UCARE Staff:

Executive Director: Dr. Frank Dukes

I have been privileged to work for the Institute for Environmental Negotiation (IEN) since 1990, and have been its Director since 2000. As a mediator and facilitator, I seek to help individuals and groups address complex public problems and conflicts in ways that strengthen communities rather than tear them apart. Each year I work on average on a dozen or so projects involving environment and land use, contaminated sites, community development, education, and health. I have also facilitated many difficult community conversations on topics ranging from faith and homosexuality, to education, to reparations for slavery. Learn more about my backstory here. You can find my resume here.  Email Frank:

Project Director: Kendra Hamilton

Kendra Hamilton, M.F.A., Ph.D., is an expert on the diverse cultures of the South, and her feature stories, scholarship, poetry, and essays have been widely published in journals and magazines. Currently a lecturer in UVA’s Studies in Women, Gender, and Sexuality program, she is the author of The Goddess of Gumbo (2006) and Romancing the Gullah, a literary and
environmental history of the Carolina Lowcountry currently under review at a prestigious Southern press. Active in community and Episcopal Church affairs, Kendra served a term on Charlottesville City Council, including two years as vice mayor. She was also chair of the Charlottesville Housing and Redevelopment Authority from 2003-2007, the junior warden of Trinity Episcopal Church from 2007-2010, and a managing partner of the Jefferson School Community Partnership from 2007-2011. Interested in the arts, food systems, African
American history, and environmental education, Kendra serves in an advisory role on the Virginia Food Heritage Project and teaches classes on the connections between food, feminism, and sustainability. A Piedmont Master Gardener since 1998, Kendra has co-chaired faith-based community garden ministries and coordinates a film and speaker series on food and
environmental justice. Email

Contact Information:, 434-924-2041

Steering Committee

This project is also supported by a volunteer Steering Committee made up of members from the Charlottesville and University communities:


Annie Plotkin: UVa Class of 2016, Former UCARE Intern

Barbara Brown Wilson: Assistant Professor of Urban and Environmental Planning at UVa

Charlene Green: Manager of the Office of Human Rights in Charlottesville

Hannah V. Willia Neukrug: UVa Class of 2016, Former UCARE Intern

John A. Alexander: Associate Director, Social Sciences, Humanities, and the Arts Network of Technological Initiatives at UVa

Kristin Saabs: City Council Member

Leah W. Puryear: Vice Chair, Charlottesville City School Board; Director, Upward Bound Program at UVa

Niya A. Wilson Williams: UVa Student; UCARE Intern

Pastor Lehman Bates: Pastor of the Ebenezer Baptist Church of Charlottesville

Phyllis K. Leffler: Professor, UVa Department of Education

Sarah Malpass:  Skeo Solutions

Selena Cozart O’Shauhnessy: Piedmont Housing Alliance

Walt Heinecke: Professor, Curry School of Education at UVa