In honor of Black History Month, TechSoup is featuring Black-led organizations and talking to their leaders about their work and the importance of African American representation. According to national studies, Black-led nonprofits don't always get the same level of support as their counterparts due to racially inequitable practices. Join us to hear Black-led nonprofits share some insights about their organizations and how we can all do our part toward a more equitable community.
Black In Marine Science
Originally from Greenwood, South Carolina, Dr. Tiara Moore completed her B.S. in Biology in 2011 at Winthrop University in Rock Hill, South Carolina, where she developed an interest in marine science during a research trip in Costa Rica. She received her M.S. in Biology with a concentration in Environmental Science in 2013 from Hampton University in Hampton, Virginia, where she conducted research on the water quality of the Chesapeake Bay linking sediment oxygen demand and nutrient cycling to the eutrophication of the Bay.
After completing her M.S., she spent 2 months in Bali, Indonesia identifying the diversity and abundance of meiofauna in marine sediments across the coral triangle. Dr. Moore earned her PhD in Biology from UCLA, where she conducted research in Mo’orea, French Polynesia, Carpinteria Salt Marsh, and Upper Newport Bay. In Mo’orea, she observed the effects sedimentation and nutrient pollution have on the proliferation of coral reef macroalgae. In Carpinteria and Newport, she explored the effects of macroalgal decomposition on sediment biogeochemistry and the microbial community using environmental DNA (eDNA) to assess the biodiversity of entire ecosystems with only a soil sample. Dr. Moore completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy where she used soil eDNA to develop a biodiversity census of Ellsworth Forest comparing species diversity across management treatments over the past 10 years.
Currently, Dr. Moore is the Chief Executive Officer of Black In Marine Science. Inside and outside of the lab, Dr. Moore hopes her research in biodiversity will translate to increasing the overall diversity in science. She dedicates her time to mentoring minority women in the lab and in after school programs. Founder of A WOC SPACE, Dr. Moore aspires to make a safe and inclusive workplace for women of color (WOC) through WOCShops, individual personal trainings, and community outreach. To round things off Dr. Moore combines her experiences as a WOC Scientist with her upbeat personality in her
Academic Standup Shows, both communicating science and the struggles of being a minority in STEM.
Denita Pimienta is a native of Tampa, Florida, and an accomplished business leader in the Contract Management field. Her passion for youth in the areas of arts and education encouraged her to found Children Athletes & Artists Involved in Recreational Events (CAAIRE) - a nonprofit youth development organization with a mission to have students use their artistic abilities and athletic talents to obtain higher education, to pave the way to successful futures.
Denita’s formal education provides her with the tools to effectively communicate the vision of CAAIRE. She couples a servant’s heart with her business leadership skills to formulate a unique perspective to positively address the needs of our youth. Denita holds a bachelor’s degree in Communication (Marketing and Public Relations) and a master’s degree in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Management and Leadership.
Denita’s commitment to the community is shown in her service to the Leadership Teams of the Osceola County Children’s Cabinet, where she serves as the 2022 Chair. She also serves on the Osceola County Youth Development Task Force, Orange County Drug-Free Coalition, the City of Kissimmee NAACP Trailblazers, and was the Co-Chair of the Osceola County Tobacco-Free Partnership. Additionally, Denita is the recipient of the Community Partner of the Year Award from the National Society of Black Engineers at the University of Central Florida (NSBE-UCF). She is a graduate of Leadership Osceola’s Class of 2022 and was most recently named the Orange County Sheriff’s Office Citizen of the Year.
Denita’s personality and creativity are illustrated in her love for music, writing, and the arts. She sings daily - mostly to her own tune - at home or in the car. Denita currently lives in Central Florida and is a mom of two young adults in pursuit of – you guessed it – higher education.
Rhonda Brown is the President of the board of directors for The B.L.A.C.K. Masterminds and brings 10 years of nonprofit and business management experience. Rhonda has also written 3 books, is an artist, mother, and co-owner of CRC Empire, where she co-hosts the “We Got Problems Podcast.” Rhonda believes that as the president of a budding nonprofit, what’s most important at this stage is sector alliances, financial contributors and opportunities to tell our stories.
The B.L.A.C.K. Masterminds was created in 2020 by entrepreneurs and community leaders seeking to enhance their business knowledge, promote their businesses and causes, and build meaningful connections online during the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization aims to help build legacies and activate collective knowledge (B.L.A.C.K.) within the African American community, through online and in-person events that advance entrepreneurship, personal development, tech evolution and alliance building. The organization is best known for their annual BLACK Friday Takeover, which is a 24-hour event consisting of workshops, networking sessions, business highlights, Black history forums, demonstrations and live entertainment. The annual takeover is an opportunity for entrepreneurs, community leaders, and other conscious change-makers to convene from all over the world to learn new skills and technology, discover new businesses and causes, exchange resources and to create meaningful relationships.