Our Board

Akil Bakari
Board Secretary/Treasurer
Akil was born in St Louis, MO, and has been in Jackson, MS for over 40 years. Akil is a grassroots organizer, political and cultural strategist, and media maker. Akil centers authentic intergenerational engagement, community health and wellness, global grassroots political education, and media-making at the core of how he builds community power. Akil is rooted in his grassroots ideology of people-centered human rights, self-determination, self-governance, and self-reliance to move communities towards the change they deserve.
Ryan "R.L" Nave
Board President
Ryan "R.L." Nave is the director of Reckon at Alabama Media Group where he leads editorial strategy for the brand and oversees its multi-platform digital expansion. Prior to joining Reckon in May 2020, he served as editor-in-chief at Mississippi Today, a nonprofit newsroom, where he oversaw newsroom operations and strategy. Before joining Mississippi Today, he was an editor and reporter at the Jackson (Miss.) Free Press and staff writer at (Springfield) Illinois Times. Nave was a 2010-2011 Ted Scripps Environmental Journalism Fellow at the University of Colorado-Boulder and a 2004 Academy for Alternative Journalism fellow at Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism. A native of St. Louis, Mo., he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Sumi Dutta
Board Member
Sumi (she/her) is a writer, herbalist, and organizer. Born and raised in Durham, NC she is committed to local organizing for abolition, environmental justice, and transformative justice in her community. Most recently, Sumi was a 2019-2020 Kairos Fellow, an #EndMoneyBail Fellow with Southerners on New Ground, and a community organizer with PowerUp NC. She currently works as a digital organizer with 18 Million Rising and is a co-creator of the NC Mutual Herb Network for Black Lives and BIPOC Healing.