Education & Engagement Director
Mikal is a native Louisvillian and resident of Old Louisville. He leads the Neighborhood Liaison outreach program and all Educational programs including the Neighborhood Institute and the Neighborhood Summit. Previously, he was a Senior Program Coordinator with the Muhammad Ali Institute for Peace and Justice at the University of Louisville. He has a background in working with youth and community organizations around creating change. Mikal is a graduate of the University of Louisville with degrees in Pan African Studies and Sociology, and enjoys many activities within the city. Mikal serves neighborhoods in Metro Council Districts 6, 9, and 25.
Senior Neighborhood Liaison
Johni is a West Louisville Native and is a current member of the Pleasure Ridge Park neighborhood. She has had ample experience working with various communities bringing about change to both individuals and organizations. Aside from consistent service throughout District 5, Johnique has worked with underrepresented groups through Girl Scouts and Jefferson County Public Schools. She also sits on the board of a local non-profit that focuses on the enriching of children from ALL Louisville areas. She is currently working towards a Masters in Social Work at University of Louisville. As a Neighborhood Liaison, she serves Metro Council Districts 1, 2, 3, 12, 14, 15, 22, 23, & 25.
mellone f. long, phd, aicp
Mellone F. Long brings to Center For Neighborhoods her rich experience in public sector neighborhood planning, economic development and higher education in Lorain, County, OH; Fort Myers, FL; Greenville, SC; and Cleveland, OH. Her background includes comprehensive neighborhood planning, transportation planning, historic preservation, economic development, affordable/workforce housing initiatives, and brownfield redevelopment. She holds a Ph.D from Clemson University’s School of Planning Design & the Built Environment, a M.S. in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Cleveland State University. She also currently teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in Planning, Urban Studies, and Economic Development at Cleveland State University.
Finance & Development Director
Prasanthi is the development and finance director at CFN. Her professional background includes health policy and public policy analysis, as well as work in fundraising and development / organizational growth. Prasanthi previously worked as an independent policy consultant and began her policy work as an analyst with the local Louisville health department. Her expertise includes Health Impact Assessments (HIAs), which are tools for achieving health in all policies. The CDC defines HIA as “a tool that can help communities, decision makers, and practitioners make choices that improve public health through community design... [it is] a process that helps evaluate the potential health effects of a plan, project, or policy before it is built or implemented.” Prasanthi holds a Masters of Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health and also holds a law degree.
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT AND EDUCATION
PLANNING AND DESIGN
GIS & Data Coordinator
Jess leads all planning programs and projects at Center for Neighborhoods, including neighborhood plans, the mapping and data hub "Neighborhood Resource Center," community design assistance, Better Block Louisville, and PAINT – Producing Art In Neighborhoods Together. Jess is coordinating research and development of the Louisville Community Development Network, a collaborative of local community development organizations that seeks to enhance neighborhood-based development city wide. In her nearly five-year tenure at CFN, she has collaborated on five neighborhood plans and led many special projects in West and South Louisville, including a CNU Legacy Project and the recent $187,000 collaborative community investment into Parkland Plaza. Previously, Jess worked at Louisville Metro Government as a Policy Analyst at the Center for Health Equity, with a focus on racial equity, government policy and the built environment, and the Office of Performance Improvement and Innovation in the Mayor’s Office, where she developed equity initiatives for the Mayor’s Strategic Plan.
Christi is passionate about grassroots community building and is on a mission to bring the power of data and mapping into the hands of community leaders. She is a certified GIS Professional with 25 years of experience providing geospatial services, including more than 10 years with LOJIC. Her experience includes development and maintenance of ArcGIS Server based web map services, geospatial analysis, geospatial database and applications development, data mining and data fusion services. Christi has a BS in Environmental Geography from the University of Louisville. Christi enjoys playing music and gardening in her spare time, and currently serves on the board of Crescent Hill Radio where she created, produced and hosted the original Home Grown Radio Hour.
