My name is Aqilah Rashid. I currently am the Secretary for Task Force for Diversity. 

I am a native of California, but call TN my home.  I have been a resident of Morristown TN since July of 2004. My 2 children are natives of Morristown.

Some of my personal interests and hobbies include outdoors adventures. I enjoy corny homebody stuff like, game night, crafting and watching movies. I have always been interested in people opposite of myself, learning about different perspectives and cultural backgrounds is a natural draw. I am excited for the time when I have the freedom to travel outside the country. Having the option to live off my own land and off grid when I want sounds like paradise too! 

I have completed 2 service years as an AmeriCorps Member (NCCC and TCAC) and served in the Leader Corps. https://www.americorps.gov/members-volunteers/vista/leaders

I hold a Master of Arts in Organizational Training & Performance Management from Tusculum University. https://youtu.be/HNe4spk9YiI?si=B6PE08UEl57sJ2zb

My career and personal life journey have equipped me with a unique skill set in diversity and inclusion initiatives, including managing programs, collaborating with diverse stakeholders, and fostering partnerships with community organizations, community engagement, recruiting, conflict resolution, and curriculum development. Professionally, diversity has the ability to drive innovation, foster inclusivity, and enhance organizational success. 

Over the past 20 years I have personally benefit from and have volunteered my time to some of the community’s greatest and growing local organizations that meet the needs of individuals from all walks of life and circumstances. Those resource programs are as follows: Stepping Out Ministries; Douglas Cherokee Economic Authority; Central Services; Samaritan House; Appalachian Outreach, Safe Space; Daily Bread, National Coalition for Homeless Veterans; Habitat for Humanity to name a few. Personally, diversity has enriched my life through embracing unique perspectives.

My primary goal as a member of the Task Force on Diversity is to continue to utilize my personal and professional experience to help empower those in the community and assist in building sustainability within the Task Force. It is pertinent to have seamless transitions ensuring that our mission continues to create positive change for generations to come.

“Together, let’s promote organization sustainability within ensuring our mission thrives in our community for years to come.”

~A-key-lah ~

 It is with great sadness that I have to inform you of the passing of Beverly Sligh. I have no further details at this time.

A picture of all of us at the MLK Breakfast during this year.

Betty S. Purkey, a native of Morristown, TN, retired and returned home to Morristown after 41 years of mission service under the General Board of Global Ministries (GBGM) of The United Methodist Church (UMC). Betty served two stints in the New York Office of GBGM and as a Church and community Worker in Alabama, North Carolina and Virginia. Upon retirement, she served for 8+ years as Program Coordinator for the Latino Institute of Pastoral Care, Inc. in New York.

Since returning to Morristown, Betty has continued to be actively involved in many church and community activities, including serving on the Morristown Task Force on Diversity, serving as the Senior Adult Coordinator for the Mountain View District UMC and as a consultant on the Board of Directors of Jubilee Project, Inc. in Hancock County, TN.