Lea Campbell, a resident of Ocean Springs, Mississippi, is founding President of Mississippi Rising Coalition and a passionate advocate for dismantling exploitative systems perpetuating white supremacy, heteropatriarchy and poverty. Her advocacy and community organizing work in Mississippi has focused on anti-racism and anti-poverty initiatives; dismantling the prison industrial complex; ending food apartheid in Mississippi; removal of the Confederate emblem from the Mississippi state flag and advocating for equal civil rights protections for the LGBTQIA+ community. She wears many hats for the MRC Team but identifies as an organizer first.
Lea approaches social justice work through an intersectional lens grounded in the political analysis of the Black feminist liberation movement and is inspired by fellow Southern anti-racist activist and organizer Anne Braden who said, "As long as people of color can be written off as expendable, and therefore acceptable victims of the most extreme inequities, none of the basic injustices of our society will be addressed; they will only get worse.”
Morris Mock, Board Vice-President, was born in Natchez, MS and attended North Natchez High School then Calloway High School in Jackson. He attended Jackson State University where he majored in Music. Morris is a graduate of the Mississippi Black Leadership Institute and one of the founding members of Nissan Organized Workers (NOW) at the Nissan factory in Canton, MS, where he has been a worker-organizer for over 15 years. He is also an illustrious member of AF&M. Morris, whose passion is labor rights and organizing, states, "There's no peace without unity!" Morris serves as Board Vice-President and organizing advisor.
Laronne O. Lewis, Sr. is a native of New Orleans, LA and father of 3 young men. He has called Waveland, MS his home for 32 years and is a 1993 graduate of Bay St Louis High School. Laronne attended MS Gulf Coast Community College where he studied Industrial Maintenance and Business Administration and was a member of MGCCC football team. After college, Laronne committed to a lifestyle change and pursued a career as an All-Natural Professional Bodybuilder and still competes today. Laronne works as a maintenance technician for Hancock County HUD and served 2 years as the Hancock County Political Chair and 2nd Vice President of the Hancock County branch of the MS NAACP. In addition to his service on the MRC Board, he currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Hancock County Boys and Girls Club. He is a 2018 graduate of Leadership Hancock County, and in his spare time, Laronne loves to mentor young men from all walks of life. He is passionate about building resilient, sustainable and healthy communities, and his primary role on the MRC Team is servings as a Board Member and volunteer organizer in the Waveland/Bay St. Louis areas of the MS Gulf Coast.
Lisa Foster is a native of Petal, MS. She is a graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi with a Masters degree in War & Society (History) and a minor in Race & Ethnicity. Prior to graduate school, she spent ten years in the museum field and a total of fifteen years in non-profits. She was awarded the 2017 Mississippi Historical Society’s prize for best Mississippi History Now website article as co-author of the feature story “Jefferson Davis Soldier Home – Beauvoir.” She has also worked as a research consultant for an episode of the genealogy television show, “Who Do You Think You Are?” Her work and research interests include the Mississippi Homefront during the Civil War, the Confederate veteran, social welfare for Mississippi Confederates and their dependents (wartime aid and post-war pensions), and the Beauvoir Soldiers Home. Lise serves as Board Treasurer , administrator of Rainbow Mutual Aid Fund, organizer and grant writer for MRC.
Keeley is a native of Walnut Grove, MS and currently resides in the Petal, MS area. Keeley is a graduate of Jackson State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Professional Interdisciplinary Studies. She is currently pursuing her master’s degree from Belhaven University in Biblical and Theological Studies. Keeley has always been involved in her community, from serving as a Girl Scouts’ Troop Leader, to volunteering at the Blair E. Baston’s Children’s Hospital, to founding the non-profit Petal Healing Garden that is focused on combatting food insecurity and teaching children about food sustainability..
It is Keeley's vision that through coalition-building of aligned organizations and groups and research and investment in public health in marginalized communities, we will be able to eradicate food insecurity in Mississippi and reverse chronic disease.
Keeley has also worked in the criminal punishment system and has experienced the reality that prison does not rehabilitate individuals but is a system used to continue the oppression of those already in bondage. It is her hope that reforms to the system will ultimately transform the current system into one centered in restorative justice programs centered in care, safety and compassion that will help formerly incarcerated people to return to their families and communities as successful, healthy people. Keeley serves as a Board Member with MRC.
THeo Sutton, jr.
Theo Sutton, Jr. is an organizer serving as the MRC Youth & Community Engagement Director in the Hattiesburg/Pine Belt area. Theo was born in Tulsa, OK but his family moved back to MS shortly after his birth. Growing up in Jackson, MS, his mother would remind him to seek understanding in all things. This practice has served as a source of inspiration and motivation throughout his life. Watching his father serve as a local pastor instilled a sense of responsibility to those around him. This led him to start the VyZen Corps Mentorship program in May of 2020.
Now the goal to share that wisdom with others. Theo's belief is that our job as a community is to be of service to all creation. However, in order to be of service, we as a family must first care for ourselves: mentally, physically and spiritually.
"I know what it means to be alone, unheard, and stigmatized. For this reason, I aim to empower youth to learn themselves in order to better serve others." - Theo