Degree in Teaching and Administrative Credential from Chapman University. Dr. Kelly received his Ed.D. in Organizational Leadership at Bandman University in recent years.
Joseph Knighten – TREASURER
Joseph P. Knighten is an entrepreneur. He is the owner of JBK Executive Business and Corporate Transportation since 2010.
Mr. Knighten has worked as Director of Facilities and Maintenance Operations for the Tamalpais Union High School District from 1976 until his retirement in April 2010.
His education includes:
San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA
Bachelor of Arts
Political Certification in Project Management
University of Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, CA
Certification in Construction Management.
He is gifted in finance and performed numerous duties in his years working with the School District. His work included but is not limited to:
- Research, Plan and implement operational policies and procedures designed to comply with all state, county and city laws, ordinances and regulations, and insure the physical health, well-being and safety of all students and staff in all six high buildings and related physical facilities
- Managed two Facilities Modernization Bonds to modernize the six high schools. The 2001 Bond was $121,000,000.00. The 2006 Bond was $79,920,000.00. Plus State funds $15,626,128.00. Federal Funds
- $149,584.00. Local Revenue $1,004,577.00. Interest earned $11,676,546.00 for a total of $229,376,833.00.
- Supervised the School District’s Maintenance and Operations staff of 52 employees and a department budget of 3.2 million.
His strong financial and administrative skills are added value to the New Dawn Vallejo Corporation where he proudly serves as the Treasurer for the Board of Directors.
Yolanda Jackson – MEMBER
Yolanda M. Jackson is the Executive Director and General Counsel of the Bar Association of San Francisco (BASF) and the Justice & Diversity Center (JDC). As the Executive Director she leads two organizations that focus on
excellence in the legal profession, promoting humanity and cultivating diversity and equality in the legal profession (BASF); in addition they advance fairness and equality by providing pro bono legal services to low-income people and also educational programming to foster diversity in the legal profession (JDC).
Mrs. Jackson has years of experience as a litigator, mediator, arbitrator, trainer and facilitator, and has helped businesses address diversity and organizational development needs, community outreach and conflict resolution methods.
Mrs. Jackson was an Adjunct Professor at UC Hastings College of the Law, where she taught negotiations and settlement courses and classes on Bias/Diversity in Negotiations. She has presented over 100 “elimination of bias” training sessions for law firms, bar associations, corporations/entities and various law schools. She was also an Adjunct Professor at Golden Gate University Law School where she taught Insurance Law and Practical Legal Writing. She has served on the boards of numerous professional and community organizations throughout the country and has won several awards including the District 17 Woman of the Year Award, the California Association of Black Lawyers President’s Award, the Association for Dispute Resolution of Northern California “Gil Lopez Award”, the League of Women Voters of San Francisco’s “Women Who Could Be President” award, the National Diversity Council’s “California’s Most Powerful and Influential Women” and the National Bar Association Presidential Award.
Much of her volunteer time is spent on helping to enhance communities and under-served populations, mentoring and creating networking opportunities for others.
Why does she serve through the New Dawn Vallejo Corporation (NDVC)? Because she cares deeply about the future of the underserved youth in Vallejo and Solano County. She sees their potential to be our future leaders and she knows that often these children only need a bit of guidance, moral support and a little nudge. This is the difference that NDVC makes in Solano County.
Ramona Bishop, ED.d. – MEMBER
Dr. Ramona Bishop graduated from John F. Kennedy High School in Richmond and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of California, Berkeley. She earned her teaching credential from the University of San Francisco where she was student of the year. She earned her Master’s Degree and administrative credential from California State University, Hayward. She was awarded a doctorate in educational administration from the University of Pacific.
Dr. Bishop has served as Superintendent of Vallejo City Unified School District and Associate Superintendent for Educational Services in the Twin Rivers Unified School District. Her professional career also includes teaching, serving as principal, director, assistant superintendent and superintendent in several urban school districts. Additionally, Dr. Bishop has served as the elected president of the California Association of African American Superintendents and Administrators.
Colleagues and community members have recognized Dr. Bishop for her excellence in education. She has been responsible for building multiple systems that enhance outcomes for all students. As a principal, she led a staff that facilitated API growth of 122 points in one year. In another principal position, she lead a staff that facilitated growth in similar schools ranking from a four to an eight.
Most recently, Dr. Bishop worked with the VCUSD staff to implement innovative research-proven strategies while removing the district from state control (the district achieved positive budget certification for several years in a row the credit rating went from no credit rating to a Standard and Poors rating of A+). Simultaneously, the staff implemented programs that are receiving state and national attention and having a strong impact on student outcomes, including. but not limited to: Wall to Wall College and Career Academies for all high school students, a Full-Service Community School District, systemwide implementation of PBIS, RJ and Trauma-informed Care, K-8 STEAM programming, and innovative magnet school programs.
Dr. Bishop is a President/Chief Executive Officer of ELITE Public Schools, and also works as an independent consultant. She is married to Dwayne Bishop, and has two daughters, Kilan and Malia.