Crisis Text Line is proud to announce the election of three new members to its Board of Directors. These new additions are part of an organizational transformation that will evolve Crisis Text Line’s culture and practices to center on equity and further improve our ability to service our entire texter community in all of its racial, socioeconomic and mental health diversity. New board members include Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble, a psychologist and mental health expert; Kim Vu, Remitly’s Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion; and Brenda Toineeta Pipestem, Associate Justice on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Supreme Court.
We are thrilled and honored to welcome Alfiee, Kim, and Brenda as we work to ensure that Crisis Text Line becomes increasingly diverse, inclusive, and adequately representative of both our texter constituency and our society at large. These esteemed individuals bring a wealth of knowledge, perspective and decades of experience to help steer the organization at this time of transformation.
Dr. Alfiee M. Breland-Noble
Dr. Alfiee Breland-Noble, is a psychologist, author, founder of mental health nonprofit the AAKOMA Project and host of the mental health podcast “Couched in Color with Dr. Alfiee.”
With a primary focus on teens, college students, families and communities of color, she is recognized for her remarkable ability to motivate and inspire by translating complex scientific concepts (developed via her 20+ years of research leadership in Research 1 institutions) into everyday language. Her presence includes television (e.g. CNN Coronavirus Town Hall with Anderson Cooper and Dr. Sanjay Gupta) social impact, print (professional journals) and online (CNN, Candidly, Yahoo, etc) media.
As Founder of AAKOMA (a 501©(3) nonprofit), Dr. Alfiee and her team are leveraging their research enterprise founded on the science of community engagement with underserved populations for social justice and positive impact. She was a senior team member of Congresswoman Bonnie Watson Coleman and the Congressional Black Caucus’s Black youth suicide and mental health report Ring the Alarm and she co-created federal legislation currently moving forward and focused on reducing mental health disparities (HR 5469 THE PURSUING EQUITY IN MENTAL HEALTH ACT). Her academic achievements, including authorship of 2 books on Black and BIPOC mental health, reflect her commitment to culturally relevant, patient centered approaches to mental health disparities science.
Dr. Alfiee received her training at Howard University, New York University, the University of Wisconsin, Madison and the Duke University School of Medicine.
Brenda Toineeta Pipestem
Brenda Toineeta Pipestem is an attorney who has dedicated her professional life to empowering American Indian tribal communities through service as an Appellate Justice on Tribal Supreme Courts. Justice Pipestem currently serves on the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Supreme Court and on the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians Supreme Court. Other professional experience includes being Of Counsel with Pipestem Law, serving in the executive and legislative branches of the federal government, and working with a non-profit educational consulting firm providing training and technical assistance to public schools and tribal schools.
Brenda worked with President Clinton’s Initiative on Race before moving to the Department of the Interior – Bureau of Indian Affairs’s office in Washington, D.C. She served as a Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Indian Affairs and the Deputy Commissioner of Indian Affairs, working on various national and local policy issues affecting American Indian Tribes, including trust reform and inter-agency matters. During her tenure with the federal government, she also worked a one-year legislative detail to the U.S. Senate Interior Appropriations Subcommittee on the Interior and Related Agencies.
Brenda, a citizen of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, was raised in her tribal homelands on the Qualla Boundary, the Eastern Band of Cherokee Reservation, in North Carolina. Brenda is an alumna of Duke University and Columbia Law School.
Kim Vu is the Global Head of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Remitly, a fintech company serving over 3 million immigrants throughout the world to conveniently send money safely and securely to their families across global borders. She has been in the financial services industry for over 20 years as a banking executive within credit unions and Fortune 50 banks. The first half of Kim’s career was spent building and growing new lines of business. The latter half has been dedicated to scaling the social impact of financial institutions, developing and leading corporate social responsibility and ESG (environmental, social and governance) strategies, including how companies build trust and rapport with customers and communities and empower and engage employees.
Kim has been featured on Yahoo! Finance, The Financial Times, Geekwire, Seattle Business Magazine and Silicon Valley Business Journal for her contributions to community and championing diversity in business. She leads The Respect Institute as national founding Board Chair and is a member of the co-founding team, which has been recognized by the Clinton Global Initiative, Ashoka Changemakers and Packard Foundation for their Respect 360 program. Focused on ending the school to prison pipeline, it has reached over 80,000 youth and influencers in K-12 schools and juvenile justice systems. Kim is also an alum of the Council for US + Italy Relations Global Young Leaders, which brings together cross-sector leaders from around the world to study and exchange ideas about the impacts of artificial intelligence and the future of work.