Board of Directors
Mary Ann Greycloud , M.P.H., Founding Board Member non voting (Sisseton Sioux) – Registered Nurse
Ms. Greycloud was a founding Board Member of the Urban Indian Child Resource Center (now AICRC), involved since its inception in 1974. She has served in every position as an Officer of the board at one time or another over the years. She is a retired RN who formerly worked at the San Francisco Children’s Hospital, Pediatric Unit. Ms. Greycloud’s involvement in the community includes affiliations with the California Urban Indian Health Board, the Native American Health Clinic in San Francisco, the California Board of Registered Nurses Consumer Affairs in Sacramento, and Calvary Presbyterian Church in San Francisco as Ruling Elder.
Damian Willson, Board Chair (Sicangu Lakota/Seneca)
Mr. Damian Willson is a Project Officer and Tribal Liaison for the United States Environmental Protection Agency, providing financial and technical assistance to Tribes developing environmental programs and implementing environmental projects on their homelands. Mr. Willson obtained his B.S. in Environmental Policy, Planning, and Analysis from the University of California, Davis. He brings his passion for education and the environment to the agency, as well as his previous experience working with a largely American Indian service population. He has assisted with the development of community programs as a member of the Board of Directors of Intertribal Friendship House, and has also worked as a tutor in the after-school program at the American Indian Child Resource Center.
Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area, Mr. Willson recognizes the unique challenges facing American Indians as we strive to maintain our language, our culture, our connection to the land, and each other, especially in an urban environment. He sees his role on the American Indian Child Resource Center Board of Directors as a way to help strengthen our community by providing support for those who need it most; children and families. Mr. Willson acknowledges that his individual accomplishments are only possible because people came before him to lay the foundation, and he is grateful to his family and friends for providing the support that he needed along the way. As a benefactor of the assistance and charity of so many, he feels a responsibility to provide the same kind of support to others, so that they may accomplish their goals. He looks forward to working with the Board to create partnerships that support existing programs, as well as the development of programs which increase the opportunities available to our future generations.
Kelly Middlebrook, M.A, Board Member (Citizen Potawatomi Nation, Shawnee, Oklahoma)
Kelly is an American Indian graduate student in school psychology; she has dedicated the last 4 years of school studying the factors that influence the educational achievement of American Indian students. In conjunction with an American Indian professor at Stanford, Kelly traveled to Native communities in attempts to develop studies and implement curriculum to help improve the academic achievement and social outcomes of Native students. Kelly has professional commitment to understanding why American Indian students are the lowest achieving minority group in the country and a deep personal commitment to helping develop solutions to ameliorate the tremendous achievement gap.
Kelly is familiar with a number of Native communities and understands that American Indian children face some unique issues that influence their success in school. In her research and personal experience, Kelly came to recognize that for many Native youth, the lack of connection between their home and school cultures is a factor that contributes to their problems in school. Extant literature suggests that when an individual feels alienated from their home culture or their school’s culture, they are less likely to excel in school. Research also suggests that groups such as American Indians who have been historically marginalized by the contemporary educational system are at risk for disengaging in school because of an overall lack of trust in the system.
Kelly is a valuable resource for the American Indian Child Resource Center, especially the Indian Education Center. Kelly believes in the Indian Education Center’s commitment to helping create a haven for urban American Indian youth to congregate and connect to their culture. By providing a space for Native students to meet with one another and participate in cultural activities, the AICRC is taking a big first step toward helping AI students stay connected to their culture. Further, providing this connection helps to ground and empower youth to achieve in many aspects of their lives. As a board member, Kelly is committed to continuing the AICRC’s work on trying to find a way for successes in the after school program to generalize into successes in school. Kelly will lend her knowledge of the field of American Indian identity and education to inform the AICRC’s research endeavors and program development.
Mark Thompson, Board Member (Choctaw)
Mark has been the Business Manager for the Indian Dispute Resolution Services (IDRS, Inc.) a Native Non-Profit dedicated to dispute resolution in Indian Country for the past decade. There, Mark is responsible for overseeing the organization’s financial management. He also leads the organization’s programs on Native Microenterprise Development and Election Services. Prior to joining IDRS, Mark had experience in small business management, owning several ventures in the hospitality and entertainment industries. Mark has a Bachelors of Science in Business Administration from UC Berkeley and a Juris Doctorate from McGeorge School of Law. He has served on AICRC’s board since 2012.
Carine Wynant, Vice Chair (Pomo)
Carine earned a Master’s in Education from Saint Mary’s College. She also has a Bachelor degree in Liberal and Civic Studies with a minor in Montessori Thought. She also earned teaching Spanish credential from I.P.E.E located in San Jose, Costa Rica. Carine is Pomo Indian located in Northern California and affiliated with Sherwood Valley Rancheria. Carine has spent the last few years researching the need to provide additional support to improve the educational experiences among Native American children. Her intention is to support a culturally sensitive school environment, culturally based instruction and curriculum, and c) parent and community involvement in schooling. Carine has over 10 years of teaching experience and demonstrated history of working in the education/business management industry.