What started out as a community-wide initiative and fight for social justice by community advocates Minister Lethia Jones Kittrell and Ms. Theresa Davis Blount, is now Fitzgerald For Change Community outreach Incorporated, (F4C), a community 501c3 designated organization advocating for Social justice and a fight for equitable solutions for a variety of community issues. From a year-long discussion about racial and ethnic issues starting around March of 2020 (about two weeks following the death of George Floyd), then Candidate Lethia Kittrell seized an opportunity to lead in her community. With Ms. Blount and the Ben Hill County Civics League by her side, a community March was quickly organized with local attendees and visitors from as far as Florida, Atlanta GA, and several of the neighboring towns. After the March, it was understood that simply going home was not an option. The question was asked, “What’s next?” Because of the Covid pandemic, face to face meetings were not available, so the Talk After the Walk Virtual Zoom Community Forum was born.
The first forum which involved the topic “Sharing Your Community From Your Point Of View”; included government officials, law enforcement officers, and local community citizens. The Forums sparked many different topics and discussions relative to “building a more equitable community, and provided a platform for the hard discussion on Racism. Topics like “Unifying the Community: What Will It Take?” to “Equitable Healthcare in Communities” to “Equitable Education for All” has brought together different panelists with a diverse group of community citizens. Multicultural worship services are being planned to bridge our community and to bring the faith-based community closer together. A Mayoral Ministerial Council has been formed and a City of Fitzgerald Youth Leadership Council has been set-up through the city. Other partnerships have been formed such as a guest panelist, Nurse Practitioner Sebrina Taylor collaborating with the Monitor Enrichment Center for health equity. For the first time in the history of Fitzgerald GA, an all-black event was held downtown as the Men of VISION sponsored a weekend festival celebration honoring Juneteenth, of which F4C participated with a voters registration drive, advocating the Freedom Rides through the BVM t-shirt give-a-ways, giving out watermelons, Covid-19 information, and so much more. Several other partnerships from the community along with many community-wide initiatives, and publicly held events through our partnerships with Black Voters Matter, Fresh Communities, Georgia Act, the NAACP, The Democratic Party and many local organizations have brought significant change to our community. Through our partnership with the Democratic Party of Georgia’s phone banking, Lit Drop, and Voter’s registration, black voter participation was at an all-time high in November of 2020 & 2021.
DR. MINISTER BAMBIE HAYES BROWN
CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
Raised by her maternal grandparents, Dr. Bambie Hayes-Brown is a native of Cordele, Georgia and resides part-time in Fitzgerald, Georgia. Dr. Brown holds a Bachelor’s in Business Management, a Master’s in Business Administration, a Doctor of Theology, a PhD in Biblical Studies, and a Certificate in Nonprofit Management. She is the President & CEO of Georgia Advancing Communities Together, Inc., a statewide membership organization of housing and community development agencies. She has 25 years’ experience in rural and urban housing, community and economic development and serves on numerous Boards and advisory committees including the National Low Income Housing Coalition, National Alliance of Community and Economic Development Associations, Up for Growth, NAACP DeKalb, Atlanta Airport Chamber of Commerce, and the Georgia Chamber of Commerce Rural Prosperity Council. Dr. Brown is also the Founder and CEO of Hayes Brown Enterprises, LLC, a registered lobbyist, Real Estate Broker, and Certified Economic Development Finance Professional. Dr. Brown is very involved in the community and is a Past Worthy Matron of Julia K. Neal Chapter No. 582 Order of the Eastern Star - PHA, Daughter of Masab Court No. 174 Oasis of Macon - Desert of Georgia, Member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Kappa Iota Zeta Chapter, Past Unit President of the American Legion Auxiliary, Member of the American Legion Riders, and Past President of the Cordele Kiwanis Club. Formally homeless and a former public housing resident, Dr. Bambie is a highly sought-after speaker who advocates for those with limited housing choices and for equitable community development. Dr. Brown is married to Shearon Brown of Fitzgerald, is the mother and bonus mother of four adult children and little “Rasta.” Dr. Bambie is a member of New Hope Baptist Church in Warwick and is a licensed and ordained minister.
MR. TYLER TUCKER
VICE CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD
MS. YOLANDA BARTHELL
MINISTER SANDRA MILSAP
MS. THERESA DAVIS BLOUNT
MR. JONATHAN BURCH
Jonathan Burch is a Fitzgerald native and a 2003 graduate of FHS. He attended Georgia Southern University, graduating in 2007 with a bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies. After graduating from GSU, he moved to Atlanta and began a career in Sales. For more than a decade, Jonathan held several sales and sales leadership roles with various companies, primarily in the staffing/recruiting and Human Resources technology space. Jonathan left corporate America in mid-2019 after founding Coastal Plain Barbecue Company. In the Summer of 2021, Jonathan and his wife, Melissa, and daughter, Olivia, relocated to Fitzgerald and have since become active in the community.
MR. RICHARD LYONS
MRS. VICKI ROSENTHAL
Vicki Rosenthal is a social impact visual artist on a mission to advance advocacy through authentic art. This artist creates visual art to include distinctive designs on apparel, paintings, public art installations, and community art workshops. Additionally, for all artworks sold, this artist invests 10% of net profits back to grassroots causes.
In her childhood, Vicki learned various art techniques and art forms, exhibited and sold paintings in her teens, but did not initially choose art as her profession. Always painting for pleasure, she worked a variety of jobs until she went back to school receiving a Fine Arts Department Honors Scholarship and earned a master’s degree in social work. With this qualification, she worked for nonprofit organizations for HIV/AIDS and anti-human trafficking advocacy and education. She taught and developed macro social work curriculum at Florida Atlantic University, and all the while continuing to create art projects and paintings. In 2018, her social work focus and art talent came together to form Vicki Rosenthal Art. Her life and work experiences provided the combined learnings to launch a cohesive social impact art business.