Our Staff


EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR 

Steps Coalition is pleased to welcome Gregory Brown as the new Steps Coalition Executive Director. Mr. Brown has served nonprofits and disadvantaged communities domestically throughout the United States and overseas in Central America for many years. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Political Science from American University and a Master's degree from George Washington University in Organizational Management, both located in Washington DC. Mr. Brown's family roots include Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and Costa Rica (Central America).

His most recent professional duties and responsibilities include serving as a Senior Managing Partner, Organizational Development/Management Consultant for Vertex Innovation in Costa Rica and as the Co-CEO and Founder of Organizational Bridges, LLC. He also serves as the Executive Director for Global Chamber® Kansas City Metropolitan Area. Mr. Brown has served in diverse roles and worn multiple hats throughout his career that include serving as an Nonprofit Executive Director, Fundraiser, Housing Counselor, Community Organizer and Nonprofit board executive officer.

Mr. Brown has secured $16.6 million dollars in funding for nonprofits and government agencies in the USA for programs, projects and operating support and has provided consulting technical assistance and training throughout the USA to over 300 nonprofits, local and municipal government agencies, faith based organizations, social service, and community economic development programs and projects for clients domestically and internationally. Mr. Brown has also provided his services to educate and empower youth in Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Honduras He also served as a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Mr. Brown worked with nationally recognized Washington, DC organizations committed to social changers and community empowerment such as the Center for Community Change, Neighbor-Works, Community Planning Development Office of HUD, Center for Technical Assistance and Training and Campaign for Human Development (US Catholic Conference).

Mr. Brown is dedicated to developing leadership, increasing economic resources and empowering lower income residents, community groups--especially disadvantaged ethnic and cultural minority groups, constituencies and youth.

 

Email Gregory: gbrown@stepscoalition.org

Community Organizer

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Brenna Landis started working at Steps Coalition in April 2016 as a volunteer with the East Biloxi Community Collaborative's "East Biloxi In Motion" campaign to empower the community in East Biloxi to remain knowledgeable about the ongoing construction in East Biloxi and to engage in civic action to speak out on the effects of dust and unpaved roads on the community. Since then, Brenna was hired as the Steps Coalition Program Assistant in January 2017 and has recently moved on to community organizing surrounding environmental justice and solar initiatives. She received a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science and English from the University of Southern Mississippi. 

During her time at Southern Miss Gulf Park, Brenna reinstated the student sustainability organization, EcoEagles, which helps to promote sustainability on the college campus as well as in the surrounding communities. Through EcoEagles, she created an annual Earth Week surrounding Earth Day which invited local environmental advocates to come and speak to students as well as encourage students to participate in The Nature Conservancy water stewardship initiatives surrounding Bear Point Bayou on the Long Beach campus. 

Brenna has also represented the MS Gulf Coast community in Washington, D.C. while lobbying with Citizens' Climate Lobby, an international nonpartisan nonprofit aimed at combating climate change with a free market carbon fee and dividend legislative proposal. She also attended the Sierra Club and 350.org's Keep It in the Ground march in D.C. where she met with members of Congress in support of the end of offshore drilling and a push away from dirty fossil fuels. 

 Email Brenna: blandis@stepscoalition.org

BOOKKEEPER

 Jhai Keeton is a 2003 graduate of Moss Point High School. In 2007, Jhai received a bachelor's degree in 

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Accounting from Jackson State University in Jackson, MS. After graduating, Jhai was hired to work as a federal auditor for a public accounting firm in Washington, D.C. This opportunity provided Jhai with experience in examining internal control processes and compliance

 issues as well as working with executive management to identify and implement solutions to various challenges faced by their agencies. Jhai’s most notable clients were the Department of Treasury, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, US Aid and the Department of Homeland Security.

Email Jhai: bookkeeper@stepscoalition.org

 

 

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COMMUNITY ORGANIZER 

Howard Page is a community organizer for the Steps Coalition. He works on the Port Campaign. This campaign works to ensure that the jobs promised by the diversion of funds to the port are created. The campaign addresses many environmental justice issues including wetland fills which cause flooding; air pollution from a large increase in truck and train traffic at the port; and the use of brownfields. The brownfield issues e also works on other environmental justice and economic issues. He is a former state chair of the Mississippi chapter of the Sierra Club, a founding board member of the North Gulfport Community Land Trust and a member of the NAACP. He has also lobbied the legislatures in Washington and Jackson on clean water, clean air and fishing regulations.

Email Howard: stepsorg1@gmail.com

Project Director-Gulf Coast Regional Collaborative    

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Ya-Sin Shabazz–Steps Coalition's incoming Project Director for the Gulf Coast Regional Collaborative, Ya-Sin Shabazz, has served as Director of Programs & Development for Hijra House Association--a community and faith-based organization located in Biloxi, Mississippi–for the past five years. As a Hijra House co-founder, Shabazz steered the organization through energy policy advocacy and energy efficiency programs during the latter stages of Hurricane Katrina recovery, and again during the implementation of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.  Presently, Shabazz leads Hijra House as a member of the Mississippi Clean Energy Advisory Team (CEAT)--teaming with other organizations and advocates to educate minority communities on energy policy and planning by way of Hijra House’s Just Transition-Mississippi campaign. Hijra House also leads the Efficient and Renewable Initiative, prioritizing minority contractors in Just Transition programs, and coordinates the Communities Organizing for Renewables and Energy Efficiency (COREE) campaign along the Mississippi Coast. Through Hijra House, Shabazz has also provided key support to People’s Movement Assemblies in Harrison, Jackson, and Hancock counties.  Under Shabazz’s leadership, Hijra House became a partnering member of the Free Energy Collaborative, Steps Coalition’s Gulf Coast Regional Collaborative, and the East Biloxi Community Collaborative-–developing solar panel training curricula, advancing Coastal Restoration in Mississippi and Louisiana for Vietnamese-American fishermen and under-served stakeholders, and building a healthy, sustainable East Biloxi community where everyone lives, works, and thrives. With successful ventures in workforce education, on-the-job training, and local policy, Shabazz looks forward to expanding minority contracting and workforce opportunities and to increasing energy-focused policy advocacy and organizing through the Gulf Coast Regional Collaborative. Shabazz serves on the Board of the Biloxi Islamic Center, and spearheads Hijra House’s support of enhanced faith-based programs and increased re-entry opportunities for previously incarcerated individuals. Shabazz received a Baccalaureate in Economics/Political Science from Yale University and is the previous owner/operator of Noor Residential Electrical Services. Shabazz also served as Program Manager for the Biloxi Branch NAACP from 2007 through 2010 and is married to Jada Shabazz of Ocean Springs, MS.  

Email Ya-Sin:  yshabazz@stepscoalition.org 

Program Assistant

Crystal Hay-Crystal Hay began working with Steps Coalition in 2017. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in History from the University of Southern Mississippi and a Master’s Degree in Human Services from Capella University. Her volunteer experience with the community includes the Harrison County Children's Shelter,  Community Adviser for the Women’s and Gender Studies Student Organization (WGSSO) at the University of Southern Mississippi, IT Technician for the Gulf South History and Humanities Conference and 38th Annual Conference of the Southeastern Medieval Association.

Crystal has a passion for serving and empowering the under-served in our community.     

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Steps Coalition
610 Water Street, Biloxi, MS 39530
(228) 435-3113

Economic Justice | Environmental Justice | Affordable Housing | Preservation of Historical Communities | Human Rights