Meet the Team
Headquartered in Chicago, IL, The Red Pump Project is a federally recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. However, our team is national. Allow us to introduce you to the team of dynamic women who make it all happen!
Co-Founder / Executive Director
Luvvie Ajayi is an award-winning author, speaker and digital strategist who thrives at the intersection of comedy, technology, and activism. A 14-year blogging veteran, she’s the voice behind the blog AwesomelyLuvvie.com, where she covers all things pop culture with razor sharp commentary and wit. Her debut book, titled I’M JUDGING YOU: The Do Better Manual, was released in September 2016, and was an instant New York Times best-seller.
The University of Illinois alum is a sought-after speaker who has graced the stage at the Obama White House, MAKERS Conference, SXSW, Social Media Week, among others. Luvvie was selected to Oprah Winfrey’s inaugural Supersoul 100 list, voted as the Influencer of the Year at the 2016 Iris Awards and was chosen as a Black Innovator by XFINITY Comcast. She is committed to using her voice for pop culture critique and gender and racial justice.
Karyn Brianne Lee
Co-Founder / Vice President
Karyn Brianne Lee is a passionate communications professional who has spent more than ten years working with top-tier consumer and healthcare brands to launch products, develop digital strategies, and deepen engagement across key target audiences.
Karyn currently serves as a Marketing Manager at Walgreens where she leads the creation of patient-led marketing strategies and tactics to elevate the profile of the company’s award-winning HIV-specialized pharmacies. In addition to her primary responsibilities, she also oversees the relationship between Walgreens and Greater Than AIDS, a multi-year partnership working to increase access to HIV prevention efforts and testing across the country.
Karyn holds a B.S. in Marketing and an M.S. in Health Communication from the University of Illinois.
Kenya Wafford is native Chicagoan with a B.S. in Accounting from Bradley University, and an M.S. in Accounting from Governors State University. She has been working in the accounting field since completing her undergraduate studies, with a focus on accounting in the healthcare industry for the past 10 years. In addition to loving to work with numbers, Kenya is a certified hatha yoga instructor and a member of Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Inc.
Director of Special Projects & Events
Brittani Menina is a native of the Gulf Coast of Mississippi, and holds a Bachelors in Event
Management from Johnson and Wales University – Charlotte Campus. She currently resides in Washington, DC and is a professional event planner working in both the corporate and entertainment industries with a passion for giving back to the larger community. She also serves as the Ambassador Coordinator for the organization.
Jameka S. Whitten is the founder of JSW Media Group, a boutique public relations, marketing and brand management firm. JSW Media Group is headquartered in Charlotte, NC with satellite offices in New York City, Los Angeles and Atlanta.
Because of her efforts as a member of Team Red Pump since 2009, Jameka received the 2015 Red Ribbon Leadership Award from Regional AIDS Interfaith Network for leadership and service in Charlotte’s HIV/AIDS community.
Prior to working at JSW Media Group full time, Jameka served as the Co-Founder and Executive Creative Director for SOTAC (State of the Arts & Culture) Magazine and worked in digital media and events at ESPN, Inc. She holds a bachelor’s in Communication Studies with a concentration in Broadcast Journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix.
Skyy Banks is a health communication specialist and a staunch advocate for HIV/AIDS awareness for women and girls. She works to resolve and prevent the abuse, neglect and desperation that many face by taking on leadership roles in the Atlanta activist community. Focusing on an ever-expanding list of public health issues, Banks spends much of her time ensuring the manifestation of her personal belief that “everyone deserves access to quality healthcare and a healthy life without regard to income or race.”
In addition to her role as the national program manager for The Red Pump Project, she is a chartering member and co-chair of the health committee for the National Council of Negro Women Greater Atlanta Section, a board member of DeKalb County’s Juvenile Court Journey Program and a member of the For Her Giving Circle which focuses on domestic minor sex trafficking. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc.
THE RED PUMP PROJECT BOARD
Christen James is an award-winning writer, performer, and Fortune 75 marketer. She’s spearheaded initiatives that have generated substantial gains across aviation, production, and the non-profit sectors. As a teen, Publisher’s Weekly and Booklist praised her book What I Know Is Me (Doubleday). Currently, Christen develops marketing and communications strategies with Delta Air Lines – recently serving on the Delta Care Fund Board, and chairing the Global Marketing and Communications Committee which garners support from an international employee base of 80,000 people. Christen previously served on the National Youth Rights Association Board and Project People Foundation Advisory Board. She’s received honors from the U.S. Army, Howard University, American Cancer Society, and her alma mater, Seton Hall University. Christen has been featured in ESSENCE and The New York Times, and appeared on FOX, CBS, and Viacom Networks. She’s performed across the U.S. and abroad including Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, and Madison Square Garden.
