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NBDC Trainers have worked in a professional capacity in disability agencies, and advocacy initiatives. Trainers have varied specific areas of expertise. NBDC has provided training to our noted Community partners as well as the greater Black community.

Jackie Pilgrim

Jackie Pilgrim is a disability advocate and a single parent of an adult son with autism. Her work is heavily centered on race and disability. In that she has trained police officers and first responders on Intellectual Disabilities as part of the Crisis Intervention Team quarterly training. Her training incorporates the intersections of race and disability to be considered when emergency help is needed from police officers and first responders. She endeavors to shift global perspectives on Autism and other developmental disabilities.  Jackie a recognized global advocate presented at the United Nations World Autism Awareness Day.

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Scherrone Dunhamn received a BA in Political Science and a certificate of completion of studies from the Eagleton Institute of Policy Studies at Rutgers University in New Jersey.  In 1997 soon after her Public Administration Program (MPA) at American University, she was hired by the U.S. Department of Labor in Washington, DC.  Scherrone retired from the Dept. of Labor after a 22-year Workforce Development Specialist career when contracting an autoimmune disorder from the Covid vaccine. Her career centered around promoting employment policies affecting people with disabilities. She was also a Contract Officer Representative for other programs, the Migrant and Seasonal Farmworkers, and the Workforce Opportunity Tax Credit. 

Barbara Johnson

Barbara Johnson is a behaviorist life coach who assists children with developmental disabilities (3-17) meet their goals in accomplishing independence and excellence in their own lives. She designs various activities including self-esteem enrichment techniques to address each child’s needs based on personality, interests, and strengths. Barbara has worked in disability advocacy and support services for 30 years. In that time, she has assisted in various workshops designed to prepare adults residing in developmental centers for transition to the community. She also provides direction for parents and caregivers with young and adult children with developmental disabilities. Over the years Barbara has also volunteered to work with single mothers to assist in developing family plans and goals. 

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Frank Latham is a trainer who has 30 years of social work and disability advocacy experience. Frank has worked with individual Self Advocates from across the US as well as members of SABE,(Self Advocates Becoming Empowered). Frank has personal experience with disabilities, classified as a learning disability, which gives him insight into the struggles of students of color with disabilities in the education system. A longtime coach and mentor for young people, Frank has been a high school basketball coach for the past 15 years and has also served as a golf coach for the Special Olympics. He is also the founder and president of U-turn Inc. that assists struggling students in navigating the education system.

Cheryl Cumings

Cheryl Cumings is an advocate for the Blind.  She emigrated from Guyana South America to the US with her family. Cheryl has a BA from Princeton University and a MA from Tufts University.  She served as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic. Ms. Cumings completed a graduate program in Total Quality Management in nonprofits, gerontology, and was a fellow at the Shriver Center for Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities at the University of Massachusetts. Ms. Cumings served as a policy analyst in Disability and Community Services at the University of Massachusetts.   

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Safiyyah Muhammad is an advocate for people with developmental disabilities and their families.  She is the parent of 3 sons with autism spectrum disorder.  

Safiyyah is a graduate of Partners in Policymaking. Partners trains family members to work with legislators in policy that affects people and families with developmental disabilities. She was appointed to the NJ Council by Governor Chris Christie in 2012. In 2020 she was appointed to chair the council’s committee addressing barriers impacted by race and poverty to service delivery.

Tameka Citchen Spruce

Tameka Citchen Spruce is a disability justice activist. She is a Detroit native. Her academic background is in journalism, which provides her with the tools for effective research and analysis. Because of her journalism and disability activism she learned the importance of telling a person’s story. Tameka dedicates much of her disability work to the intersections of race and disability. She has an expert understanding of how race, disability and urban environments impact police interventions and brutality. Her short film, Justifiable Homicide, has been nominated and won an award.

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