The BACC Announces New Executive Director & New Officers to Board of Directors



Kalamazoo, MI- The Blacks Arts and Cultural Center is proud to announce the new Executive Director and the newly appointed Officers of the Board of Directors.

On January 20th, Yolonda Lavender was officially hired as the Executive Director of the Black Arts and Cultural Center. The BACC’s search for a new director began when Sid Ellis resigned to assume a position with Kalamazoo’s Colleague International. Then Board of Directors member, Yolonda Lavender took on the role of Interim Executive Director soon after Ellis’ departure and stirred the organization for the latter portion of 2014 and working on events such as The Black Arts Festival.

“The Board was impressed with how Yolonda was able to step into the role of Interim Director during the Black Arts Festival. Her energy, positivity and determination all proved to be a winning combination to ensure a successful event.”- Alisa Parker, Board President
Lavender has earned a BA in Sociology from Western Michigan University. In addition, Lavender is a singer/song writer and community activist. She has served as an active board and committee member for a number of organizations in the Kalamazoo area, including Ujima Enterprises Incorporated and the First Day Shoe Fund. The young leader has brought fresh and new energy to the BACC as well as a diverse background that crosses into the world of arts and business.

As Executive Director, Lavender will be responsible for managing the daily operations and activities sponsored by the BACC, collaborating with other community and arts organizations, and representing The Black Arts and Cultural Center within the community and abroad.


In addition to gaining a new director, the BACC Board of Directors has newly elected officers. Alisa Parker, Supervising Attorney at Legal Services of South Central Michigan, will serve as the Board President. Sheila Dorsey, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources at KPS, will serve as Vice President. Kendra Flournoy, a local playwright, will serve as Secretary. Darius Johnson, President and COO of Financial Literacy Partners of America, will serve as the Treasurer.

“The next year will be a transition for the BACC but in a very positive way. We are glad to have Yolonda at the forefront of the organization. Over the next year, Yolonda will focus on increasing the BACC’s financial stability through new revenue streams and sponsorships. She also plans to bring about new collaborative opportunities that will increase the BACC’s visibility and programming efforts. We are working to build a strong Board of Directors to support Yolonda’s efforts. We believe that we are off to a strong start with our newly elected officers. This is an exciting time for the organization.” –Alisa Parker, Board President


A meet-and-greet of the new Executive Director and Board of Directors will held in the Gail Sydnor Gallery in the Epic Center on Monday, February 23rd from 6:00-7:00pm.