Leadership Team

Rev Yearwood is the President and Founder for Hip Hop Caucus

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr.

President and Chief Executive Officer

Rev. Lennox Yearwood Jr. is the President & CEO of Hip Hop Caucus, a minister, community activist, U.S. Air Force veteran, and one of the most influential people in Hip Hop political life.  He entered the world of Hip Hop Politics as the Political and Grassroots Director for the Hip Hop Summit Action Network in 2003 and 2004, and as a key architect of P. Diddy’s “Vote Or Die!” campaign in 2004. After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, he established the award winning Gulf Coast Renewal Campaign where he led a coalition of national and grassroots organizations to advocate for the rights of Katrina survivors. In 2008, he led Hip Hop Caucus’ launch of Respect My Vote!a campaign and coalition that works with Hip Hop artists to engage young people in the electoral process. As a national leader and pacemaker within the Green Movement, he works to bridge the gap between communities of color and environmental advocacy. He is a leader in campaigns calling for divestment from fossil fuels causing climate change, increasing diversity in the climate movement, ensuring everyone has clean water and air, and international efforts to address climate change. In 2018, he helped launch Think 100%, Hip Hop Caucus’ award-winning climate communications and activism platform.

Liz Havstad
Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer

Liz is Hip Hop Caucus’s Managing Director and COO, leading the diverse team, grassroots leaders, and cultural influencers that make Hip Hop Caucus one of the nation’s most dynamic 21st century civil and human rights organizations.

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Dr. Cynthia Swann
Chief Administrative Officer

Dr. Cynthia Swann assumes the role of Chief Administrative Officer at the Hip Hop Caucus, overseeing operations, human resources, government relations, and legal affairs in alignment with the organization’s mission of empowering marginalized communities. 

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Brittany Bell Surratt
Senior Director, Storytelling and Communications

Brittany Bell Surratt is the Senior Director of Storytelling and Communications for Hip Hop Caucus.  Brittany takes pride in creating strategic integrated communications plans to tell stories that position brands and organizations favorably with stakeholders across agency, corporate, non-profit and academic environments.

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JaRel Clay
Associate Senior Director, Digital and Production

JaRel Clay is the Associate Senior Director of Digital and Production at Hip Hop Caucus, overseeing its digital organizing and online strategy. He is an activist, entrepreneur, and expert in digital engagement and brand development.

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Jasmine Gil
Associate Senior Director, Think 100%

Jasmine Gil is a dedicated advocate for climate and environmental justice, with a deep-rooted commitment to empowering communities impacted by injustice. Born and raised in South Carolina, Jasmine’s upbringing instilled in her a profound connection to nature and community, shaping her passion for advocacy and social change.

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National Team

Stephone M. Coward II
Economic Justice, Justice Paid in Full Campaigns Director

Stephone Coward is the Economic Justice Director at the Hip Hop Caucus. He has worked in the banking industry for the last two decades, and has spent that time as an economic empowerment advocate for underserved communities.

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Lamar Gibson
Development Director

Lamar Gibson is the Development Director of Hip Hop Caucus, a community organizer, and a coach for fundraising professionals and nonprofit organizations. 

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Joseph Pate
Media Communications Director

Joseph Pate is an experienced communications strategist with a background in media relations, digital communications and public affairs. Joseph has developed creative and effective PR campaigns for nonprofits, Fortune 500 companies, entertainers, elected officials, restaurants, higher education institutions and startup companies.

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Dawn Richard
Cultural Producer and Artist Relations Director

DAWN RICHARD has been one of music’s most distinctive voices and songwriters since 2004, as a member of Danity Kane and then Diddy-Dirty Money, releasing the cult R&B classic Last Train to Paris. However, it’s as a solo artist that she’s really soared. 

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Calvin Spann
Director of Events Management

Calvin is the Director of Events Management of Hip Hop Caucus, driving the organization’s engagement strategy of cultural leaders at the national and regional level. He has garnered over 14 years of experience in cultivating organic relationships and an expansive network within the music, media and entertainment industry.

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Alexa White, Ph.D.
Think 100% Climate and Environmental Justice Policy Director

Alexa White, Ph.D. is the Think 100% Climate and Environmental Justice Policy Director at the Hip Hop Caucus. She is also co-founder and executive director of the Aya Research Institute, is a leading figure in fostering diversity in science and engineering, particularly in the realm of environmental justice research.

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Christopher Walton
Respect My Vote! Campaigns Assistant Director

Chris Walton is the Respect My Vote! Campaigns Assistant Director for Hip Hop Caucus. Chris has over a decade of experience ranging from local, state, and federal election campaigns. He has gained extensive knowledge on foreign affairs having liaised with several diplomatic corps in his capacity as Chair of the Democratic Party of Milwaukee County.

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Reggie Weaver
Deputy Development Director

Reggie Weaver is the Deputy Development Director for Hip Hop Caucus.

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Antonio Hernandez
Digital Video Producer

Antonio Hernandez is a digital storyteller and the Digital Video Producer at the Hip Hop Caucus. Previously he worked as an editor at WUSA9, the D.C.-affiliate of CBS News. For six years, he worked in various roles, including producer, editor, and master control technician at the D.C. Office of Cable, Television, Music, Film & Entertainment. 

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Malikah French
Development Manager

Malikah French is the Development Manager at the Hip Hop Caucus, a passionate learner, and a mentor for underserved youth. She has worked in education for the last ten years, advocating for access to information, curriculum modification, and systemic scholar-centered revitalization.

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Terence Muhammad
Events and Field Coordinator

Terence “TC” Muhammad has been a community activist and organizer for over two decades. His experience spans voter mobilization campaigns, issue advocacy, and coalition building in African American communities, faith communities, on college campuses, and among civil rights and progressive organizations.

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Taurjhai Purdie
Think 100% Campaigns Manager

Taurjhai Purdie (she/her) is the Think 100% Campaigns Manager at Hip Hop Caucus (HHC), a proud Baltimore native and a mentor to underserved high school students. 

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Billie Gardner
Think 100% Policy Manager

Billie Gardner is the Think 100% Policy Manager at the Hip Hop Caucus. Billie hopes to utilize her background in nonprofits and political knowledge to help further advance the Hip Hop Caucus climate justice goals, and assist in the continued development of strong coalitions while working on the Advocacy Team. 

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Briana Berkley
Senior Executive Assistant to the President and CEO

Bri is a skilled Executive Assistant and Project Manager who has spent 12 years in the
non-profit sector providing high-level support to C-Suite Executives and their Board of
Directors. Most recently she worked for the National Music Publishers’ Association
where she served as Executive Assistant & Director of Operations.

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Maria Smith
Executive Assistant to Managing Director and COO

Maria Smith is the Executive Assistant to Managing Director and COO, Liz Havstad, with over 15 years of administrative experience supporting C-Suite level executives in the non-profit space.

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Dejuan Cross
Producer of The Coolest Show & #ClimateFriday

DeJuan Cross is an American record producer, audio engineer, songwriter, arranger, and DJ. He has amassed platinum and gold selling records, millions in streams, billboard #1 chart placement, and film & television credits, while working with top talent in the entertainment industry.

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City Coordinators

Linzy Jackson
Baltimore Coordinator
Natasha White
Boston Coordinator
Bijou Star
Cleveland Coordinator
LaRonn Harris
Detroit Coordinator
Los Angeles Coordinator
Mike Hooks
Memphis Coordinator
Miami Coordinator
Sess 4-5
New Orleans Coordinator
Umar Muhammad
Raleigh-Durham Coordinator