HERstories of Black Women from Our MMA Community


As we mark Black History Month, we celebrate Black innovators and creators throughout our academic and co-curricular programs! Our Black Student Union (BSU) led the way with educational segments on our daily student news program, Good Morning Merion, and through social media. BSU annually hosts a marquee event during Black History Month. This year, the Black HERstory Showcase honors courageous black women in our history and how they impacted the world. We also shared HERstories of Black women from our MMA community—remarkable women of passion and purpose. #BlackHistoryMonth #HERstory #LiveMercy

Mayla Henderson Jackson '02
Mayla Henderson Jackson '02 attended Spelman College, receiving a bachelor of arts degree in Piano Performance in 2006 and a master's degree in Public Health from Drexel University in 2008. Professionally, Mayla has worked for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health for the past 12 years, currently serving as a Health Services Administrator managing the HIV Program in the eight City of Philadelphia Ambulatory Health Services health centers. Mayla is an active member of her beloved sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc., and the African Episcopal Church of St. Thomas, where she teaches Sunday School music. Mayla lives in Andorra with her husband Tom and two sons Thomas and Lucas. Mayla is also grateful for the opportunity to serve on the Executive Board and as the Chair of the MMA Alumnae Association's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee.
Laura Stubbs '75
Dr. Laura Stubbs '75 is the Director of the Office of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at the School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Pennsylvania. Prior to this position, Dr. Stubbs was appointed to the Office of the Secretary of Defense as a member of the Senior Executive Service. She served as the Director for Defense Science and Technology Future Workforce Scholarship Initiatives, and while there she was the most senior executive in the Department of Defense for scientific and technical (S&T) scholarship programs. Dr. Stubbs has more than 25 years of military, private, and public sector experience. She entered the U.S. Navy as the first African-American Naval Nuclear Power School instructor and later transferred to the U.S. Naval Academy as an Assistant Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department. She left active duty and continued in the Navy Reserve. With a proven track record of success, from 2006-2009, Dr. Stubbs was recalled to active duty in the Department of the Navy.  She returned to the Reserve and later retired as a Captain and qualified Engineering Duty Officer. Dr. Stubbs received her B.S.E. and M.S.E., Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics, from the University of Pennsylvania, and her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from University of Maryland at College Park. Laura is also on MMA's Board of Trustees and is a co-chair of the DEI board committee.
Jamilah D. Jones '15
Jamilah D. Jones '15 graduated from Villanova University in 2019 with a degree in Global Interdisciplinary Studies, a focus in Cultural Studies, and a minor in Africana Studies. Dedicated to service and education, Jamilah has taught abroad in countries such as Ecuador, Costa Rica and Jamaica, eventually earning a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to Brazil. She is a proud and active member of Lambda Theta Alpha Latin Sorority, Inc., where she serves as an Empowered Advocate for Diversity. Currently a teacher, Jamilah hopes to take her passions and experiences beyond the classroom and into higher education where she can be a voice for marginalized student populations. Until then, she is excited to be a member of the MMA Alumnae Association's Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee and give back to the sisterhood that gave so much to her.
Ariel Johns '98
Class of 1998 alumna Ariel Johns' love for the performing arts brought her to LA to pursue an acting career. With several plays, commercials, pilots, short films, online projects, and movies under her belt, she is quickly rising up the ranks to be one of the most sought after actresses in Hollywood. Currently Ariel is working on several projects including playing the famous poet Phillis Wheatley in the upcoming feature film, "Bucks of America."  She also launched her production company Flirty Mermaid, Inc. in 2019 with the mission to bring unknown stories to the world. Ariel recently finished co-writing her first full-length feature, "The Whittler," and is excited as this screenplay combines her love of history/true crime, action and drama. In her spare time, Ariel is a travel writer for the CA News Press (https://californianewspress.com/) and runs the popular lifestyle blog hoopLA (hoopLAblog.com). We look forward to seeing your work, Ariel!
Storm Jamison Wilkins '83
Storm Jamison Wilkins '83 is the Executive Director of the Maguire Academy of Insurance and Risk Management at the Haub School of Business at Saint Joseph's University. Storm earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and she received her undergraduate degree cum laude from the American University. She has held various roles with property casualty carriers providing legal support to ACE American Insurance Company (now Chubb) and State Farm. She is also a former trial attorney having successfully tried hundreds of cases before judges, juries and arbitration panels.  Most recently, she has written and presented on COVID-19 insurance coverage claims. Storm is also an accomplished educator, teaching at the Fox School of Business at Temple University, and she was an adjunct Professor at the Drexel University School of Law. She shared, "My sister, Deeadra Jamison Idokogi '81, and I both have very fond memories of Merion." She looks forward to working with MMA's Alumnae Association in career and mentoring initiatives.
Erin Walsh Brooks '01
Erin Walsh Brooks '01 received a BA in English from Hampton University in 2005 and a law degree from Yale Law School in 2010. She worked as a corporate litigator in Atlanta before transitioning to a career in social service nonprofits. She found her passion fundraising for the American College of Rheumatology and Our House, a homeless services organization, and eventually settling at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. Erin lives in Georgia with her husband Wesley and two daughters. Both Erin and Wesley work at nonprofits and are focused on raising children who believe in giving back and lifting up. Her work at her childrens' school includes founding and running the Parents Council for Diversity and Equity through which she works to advance the needs of students of color.
An independent, Catholic, all-girls college preparatory high school for grades 9-12
Merion Mercy Academy
511 Montgomery Avenue Merion Station, PA 19066
P (610) 664-6655
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