Board of Directors:
Founder/Chairman – Jordan L. Costen
Jordan L. Costen grew up in Atlanta, Georgia as a LGBT youth who had no way of expressing his feelings due to the social stigmas impressed upon him. It was not until his freshman year in high school that he started to feel comfortable with himself as well as his sexuality. After graduating high school he moved to Washington, D.C. to pursue a degree in Communications. To date he has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in TV Production from Howard University, a Master’s Degree of Public Communications from American University and a Certificate in Nonprofit Administration and Leadership from Northern Virginia Community College.
Over the years Jordan has become increasingly passionate about volunteering with at risk kids and instilling them with the confidence needed to work through societal and family issues. Some of the youth focused organizations he has worked with in the past include the Maya Angelou Charter School and Horton’s Kids in Washington, D.C. His latest volunteer effort is with an Alexandria based mentoring program, Space Of His Own (SOHO). He has been working the organization for over three years. Jordan is also a member of the Arlington Gay and Lesbian Association and the Gay Men’s Health Collaborative.
To ensure he was on the forefront of advocacy and equality Jordan previously served on the Alexandria Commission on Human Rights which works with businesses, community groups and individuals to facilitate understanding of rights and responsibilities; advises City Council and the City Manager on human rights issues; and holds public hearings on specific complaints. Upon leaving this role Jordan founded Safe Space, Inc. with the notion that every child in the Northern Virginia area should have access to a safe, accepting and supportive environment which promotes equality.
Vice Chairman – Jerome R. Hunt, PhD
Dr. Jerome R. Hunt, is a Visiting Assistant Professor in the Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Political Science Program at the University of the District of Columbia. He received his BA in Political Science and Masters of Administration with a concentration in Public Administration from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. Dr. Hunt received his doctorate in American Government and Political Behavior and Black Politics from Howard University. He is a scholar/advocate whose research focuses on Black leadership in a “post-racial” America, socioeconomic/social justice issues affecting the Black community, and the Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community.
In addition to serving as a Board Member for Safe Space, Inc., Dr. Hunt also serves as the Chair of the LGBTQ Caucus for the National Conference of Black Political Scientist and is a member of the Board of Directors for the West Chester University of Pennsylvania Alumni Association. He is a Life Member of Kappa Kappa Psi, National Honorary Band Fraternity. He has previously served on the Executive Board of the Gertrude Stein Democratic Club.
Dr. Hunt is a native of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and is a diehard Philadelphia Phillies Phan. In his spare time, he mentors African American college students, volunteers in the LGBT Community, writes opinion pieces (his work has been featured in the Washington Blade & National Journal), and plays flute in Washington DC’s Different Drummers Capitol Pride Symphonic Band. He currently resides in Washington, DC with his husband, Alvin.
Treasurer – Richard J. Bell, Esq., CPA
Richard J. Bell, Esq., CPA, is a native of the District of Columbia. He is a graduate of Morgan State University and Howard University School of Law. He has over 20 years of experience in tax and accounting. He worked as a senior accountant at one of the Big 4 national accounting firms before transitioning to a manager at a local firm. His expertise includes advising small businesses on tax and accounting matters, consulting corporations on state and local tax matters, and federal and state compliance for individuals and businesses.
Secretary – Charles A. Sumpter, Jr.
Charles A. Sumpter, Jr., is a Senior Advisor for congressional affairs in the Department of Defense. He began his legislative career working for Congressman Charles Rangel and later D.C. City Councilwoman Mary Cheh. As Chairman of the Alexandria Commission on HIV/AIDS, Sumpter is an outspoken advocate working to increase support for prevention efforts and advocating for those hit hardest. In addition to sitting on the Board of Safe Space, Inc. he is a member of the Eisenhower Partnership and served on the Eisenhower West Steering Committee. He also formed the Sumpter Initiative, LLC, an Alexandria based political communications consulting firm. He was a former member of the Alexandria Commission on Employment. Additionally, Sumpter is a member of the political leaders program at the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia. A New York City native and Giants fan, Sumpter graduated from Union College in Schenectady, NY and the Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.
Board Member – Ambrose G. Sayles
Ambrose G. Sayles has spent the majority of his career as a public servant working in various capacities in foreign relations, public affairs, and policy analysis at the U.S. Department of State. He currently works in the Public Affairs Bureau at State after serving as a Special Assistant to the Secretary of State for nearly three years. Ambrose served on the City of Alexandria’s Commission on HIV/AIDS from 2014 to 2016 prior to joining the Safe Space Board. Ambrose’s experience working in public policy and communications, along with his professional and personal networks, will benefit Safe Space as the organization continues to thrive and expand.
- Executive Director – Jordan L. Costen
- Outreach Coordinator – Yariana Rodriguez
- Website & Social Media Coordinator – Courtney Eiland
- Social Media Correspondent – Khyle Paylor
If you are interested in volunteering with our team or would like to partner with us, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or click the “Contact Us” button below. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you.