With the officers and the Policy Directors, the at-large Directors form the
board of NC Women United. As long as NCWU remains an all-volunteer effort, they
are responsible for much of the work of the organization.
Queen E. Degraphenreid, a native of South Carolina, has a diverse background
in addressing social and justice issues. During the 60's, as a college student,
she was very active in the civil rights and voters' rights movement, subsequently
becoming the coordinator for voter registration initiative on college campus across
the State of South Carolina. She is both a product and benefactor of her own civil
rights efforts, as her first full-time employment was with the Upward Bound, a
federally funded pre-college program for low-income and first generation youth
emanating out of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
Ms. Degraphenreid would continue both her professional and civic duties of
addressing equity and equality issues affecting the disenfranchised, to include
people of color, women and children. In addition to her approximate 20 years experience
with three different Upward Bound projects, she would continue her commitment
by serving in leadership capacities with Save The Children, the Institute for
Community Education and Training (SC) and Volunteer Families for Children of North
Carolina. She has served in numerous consultancies to include the US Department
of Education, three NC school systems, and several faith-based and non-profit
Her civic and professional leadership roles include serving as a founding member
of numerous organizations to include the Ohio Association of Educational Opportunity
Program Personnel and became the organization's first woman president. In subsequent
years in North Carolina, she would become the Founding President of the Fayetteville
Area Section of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc., Vice Chair of the North
Carolina Coalition of the National Council of Negro Women, Inc. and is the outgoing
State Chairperson for NCNW. She has chaired the NC Women's Agenda for Cumberland
County and the Economic Development Committee for the Fayetteville Branch of the
Ellison Howard has been working in the fields of advertising, marketing and
public relations since the late 1990's. She is a graduate of the University of
North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she majored in Journalism and Mass Communication.
She's currently the owner of Howard Communications, an Integrated Marketing Communication
Prior to starting Howard Communications, Ellison worked for the Durham Housing
Authority, HOPE VI and for a local mental health clinic. As a result of her childhood
environment and later professional experiences, Ellison is especially passionate
about health and economic equity issues as they relate to underprivileged women.
Currently, Ellison is a member of Business and Professional Women where she
was a district Virginia Allan Young Careerist winner, Business Network International,
the Greater Durham Chamber of Commerce and now North Carolina Women United where
she serves on the board of directors and is chair of the communication committee
Elizabeth Jordan most recently worked as a Public Policy Analyst at the North
Carolina Justice Center's Budget & Tax Center. There she focused her research
and advocacy on issues related to the economic security of families and workers
and the state's labor market. Prior to joining the staff of the Justice Center,
she was the Evaluations Officer for the Capital Area Workforce Development Board
in Raleigh. Elizabeth also spent several years as a project director for Habitat
for Humanity International. After leaving Habitat, she was a consultant in San
Francisco, CA, working closely with the leadership of several community-based
non-profits and then served as the Interim Director of the Oakland Fund for Children
and Youth. Elizabeth holds a Masters of Public Administration from UNC-Chapel
Hill and a BA from the University of Richmond.
Anne Mackie became involved with women's issues as President of the Wake County
League of Women Voters during the ERA campaign in the late 1970's. She founded
and became the first Executive Director of the North Carolina Women's Legislative
Agenda in 1987, which was adopted by NC Equity, Inc. in 1990. She continued to
direct the program at NC Equity until 1995. At its apex in 1994, over 1,800 women
were involved in local Women's Agenda Assemblies in 37 locations around the state.
Anne retired in 1995 to pursue an education in fine art photography at Savannah
College of Art and Design, in Georgia and then returned to Cary in 1999 to work
for the state Breast and Cervical Cancer Control program. She permanently retired
in 2001 and has served on the Board of NCWU as Chair of the Membership Committee
and as a member of the Program Committee. Anne spends significant time as a teacher
and leader of Re-evaluation Counseling, a method where people learn to assist
one another recover from the impact of past distress in order to think more clearly
about issues of oppression such as sexism and racism. Anne is also an active grandmother
of 3 and is chair of Social Ministries at Good Shepherd United Church of Christ
Lisa Miller was born in Colombia, South America and adopted as an infant. She
was raised in the U.S. and became a U.S. citizen when she was three years old.
Lisa grew up primarily in Hickory, NC. She received a BA in Communication from
Lenoir-Rhyne College. In addition to being the Executive Director of the Women's
Resource Center she has also taught English as a Second Language for over seven
She volunteers with the AIDS Leadership Foothills area Alliance (ALFA), Unique
World Gifts and the Catawba County Humane Society. She is member of the housing
selection committee for Habitat for Humanity, a basic mediator with Conflict Resolution
Center, and is a part the Catawba County United Way Speakers Bureau. She sits
on the boards of Catawba Valley Leave a Legacy and the Association of Fundraising
Professionals. She also serves on the Mayor's Committee for Person's with Disabilities
and the Hickory Community Relations Council.
Melissa Reed is the Executive Director of NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina.
In that role she is responsible for protecting and enhancing women's reproductive
rights through grassroots and direct lobbying. Prior to coming to NARAL, Melissa
had extensive experience leading women and children's health organizations. She
was the Executive Director of the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown, WV where
she won an international fundraising award for her innovative fundraising campaigns.
Also, in West Virginia she was the Executive Director of United Health Foundation
and Scott's Run Settlement House. She also served on the board of the local domestic
violence and sexual assault program, and as officer on the board of Business and
Professional Women of Morgantown and was a founding member of Leadership Monongalia.
In California, Melissa was the Executive Director of the Support Network for
Battered Women where she was a founding member of the Santa Clara County Domestic
Violence Council and chaired its legislative committee. She also served on the
board of the California Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Northern California
Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She also served as an officer on the board
of the Alliance of United Way Agencies.
Since 1992, she and her husband have been certified self-defense instructors.
They have taught full-contact, full-force self defense classes around the country-teaching
women the skills they need to defend against sexual assault. She received her
Masters Degree in Non-Profit Administration from Golden Gate University in 1991
and became a Certified Fundraising Executive in 1995. She is married to Walter
Holberg, a pharmaceutical scientist, and has one son, Hayle, who is six.