National Executive Officers


Melrita M. Johnson, LCSW

National Grand President/Organizer

Melrita Johnson is a native of Forrest City, AR. Melrita attended Forrest City High School. Melrita graduated from FCHS in 1995 and enrolled in college at THE Fort Valley State University in Fort Valley, GA. While matriculating, Melrita was a member of the World Renown Blue Machine Marching Band and developed a love for Social Work. Transferring back to her home state of Arkansas, Melrita enrolled in East Arkansas Community College and transferred to Arkansas State University where she graduated with a Bachelor Degree in Social Work.

Dr. Brandynicole Brooks-Harris, LICSW

National First Vice President/Founder

Dr. Brandynicole Brooks is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (LICSW) with 15 years of experience in providing crisis intervention, crisis counseling, comprehensive family assessments, and family counseling in a child welfare setting.  She has worked in the states of Texas, Alabama, and the District of Columbia.  Over the past five years, Brandynicole has focused on the development of child welfare leaders through her position as the director of learning and development with the DC Child and Family Services Agency’s Child Welfare Training Academy.  In 2017, she began providing consultation and training support to organizations and leaders focused on trauma-informed leadership through her consultancy, Eban Consulting, LLC.  She is also an adjunct professor of Social Work and Sociology at the University of the District of Columbia.

National Second Vice-President/Founder

Labrenda Thomas, LCSW

LaBrenda Thomas, a native of Little Rock, AR, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the states of Arkansas and Tennesseen and a Licensed School Social Worker for the Tennessee Department of Education. She currently serves as the Dean of Social Emotional Learning for Perea Elementary School in Memphis, TN. She is also the owner of Empowerment Counseling and Consulting, LLC in Germantown, TN where she provides psychotherapy and clinical supervision. She is a clinical therapist for an online and mobile platform, TalkSpace and a clinical contractor for Knowledge Quest/Universal Parenting Place. With over 13 years of experience, LaBrenda has served in the social services and mental health field in various capacities. These areas include medical social work, school social work, community mental health, acute behavioral health and systems of support programming supporting the IDD population. LaBrenda earned her Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Central Arkansas in 2008 and immediately enrolled in graduate school at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock to obtain her Master’s in Social Work in 2010.

Catiya Welch, LMSW

National Secretary/Founder

Catiya C. Welch is a native of Homer, Louisiana, and currently resides in Maumelle, AR. She is a Licensed Master Social Worker with over 17 years of experience providing case management, mental health, medical, and supportive services in the field of social work. She started her career in 2003 with the Arkansas Department of Human Services-DCFS as a Family Social Worker where the majority of her work was in Lafayette and Columbia counties. Her passion has always been to strengthen children and families. Catiya has received awards such as the Arkansas DHS/DCFS Area IV Family Service Worker of the Year and the Story Award for being a visionary advocate for children, who promote the heart and mission of the Arkansas Department of Human Services; Children & Family Services division. She later joined UAMS-Kids First in February 2012 as a Licensed Social Worker. In January 2013, she relocated from Magnolia, AR, to the Little Rock area to pursue her desire to obtain a master’s degree in social work. After completing her master’s degree and obtaining her master’s level licensure, Catiya transferred to the position of Outpatient Transplant Social Worker at UAMS where she’s currently employed.

National Treasurer/Founder

Shuvonne Johnson, LMSW

Shuvonne is a Licensed Master Social Worker and a Clinically Certified Criminal Justice Specialist.

She is a native of Little Rock, AR and currently employed by the AR Department of Corrections as an LMSW in the Mental Health Department. Shuvonne also works as an adjunct professor for Shorter College in the National Second Chance Pell Program. Shuvonne is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. She attends St. Mark Baptist Church in LR, AR.

Graduate Assistant

Myrakle Betancourt

Myrakle Betancourt is from Brooklyn, New York. Presently, she resides in Dallas, Texas. In 2019, she graduated from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro where she obtained a Bachelors degree in psychology and social work. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in social work from Baylor University. Her work experience includes serving with AmeriCorps as a student success coach and mentor as well as being an early head start teacher, camp counselor and programming assistant. She loves children; She has worked with youth for over four years now. Currently, she works as an educator for Enriched Dallas schools and CEO of TruePer LLC. Her goals are to become a licensed clinical social worker and build her own private practice. She hopes to be a positive role model for youth and future social workers around the world.

Myrakle Betancourt.png

Tamiko Johnson

Graduate Assistant

Tamiko Johnson is a current Master of Social Work student at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. She graduated with a Bachelor of Social Work degree on May 16, 2020 from the University of Arkansas Little Rock. Her goals are to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and have her own private practice. She is the mother of 3 grown college educated black men. She has worked for the University of Arkansas-Pulaski Technical College as an Administrative Assistant II in the Counseling and Disability Services for 6 years. Her God given purpose is to serve and uplift men and women of color. She prays to change the views of mental health awareness in the black community.

Jeramie Alexander


Jeramie Alexander is the son of Yolanda Mason and Jeramie Alexander, Sr.  He is a native of Parkin, Arkansas and attends Philander Smith College with a current grade point average of 3.97.  He is expected to graduate with a Bachelor's in Social Work in 2021.  At Philander Smith College, he is a part of STUMP modeling and the college judicial board.  He was the 2019-2020 Mister Philander Smith College and made history by being one of Ebony's Top 10 HBCU Kings.  Jeramie has hopes of going to law school but without leaving the field of social work.  His hobbies and interests include listening to inspirational music, helping others, and dressing up like he is already in his dream career.  A quote that he lives by is "There can not be failure to a man who has not lost his courage, his character, his self-respect, or his self-confidence.  He is still a King."

Niketta White


Niketta White was born in Lawton, Oklahoma. She was raised in Eudora, Arkansas since she was 12 years old. She has 4 children and married to her amazing Husband, Larry. She is a proud member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. Her hobbies consist of spending time with her family and friends and traveling. Niketta graduated from the University of Arkansas-Monticello in 2010 receiving her Masters degree in Criminal Justice. She then graduated from Capella University with her Masters in Public Safety in 2014. She is currently enrolled in the Masters of Social Work program at Our Lady of the Lakes University where she is expected to graduate in May 2021 with the plan to obtain her MSW and then become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She is currently employed as a Behavioral Health Case Manager for Mainline Health Systems in the Drew Central School District. Niketta is the owner of Red Ink Designs, LLC. What led her to the social work field is her passion to helping the youth. Connecting them with the appropriate resources and ensuring their needs are being met. Seeing families happy and helping to make a change are two things that guarantees she chose the correct profession. Niketta encourages people to follow their dreams, and it doesn’t matter how long it takes you to achieve a goal, just don’t stop. Keep striving. She believes that God is within her, and she will not fail. Psalm 46:5.

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