Ja'mel is a Louisville native raised in Russel, currently residing in the Iroquois Park/Auburndale neighborhood. With close to 20 years of community and non-profit experience, he has spent the last 10 years planting churches, a process of engaging a community to determine its greatest needs, and forming a local congregation to assist in meeting those needs. Ja'mel is currently pursuing a Master's of Divinity Degree from North Park Theological Seminary in Chicago, IL. He is married to Rochelle and they have 3 children, Jonathan, Jessica and Dejah.
Tahjená is a Louisville native, currently a resident of the Highview community, and a Neighborhood Liaison at the Center for Neighborhoods. Graduating with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Diversity and Community Studies, she has acquired a critical framework for understanding identity, inequality, and community development. With a concentration in Citizenship and Social Justice, she has also studied social change through political structures and social movements. As a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., she has had the pleasure of serving various communities through public service and program planning. Through her passion for the arts, she has been a mentor and dance coach for girls and young women, gaining interpersonal and leadership skills. She is a multifaceted, young professional who seeks to be an advocate for individuals and communities, evoking change through the necessary groundwork in neighborhoods.
Planning & Programs Associate
Lou's foremost passion is community empowerment and grassroots engagement. She works to support social, racial and food justice movements in Louisville through the Portland Orchard Project, the Highland Community Ministries community garden, and co-leading the Say Her Name Bike Ride. Lou's experience in design, planning, Ecology, marketing, social and racial justice, activism and community organizing makes her a unique fit for working closely with neighbors throughout Louisville to realize their neighborhood visions through tactile urbanism with CFN's Better Block Louisville and P.A.I.N.T. projects. Lou has a BS in Landscape Architecture from the University of Kentucky and a BA in Restoration Ecology from Sterling College, where she also served as Director of Marketing for three years. Lou dreams of healing communities through healing the land with restorative agriculture, and can often be spotted around town riding her bike, Scout.
Board of Directors
Director of Investor Relations at Poe Companies, consultant with Walters Consulting, LLC; previously with James Graham Brown Foundation; board member of One West; previously served on LISC Indianapolis advisory board, Women 4 Women, Blue Apple Players, United Way of Central Indiana Advisory Board, Kentuckiana Works Advisory Board.
Councilman elect for Metro Council district 4, Professor of Percussion Studies at Simmons College of Kentucky, Director at Ida B. Wells ADOS Center for Social Justice, a Genius Fellow for Black Male Engagement. He is also a member of the Inner-City Muslim Action Network Artist Roster, an Endorsed Artist through Salyers Percussion, and serves on the Board of Directors for Louisville Downtown Partnership. You can follow him online at @1200LLC.
Resource Development Manager at Louisville Metro Public Health and Wellness; Board member at Molo Village; Member of the BOUNCE coalition; Previous president of the Southwest Rotary Club and Shively Area Business Association; Founding Executive Director of Shively Area Ministries; First Christian Church Board; and Alliance for Youth.
Dr. Monica Unseld
Monica E. Unseld, Ph.D, MPH obtained her doctorate in biology in 2008 from the University of Louisville and her Master’s in Public Health from Benedictine University in 2018. Her biological training is in endocrine disruption and environmental signaling. During graduate school, she was introduced to the field of environmental justice. For over a decade, she has worked with grass roots environmental justice groups across the nation. For three years, she worked at the Greater Louisville Project, a data think tank that reported metrics for the community to push for social change. She is blending her knowledge and passion for research and data to help uplift community researchers, increase just partnerships with academia, and the community, and to help community partners challenge existing narratives about them by helping them collect and create messaging around the data
Founder of Wellspring, Co-owner of Miller Consultants; previous board membership with Metropolitan Housing Coalition, St. Francis School, Downtown Goshen, Metro United Way, and various St. Matthews ministries; Served on Metro United Way Vital Neighborhoods committee and chaired the Governor’s Housing Policy Advisory Committee.