Meet our board
Kelli X is the Pastor of The Village Church, an African- centered Christian church (Disciples of Christ) in Madison, TN. Rev. X grew up on the south side of Chicago and attended Tennessee State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology in 2002. Rev. X became an active member of The Village Church in 1999. The Village soon became the first community of faith she encountered, celebrating its African heritage while loving Jesus and actively answering God's call to fight for justice for all of God's creation.
After nearly a decade of working with children and families living with mental illness and maneuvering the foster care system, Rev. X stepped deeper in her call to ministry by attending Vanderbilt University Divinity School, where she earned a Master of Divinity 2012. Moved by Psalm 150 and Romans 12:1, Rev. X has dedicated her life and inspires her congregation to live lives of worship for and service to the world. Committed to speaking the truth to power, Rev. X has partnered throughout her ministry with various organizations such as Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), Planned Parenthood, Moral Movement Tennessee, Southern Christian Coalition, Protect Our Care, and New Leaders Council (recruitment co-chair) to seek justice for all God's children.
Rev. X has been happily married to Rico X for over 17 years. Together, they share two amazing children, Kijani and Asatira.
Marsha has a 15+ year record of achievement and demonstrated success leading, managing, and delivering education services with a concentration in special education. She is the former Community Outreach Coordinator at the Nashville Prevention Partnership (NPP), where she coordinated collaborative community projects, managed partnerships, and served as a coordinator for the "Bridges Program." During Marsha's tenure, she was responsible for securing resources for school activities and recruiting parents to participate in parent group organizations and partnered with Cayce Family Resource Center, where she conducted the training. She contributed to community and coalition building until she moved to the Atlanta Metro area. In Atlanta, she worked with Communities in School, serving students Pre-K through 12th grade and their families living in underserved communities, providing support while implementing programs to increase and track academic success.
Marsha served as a Council Member for the State of Tennessee Council on Developmental Disabilities, a governor appointment, representing the Antioch, TN area. She is a graduate of the Partner in Policymaking TM Leadership Institue and sat of Mayor Karl Dean's Special Education Advisory Council. She received Prevention Specialist of the Yead while at NPP. Marsha is the Co-Founder of "The Overcomers Mininistry, Inc., the recipient of $20,000 + Administration on Development Disabilities (ADD) federal grants to increase participation of family members of children with disabilities along with other funding. Marsha co-authored two books with her for families with disabilities and is a participant of the National Association of Black Psychologists. Ms. Wilson is married and has two children.
Rico X has established a 23-year career dedicated to serving children and young adults. He has worked with various youth development initiatives in Nashville, Detroit, and Philadelphia. Rico is currently the Vice President of School Age Services with the YMCA of Middle TN, administrating a $14 million department with 119 school-based sites in four counties across Middle Tennessee. Rico also plays an active role in the YMCA’s Employee Resource Groups, previously serving as the Chair of the African American Leadership Network and currently serving as the Executive Sponsor for the Women’s Leadership Resource Network.
A native of Louisville, KY, Mr. X is a proud graduate of Tennessee State University, with a B.S. in Africana Studies. He also earned a Master in Public Policy from the University of Michigan. Rico’s brand of leadership and work ethic can be summed up by the following quote: “Don’t work for recognition, but do work worthy of recognition.”
A mother, daughter, auntie, Godmother, Youth Director, and Education, Teneice's journey in Education started nearly 30 years ago with the birth of her oldest son, Justin. When he was born, Justin had some complications that deepened Teneice's faith in God. Shortly after giving birth to her second son, Edward, she noticed various challenges both sons presented that required a new amount of patience and perseverance. Leaning into James 1:4-6, Ms. Kirby began to ask God for wisdom, and she began to trust the process.
The challenges both Justin and Edward faced led Teniece to become a teacher and an advocate for families of students with different abilities. Ms. Kirby prefers the term "abilities" as she wants families to focus on the child's ability to grow. Now with the experience of teaching for over ten years, ranging from students Pre-K to High School, Teniece is excited to share both her personal and professional stories with families. She gained a Technical Certificate in Early Childhood Education, an Associate Degree of Applied Science, and an Associate Degree of Science in Early Childhood Education from Nashville State Community College. Ms. Kirby also earned a dual Bachelor of Science in both General Education and Special Education. She obtained a Master of Education in Educational Leadership and a Master of Education in Reading Specialist with Dyslexia Certification.
Mrs. Cockhren graduated from Tennessee State University with a B.S. in Psychology and Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College with an M.Ed. in Child Studies. Her research areas are Adverse Childhood Experiences, collective trauma, historical trauma/intergenerational transmission, brain development, developmental psychology, and epigenetics. Mrs. Cockhren’s past career experience ranges from juvenile justice, family counseling, early childhood education, professional development & training, and community education. In addition to consulting, she is currently an adjunct professor specializing in developmental psychology, abnormal psychology & personality theory at Tennessee State University and the Director of Communities for PACEs Connection, a social network dedicated to raising awareness of positive and adverse childhood experiences, stress & trauma.
Mrs. Cockhren’s consulting, facilitation, and DEI clients and affiliates include PACEs Connection, Thistle Farms, Inc., Metro Nashville’s Public Schools, Meharry Medical College, Tennessee State University Foundation, Tennessee’s Dept. of Children’s Services, Tennessee’s Office of Child Safety, Vanderbilt University & Medical Center, Raphah Institute, Mental Health Cooperative, American Institute of Architects, Indiana Youth Institute, Indiana University and Tuskegee University, among others.
Ingrid Cockhren is a Clarksville, TN native who currently resides in Nashville, TN, with her husband Jurnell Cockhren, founder of Civic Hacker, a software development consulting agency.
Linda Mason is a licensed master’s social worker that currently serves as a school social worker for Metropolitan Nashville Public Schools in Nashville, TN. She earned a bachelor's degree in Sociology and a Master's in Social Work from Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green, KY. Before coming to MNPS, she served as a program manager with children transitioning out of the foster care system, a case manager for private practice, and a court advocate for domestic violence victims. Her experience includes counseling children who have experienced trauma and behavior difficulties, working with families to create safe spaces for children to grow, and collaborating with community partners for social change.