Board of Directors


Xylina Bean, M.D.


Dr. Xylina Bean, co-founder of SHIELDS for Families, is the Chairperson of the Department of Pediatrics and W. K. Kellogg Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics at Meharry Medical College in Nashville, TN. She is a native of Tennessee, although she spent most of her career in California. Dr. Bean is a board certified Pediatrician and Neonatologist. Before going to Nashville, she was Chief of Neonatology and Director of High Risk Children’s Medical Programs at King/Drew Medical Center, Associate Professor at Drew and Clinical Professor at UCLA. Dr. Bean was also co-founder of Wilmington Community Clinic, a FQHC clinic serving the predominantly lower income population in the Southbay. She attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, MA obtaining a B.A. in Physiology in 1969. She then matriculated through the University of Pennsylvania, School of Medicine where she gained her doctorate of medicine degree. She entered into residency at Martin Luther King, Jr. General Hospital in Los Angeles, CA, completing her pediatric residency and a fellowship in Neonatology. She then joined the Pediatric faculty at Charles R. Drew University.




Gerald E. Phillips is Vice President of Economic Resources Corporation; a California Non-Profit Corporation formed to promote economic development and help revitalize the economically disadvantaged communities in South Los Angeles.

Mr. Phillips was appointed to his current position with Economic Resources Corporation on September 1, 1984. He is currently responsible for corporate activities; asset management; leasing; tenant improvement projects; professional technical assistance to its tenants, and other responsibilities as assigned by the president of the company.

In March of 2005 Mr. Phillips was recognized by the Economic Alliance Coalition of San Bernardino County for his innovative work bringing broadband technology to the communities Lynwood, Compton, Watts and the surrounding communities of South Los Angeles for global business opportunities for small business. Mr. Phillips efforts have reduced digital divide issues in the above areas.

Mr. Phillips is currently serving as the Chairperson of SHIELDS for Families Board of Directors in Los Angeles, California. He is also serving as Chairperson of the Morning Star Outreach Ministry Board of Directors in Pasadena, California.




Dr. Kerry English is a developmentally trained pediatrician currently working as Medical Director of the King Foster Care HUB Clinic in Watts, providing forensic evaluations for L.A. County DCFS in cases of alleged child abuse and neglect. He was previously director of the Child Development Division of the Pediatric Department of Drew University of Medicine and Science and the Pediatric Department of the King/Drew Medical Center. In addition to the SHIELDS Board, he had been on the Drew Child Development Corporation Board for 20 years and was chair for the last three before departing in 2012. He has been a pediatrician for forty years, nearly all in South Los Angeles, after graduating medical school from the UCLA School of Medicine (now Geffen) in 1970. After completing three years of pediatric training, he did a two year fellowship in child development at the Yale Child Study Center in New Haven, CT and returned to Los Angeles to join the faculty of Drew in 1976.


Bunny Withers


Bunny Coleman Withers, was born and raised in Los Angeles, California.  An educator by profession, she retired from the Los Angeles Unified School District in June, 2008. Ms. Withers holds a B.A. Degree in Human Services Administration, a M.A. Degree in Education, with a concentration in Counseling and Guidance, and credentials in Pupil Personnel Services, Secondary Teaching, and Administration.

In addition to her membership on the Board of Directors at SHIELDS for Families, she has held board and advisory council positions with the Salvation Army, American Cancer Society, and Los Angeles County Service Planning Area 6. She also served as the Far West Regional Director for Jack and Jill of America, Inc.  A member of the Presbyterian Church she is both an ordained Elder and Deacon. Her most cherished role, however, is as a mother to Jamaal A. Withers and Aisha Withers Mitchell, and ‘Granny’ to Nia Imani-Saran, Jaylin Amina-Saran, and Darren Jalani (DJ) Mitchell.

Charlotte Burnett


Susan Haynes, Ed.D


Susan Haynes, Ed.D, or more commonly known as Dr. H, is a professional educator in both the Community College and Secondary Education settings. She has written curriculum, developed numerous multicultural programs, and served as Master Teacher and Master Counselor. Susan has taught psychology in the chemical dependency counseling certificate program at Los Angeles Southwest College for over 10 years.

Susan has presented several workshops and seminars at national conferences focused on education, diversity, and African American youth. She published an article on mentoring in the Journal of Urban Education, Teaching, and Research, and is currently writing a book that focuses on the socio-cultural history of the African American elders.

In addition to her doctorate degree, Susan also holds two Masters degrees.

Susan states that she is “In awe of and inspired by the work of SHIELDS for Families, including their vision for continued growth and outreach, and the eternal commitment to always serve the people of South Central and Watts. I am a SHIELDS supporter for life.”


Cheryl Macon-Oliver, MSW

Board Member

Cheryl Macon-Oliver, MSW is a consultant, facilitator, trainer and coach with over thirty-five years experience in non-profit and educational environments.  As founder and president of Epiphany Consulting Group, Inc., she works with individuals, teams and organizations to maximize their potential.  She has consulted and coached individuals and organizations in areas of financial planning and management, human resource development, organizational and leadership development, strategic planning, program development and implementation.

Ms. Macon-Oliver has worked as a clinical social worker and as a manager of a State-wide program as well as other community based programs.  She is the co-founder of a human service non-profit organization located in South Central Los Angeles and served as its chief operating officer for ten years.

Ms. Macon-Oliver is also an Adjunct Professor in the USC School of Social Work.  In addition, she serves as a field instructor/supervisor for social work interns in the graduate schools of USC, UCLA and Cal State Dominquez Hills.