The National School Boards Association’s (NSBA) National Black Council of School Board Members (NBC) is pleased to announce its 2020-2021 leadership. Devin Del Palacio of Tolleson Union High School District, Arizona, continues to serve as the council’s chair; Micah Ali of Compton Unified School District, California, was elected Chair-elect; and Erika Mitchell of Atlanta Public Schools, Georgia, was elected Secretary.

Tolleson Union High School District’s first African American board member, Del Palacio, has dedicated his board tenure to advancing equity. Del Palacio helped draft and pass a non-discrimination policy that includes protection for gender identity and gender expression; assisted the district in passing the Indigenous Peoples Day Resolution; and collaborated with board members to produce an anti-hate speech resolution, among other important board actions.

Del Palacio began working as a community organizer in 2012 and is currently the director of community outreach for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Central Arizona. The Cesar Chavez Foundation, the City of Phoenix, and the Greater Phoenix Urban League have recognized Del Palacio for his commitment to securing equitable learning environments for all students.

Born and raised in Compton, California, Micah Ali has served in key leadership roles over a broad range of public policy issues and as a part of a wide variety of public and nonprofit institutions, with an emphasis on education, environmental protection, and public health and safety policies.

Erika Mitchell is committed to bridging the support gap between non-profit organizations and for-profit companies in order to better serve diverse communities. Mitchell also serves on the Atlanta Board of Education’s Policy Review Committee, Equity Taskforce, and the Georgia Statewide Human Trafficking Taskforce Workgroup 1.

Willetta Milam with Cleveland Metropolitan School District, Ohio was elected Central Region Director and John R. Williams with Topeka School District, Kansas was elected Western Region Director.

Willetta Milam is the president and founder of Help Resources, a community-based organization that assists in educating people about their legal rights. John R. Williams, a retired Architectural Project Designer for the Kansas Department of Administration, also serves as Board of Education Vice-President and as a member of the Equity Council and Personnel Committee in Topeka.

The NBC promotes quality education for all students, with a focus on equity—building access and closing the gap on learning and achievement of students of color. For more information about NBC or NSBA’s other equity councils, the National Black Council of School Board Members, the National American Indian and Alaska Native Council of School Board Members, and the National Hispanic Council of School Board Members, please visit our website:

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