Meet the Team
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR| CURLY ME!
Alyssha Dairsow hasn’t been in Utah long, but she’s highly engaged with her community. And as the founder and executive director at the non-profit Curly Me!, she’s passionate about helping her community its beauty. Focusing on young Black girls ages five to 14, Curly Me! provides mentoring and hosts events that help children of color embrace their best selves. From book clubs to panels to hangouts, she’s building a village around an underrepresented community and empowering them to embrace their uniqueness.
Ms. Dairsow works to provide a platform where the voices in her community are heard, including her own. “Things will not change if I, or anyone else, stays silent,” she says, and laying the foundation for the future of the young Black girls in her community is what she believes will change Utah for the better. “I personally would like to foster diversity in Utah because I would like to live in a state that includes me in major decisions are made in government, workspaces, and all the way to the services I receive in a restaurant.”
“I decided to be a reliable resource for parents and Black girls because I noticed there weren’t many fun and reliable resources for our girls,” says Ms. Dairsow, describing where the idea for the nonprofit started. “I am confident Curly Me! will continue to grow into bigger and better events and outreach that will cross state lines and country borders.”
LIVING COLOR GALA
Meligha Garfield, MPA
Board of Directors
Meligha Garfield (he/him) is the inaugural director for the Black Cultural Center (BCC) at the University of Utah—a center that works to holistically enrich, educate, and advocate for students, faculty, staff and the broader community through Black centered programming, culturally affirming educational initiatives, and retention strategies. Hailing from Rochester, New York, Garfield holds a B.A. in Government, with a minor in colonial Latin American history and Africana studies and a Master of Public Administration from New Mexico State University (NMSU) where he was previously the Programs Coordinator for the Black Programs Department.
He has implemented outreach and retention services, served as coordinator and advisor in Black programs, and managed numerous departmental programming and events while at NMSU – many of which he hopes to start at the U. He is also a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Incorporated.
Latonya Howell lives in Midvale, Utah. She works as a Director of Human Resources and serves as the Volunteer Coordinator on the CurlyMe! Board. In her free time she can be found cooking, painting, or reading a good leadership book.
Board of Directors
Ashley Cleveland is ecologist turned city planner. As a millennial of color and new mom she has always cared about equity and what the means for the places we live. She thinks representation is key in so many important workings of our everyday life.
She serves on the board of directors for Curly Me! A nonprofit serving Black girls and their families. She is on the board of trustees for Tracy Aviary, a Governor’s Outdoor Recreation Advisory Board member, Utah’s only Outdoor Afro Leader, and she manages the Promise Program in Utah’s youngest city- Millcreek.
Board of Directors
Amber Maughan Mitchell is a Utah native living most of her life here. She received her BA from BYU-Hawaii in International Cultural Studies and later went to the University of Utah and earned her Master of Public Administration. She has worked in the nonprofit sector for over 10 years. She worked as a youth counselor for at risk youth in residential treatment centers in Colorado and Utah. After receiving her MPA she started her career in Fundraising. She worked for the National MS Society as the Walk MS Manager and most recently worked for the American Red Cross as the Donor Development Officer.
She is a wife and mother of 3 lively girls. As a mother of biracial daughters, she has seen the importance of representation and making sure her daughters are connected to the black community. Curly Me! has been a great resource for her daughters to bond and connect with other girls and women who look like them and also teaches them to continue to love their skin and curlys. Amber also sits on the Provo School District Parent Committee for Black Students.
EDUCATE, EMPOWER, ENCOURAGE
Give to help our girls grow and to thrive.