An employment & labor law attorney, Michelle has served in a number of executive human resources and operational management roles for companies and non-profits, and she runs her own human resources consulting firm. Additionally, Michelle is an active community volunteer and has devoted her time to raising funds and awareness for organizations such as the American Diabetes Association and the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s Minority and Health Disparities Research Center. In addition to the Red Pump Project, Michelle serves as a board member of the Railroad Park Foundation and as a member of the American Heart Association’s Social Determinants of Health Taskforce. She is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. A native of Birmingham, Alabama, Michelle received her undergraduate degree from Yale University and her law degree from Columbia Law School, and is currently pursuing a Master’s in Sport Management from the University of Florida.
Ebony Wilson has been a tech industry leader and change maker for over ten years. She currently heads the Professional Services Group in the Education Division of Apple, Inc. Ebony is passionate about evening the playing field for socioeconomically depressed children – enabling them to compete in an ever-changing global economy. Ebony has held executive level positions and partnerships at companies such as Cisco, The California Endowment, and Microsoft. In addition to her professional accomplishments, Ebony has served on the YWCA Harbor Board and the San Pedro Business Education and Arts Committee. She attended the University of Southern California as an undergraduate student and the Saïd School of Business at Oxford University.
April J. Bell
April J. Bell, MPH has a passion for reproductive health and a commitment to work that prioritizes women and girls. She is a veteran public health professional and epidemiologist. April is a newly elected Section Councilor for the Population, Reproductive and Sexual Health Section of the American Public Health Association. A Hoosier by birth, she received her Bachelor’s degree in Human Biology from Stanford University, her Master of Public Health degree with a dual concentration in Epidemiology and Social and Behavioral Sciences from the School of Medicine at Indiana University (IU). April will receive her Ph.D. in Epidemiology from the IU School of Public Health. Additionally, April is the Executive Director of the Bell Consulting Group, LLC. – a public health consulting firm. She is thrilled to be a part of an organization dedicated to promoting and supporting life-changing HIV and AIDS education for women of color.
Allison Burrey is a healthcare IT professional and entrepreneur with a background in nursing and information technology. She is the president and founder of Stratesign Consulting, LLC. Currently, Allison supports the U.S. Veterans Health Administration as a consultant focusing on patient safety. Her previous professional experience includes the Department of Defense Office of the Secretary, the U.S. Air Force, commercial banking clients, and multiple private and community-based healthcare companies and hospitals. Allison earned her undergraduate degree from the Howard University School of Business with a concentration in Information Systems, and she completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Georgetown University. Allison is deeply passionate about community involvement, and she serves as the chairperson of the Development Committee for the Red Pump Project’s Board of Directors.
A nationally known thought leader and social activist, Lisa Fager is the Director of Public Policy and Operations at the Hip Hop Caucus. She oversees the policy agenda and advocacy campaign – working with key policymakers and local state, and national coalitions to advance policies and engage communities in the process. Lisa previously consulted on civic and public health issues through her Free Mind venture with the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, Comcast Universal, Def Jam Records, and the American Red Cross included amongst her clients. Lisa began her career in entertainment – working in marketing and public affairs with CBS Radio, Capitol-EMI Records, and Discovery Communications, Inc. Prior to joining the Red Pump Project Board, Lisa served on the original organizing committee for the 2013 Black Youth Project gathering that launched the millennial Black activist group BYP100. She received her MBA. from Johns Hopkins University.
Charreah K. Jackson
Charreah K. Jackson is the Senior Editor for ESSENCE, empowering the brand’s audience of 13 million, and author of Boss Bride: The Powerful Woman’s Playbook for Love & Success. She has been an expert and contributor for CNN, ABC, Time, Fortune, and The Today Show. Charreah is passionate about women being empowered in their personal lives – in addition to the Red Pump Board, she serves as a career coach for Dress for Success, and as an ambassador for Bedsider. She is featured in the Center for Disease Control’s national #DoingIt campaign for HIV testing. Charreah provides workshops, courses, and coaching internationally. Her awards include Woman of the Year by The National Association of Professional Women. Download her free love & success workbook at readyformyhappy.com
Chinissa Sumpter White
Chinissa Sumpter White is a leading Fortune 500 marketing strategist, and health & welfare advocate – known for creating breakthrough campaigns, partnerships, and impactful social programs. Chinissa is currently the Chief Marketing Consultant for a global venture capitalist firm specializing in the acquisition of medical firms, and leading the development of marketing strategies and practices. She previously served as the Health & Wellness Marketing Director for Walmart, Inc. – developing groundbreaking customer advocacy programs, including the “World’s Largest Health Fair.” Besides her passion for being the voice of the customer, she thrives on serving her community through activism, fundraising, and volunteerism. She believes that she is living her purposeful life by helping and giving of her time and talents to others. Chinissa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing and Finance from Central Michigan University. She resides in Frisco, Texas, with her husband, Jason, son, Alex, and dogs, Princess and CeeJay.