NVLP Board & Staff
Dr. Camille O. Cosby
(Pictured above) Producer and educator Camille O. Cosby has brought to the American public, through multimedia, an appreciation of our rich and diverse cultures. Dr. Cosby's body of notable work includes producing a Peabody Award-winning television film and a Tony-nominated Broadway play, plus numerous films and documentaries. Dr. Cosby is the co-founder of the National Visionary Leadership Project, formed to help preserve the priceless legacy of African American elders.
Dr. Cosby is the author of Television's Imageable Influences: The Self-Perception of Young African Americans (University Press of America, 1994). Based on her dissertational research, the book investigates the impact of negative images of black people on television on the self-perception of young African Americans. Countering such negative perceptions has been a significant focal point of her work since she received her doctorate in education at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst in 1992. Dr. Cosby also earned an MA from the university in 1980.
As part of this on-going commitment, Dr. Cosby served as executive producer on a documentary in 1994 called No Dreams Deferred. The documentary chronicled the
experiences of Thelma and Wesley Williams and their catering business designed to teach life skills to young people. The film was broadcast extensively on public television. One year later, Dr. Cosby co-produced with Judith Rutherford James Having Our Say, the inspiring story of Sarah and Elizabeth Delany, two centenarians born to a former slave, who went on to become an educator and dentist respectively. Dr. Cosby felt that the play, based on the bestselling book by Amy Hill Hearth, brought to life an important and rarely told part of American history. The two-person play starring Mary Alice and Gloria Foster received three Tony Award nominations. Diahann Carroll and Ruby Dee starred in the CBS television film version that won the prestigious Peabody Award in 1999.
Dr. Cosby's experience with Having Our Say was a major catalyst in the formation of the National Visionary Leadership Project with co-founder Renee Poussaint. NVLP is a Washington, DC-based intergenerational institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and sharing history as told by distinguished African American elders. In 2004, Simon and Schuster published A Wealth of Wisdom: Legendary African American Elders Speak based on stories from fifty of the elders in the NVLP archive.
In 2000, Dr. Cosby produced the critically acclaimed documentary Ennis' Gift. The film profiled individuals from all waIks of life, including actors, scientists, artists, business leaders, educators (and even a polar explorer), who were diagnosed with learning differences but refused to be limited by them. In 2004, Dr. Cosby served as co-executive producer for the major motion picture Fat Albert. Development of a biographical play on the life of Pearl Bailey is among her current projects in progress.
Chief Executive Officer
Cheryl Clarke is the Chief Executive Officer for the National Visionary Leadership Project (NVLP). She is responsible for setting strategy, operations, financing, marketing and human resources. Ms. Clarke is a seasoned executive with a proven record of success. Prior to joining NVLP in April 2008, she worked for 24 years at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac) in several senior management positions. Her most recent stint at Freddie Mac was the Senior Director of the Freddie Mac Foundation Investment and Programs area where she directed the investment of $30M annually in the Washington, DC Metropolitan region and nationally. Additionally, she has worked as a Director in a number of other areas at the company including the Director of Communications in Community Relations; Director of the first office of Diversity, and Director of Human Resources and Business Support Services in the Atlanta and Dallas operations. In these roles she generated break-through ideas and initiatives; built infrastructure, operations, internal controls; led high-performing teams; cultivated organizational, board and external relationships; and, developed successful strategies to achieve business and organizational goals. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, Ms. Clarke spent seven years as director and teacher at a DCPS special education satellite program of the Bundy Crisis Intervention Center for emotionally and behaviorally challenged boys in Washington, DC. Ms. Clarke serves on the boards of the Washington Regional Association of Grantmakers (WRAG), The Nonprofit Roundtable of Greater Washington and is a member of Leadership Greater Washington.