Our Board of Directors

The Southside Community Center’s Board of Directors is responsible for the oversight of the Center’s operations, for ensuring its financial stability, and for leading the Center’s long-term vision and planning. Our board is representative of the historic and diverse community that the Center serves and many of us have been involved with the Center as young people, parents, employees and/or community volunteers throughout the years. As a group, we are committed to empowering, uplifting, and cultivating self-pride amongst African American community members in the greater Ithaca area.

Nia Michelle Nunn

Dr. Nia Nunn, President

Born in Ithaca, New York, Dr. Nia Michelle Nunn is currently an Associate Professor in Education at Ithaca College, a performer-scholar-mother-activist, and the President of the Southside Community Center's Board of Directors.  As a Girl Scout participant at SSCC and festival performer for many of her early years, she has always cherished the agency’s mission and purpose. Today, Dr. Nia is committed to not only contributing to the mission and purpose, but also a vision and higher potential for the Southside Community Center, Inc. She brings to SSCC her expertise as a teacher, teacher trainer, and director of programs designed to empower and uplift the voices of young Black women and girls.


Amos Malone

Amos Malone has lived in Ithaca for over 40 years. He serves as a board member now with thanks for how Southside supported him in the early 80s as a regular in the afterschool program run by Arlene Carr.  Amos is a pastor, reads the Bible, loves Jesus, and spending time with his children which bring him joy.
Vannessa De Jesus

Vannessa De Jesus, Treasurer

Vannessa De Jesus was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York and moved to Ithaca, New York in Spring of 1992. Vannessa studied accounting at TC3 and has three children, one boy and two girls and also raised her cousin. She has been employed at Salvation Army for nine years. Southside Community Center Inc. has been a part of Vannessa’s life as well as her children’s life for many years. Vannessa and her family have always had a deep love and devotion for Southside Community Center, Inc. and the neighborhood.


Sonya Hicks

Sonya has lived in Ithaca since 1990 and from the first year of moving to Ithaca she has been active in many different community projects at the SSCC. Sonya have held three different positions of employment at the center.  She believes that SSCC offers excellent programs for all families and a solid board of directors is needed to help keep the center centered and moving in the best possible direction for our community. As a board member She is committed to the success of the Southside Community Center.

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Raquel Mercado

Raquel Mercado works as a Teacher Assistant at Fall Creek Elementary School. She is a long time supporter and member of the Southside Community Center’s programs and activities.

Caleb R Thomas 2020

Caleb R Thomas

Caleb R Thomas was born in Ithaca and raised on East Hill halfway between Collegetown and Belle Sherman.  Previously, he was on the organizing team for Congo Square Market Fridays at Southside and his son Indigo attended many summers of CUMEP.  Caleb is an artist, designer, and printmaker passionate about the intersections of art and justice.  He coordinates murals throughout Ithaca (including 7 so far at Southside) as part of an art and culture strategy for community organizing and justice movement building.  Everyone is an artist - including you.  Together we are strong.

Steve Smith

Stephen Smith

Stephen Smith represents the 4th ward on Ithaca Common Council since 2012 and is liaison to the Southside Community Center Board.  He recognizes the importance of SSCC because grew up in inner city Rochester where he experienced centers keeping people fed and clothed.  Stephen serves as Director of Development for Cornell's College of Engineering and lives in lower Collegetown with his wife Genevieve Smith, a physical therapist teaching at Ithaca College.  He likes photography, basketball, and books.  He just finished reading the Broken Earth Trilogy.

Interested in joining the Southside Board?

Please email receptionist@sspride.org with subject heading "SSCC board membership?" and answer these 5 questions:

1- Name, email, phone number.
2- Please tell us about yourself.
3- Why would you like to join the SSCC board?
4- Do you have experience with fundraising, finances, legal understanding, public relations?
5- What assets would you bring to the board?