Candace Parrish, Ph.D. is the founder and creator of Odelia, Marie & Patrice, LLC. Candace received an interdisciplinary Ph.D. related to the areas of Public Relations, Health Communication, and Visual Communication and is currently an Assistant Professor at Penn State University.
After being recognized nationally and internationally for her research, she decided to apply her love for design and artistry with her research in health communication to make vegan, small-batch, environmentally friendly, and luxury self care products. In 2020, Odelia, Marie, & Patrice received a grant from Beyonce and the NAACP to continue to fund the launch of the organization.
Candace is an advocate for offering decadent products that provide “everyday luxury” to her customers and clients without accruing damage to our environment. With a special focus on herbs and herbalism, she puts great detail in making sure to utilize natural and organic ingredients to create the most healthy and decadent products. Through Odelia, Marie, & Patrice (OM&P), Candace also helps to pour back into minority community activists and social movements like prison reform and has been featured in Forbes. For JULIAN, she advises on communication strategies.
“Growing up in the Deep South of Mississippi, racism was not only an unconscious bias I experienced institutionally, but it was more so culturally an experience that most local Blacks had experienced as well. It was something that was almost an unspoken acceptance because we had a lack of resources or insight to actually demand change. I wanted to become a part of JULIAN because JULIAN demands change. JULIAN demands equal rights for all. JULIAN demands fairness and accountability and understands the power of freedom. It’s the safe haven I wish I could have had in my corner growing up. I’m proud to serve as a board member so others can have what I couldn’t.”
Born and raised in Laurel, Mississippi, Denicka Jones has had the uncommon gift of nurturing growth, meeting people where they are without judgment, and speaking to the deepest parts of their souls since she was a child. Now a woman and mother of four, she is a registered nurse and community leader, helping to heal those suffering from acute mental health issues and anyone else who needs her. In this role, this role that she was born for, she has impacted lives across the nation and helped individuals find freedom—of mind, of heart, of body in some of their lowest moments.
At JULIAN, she is a connection to overlooked and isolated communities, keeping her ear to the ground and her heart on her sleeve, embodying the love and acceptance that this organization deems sacred.
Jacob “Jake” Gillison is the Director of Operations for the Honorable U.S. Senator, Bernard Sanders. Jacob manages and organizes daily operational activities pertinent to office efficiency. Prior to his employment with Senator Sanders, Jacob served as the Officer Manager Scheduler for our fraternity brother, the Honorable Congressman John R. Lewis. Jacob has faithfully served his country as an Air Traffic Controller in the United States Air Force for 13 years. During his nearly two decades of service in the United States Air Force, Jacob was recognized repeatedly for his commitment to duty and dedication to excellence. At the time of departure from the Air Force he served in the position of Assistant Chief, Air Traffic Control Training and Evaluation.
A native of Beaufort, South Carolina, Jacob graduated from Battery Creek High School and continued his education by earning dual Bachelor of Science Degrees in Business Administration and Economics from Benedict College. He also earned an additional degree in Aeronautical Science from Embry Riddle Aeronautical University. Twenty-five years later, Jacob received his MBA from Northcentral University specializing in management.
Jacob is a member of Sigma Sigma Sigma Chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Incorporated. As an additional testament to Jacob’s long and exceptional service, the FreeMasons bestowed upon him their 33d Degree, an honorary title granted to those Masons who distinguished themselves. He is also an active member of Delta Mu Delta Honor Society, Lambda Eta Chapter.
PARTNERS: JULIAN’s partners include but are not limited to the Ford Foundation, the Kellogg Foundation, Public Welfare Foundation, Borealis Foundation, the Lear Family Foundation, The Frances Lear Foundation, Southern Grantmakers, Mindbridge, the Mississippi Center for Investigative Reporting, the Marshall Project, the People’s Advocacy Institute, and Harvard Kennedy School.