BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Patti Miller, Founder & President
Patti Miller is a Civil Rights Veteran, having been active as a volunteer in Freedom Summer in Mississippi in 1964. She also was on the staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), working in the Chicago Freedom Movement with Dr. Martin Luther King. She returned to Mississippi in 2004 to begin filming for a documentary on Freedom Summer. In 2015, the documentary “Iowans Return to Freedom Summer”, directed and produced by Ms. Miller was aired on Iowa Public Television. For over 10 years, Patti has spoken to college and high school students throughout Iowa about her Civil Rights experience. She founded Keeping History Alive Foundation in 2012.
Paul Gandy, Vice President
Paul Gandy is an Eagle Scout. He received his B.A. with honors in Afro-American Studies from Harvard University, where he was publisher and editor of The Word, a magazine about African American student life and on business staff for the daily Harvard newspaper and the Harvard Political Review. He received his J.D. law degree from the University of Texas at Austin, where he was a member of the Thurgood Marshall Legal Society.
Paul worked in the financial industry in Houston and Iowa before opening his law practice in Fairfield in 1991, focusing on civil rights law, consumer protection, and commercial litigation. He is licensed to practice in the Iowa courts and before the US Supreme Court. Paul is a member of the Central Committee of the Jefferson County, Iowa Democratic Party, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the National Association of Consumer Advocates. Paul is on the Board of Directors of the Iowa Justice Project and is a member of the Jefferson County, Iowa Magistrate Nominating Committee.
Diane Rosenburg, Secretary
Diane Rosenberg has extensive experience in the nonprofits and educational sector. She currently is Executive Director of Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors, Inc., a 501(c)(3) dedicated to preserving the quality of life of Jefferson County, Iowa. She also works as a Consultant with the Socially Responsible Agricultural Project, a 501(c)(3) supporting neighborhoods facing quality of life threats. Previously, Ms. Rosenberg was the Co-Director of 8000 NOW, a 501(c)(3) educational foundation focused on world peace. Ms. Rosenberg also served as Publication Manager for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Seminar Office. She co-founded and served as Editor-in-Chief of the weekly newspaper The Heartland Spirit. Besides KHAF, Ms. Rosenberg serves on the board of directors of Jefferson County Farmers & Neighbors and the Tobacco Prevention Center.
Rekha Basu is a long-time opinion columnist for The Des Moines Register, whose columns are distributed nationally by Tribune Content Agency. She is also a commentator on the weekly Rekha's Voice segment of KCWI's Great Day morning show.
Born in India and raised in New York, New Delhi and Bangkok, Rekha Basu offers a global and multicultural perspective to current events, politics, culture, human rights and social justice. Basu has a master's degree in political economy from Goddard-Cambridge Graduate School, a master's in journalism from Columbia University and a bachelor's in sociology from Brandeis University. She graduated from the United Nations International School in New York.
Her columns have earned her an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Grinnell College along with a variety of journalism and social justice awards including: the Cristine Wilson Award for Equality and Justice from the Iowa Women's Hall of Fame; the Mary Louise Smith Award for social justice from the Des Moines YWCA; the Friends of Iowa Civil Rights award; the United Nations Association's Garst Award; the One Iowa Award for community service and the Business Publications' Women of Achievement award. She was this year's grand marshal of the Iowa Pride parade.
She has worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in New York, Florida and Iowa and been published widely in others across the country and beyond.
Mike Cervantes is a long-time teacher working in alternative settings. He is also a former community organizer for ACORN which included work in Louisiana, Texas, Florida, Pennsylvania, Colorado, and Iowa. While teaching at the alternative school in Cedar Rapids (Metro High School), his students helped change the voting laws in Iowa regarding ex-felons right to vote. He received recognition with the Community Leadership Award from the African American History Museum of Iowa (2002) as well as the Cedar Rapids NAACP Community Partner award in 2005. More recently, he has been teaching at the Iowa Medical Classification Center/Oakdale prison and working on re-entry issues for ex-felons in the 6th Judicial District.
Nicole Major has written professionally for more than 15 years for a variety of publications including the Jacksonville Business Journal, Women in Aviation Magazine and The Herald. She’s written internationally for PC World Egypt, the Middle East Times, and Am Cham Egypt’s Business Monthly Magazine. She is currently a fulltime staff writer for the Fairfield Ledger in Fairfield, Iowa where she has written under the name Nicole Hester-Williams. In 1997, the Arthritis Foundation nominated her for a profile story she wrote highlighting a young woman’s struggle with Rheumatoid Arthritis; she was subsequently awarded the Celebrate Independence Medal. Nicole has authored three books including “Amina, Princess of Zaria,” which was a brief Amazon bestseller for books in African literature in 2007. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in interdisciplinary studies with concentrations in both journalism and social science. She is currently pursuing a graduate degree. Nicole lives in Fairfield, Iowa with her husband Jason and their two daughters, Danielle and Gabrielle.