ChiQuitta Williams

ChiQuitta is the pioneering Founder/Director of Rizpah Network Incorporated. A nonprofit organization dedicated to helping parents of murdered sons/daughters survive the unimaginable, while offering hope and healing to children, families & communities left devastated by senseless violence. Driven by the impact of personal traumas and insights gained, from years of professional work in the mental health/social services fields, ChiQuitta has been a fierce advocate of strengthening lives, stabilizing communities, and restoring sanity to hurting families and communities.

ChiQuitta, holds a Master of Divinity degree, in Pastoral Care and Counseling from the Interdenominational Theological Center/Morehouse School of Religion in Atlanta, Georgia, where she graduated with honors in 2006. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Service Administration, from West Virginia University Institute of Technology. ChiQuitta is also, a  Licensed Minister of the Gospel and a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated.


Tara Person

My name is Tara Ann Person I am a native of Jackson Tennessee, but reside in Memphis, Tennessee. I am the mother of 3 sons, Xavier Clark, Anthony Person, and Jordan Person. I’m also a proud grandmother of 10. In 2009 I received an associate degree in Business Management from Jackson State Community College.

I have been employed at Hino Motors in Southaven Mississippi for the past 15 years as a Customer Service Representative. I have served on the board of Rizpah Network for 8 years.

In 2008, my oldest son Xavier Clark was murdered at the young age of 21. That day changed my life. My work with Rizpah, has been helpful in my healing journey but every day, it is also a reminder of a reality that no mother ever wants to face, that “My child will never come home.” Rizpah has provided me with a platform to tell my story. I have been involved in several speaking engagements, sharing with other mothers of murdered children, some of the darkest moments of my life, since losing my son.  I am committed to working to end the senseless violence in our streets and to telling the world, that my son’s life mattered!

Lawanda Williams

My name is Lawanda Williams I'm on the Board of Directors for Rizpah Network Inc. I am a mother of 4, 1 daughter, 3 sons. I lost my oldest son, Justin to senseless gun violence in 2014. Rizpah, has been an outlet for me and my family, as we have connected with other individuals and families who have lost loved ones, to senseless gun violence. Let me tell you a little about me.  I am a Nurse Manager for Pruitthealth Christian City in Union City Georgia.

 I've  been in healthcare 28 years, 19 years as a Nurse. I run a Memory Support unit at Christian City.  I am a Certified Dementia specialist, recognized by the National Institute of Dementia Education, I also have a B.A. Degree in Sociology from Lane College in Jackson Tennessee. I received a Master's degree in Healthcare Management from American Intercontinental University in 2017 and my Practical Nursing Diploma in 2002.


My son Justin De'Andre Williams lost his life on July 27, 2014, this devastated my family. The hurt we experienced ran so deep, that we still struggle with it today. Justin was a great son, brother and father and he was loved by many. He was an artist and College student with a love for making music. He also enjoyed being with family. Justin was one of a kind, I miss my son each and everyday.


Dallase Baker

Dallase, is a proven leader and motivator who, firmly believes, that, "you are not defined by your circumstances." An engineer by profession, and a retired navy veteran, he comes with a "We Can Attitude!" He is the Father of 8; 6 girls and 2 boys, and he has 2 grandsons.  Dallase currently lives and works in Chelsea, Alabama.

Dallase, knows how important it is, to lead by example. He vividly recalls, his early experiences growing up in Jackson, Tennessee and having defied the odds, wants to use his life and professional experiences, to help young men/women navigate life’s challenges.

Phyllis Staten

“Compassionate Caretaker-” I am invested and involved in helping to make lives better for others, even as I have had to work through my own personal and health challenges. I have an adult son who is ill, and I have had to help him, overcome a myriad of challenges related to his health in recent years. I also, retired from a work setting, where we were usually, the first ones alerted, about violence related injuries or deaths. I worry constantly about the state of black men, whose lives seem to end, before they are over. My work with Rizpah Network, is not only a result of my compassion, but my commitment to in some way, help to change the fate of our youth and young men.


Addie West

Joined the Rizpah Board in 2019. She is currently employed at Kellogg’s in Jackson Tennessee. On January 31, 2017 she lost her 27- year old son, William Bryant Vinson to a senseless act of violence. Known affectionately as, “Wee Wee,” he was a humble and loving young man, who loved to laugh, joke, play sports, and rap.   As a community leader and former business owner in Humboldt, Tn, Addie was motivated by his loss, to continue his legacy by supporting and raising his children. Wee Wee’s death also, motivated her to reach out to and help others, struggling with the pain of losing a child.

Rhonda Cross

Joined the Rizpah Board in 2018, and currently serves as the Volunteer/Sponsor Coordinator. Rhonda has been a sponsor of Rizpah Around the Christmas Tree since 2014, and saw first hand, how much joy her acts of generosity brought to children and families. Now she works to help ensure that, even more children can benefit by the generosity of others. A nurse by profession she is deeply compassionate. Rhonda is the mother of 3 and a proud grandmother. She has faced many difficult life challenges, including  being a domestic violence survivor, but has overcome through faith and persistence. Rhonda, now uses her story to advocate for and encourage other survivors.


Brenda Cole Sheffield

Joined the Rizpah Board in 2017, she is a Direct Care Professional with a compassionate heart. Her work with Rizpah Families ensued from the trauma of witnessing the death of her 20 year old nephew, Justin De’Andre Williams in 2014, who was killed outside of her home. Brenda is also a domestic violence survivor. Initially very angry about the loss of her favorite nephew, and her own physical abuse, she is channeling that pain and anger into purpose. Brenda works hard to support Rizpah Families and that work for her, has been both healing and rewarding.

Alicia Wilkes

Joined the Rizpah Board in 2019, but has been a part of Rizpah events, since 2014. As a mother of three sons, two of whom were identical twins. Alicia knows firsthand, the pain of losing a child to violence. Her son Justin Dwayne Clark was killed on February 2, 2012 at the age of 21. This horrific act sent her to her bed for years. Unable to deal with the paralyzing emotions, she isolated herself from everything and everybody. She eventually, started venturing out to engage in programs and memorials, honoring lost loved ones. It was at this point, that Alicia connected with Rizpah and began working behind the scenes. Today she serves as Family Liaison for Rizpah Families.