Board of Directors
Ralph J. Monroe III
Brian & Beth Evans
Christa Sangster Monroe
Dr. Shawn A. Aranha
Beth works in Evanston as a Teacher's Assistant for Students with Special Needs, and loves working with children of all ages. Beth and Brian are now becoming foster parents and are excited for this new chapter in their lives as a family. She also helps lead Church in the Loop which meets in the heart of downtown Chicago. Beth enjoys time with her family and dreaming of that special trip to Hawaii one day! Brian manages a school bus company during the week and is also the Pastor of Church in the Loop which meets in downtown Chicago. Brian enjoys running, photography, and a bit of martial arts as well.
Ralph J Monroe III, is the founder of Refined and Refreshed Inc., with a vision to empower those with lived experiences of poverty. The tag line, "Doing Generational Work", is a reminder that the vision and mission of this organization will take generations. We are building on the foundation that was laid before us by pioneers fighting for equity. We are continuing that work and hope to encourage those who come after us to keep up that fight and ultimately break the cycle of poverty.
Rhealynn McMichael is a wife and busy mother of two. She enjoys praise dancing at her church, singing in the choir, being an Autism Mom advocate for her daughter, and a band/taekwondo mom for her son. She is also a licensed cosmetologist and entrepreneur for the past 16 years. Rhealynn attended Midwest College of Cosmetology in Normal, Illinois where she specializes in all ages, all races, and all textures of hair. She is the owner of Styles by DivaRe and is now expanding her gifts and talents into teaching classes and educating other on the importance of haircare and self-confidence. Growing up in a poverty driven neighborhood, she knows the importance of organizations like Refined and Refreshed Inc, to help those who need it the most. “I decided to say yes to being a part of the board, not because of my brother, Ralph, but because this is something that is needed in a lot of communities and families. We didn’t have the knowledge or “know how” growing up to prevent some of these cycles from continuing. Some things we had to learn on our own. We have a chance to break those cycles and bring awareness to these issues, so it doesn’t continue in our children and our children’s children and the many generations after that.
Nathan is a scholar-practitioner with a passionate interest for the well-being of both the Church and the academy. His pastoral and theological training included college and seminary study, earning an M.Div at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School and MA at The University Chicago Divinity School. He recently finished a Ph.D. in Theology and Ethics at Loyola University Chicago. His passion is to explore and help others understand how Christians are shaped to read signs and symbols (Scripture, God, themselves, the world) as they make sense of the good and beautiful in the world amidst their racial formation.
Christa J. Sangster Monroe is a Chicago musician, worship leader, and artist. Christa has long used her poetry to create lyrics for her songs as a means of self and communal expression. Her work as a worship leader has spanned half of her lifetime where she has sought to create musical connections between God, the community, and the Earth. Christa cherishes working with artists across various mediums, backgrounds, and beliefs to create connections and opportunities for growth. Recently, Christa was honored to present at The Parliament of the World Religions Conference for 2021. Christa received her Bachelor of Music from Southern Illinois University of Carbondale in 2010 and is currently working towards her Masters of Divinity at Chicago's McCormick Theological Seminary.
Terrence Obeng, MPH was born in Ghana, and moved to the United States at the age of 12 with her family for a better education. She attended the University of Illinois Chicago where she attained a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience. During her final year at the University of Illinois Chicago, she had a chance encounter with a homeless man that birthed a passion for mental health, homelessness, and public health at large. Ms. Obeng is a recent Master of Public Health graduate at Benedictine University with concentrations in Epidemiology and Health Management and Policy. She was a project manager/intern at the U.R.A. Resource Center, LLC where she helped increase awareness to Black maternal and child health. Ms. Terrence Obeng, MPH is honored to serve with Refined and Refreshed to sever generational poverty and empower individuals, families, and communities for generational wealth.
Dr. Shawn A. Aranha is a Translational Research Fellow at Loyola Medical Center and a Graduate Student at Capella University pursuing a Master’s Degree in Healthcare Administration and Leadership. He is also in the Professional Certificate Program at Harvard Business School Online studying Leadership and Management. Dr. Aranha is honored to join Refined and Refreshed after previous distinguished Board of Director service to several notable nonprofit and public service organizations, including The Ray Graham Association for People With Disabilities. Dr. Aranha graduated from Spartan Health Sciences University School of Medicine with a Doctor of Medicine Degree and he graduated from Loyola University Chicago with a Bachelor’s of Arts Degree in Political Science, Philosophy, Theology, International Studies and Women’s Studies as well as a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Psychology and Natural Science. Dr. Aranha was the 2002 Democratic Nominee for IL State Representative in District 41, an IL Democratic Party Committeemen, and a Health Policy Advisor/Legislative Assistant in the Office of IL Lieutenant Governor Patrick Quinn.
Dr. Aranha draws significant personal inspiration from Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Senator Robert Francis Kennedy who dedicated their public service careers to creating a more just and equitable society through promoting civil rights, healthcare justice and anti-poverty initiatives. As Dr. King wrote, “The time has come for us to civilize ourselves by the total direct and immediate abolition of poverty.” And, as Senator Kennedy said, “I believe that as long as there is plenty, poverty is evil.”
Zakari I. Osheku is the Founder and the Executive Director of PHC Initiative Africa. As a Public Health Enthusiast, he strongly believes in strengthening health care system from the base and this informed his decision to set up a system that will catalyze the needed transformation within the health domain or any of its determinants across Nigeria and beyond; hence, the choice for primary health care strengthening which is foundational to the attainment of Universal Health Coverage (UHC).
He has over 10 years’ experience working in the health sector, and this has caused him to have firsthand knowledge of the deplorable state of the Nigerian health care space which he had vowed to correct. Zakari is now renowned as the Voice of Primary Health Care in Nigeria and Africa.
Zakari was a perfect example of what life was like, growing in poverty in Africa without access to quality health care, qualitative education, and good food like millions of others today. However, he was able to struggle through schools, up to earning his Bachelor’s Degree and MBA. Now, he is both a candidate for M.Sc in Public Health and Executive MBA with National Open University of Nigeria and Quantic School of Business and Technology, USA respectively.
He has lots of certifications among which are Policy and Advocacy in Global Health from the University of Washington, USA and Proficiency Certificate in Management.
He is a leader par excellence. He leads a team of over 8000 Primary Health Care Advocates across Africa who work as volunteers of PHC Initiative Africa.
Zakari feels if he is not thinking of solving any of the world’s numerous problems, then he is part of the world’s numerous problems. This philosophy is his drive.