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WUKY Community Advisory Board

Community Advisory Board logo with microphone

Overview & Mission

WUKY is elevated by its Community Advisory Board. The board is co-facilitated by Dr. Abeni El-Amin (WUKY Employee and Community Engagement Consultant) and DeBraun Thomas (WUKY Programming and Producer).

The role of the WUKY CAB is to develop effective community and DEIB outreach strategies for WUKY. This Board has an important voice in the community when implementing and executing WUKY's strategy.

WUKY's Mission embodies diversity and inclusion. The mission indicates that through news, music, and stories crafted for a culturally open-minded community, 91.3 WUKY is a catalyst for creating a better, more inclusive and engaged audience in Lexington and Central Kentucky. Further, WUKY's Values include providing an extraordinary work environment, treating everyone with respect and dignity, and embracing Diversity, Equity & Inclusion as an essential component of our organizational ethos. WUKY engages with over 70 community partnerships annually.

Meeting Dates

All board meetings are open to the public.

Location: WUKY - Studio 49

  • April 15, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
  • July 15, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
  • October 14, 2024, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 
  • January 20, 2025, 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm 

2023-2024 DEIB Board Members

Renee Cobb

Renee Cobb, M.Ed. is “working in concert” as a dynamic keynote speaker, diversity/ equity/ inclusion/ belonging DEIB consultant, business strategist, Executive Producer, and radio show/podcast host. She has a passion for creating experiences in which artists in any field can unleash their full potential. She also engages and connects those on the stage with those in the audience in a way that is both memorable and meaningful. Renee is the Co-President and Co-Owner of Listen Locally, LLC. Listen Locally is a consulting, media, and broadcasting group. She also serves the Executive Director/President of Room 17 Productions, a nonprofit organization that promotes music education through storytelling, oral history, live performance, and preservation of aging recordings. She is a 1984 graduate of the University of Kentucky with a Bachelor’s Degree in Music Education and a 1994 graduate of Xavier University with a Master’s Degree in Executive Human Resource Development. She attended The UK College of Fine Arts on a full music scholarship to study piano and music education. She performed with the University of Kentucky Chorus and Choristers serving as both an accompanist for the Chorus and rehearsal pianist for Lexington Philharmonic Concerts. Renee became a concert pianist and accompanist for many vocalists at The University of Kentucky. Renee is formerly a training consultant for The Office of Institutional Diversity at The University of Kentucky and for Cook-Ross, Inc, a global industry leader in the areas of diversity and inclusion. Renee’s current work as a keynote speaker and change agent provides clients with a focus and facilitation in the areas of career management, diversity/inclusion, and leadership development. This line of work has allowed her to take her presentations to many Fortune 500 organizations, corporate, government, healthcare, and institutional sectors. Renee also encourages people to “listen locally” through storytelling serving as the project manager for several global education initiatives for the University of Kentucky Louie B. Nunn Center for Oral History. Listen Locally was recognized as the Lexington Music Awards Music Business of the Year in 2020 and 2023 and Overtones LIVE was awarded the Critics’ Choice honor in 2022. Listen Locally and Room 17 Productions were nominated for the Community Service category at the Lexington Music Awards in the years 2018, 2019, 2021 and 2022.

Head shot of Markus Cross facing camera and smiling. He is in his sixties with gray hair and a gray mustache.
Markus Cross

Markus Cross, BA has enjoyed a circuitous career path in a number of endeavors and has 'landed' as a Realtor and Property Manager (Keller Williams Commonwealth Realty). Lexington is home in many respects for him and is the best place on the planet without a beach and palm trees! While living in Central Kentucky is a real joy, as with any place there is always room for improvement. Beyond his professional and work duties he is the Board President of the Living Arts and Science Center. He enjoys continuous improvement on his 1939 house, attending special events and art exhibits, a close relationship with husband, Tim and their two canines.

