Aulston Taylor, President and CEO
St. Augustine High School - New Orleans, LA
Aulston leads an 80-person staff with 600 predominately African American male students ages 13-18. The graduating class of 2022 saw its entire class of 100 graduates earn acceptance in their university and college of choice. Seventy-five percent of the class earned scholarships with its valedictorian earning a four-year academic scholarship to the University of Notre Dame.
Aulston will facilitate the Racial Justice Panel Session.
Maureen Hallagan, Chief Operating Officer
Marillac St. Vincent Family Services - Chicago, IL
Maureen was Executive Director of Marillac Social Center since 2005, Chief Programs Officer of Marillac St. Vincent since 2015, and Chief Operating Officer as of 2017. Maureen provides strategic leadership and oversees all programs and services offered at MSV. Maureen has a Bachelor's of Social Work and a Master's of Social Work from the Jane Addams School of Social Work at the University of Illinois Chicago. Previously, Maureen was the Director of Project Hope and Hope Junior for 18 years. She currently sits on the Illinois Department of Human Services' Child Care Advisory Council.
Curtis Simpson, Programs Administrator
Northwest Detroit Youth Coalition - Detroit, MI
Curtis is a member of Corpus Christi Parish where he also works full-time as the Director of Christian Service. Curtis also works as the Programs Administrator for the Northwest Detroit Youth Coalition, a local non-profit whose focus is to empower, enhance, and engage, the lives of young people in Northwest Detroit through summer camps, programs, and activities that are designed to increase self-esteem and build character engagement skills.
As a life-long cradle Catholic, Curtis places a high importance on Faith in God, Family, and Education. Curtis has a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from Baker College of Clinton Township and a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Wayne State University. He is also a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor (CRC) accredited by the Commission of Rehabilitation Counselors and is a member of the American Counseling Association (ACA) - a professional counseling organization who endorses highly qualified and educated counselors. Curtis is also a single father of two beautiful children - Curtis Douglas Simpson II and Kameryn Simpson.
Toni Muhammad, Executive Director
Catholic Urban Programs - East St. Louis, IL
Toni Muhammad is a dynamic and passionate leader with more than 25 years in social service. In 2018, Toni was hired by the agency’s board of directors to succeed the retiring executive director who had been with the organization for more than 40 years. Toni’s leadership is driven by her firm belief that all people want to be self-sufficient and that all parents want what is best for their children. Her staff often hears her say that the people of East St. Louis deserve the best that Catholic Urban Programs has to offer.
Prior to joining the team at Catholic Urban Programs, Toni served in a variety of roles including as Director of Human Resources at Catholic Charities of St. Louis (Queen of Peace Center) and as Program Director at Gateway180, the largest homeless for women and children in the state of Missouri. While at Gateway180, Toni led to pilot initiatives in collaboration with the St. Louis City Department of Human Services, Homeless Service Division. Through the BEACH Project, Toni and her team placed 120 chronically homeless individuals into permanent, independent housing. This program held a 75% success rate for families remaining permanently housed. Operation Reveille was an Obama administration initiative aimed at ending homelessness among our nation’s veterans. Piloted in St. Louis, Operation Reveille housed 53 homeless veterans into permanent housing in one day. Toni was invited to Tampa, Florida in 2014 to assist with their kick-off initiative.
Toni holds both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in human resource management from Lindenwood University and a certificate in Well-Being Coaching from the Anthropedia Institute at St. Louis University.
MaryClare Birmingham, Executive Director
Kolbe House Jail Ministry - Archdiocese of Chicago, IL
MaryClare Birmingham serves as Executive Director of Kolbe House Jail Ministry of the Archdiocese of Chicago. Her commitment to prison ministry developed through support and accompaniment of an individual through the court process, the prison system, and re-entry to society after incarceration. Her particular areas of focus include criminal justice policy, restorative justice, community and evidence-based solutions to crime related problems, and the promotion of human dignity for all people affected by crime and incarceration.
Cheri Tillis, President and CEO
Fathers & Families Support Center - St. Louis, MO
Cheri D. Tillis is the President and CEO of award winning and nationally recognized Fathers & Families Support Center formerly the Fathers’ Support Center, St. Louis. Mrs. Tillis is responsible for providing oversight of agency programs and daily operations of 5 current locations and the 52 staff positions with the help of her phenomenal team of Directors and Managers. She has 17+ years of experience in this role and currently focuses on building community partnerships, federal grant writing, program development and management.
Prior to her responsibilities at FFSC, she served as a Youth Specialist for the Division of Youth Services in St. Louis, MO. She also served the St. Louis area as an Americorps member. Mrs. Tillis holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Jackson State University, a Masters of Science in HR Management from Lindenwood University, a Business Management for Non-Profit Leaders Certificate from Washington University Olin School of Business and was a Missouri Foundation for Health Fellow. She has also served as the PI on several Fatherhood research study in partnership with Mathematica Policy and Research, Washington University Brown School of Social Work and The Brown School Evaluation Center in St. Louis, Mo. Most importantly, she is the wife of Bradford Tillis and mother of 2 sons, Caleb and Nicholas.