Board and Staff

CTC is led by a team of diverse, passionate individuals committed to the work of transforming communities. On this page, meet the members of our Board of Directors and the people who manage our day-to-day operations.



Cynthia Allen, Baptist Memorial Health Care

Lesley Brown, Memphis Education Fund

Roger Brown, South Memphis Shalom Zone and Greater White Stone Missionary Baptist Church

Chip Clay, Methodist Hospital

Chet Jackson, The Works

Joni Laney, Binghampton Shalom Zone

Kenny Latta, University of Memphis

Ruth Lomo, Refugee Empowerment Program

Rosalyn Nichols, Clayborn Temple

Eureka Pickett, South Memphis Shalom Zone and DuPont Nutrition & Health

Dominique Primer, Facing History

Linda Steele, ArtUp

Alexander Wharton, The Wharton Law Firm

Patrick Williams, St. Mary's Episcopal CathedralRosalyn Nichols, Clayborn Temple


Justin Merrick

Executive Director

Justin Merrick is no stranger to Memphis. Formerly the Artistic and Operations Director of Stax Music Academy, where he received a Grammy nomination for his work in cultivating the voice of his students, Justin now cultivates authentic voice across our city.  Artist, visionary, servant, and educator, Merrick unlocks the power of civic engagement and ethical storytelling throughout Shelby County to spur equitable practices, economic development, and thriving neighborhood democracies. He crafts an approach based on the conviction that systemic evolution and transitional justice must be informed by personal transformation.  Accolades include featured articles in Ebony and Forbes magazines and most recently Memphis Flyer's top 20 under 30.  Merrick earned his Masters in Opera and Nonprofit management from Indiana University and his Bachelors of Arts from his home by the sea, Hampton University.



Kate Kananura

Southeast Memphis Neighborhood Connector

Kate was born and raised in Uganda and moved to the U.S. in 2007. She attended Union 

University where she earned a Bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership in 2010, then 

joined University of Memphis to pursue a Master’s degree in Public Administration. While in 

graduate school, Kate got opportunities to work with city government and nonprofit agencies that are leading community development efforts in Memphis. After completing her degree in 2014, she worked for the US Census Bureau focusing on Housing and Urban Development projects. 


Her passion for community building led her to join the CTC team in 2016.



Adam Nelson

Operations and Development Coordinator

Adam was raised in Memphis and returned here after graduating from the University of Chicago with a BA in Public Policy in 2008. After stints in youth ministry and early childhood music education, Adam served a year with the Episcopal Service Corps. There, he discovered his passion for social justice and shifted into nonprofit organizing. Most recently, he administrated a program for people dealing with homelessness in the Medical District of Memphis, where he lived in community with formerly homeless people for two years. He came to CTC in 2018 to cultivate equitable systems in Memphis neighborhoods.



Alexis Wade

Housing and Community Development Fellow

Alexis graduated from Christian Brothers University in 2018 with a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology. After college, she decided to continue her education at the University of Memphis to pursue her Masters in Anthropology. Through her personal interests in community development and eagerness to gain experience in nonprofit work, Alexis was placed in the Housing and Community Development Fellowship through the university. Her passion for innovation and helping people turn their ideas into reality drives her work at CTC.


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Center for Transforming Communities, Inc.

The Commons on Merton

258 N. Merton St.

Memphis, TN 38112





© 2017 by Center for Transforming Communities, Inc. 

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