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Ruth ANDERSON Ruth Brown Anderson is a native of Rochester , New York . She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Oberlin College , earned her Elementary Education Certification through the University of Rochester , and received a Master of Science degree in Education from Nazareth College of Rochester. Mrs. Anderson served 23 years as an elementary school teacher and reading specialist in the Rochester City Schools.

She is a founding member of the United States Colored Troops Institute for Local History and Family Research and presently serves on the President’s Advisory Committee. In 2003 the President of the Institute awarded her the President’s Distinguished Service Award for research, preservation and remembrance of the United States Colored Troops and the Underground Railroad.

In 1996 she retired from teaching. During her teaching career she collaborated with other educators to produce educational materials; most recently “Our Stories/Our Selves 19th Century Afro-Rochester” a multi-media interactive curriculum. Upon retirement she was awarded the Educational Service Award for distinguished service rendered to the Rochester City School District.

A member of the Board of Trustees of Geva Theatre Center, Mrs. Anderson serves on its Education Committee. She was elected to the Steering Committee of the Visitors Industry Council of the Greater Rochester Visitor’s Association.

a few years later Mrs. Anderson began her present career as Executive Director of AKWAABA: the Heritage Associates, Inc., a non-profit educational organization formed in 1999 to perpetuate the history of the Underground Railroad in the Rochester area. She coordinates arrangements for group tours and AKWAABA’s living history presentations, handles the financial matters and writes grants to secure funding.

Mrs. Anderson is secretary of Akoma African American Women’s Gospel Choir, which annually awards college scholarships to deserving African American women graduates of Rochester area schools. In addition, she is a founding member of the Blackstorytelling League of Rochester Inc., which is an affiliate of the National Association of Blackstorytellers. A passionate gardener she also enjoys reading and singing.








Married to David A. Anderson, Ruth and David are the parents of two adult sons and one adult daughter.







LaVonne E. ANSARI, Ph D. LaVonne E. Ansari, Ph.D. is the first Muslim African American female Vice President of Niagara County Community College. Dr. Ansari’s education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Professional Studies from Brockport State College, a Certificate in Career Development and Management in Women’s Studies from Cornell University , a Master’s Degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from Buffalo State College and a Ph.D. in Sociology of Education at the State University at Buffalo. Dr. Ansari became Vice President of Operations at NCCC in 2003. She is also the Director of Equity and Diversity. Dr. Ansari handles affirmative action related matters, as well as any complaints and grievances. The positions that she has held previously include Associate Director of Education Opportunity Center at the University of Buffalo, Associate Director of the BRIDGE Program and Director of Rehabilitation Occupation and Recreation Therapy for Psychiatry at Buffalo General Hospital. In addition, she has several years of experience working with community agencies conducting a variety of outreach and educational workshops, which include health and wellness, cross-cultural communications, multicultural training, cardiovascular and health studies. As the Co-Chair of Parents for Public Schools, she maintains an active involvement with the Buffalo Board of Education working to improve our children’s education. Dr. Ansari serves on several local and national boards. She serves as a member of the Mayor’s Citizens’ Rights and Community Relations Commission and Mosque Cares Board of Education. In addition, she is a member of the Niagara County Coalition for RACE and serves as the Coordinator of the Masjid Nu’Man Education department.

ED QUEENS She has received numerous awards for her contributions to human rights, community involvement and education. Some of her awards include: the Niagara Falls Black Achiever’s Award, International League of Muslim Women and the Interfaith Community Award and the 40 Under Forty Award. In 2000, she and her husband, Imam Fajri Ansari, received the first National Conference for Community and Justice Family Award.















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