Dr. Abeni El-Amin

Dr. Abeni El-Amin, Ph.D., Ed.D., D.PC., MPsy - I/O, LSSMBB (WUKY DEIB CAB, Co-Facilitator) has two decades of experience and education in Business Administration as an educator and practitioner. Further, as a higher education professor, she has designed and developed curriculum and training programs in business administration, educational leadership, legal studies, political science, psychology, and health sciences. She has managed large corporate and government budgets; managed staff and developed sustainable programs. Dr. El- Amin is a globally recognized thought leader on diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB). She helps organizations develop a culture of belongingness through innovative and thought-provoking trainings. Dr. El-Amin is an author, international university lecturer, trainer, and speaker. Dr. El-Amin is the editor of Implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging Management in Organizational Change Initiatives and Implementing Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging in Educational Management Practices - IGI Global. Dr. El-Amin is co-founder of Project Ricochet, Inc., a youth development organization and Titan and Mogul, Inc., a global consultancy that provides lean six sigma and HR consultancy focusing on DEIB to improve organizational culture. She is also the author of, In Search of Servant Leadership, Determined to Serve - The Ricochet Effect, and Titan Financial Legacy - The Ricochet Effect. She received her Doctorate (PhD) in Business Administration ~ Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University, Doctorate (PhD) Colorado Theological Seminary, Clinical Pastoral/Patient Counseling, Doctorate in Educational Leadership (EdD) from University of the Cumberlands, Doctorate (PhD) in Public Policy and Social Change from Union Institute and University (2023), Bachelors’ Degrees in Business Administration: Marketing and Economics and Masters’ Degrees in Public Administration: Human Resources Management and Management Information Systems from Kentucky State University (KSU). Masters in Nonprofit Administration from The University of Notre Dame, Masters in Adult and Community Education/Executive Development for Public Service from Ball State University, Masters from Bellevue University in Professional Studies with a Focus in Health Care Administration, MBA in Project Management/Health Care Administration, Masters from Fort Hays State University in Professional Studies: Public Health Administration and an Ed.S. In Advanced Professional Studies: Education Innovation and Leadership, and Masters of Psychology in Industrial and Organizational I/O Psychology from Grand Canyon University. She holds AA degrees in Liberal Studies (KSU), Communications (KSU), and Paralegal Studies (Ivy Tech). She has taught Political Science, Business Administration, and Health Sciences for over a decade at several institutions of higher education. She received her Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt (LSSMBB) from Florida Atlantic University.

Dr. Anthony Everett

Dr. Anthony Everett, DMin (he, him, ours) is a public theologian, social entrepreneur, and prophetic activist. He serves as the Siloam Project Coordinator for Baptist Seminary of Kentucky. Also, Dr. Everett serves as the founding president of The Centre for Prophetic Activism, a social justice enterprise, and CEO of Alpha Management LLC, a consulting firm. In high school, he learned about the atrocity of Apartheid; inspired, Dr. Everett joined the anti-apartheid movement. As a student activist at Howard University, he joined the movement for the liberation of Zimbabwe. He transitioned to the corporate world to work for EDS Corporation (now HP Enterprises) and completed his undergraduate studies with a Bachelor of Science degree in organizational management at Paul Quinn College. As an executive at EDS, Dr. Everett led teams across ethnic, racial, nationality, and cultural lines to create more diverse, inclusive, and equitable environments for co-workers. He led the implementation of the School of Adaptive Computer Training (Atlanta, GA) for the physically challenged – a joint EDS and Cerebral Palsy Research Foundation collaboration – and raised over $1.25M for the project. Dr. Everett completed the Master of Divinity program with Urban Ministry Certification at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. He also completed the Doctor of Ministry degree at United Theological Seminary. Dr. Everett is an elder with the United Methodist Church (UMC), having served as the associate director for African American Ministries with New Church Development for the Kentucky Conference. He planted Nia Community of Faith in Lexington, Kentucky and led Wesley UMC (Lexington) and University Circle UMC, a multi-racial congregation in Cleveland, Ohio. Dr. Everett is a coach/consultant with the Strengthening the Black Church for the 21st Century (SBC21) Coaching Network. A 2010 graduate of Leadership Lexington and Leadership Kentucky and former Vice Chair of the Kentucky Commission on Human Rights, Dr. Everett is an advocate for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) communities. He is a member of the Faith Leaders of Color Coalition (a national ecumenical coalition to end the death penalty), the Equity Council of the Fayette County Public Schools, the Program Board of CivicLex, and the advisory board of B.L.A.C.K. (Black Leadership Action Coalition of Kentucky) as well as a life member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Born in Washington, D.C., Dr. Everett is married to American Spiritual Ensemble soprano soloist, Dr. Angelique Clay Everett, an associate professor at the University of Kentucky School of Music and native of Louisville, Kentucky. The Everetts are an empty nest, blended family with four adult children and two grandchildren.

