BOARD MEETING SCHEDULE
Our board meets on the third Thursday of January, April, July and October from 6:00 – 7:30 PM in the conference room at the Families as Allies offices in Jackson (see address below). Changes to the meeting schedule are posted on our Facebook page. All of our meetings are open to the public and include a Public Comment Section. We find the public comment section to be one of the most valuable parts of our meetings and welcome feedback from as many people as possible. We request that public comments be limited to three minutes so that everyone who wishes to participate has the opportunity to do so. Comments can also be faxed to 601-355-0919 or scanned to firstname.lastname@example.org
2018 BOARD MEMBERS
CARLYN HICKS President
Child Welfare Lawyer – Family Defense Advocate
Carlyn Hicks, Senior Staff Attorney and Clinical Adjunct Professor at Mission First Legal Aid Office at Mississippi College School of Law, has spearheaded efforts to make Parent Representation in Child Welfare cases a reality for Mississippi families. As clinical director for the Child Welfare and Family Justice Clinic, she provides supervision, instruction, and training to third year law students interested in learning hands-on experience and gaining skill development in family defense.
Carlyn is actively involved in the leadership of the Mississippi Bar Association in varying capacities, including the Young Lawyers Division Board of Directors and chairman of the Mississippi Bar’s Child Welfare and Child Advocacy Committee. Additionally, Carlyn is a member of the Parent Representation Task Force, where she works with statewide and national stakeholders to enhance and expand parent representation across the state. Carlyn is called upon regionally and nationwide to present on topics related to quality family representation and policy reform in child welfare.
A dedicated child welfare and family defense advocate, Carlyn is an equally devoted wife and mother. She and her husband, Derrick, are the proud parents of a daughter, Leigh Marie.
ANDREW CANTER Treasurer
Andrew Canter, a Jackson resident, is an attorney with the federal government. He formerly worked for the Mississippi Center for Justice and the Southern Poverty Law Center.
KASS WELCHLIN Secretary
Retired Social Worker, Photographer
Teacher, Minister and Advocate
George Stewart II is an educator, author, mentor, ordained minister, and youth/family advocate. He is quickly becoming a “go to” person and trusted voice on issues such as youth development, education, spirituality, and fatherhood.
George has experienced great success as a classroom teacher, but his work does not end when the bell rings. Besides partnering with “The Call Me Mister Program” to serve as a mentor to future young black male educators, he has developed a school board approved afterschool program for at risk boys, develops and facilitates male empowerment and fatherhood curriculums, and speaks at community events and conferences.
Writing is another tool that George uses to educate, motivate, empower, and inspire. His book Words of Wisdom for My Son is being read by many across the country and has been used as a male development program resource. His recent story “My Son has a Purpose Too: An Autism Father’s Story” has received over 10,000 views online and was published in Mississippi Christian Living Magazine.
George’s motto is “Doing it With The Next Generation in Mind .”
Mary Helen Ferguson
Owner, Consultant, The Ferguson Group, LLC