Our Board of Directors
Ebonie Alexander, MS. Director and Secretary, CFF Board of Directors
Ms. Alexander is the Executive Director of the Black Family Land Trust, based in North Carolina. The Black Family Land Trust's mission is to help African-American farmers retain ownership of their land in light of African Americans' devastating loss of 93% of their land assets over the past century. The Black Family Land Trust provides technical support and advice to assist black farmers with effective land stewardship practices in agriculture and forestry.
Ms. Alexander advises the United States Department of Agriculture on national agriculture and farming policies and serves on multiple boards, including the American Farmland Trust. She is a resident of North Carolina.
Lydia Clemmons, PhD, MPH President, CFF Board of Directors
Dr. Clemmons is a medical anthropologist with a 35-year career leading ethnographic research and community development programs in the US and more than 20 African countries. She has more than 20 years of senior executive-level experience managing national and global program annual budgets of $20 million dollars. She is internationally recognized for her innovative work integrating arts and culture into effective public health and social change programming.
Dr. Clemmons began her international work as a Peace Corps Volunteer in rural Democratic Republic of Congo. She has worked for the US Agency for International Development, the World Health Organization, UNICEF, and numerous US nonprofit organizations working in international development.
She grew up on her family’s farm in Vermont and returned in 2013 to help preserve the farm- one of just 0.4% of all farms in the US that is African-American owned- for future generations. As President of the Clemmons Family Farm, she provides leadership for the farm’s transition into a nonprofit organization and oversees its programming. She is a Vermont resident. She holds a PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, a Master in Public Health from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, and a BA in Human Biology from Stanford University.
Dr. Clemmons is the receipient of the 2021 Con Hogan Award from the Vermont Community Foundation and the 2021 Arthur Williams Award for Meritorious Service to the Arts from the Vermont Arts Council.
Margaret Bass, PhD, MA., Director, CFF Board of Directors. Dr. Bass is Special Assistant to the President for Diversity and Inclusion at St. Michael's College in Vermont. She served as a Restorative Justice Panel Manager with the City of Winooski's police department and a member of the School Board in Winooski School District. She is a retired Associate Professor of English at St. Lawrence University in Canton, New York. In addition to teaching, Dr. Bass has held several administrative positions, including Interim Dean of Students and the Director of the Center for Diversity and Social Justice. She is an avid traveler and student of world cultures. She has led student groups on experiential learning trips in and out of the U.S. Dr. Bass writes extensively on diversity and social justice in predominantely white academic institutions. She has won several awards for outstanding undergraduate teaching. Dr. Bass holds a BA in English from Wilmington College in Ohio, a M.Ed. in Special Education from the University of Mississippi, and a PhD. in English from Louisiana State University.
Steve L. Gibbs, CPA. Director and Treasurer, CFF Board of Directors. Mr. Gibbs is the Chief Accounting Officer of Home Depot. Previously, he served as the Chief Accounting Officer of Tyson Foods and Keurig Green Mountain, Inc., Vice President and CAO for Scientific Games Corporation, and VP of Finance for Scientific Games Racing, Manager of Accounting Research at The Coca-Cola Company, and as a public accountant with well-respected accounting firms, Arthur Andersen LLP and Deloitte & Touche LLP.
Steve holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Florida A&M University and is a Certified Public Accountant.
Mrs. Lydia M. Clemmons, RN, CLNA. Honorary Member, CFF Board of Directors
A retired nurse anesthetist with a 70-year healthcare career in the US and Africa, Mrs. Clemmons was the first African-American nurse anesthetist at the University of Vermont Medical Center and was President of the New England Association of Nurse Anesthetists. She received an honorary degree in Law (JD) from the University of Vermont in recognition of her service and achievements in Vermont and New England.
With her husband, she served as co-president of the Charlotte Central School PTA in the 1960s. She also started the Charlotte 4H Club, and remains a vibrant member of her community. In addition to her career in nursing, Lydia Clemmons is a Reike healer and pursued fulfilling vocations as a farmer, an artist, an activist and a world traveler.
In 1984, Mrs. Clemmons launched Authentica African Imports, the very first African art mail order import business in the United States right on the farm in Charlotte, which she ran for nearly 25 years. Mrs. Clemmons and her husband are the co-owners of the 148-acre farm located in Charlotte, Vermont, which they purchased in 1962. She provides vision and advises on the transitioning of the farm into an African American Heritage and Multicultural Center. A well-known and beloved storyteller, Mrs. Clemmons is a Vermont resident.
Our Program Management Team
Our Windows To A Multicultural World
Core K-12 Teaching Artist Team
Our core team of teaching artists is below. We also collaborate with other Vermont artists of African descent to deliver tailored teaching artists engagements for special programs.