Robert Taylor Hansel at dog show with dog.
Robert Taylor Hansel

Robert Taylor Hansel, MA currently works at the University of Kentucky's Treasury Services Office where he is the Merchant Card Services and PCI DSS Compliance Manager. Previously, he worked for more than thirteen years at WUKY as the Membership Manager and Senior Marketing Specialist. While at WUKY, he worked to develop connections and outreach within the community-at-large, especially the LGBTQIA+ community. He has volunteered with the Lexington Pride Festival, as Fundraising Co-Chair, as well as running all aspects of the Voice of Pride Singing Contest, which was an exclusive program offered by WUKY specifically for the Pride Festival. He also worked with WUKY's News Department in providing contacts for certain stories or reports involving the LGBTQIA+ community. He facilitated several activities focusing on underserved and marginalized communities, from WUKY’s annual Winter Drive to help food insecure families in Central Kentucky to developing the WUKY Gallery to highlight local artists to serving on fundraising panels for the Good Giving Challenge which supported multiple not-for-profit organizations in Kentucky. Currently, he serves on the Board of the University of Kentucky PrideCats, UK's LGBTQIA+ Alumni Group. Its goal is to provide a voice and presence for current LGBTQIA+ students, as well as University alumni that may have found it difficult to express their true identity and find their safe place as it relates to the University community as a whole. His passion is to show award winning canines at national shows.

Ashley Holt

Ashley Holt, MBA is the Central Regional Manager for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion for Bluegrass Care Navigators. She is responsible for community outreach and engagement, organizational climate and relationships, access and opportunity, and training and development for central Kentucky’s only end of life and palliative care organization. As a seasoned professional with more than 18 years in community-based organizations, Ashley is known for driving a culture for appreciation for diversity, championing equity, and cultivating inclusion to ensure a sense of belonging for all. She most recently served as a business partner for an auto manufacturing company where she led recruiting efforts for skilled trade employees. Before that, Ashley was in higher education where she successfully provided support to diverse students, faculty, and staff and fostered an appreciation of cultural competency. Ashley holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Eastern Kentucky University and a Master of Business Administration from Spalding University. Ashley’s most important title is MOM. She and her15-year old daughter Niyah; reside in Lexington, KY.

Abeer Sikder

Abeer Sikder, JD is a Senior Policy Analyst at The Council of State Governments (CSG) where he conducts research and analysis as part of the Education and Workforce Team. He also coordinates with local, state, and federal policymakers to develop innovative solutions for disability inclusion and successful employment outcomes. Through CSG's Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE-Youth), Abeer leads research projects on justice-involved youth, mental health equity, and intersectionality. He also served in Teach For America as a middle and high school math teacher for three years in Memphis, Tennessee. Abeer has previously worked for the Brady Campaign, the Center for Auto Safety, the Mid-Atlantic Innocence Project, and the D.C. Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. Abeer’s passions include socio-economic development, youth empowerment, and politics. He received a J.D. from The George Washington University Law School and a B.A. in Economics from the University of Louisville.

