Board Chair & Acting Treasurer
Allen has lived in the greater DC area nearly all his life. As a young man, he was greatly influenced by the civil rights movement of the 60’s and 70's. This helped shape his insights about politics, justice, and social action. In the 70’s he spent six years as a jazz musician and truck driver before realizing that a college education could be of great use. After receiving a B.S. from the University of Maryland, he worked 30+ years as a technology and process consultant for large private and public sector organizations. Allen and his wife have two sons: one is a musician and in food service; the other is a local police officer.
Allen is (mostly) retired and is intent upon nurturing his heart and his community. He is passionate about gardening, travel, reading, brewing beer, volunteering, and catching up on all those house projects that he promised to get around to. Helping to lead the Carpe Diem Arts board fulfills many aspirations for him and he uses his skills to further the impact of this wonderful organization.
Megan is a senior research associate at the Urban Institute, where she seeks to inform policymakers and practitioners about the complex relationship between schools and their surrounding neighborhoods. Her research focuses on efforts to improve housing and educational opportunities for children in low-income families. She studies how housing and neighborhood revitalization efforts affect schools and how schools and education policies influence the trajectories of neighborhoods.
Megan designs and manages complex research projects and collects and analyzes data from surveys, administrative databases, in-depth interviews, and focus groups. She is currently developing a pilot demonstration in DC to improve low-income parents' access to information about their children’s educational opportunities, providing technical support for local education initiatives, and analyzing the characteristics of students and communities affected by school moves, closures, and openings.
She has an MPP in Public Policy Analysis from Georgetown University and a BA in Sociology and Social Welfare from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. She lives in Takoma Park with her husband and two children.
Josephine Garnem is a leader, advocate, community mobilizer and public speaker with over 23 years of extensive international and domestic experience. She is passionate about racial equity and justice and immigration.
Josephine was born in Sierra Leone and has lived and worked in the Middle East, Nigeria, Uganda, Cameroon, Haiti, Pakistan and Afghanistan before moving to the USA.
Josephine is the founder and CEO of the Khalil Garnem Foundation, the co-founder of Immigrant Community Services, and a volunteer technical and strategic advisor for multiple non-profits. Josephine has organized and led multiple diaspora-led free surgical, training and medical missions to Sierra Leone and Cameroon.
Josephine serves on the Board of Directors of the Healey International Relief Foundation, the Michael and Mauritia Patcha Foundation, and is recently appointed to serve on the National Council of Pax Christi, USA. She has served in the Health and Human Services' Leadership Institute for Equity and Elimination of Health Disparities (LIEED) advisory group, is a founding member of The Hub for Culture & Democracy at Sandy Spring Museum, former Chairperson for the Montgomery County's African Affairs Advisory Group, and former County Executive's liaison to the African immigrant community.
Josephine holds a bachelor's degree in Education, a degree in Sociology (exp 2021), is a 2020 Cohort of the Center for Action and Contemplation's Living School (Theology and Social Justice), She is also pursuing a master's degree in Social Work and Public Health. Josephine currently works with Montgomery County's Office of Community Partnerships' Gilchrist Immigrant Resources Center. She and her family live in Olney, MD.
Dianne Harrison is a mom, passion advocate, wellness meditator, entrepreneur, and arts enthusiast. Outside of her greatest joys, her two sons and family, Dianne Harrison derives personal fulfillment from helping others, sharing with others and connecting to others in purposeful and creative ways. Joining the board of Carpe Diem Arts has allowed Dianne to contribute to helping, sharing and connecting with others using the creative arts for good causes.
Dianne’s early interests in the arts were shaped largely by her mother and father who participated in the arts in very different ways. Always having been passionate about the arts afforded Dianne to test the breadth and depth of what it means to bring understanding and meaning of the arts across cultures, genders, ages, and ideologies. Involvement in Carpe Diem was a natural extension of serving the arts, having already been a dancer/performer in the early years and a board member of Class Acts Arts/Artivate.
Dianne, a lifelong Washingtonian, hopes to bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to Carpe Diem Arts from a business perspective. Dianne is the owner of Passionary and Copiosity Designs, both of which were started while earning a Master of Business Administration, Master of Management with a specialization in Marketing, and later, a Master of Management with a specialization in Public Relations from the University of Maryland - all while raising sons, Kendred Jones, now a data analyst, and Kamil Jones, now a financial consultant.
Paula is a World Bank consultant on environmental topics. She has previously worked as a communications manager, journal managing editor, and environmental and impact assessment specialist. Paula holds a policy BA from Duke University, an ecology MS from the University of Florida, and a PhD in planning from the University of Liverpool. After taking a recent Carpe Diem Arts "Ukes on the Move" ukulele course, Paula learned of and started attending Carpe Diem Arts events. She witnessed time and again how Carpe Diem was making joyful arts experiences accessible to people from all walks of life while building arts appreciation and sense of community. Carpe Diem Arts programming in early learning centers, correctional facilities, public venues, and among young and retired populations is often seen by participants as transformative. Paula and her family are participants, advocates, and beneficiaries of the wonderful music and arts experiences Busy Graham and Carpe Diem Arts bring to the community. Paula is honored to serve on Carpe Diem Arts' board of directors.
Broker/Owner of Carson Properties, a real estate investment and management company since 1987. Portfolio includes single and multi-family dwellings in D.C., Maryland and Virginia. Singer/songwriter since 2016. Has produced two CD(s) Shaking off the Dust, 2017 and Don't You Dare, 2018 and performed locally and abroad. Proudest engagements - Preservation Hall, New Orleans, La, 2018, MidAtlantic Jazz Festival, Rockville, Md. 2019, Alice Jazz and Cultural Society, Washington, D.C. 2017, Twins Jazz, Washington, D.C. 2018, Swedish Club, Paris, France, 2017.