BOARD LEADERSHIP

  1. Riad Bahhur, PhD
    Riad Bahhur, PhD
    Chair
    Riad Bahhur is a professor of Middle Eastern History at Sacramento City College where he is known for promoting awareness and a sense of global citizenship. He is the co-founder and former Executive Director of the Arab American Community Center for Economic & Social Services which is located on Cleveland's west side. Bahhur was born in Venezuela and raised in Cleveland, Ohio; the son of a Palestinian Muslim shop owner who was forced out of Palestine after the Arab-Israeli war in 1948.
  2. Cindy Wochner
    Cindy Wochner
    Treasurer
    Cindy Wochner is currently the Payroll Administrator for the Cleveland Institute of Music. Wochner is a classically trained musician and a historian, and has a background in non-profit administration - specifically in finance and human resources. Prior to working at CIM, Wochner worked at the Adoption Network of Cleveland and the New England Historic Genealogical Society.
  3. Dolora Wisco, M.D.
    Dolora Wisco, M.D.
    Secretary
    Dr. Dolora Wisco is a neurologist in Cleveland, Ohio and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Cleveland Clinic and Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital. After completing her MD at SUNY Upstate Medical Univerity in 2008 she did her residency in Adult Neurology at Cleveland Clinic and completed a fellowship in Vascular Neurology at Cleveland Clinic in 2013.
  4. Kim Alabasi, MSSA, LISW, JD
    Kim Alabasi, MSSA, LISW, JD
    Legal Chair
    Kim Alabasi obtained a Bachelor's degree in sociology and Spanish before moving to Puebla Mexico to teach at the American School of Puebla. She got her MSSA in social work from Case Western Reserve in 1996 after which she worked for 7 years as a bi-lingual clinical social worker. She got her law degree at Cleveland State in 2003 and is currently Of Counsel at Dworken and Bernstein where she specializes in immigration law.
  5. Dorothy Thigpen
    Dorothy Thigpen
    Director At Large
    Thigpen, who currently lives in Columbus, Ohio, was the Executive Director of Third World Newsreel for two decades, raising millions of dollars to support their innovative programming. TWN is a non-profit media center based in New York City that was established to support, train and represent international media makers of color. Prior to working at TWN, she was the Director of Fiscal Sponsorship at Women Make Movies, a Managing Director for the National Black Consortium and is currently a Development Consultant at Ohio State University.
  6. Shereen Naser, PhD
    Shereen Naser, PhD
    Director At Large
    Dr. Shereen Naser is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Cleveland State University where one of of her research interests is building systems that support ethnically, racially and linguistically diverse students and families. Dr. Naser received her PhD at Tulane University where she worked with students in the Post-Katrina New Orleans public school system. Perhaps even more relevant to our project is her expertise in understanding and treating trauma in youth, and her work with refugee children and families both in the U.S. and abroad. Dr. Naser is Palestinian-American and speaks fluent Arabic.
  7. Alys Virzi
    Alys Virzi
    Gardening and Agricultural Chair
    Alys Virzi has a Master’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Evergreen State College. She is an urban agricultural manager and educator with a background in farm management, and greenhouse production who is dedicated to issues of equity, food security and ecology. She was formerly the Horticulture Program Manager for Boy’s and Girl’s Clubs of Cleveland and is currently a teacher in Urban Agriculture for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District.