Anthony Skinner

Anthony Skinner a.k.a. Tony Wavy a.k.a. Hiphop Picasso. Monroe, MI born and Charlotte, NC raised entrepreneur, painter, musician, muralist and overall creative in every way. He has been doing art for well over 15 years. This multitalented creative specializes in contemporary portrait paintings with a mix of his own pop art style. He is highly skilled in using acrylic paint and mixed media urban design. This rising artist has been painting full time since the pandemic started fully realizing his potential and elevated on his skills. It’s also worth mentioning that he created and founded Talk Love. Which is his brand, artistry company, clothing line and inspirational platform. He took on his first mural working on a backyard fence. Since then, he has done work in music studios, restaurants, schools, nutrition clubs, clothing stores, community murals, horse trailers, museums, hookah lounges across the East coast. His work extends from portraits, to murals, to book illustrations and even graphic design. Anthony has a passion for connecting and sharing with people through collaborative artmaking. He continues his work as a community artist. He has called many cities home over the years, and currently resides in Lexington, KY with his family.

Jeremy Smith

Jeremy Smith, LPCC is a licensed professional clinical counselor with a small private practice in Lexington. As someone with a visual impairment, Jeremy is very interested in the topic of inclusion. He has been a WUKY listener for many years and believes participating in the DEIB Advisory Board to be a unique opportunity to contribute to a valuable community resource. A writer and musician, Jeremy also connects with other affiliated entities such as the Carnegie Center and Lexington’s local music scene.

Amy Sohner sitting in backwards chair facing camera and smiling

Amy Sohner is the Executive Director of Bluegrass Greensource, a nonprofit environmental education organization serving Central Kentucky. She has been with the organization since its inception, and became director in 2006. She has a background in environmental education, and a degree in Natural Resource Conservation and Management from UK. Amy is a Certified Environmental Educator, a graduate of the Leadership Lexington Program, the Chair of Lexington’s Stormwater Stakeholder Advisory Committee, the immediate past Chair of Women Leading Kentucky and a board member of both Bluegrass Tomorrow and Keep Lexington Beautiful. Her hobbies used to include camping, hiking, making stained glass and viewing the Kentucky River palisades from her deck, but now you will usually find her running after her two daughters: Audrey and Eleanor.

DeBraun Thomas

DeBraun Thomas (WUKY DEIB CAB, Co-Facilitator) fell in love with radio at a young age but only had interest in working in radio after learning Funk musician Sly Stone got his start in radio. A native of the San Francisco Bay Area, Thomas moved to Lexington in 2009 to attend the University of Kentucky and pursue a career in radio. Thomas joined WRFL in 2009 and through the UK school of Journalism, Thomas had 2 features air on WUKY. In October of 2012, Thomas began interning at WUKY and produced the Unghosting of Medgar Evers. In August of 2013 Thomas became a staff member at WUKY and since that time, Thomas regularly produces the weekly segment Local Music Mondays which highlights local musicians in Lexington. Thomas hosts the Crunkadelic Funk Show which airs Saturday nights at 9pm and also produced a documentary on the 50th anniversary of the March on Frankfort. In addition to producing and hosting a radio show, Thomas also explores his other passion as a musician in Lexington.

Joey Truax
Joey Truax

Joey Truax (Yusef) began to make his mark in Hip Hop and Islamic Culture, starting in 1986 in Lexington Kentucky. He was Beat Box champion winning battles at the local high schools and community centers, making a name for himself as "Baby J" rockin parties in the city. In 1988 he then became the co-host and DJ of the biggest Hip Hop Radio Show in KY (University of Kentucky WRFL 88.1). His Father is a Blues musician and record collector and had thousands of records in the basement, mostly Jazz, R&B, Funk, Blues, and Soul music. He then learned to cut and scratch on his father's old turntable and Realistic mixer, moving on to producing beats using the 808 Drum Machine, Synsonic Drums, the Ensoniq EPS, MPC60 and ASR-10, and much more. After producing many different artists and also polishing his skills as an Emcee, he became well rounded in his craft and landed the first record deal from Lex KY with Warlock Records in 1992. Also embracing the teachings of the 5% Nation of Islam and became known as Yusef Civilized. Over the years he's produced many different artists locally and nationally and has also worked with Platinum Producer 7 Aurelius (also from Lex KY). The love for the Culture remains and he is still active, currently the local radio personality and Best Radio DJ Award winner for RADIOLEX WLXU 93.9 FM. Yusef is definitely here to carry on the torch as a True Pioneer in Hip Hop and staple name in the Culture.