Barbara is a strong believer in our urgent need to create the “Beloved Community” that Reverend Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. fought for in his lifetime towards building strong and sustainable positive community relationships crossing all boundaries.
Barbara has served for over four decades in various leadership positions in the labor, faith and local community where she resides. Barbara was appointed in 2000 by the Mayor of West Windsor Township and served for over a decade on the Human Relations Council and six of those years as the Chairperson. Barbara spearheaded a number of initiatives during her tenure, including the first community celebration of the birthday of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in January of 2009, which continues to provide opportunities to engage community residents, students of the West Windsor Plainsboro School District, and other community and civic leaders in a dialogue on how to build positive community relations.
Barbara and her husband, Reverend Dr. Cornell A. Edmonds established the Interfaith Community Bridge (ICB) as a tool to bring diverse faith and community leaders together to share resources and build positive and sustainable communication links and relationships with each other, the community and the Mayor’s Office. The ICB continues to thrive as an independent community organization.
In her role as an Elder at the Church of the Covenant located in mid-town east in New York City, Barbara initiated the Faith Health and Wellness Ministry in 2016. This ministry’s vision is to provide opportunities to share resources through workshops on wellness, speaker forums and peace making opportunities on a local, national and global level to help build community focused on 1 Corinthians 3:16, “Know Ye not that ye are the temple of God?” Most recently Barbara launched a series of virtual conversations focused on issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic ranging from anxiety grief and stress to challenges facing education with expert panelists.
Barbara is a passionate advocate and creator of education & leadership development opportunities in her calling as a community and labor leader. She was a lead coordinator in the establishment of the Lillian Roberts Women’s Leadership Academy in 2019. The first co-hort of 17 women were mentored and trained for leadership roles in the union. Barbara established the DC 37 Labor Faith and Community Outreach Program in 2012 to engage our DC 37 and AFSCME members in their faith and community organizations. Barbara is the former President of the West Windsor Plainsboro African-American Parent Support Group. She presently serves as a sustaining member of the President’s Council of Cornell Women, which is an alumni organization that promotes advancement of women faculty, administrators and students in leadership.