Meet Our Board of Directors
K. Durell Cowan
President, Chief Executive Officer
K. Durell Cowan I., a Memphis native, grew up in the inner city. He is a graduate of Fairley High School, graduate of Brown College with a degree in Mass Communication.
Director Cowan fell in love with non-profit organizations during his years in high school. He is a graduate of Bridge Builders, Bridges, INC. As a result, he has created an organization that works collaboratively with local businesses, schools, and churches to provide services and resources to the most vulnerable populations in the city of Memphis. HEAL 901 is a nonprofit organization where the motto is “Increasing human potential while decreasing human suffering.” One of the highlighted programs that they power is C.B.I.M. (Coaching Boys into Men). Fairley High School had the pleasure of utilizing this program for their Men’s Basketball team. As a result, they were able to obtain and apply the skills that were taught in this program to be more teachable and be a positive example to the other students. Director Cowan has taken his life experiences and decided to be a positive figure for young men in the urban community for future generations. When he is not making the city a better place for future generations, he can be found spending time with his lovely wife and amazing children. He understands that a loving and supporting family can propel you into places that money cannot. His hero growing up was Robinhood and you can see that in the life he lives.
Director Cowan elected to take his picture at an old daycare in the Whitehaven area to show that when we don’t invest in our youth at the earliest of stages we are leading them to the public school to prison pipeline.
Brandon Ousley, BSSW, LMSW
Brandon is a Memphis native who grew up in the Whitehaven community. Growing up he witnessed the social injustices facing his community and wanted to do his part to make it better. After losing his mother before graduating high school, he wanted a career that would allow him to be of service which led him to a career in social work. Brandon is now a Licensed Master Social Worker after completing his studies in social work at The University of Alabama at Birmingham and Loyola University Chicago. His specialty is sport social work, specifically professional athletes, and is a member of the Alliance of Social Workers in Sports (ASWIS). Currently, he is the only licensed sport social worker in the state of Tennessee. Brandon was teaching at The University of Memphis when the founder of Heal 901, his first cousin, asked him to join the organization as Director of Operations to help create and develop programming. Recently the Board approved his new role as Assistant Director to assist in outlining the vision for the organization. Brandon is currently pursing his Maters in Urban Education with thesis at Rhodes College as he explores research related to the hostility of poverty towards education. When he is not at Heal 901 or writing his next paper, he enjoys spending time with family and friends or serving others at his church, Greater New Liberty. One of his biggest inspirations is his mother, because she instilled in him the values necessary to be a productive member of society. His greatest hero is his grandfather who still shares his advice and wisdom. Brandon chose to take his photograph at Oakshire Downs Apartments to serve as a reminder of the challenges Memphis residents face as they deal with poverty, educational disadvantages, and food insecurities.
A Memphis native, Christopher graduated from Whitehaven High School and the University of Memphis. In 2015, he decided to step out on faith and enter the entrepreneurial world when TAXES365 was formed. His expertise is in business and non-profit accounting services. Christopher's personal heroes are Barack Obama and Thurgood Marshall. "I chose to take my picture at 3385 because this is where the HEAL 901 minds come together to plan the real work that needs to be done. I am a part of HEAL 901 because the city of Memphis has helped make me who I am. HEAL 901 gives me the opportunity to invest back in the city of Memphis."
Diane (Lady Di) worked for over 33 years in higher education at four (4) institutions in the Tennessee Board of Regents System. She worked her way up the corporate ladder from Support Staff to Administrator. She served in such roles and HR Clerk, Records Clerks, Director of Human Resources and Chief Affirmation Action Officer, Associate Director of Special Projects, and Financial Aid Specialist. She is an independent business owner assisting individuals improve their lives and health by bringing balance in a natural way. She loves connecting to like-minded people in assisting them to achieve their goals. She volunteers her time not only to Heal 901, but serves as a Church’s Secretary. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Union University, and a Master’s degree from Webster University. She lives by the motto: Faith, Family, Friends, and Fun.
Lady Di Choose to take her picture at Memphis Botanical Garden because of the care that they put into preserving some of the oldest trees and plants that have been know to grow in this area. Understanding the importance of the youth protecting the seasoned individuals that paved the the path before them.
Corby D. Stokes, Sr.
Corby Stokes is a Memphis native born and raised in the Whitehaven community. As a Memphian, he noticed the economic and social disparity between the different communities throughout the city. Because his father grew up in Orange Mound, the first African American neighborhood in America, he grew to understand the importance of community. That very same sense of pride in community and unity, would be the light that led him to Heal 901. After graduating from Whitehaven High School, Corby attended Lambuth University on a football scholarship. He later transferred to Middle Tennessee State University, where he majored in Business Administration/Management. Corby came onto Heal 901’s Board of Directors as the Director of Marketing and is now settling into his new role as the Director of Operations. He also embraces his musical passion as an independent recording artist, songwriter and producer. His inspirations are his deceased mother, a virtuous woman, and his father a devout minister and man of God. His heroes are individuals like those he works shoulder to shoulder with at Heal 901. Those heroes are the selfless individuals who sacrifice their time and resources, so that others may have a ray of hope. True heroes spread the love of God!
He chose to take his picture at Whitehaven Stadium, because that’s where he learned accountability, hard work, commitment and the true meaning of teamwork. As a member of the Whitehaven High School Varsity Football Team, he learned that every individual has to do their job for the team to be successful collectively.