National Black Child Development Institute (NBCDI) • Dr Leah Austin, President

BCDI Philadelphia & Vicinity • Lola M Rooney, President

BCDI - Who We Are

Celestine Wiggins

Tine has over 38 years in the community working in educational, recreational, physical, nutritional, and administrative capacities. B.S. in Health & Physical Education, M.S. in Administration, and Principal Certification. Populations include adults, youth, emotionally disturbed, learning and physically challenged, intellectually gifted, and youth with behavioral and eating disorders. Many accomplishments coaching recreationally interscholastic, and intercollegiate sports. Services to adults include life skills and health awareness training, conducting health and fitness classes, and providing home care and hospice care to the elderly. y associates. Thanks again for your help.

Health & Wellness Director

Dr Shawnik Rice 

An author, founder of Building Bridges International Foundation, Inc.,  motivational speaker, educator, multicultural strategist, and advocate for marginalized populations. She is a native of Philadelphia and is highly respected by community leaders. Dr. Rice has served as a Professor of English as a Second Language, Vice Principal of an elementary school, director of educational programs, elementary teacher, and a community activist. Upon successful completion of her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, Dr. Rice decided to continue her studies in education, and later attained a master’s in Education with an emphasis on Multicultural Education, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership. Currently, she is completing a doctoral program in Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Rice also holds a Master of Theological Studies and has a gift of empowering youth, women, and leaders toward transformational change. Dr. Rice has also attained instructional certificates from the Pennsylvania Department of Education for Early Childhood Education, Elementary Education, Special Education, English as a Second Language, and English. 


Phyllis Mason

A charter member of BCDI Philadelphia & Vicinity and currently serves as the Vice President. She retired from the School District of Philadelphia after serving as Grant Compliance Monitor for Title I and other Federal Programs. Her prior employment experience included positions of Program Manager for Early Care Education and After-School Programs under the Center for Youth Development, both at United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania. Although retired, she continues to work as an Educational Consultant for Discovery Toys. Mason has over 30 years of experience in program management including development and implementation. In addition to her service commitment to BCDI, Phyllis is an active volunteer at George Washington Carver Community Center and is the founding President of Mt. Zion Community Tennis Association.

Vice President

Lynnette K DeShields

Lynnette DeShields studied Social Work and Early Education at Temple University in Philadelphia PA. Her career spanned over thirty years of extensive work with children and families. Lynnette is a caring and passionate professional who always gives one hundred percent of herself. She worked in the Health Care Profession as a Behavior Specialist at The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, and in the field of Child Welfare as a Resource Foster Family Recruiter. Lynnette also prepared Child and Family Adoption Profiles for children waiting for permanent homes. She especially enjoyed Training; Consulting and Facilitating Groups for Parents and running Social Skills Groups for Children using animation, such as puppetry.

Membership Director

Horace R Rooney Jr

Working in the field of education for over twenty years as an educator and administrator. He is currently a curriculum supervisor for English/Language Arts for the Tredyffrin/Easttown School District, located in Chester County. His experience in education has also included work with notable institutions such as Fellowship Farm, the YMCA, the NBCDI, and local faith-based organizations, as well as programs including the Philadelphia Writing Project. He strives to use his experiences as a teacher and leader in order to provide continued edification for young people. He attends The Family Church of New Jersey under the leadership of pastors Ted and Dawn Winsley. A native Philadelphian, he continues to reside there with his wife and four children.

Family Engagement Director

Kimberly Railey

Master’s in Education. Thirty+ years in education arena. Pennsylvania State Teacher & PQAS Certifications • Current: Specialist, Children’s Literacy Initiative. Previous: Regional Head Start Federal Reviewer. Disability Coordinator, Easter Seals of SEPA. Acting Director/Education Coordinator Early Childhood Programs, Phila. Housing Authority. Adjunct Professor(s) Eastern & Newman Universities. Instructor, Nanjing China, International School. Article: Railey, Kimberly, (2012) Obstacles in Early Intervention and Special Education Services for African American Children. p.14 NBCDI-PA. “Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor”

Literacy Director

Monroe D Griffin, II

Currently serving as a part-time faculty member in the division of Business, Computing and Social Science at Delaware County Community College. Moreover, I advise students and teach courses in elementary education.  In addition, I teach and mentor high school students that are enrolled in the dual enrollment program at Delaware County Community College.  My academic interests include elementary education and early childhood, black male student success, and K-6 inquiry based science education.

Education Department

Louis Mason

Bachelor of Science in Education/Elementary Education from West Chester University, Master Education from Cheyney University, currently in second term as School Board Director for Norristown Area School District, current Joint Operations Committee Board member for Central Montco Technical High School Plymouth Pennsylvania, current Executive Board Member, Greater Norristown NAACP

Advocacy & Policy Department