Bertha Lewis - Founder and President
Bertha Lewis is the Founder and President of The Black Institute (TBI), an action “think-tank” non-profit organization. Ms. Lewis founded TBI in 2010 to address persistent issues faced by people of color, both within the United States and throughout the Diaspora. Ms. Lewis has been an influential leader within the non-profit and political sector for over 20 years. She is the former CEO and Chief Organizer of ACORN, a national organization that mobilized the urban poor at the grassroots and fought for their needs.
At TBI, Bertha has led the fight for citizenship and immigrant rights by advocating at the city, state and federal levels for Caribbean and other black immigrants. She has been an integral part of the low wage workers campaign - advocating for higher pay and sick days for New Yorkers. In addition, she has worked with developers to create a landmark community benefits agreement to secure affordable housing, living wages, local hiring and training programs for residents in Brooklyn.
In 2014, Bertha Lewis was named in City & State’s annual list of the top 100 most influential and powerful political leaders in New York City and #43 in The New York Observer’s “Political Power 80” list. She was featured in Essence Magazine’s 2011 list of 28 Most Influential Black Women and was named by Crain’s New York magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential Women of New York. She has also appeared as a guest on national radio and television programs including the Colbert show, Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network show and MSNBC.
Salomé Jean - Director of Operations & Human Resources
Carolina Minier - Operations Manager/Executive Assistant
Carolina Minier is The Black Institute’s Operations Manager and Executive Assistant to the President. With a background in entertainment, she has previously served as the Senior Director of the Film & Video Department at Ruff Ryders/Interscope Records, where she worked with artists such as Eve and DMX, and media outlets such as MTV and BET. For over ten years, she was the Executive Assistant to the CEO of The Britto Agency, a leading brand architecture and Public Relations firm.
Carolina changed careers in 2007 after receiving a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Lehman College. Since then she has worked with youth and families at the Stanley M. Isaacs Neighborhood Center, and as a Medicaid Coordinator at the Kennedy Child Study Center before joining the team at The Black Institute.
Eoin Finnerty - Director of Development
Tiffany Jones - Director of Organizing
Tiffany Jones is the Director of Organizing with The Black Institute, an action driven think-tank shaping intellectual discourse and dialogue and impacting public policy uniquely from a Black perspective. Ms. Jones joins our team with over ten years of grassroots organizing experience and member recruitment expertise. Jones, began her organizing career with ACORN, the largest community organization of low and moderate-income families in the country. She contributed substantially to its 400,000 strong membership, and was awarded twice, as number two in the nation for members recruited nationally. Ms. Jones has trained some of the largest unions in the country on member recruitment and sustainability, and would eventually train and manage New York Communities for Change membership division. A driven vehicle for change, Ms. Jones played an instrumental role in provided leadership during the 2008 presidential election; where 1.3 million people were registered to vote nationally. Ms. Jones has organized for such campaigns as felon enfranchisement; safe and fair policing; wage increase; quality jobs; affordable housing and ant-foreclosure. She is currently working an immigrant rights and a corporate responsibility campaign.
Jason Jeter - Director of Research and Policy