Board of Directors

Mari Adams
President of the Board
Mari has been on the Board of Directors since the inception of Sojourner House. After a 44 year tenure with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Mari retired in 2015. Mari is also retired United States Coast Guard Reserve after serving her country for 24 years. She is a graduate of Atlantic Business College with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Mari is a member of Blacks in Government, the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and the NAACP. Due to her own personal tragedies, Mari has dedicated her life to advocating for families affected by gun violence and social justice. She enjoys singing and is an avid animal and wildlife lover.

Kathe McKenna
Board Clerk
Kathe is the original Sojourner House founding Board member and has served on the board since 1981. Kathe is a graduate of The College of New Rochelle.  Kathe is the co-founder of the Haley House in Roxbury and has retired from human services and social activism. She also serves as the Board President of Natural Dharma Fellowship in New Hampshire. Kathe enjoys Buddhist meditation and biking.

Susie Pickens
Board Treasurer
Susie has been on the Board of Directors since 1994. Susie is a retired auditor for the Federal Government. She graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration. Susie is very active in the community and is the co-founder of Blacks in Government (BIG) Boston Chapter,  a member of the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW) and volunteers for Central Boston Elder Service. Susie enjoys gardening, volunteering and advocating for social justice.

Pamela Alexander
Pamela recently joined the Board of Directors in 2017. Prior to joining the Board Pamela was a volunteer at Sojourner House. She is the co-founder and director of the Ark of Cherubs Summer Program at The Church of Christ in Roxbury where she is also an active member.

Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Mount Holyoke College. She enjoys exploring healing through spiritual development and holistic medicine, studying the bible and spending time with family and friends. As a resident of Roxbury, Pamela is passionate about giving back to the community where she volunteers her time at local shelters, schools and various organizations.

Detective Larry Ellison
Larry recently joined the Board in 2016. At the age of eighteen, he became a Boston Police Cadet and soon after became a Boston Police Officer. Larry has worked for the Boston Police Department for over 30 years. He has served as the President of Massachusetts Association of Minority Enforcement Officers (MAMLEO) for the past nine years. He is a graduate of Curry College with a degree in Criminal Justice. Larry enjoys volunteering with Big Brother Association and is passionate about fighting for equal rights and being a voice for the voiceless. He enjoys fishing and spending time with his family.

Doreen Mangini, Ph.D
Doreen recently joined the Board of Directors in 2017.  She graduated from Boston University with a degree in Physical Education and Health Education and a Ph.D in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College.  Doreen is currently enrolled in the Master’s program for Special Education Administration.  She is a Director of Nutrition and Wellness at a residential school for students with special needs. Doreen lived and taught overseas in the Middle East for over twenty years.  She enjoys running, cooking and traveling.

Julie Panchamsingh-Barakat, Ed.D
Julie recently joined the Board of Directors in 2017. She has spent her professional career working within the Dorchester, Roxbury and Mattapan communities as a social worker and educator for over 30 years.  Julie recently retired from Boston Public Schools, and is a lifelong learner with several academic credentials and a variety of personal interests including gardening, yoga and writing. She is devoted to her family and enjoys spending. time with her grandchildren. Julie is the co-founder of Ali’s Roti restaurants, and is currently cultivating Cham Consultants, LLC focused on professional development for educators and teacher mentoring.  She is looking forward to supporting the efforts at Sojourner House.

Theresa DiPietro

Rob Nakashian