MLK Dream Builders Award Winners
Community Dream Builder
President and Executive Director, African American Museum of Bucks County
Linda Salley is a founding member, President and Executive Director of the African American Museum of Bucks County (AAMBC). She retired from the New York City Board of Education after a long career as an educator and administrator, commuting from her home in Bristol. She is a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and member of First Baptist Church of Langhorne, where she is the church financial secretary and a choir member. Ms. Salley is also an expert quilter whose work was recently displayed at the Mercer Museum in Doylestown.
Ms. Salley’s commitment to educating children about their value, their history, their possibilities, and their country is evident in the AAMBC’s recent programs. She speaks frequently at schools and in the community to educate people about African American history and local stars – Bucks County’s own “Hidden Figures.” Under her leadership, the AAMBC has taken on impactful projects like trips for young people to Washington, D.C. On the most recent trip, Linda worked with Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick to bring 32 children and 22 adults to Washington. These young people not only visited our nation’s capital and got a view of government in action, but also were given a platform in the House of Representatives to share their experiences of discrimination with their congressman. Their testimony is now in the Congressional Record.
Ms. Salley has also led the museum into partnerships with other Bucks County organizations with similar values, including the Mercer Museum, The Peace Center, Pearl S. Buck International, Visit Bucks County, and local chambers of commerce. She sets a powerful example of collaboration, leadership, truth, and empowerment.
Corporate Dream Builder
Ronald W. Davis
Chief Diversity Officer, Parx Casino
Ronald W. Davis has served as Chief Diversity Officer and Director of Community Development of Parx Casino and Racing since its opening in 2006. The casino makes substantial contributions to support local community organizations and projects. A former professional athlete in the National Football League, Mr. Davis’ career has spanned work as a senior executive in marketing, administrative and financial positions.
The Camden, N.J., native received a football scholarship from Virginia State University, where he earned his undergraduate and master’s degrees. He was selected All-CIAA and All-American football player in 1972 and was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He played professionally with several teams, including the St. Louis Cardinals and Atlanta Falcons.
Off the field, Mr. Davis worked as a banker, branch manager and officer with United Virginia Bank (now Sun Trust Bank) in Richmond, Va., and then became a top executive at several convention and visitors’ bureaus, from Metropolitan Richmond to Oakland California, and later became senior vice president of sales, marketing and customer satisfaction for the Pennsylvania Convention Center Authority.
Mr. Davis has received many honors. In 1996, he was selected as a delegate to the White House Conference in Tourism and received the Imperial Potentates Humanitarian Award by the Prince Hall Shriners Worldwide. He was inducted into the Virginia State University Sports Hall of Fame in 1988, and the Central Collegiate Athletic Association Hall of Fame in 2009. Mr. Davis is affiliated with numerous business hospitality and community groups and serves on several boards of directors. He is a Trustee of Mother Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church and is a lifetime member of Kappa Alpha Psi fraternity.
Humanitarian Dream Builder
CEO, United Way of Bucks County
Marissa Christie is the first woman to serve as CEO of United Way of Bucks County. She joined the organization in 2010 and has played a key role in many of its successes: establishing key programs like Bucks Knocks Out Hunger, increasing access to high-quality early education for low- and moderate-income families, launching new programs like the HELP Center in 2020, which now distributes more than $2 million worth of essential goods each year – and ensuring that learning opportunities like the Racial Wealth Gap Simulation remain free and available to Bucks County residents. Since becoming CEO in late 2016, she has grown the organization’s revenue – and impact – nearly 60%.
Prior to joining United Way Bucks County, Ms. Christie worked in community relations for Barnes & Noble in the mid-Atlantic and in sales and marketing for Scholastic in Auckland, New Zealand.
She serves on the board of directors for both United Way of Pennsylvania and the Bucks-Mont Collaborative, and volunteers for the Racial Equity Learning Community Advisory Council, among other projects. Ms. Christie has a BA from American University in Washington, D.C., and an MS in Nonprofit Leadership from La Salle University.
Student Dream Builder
President, Bucks County Community College Student Government Association
Nicholas Berube is a Film and English double major at Bucks County Community College, class of 2022. He is currently the president of the Student Government Association (formerly the student director of diversity and inclusion), an officer for the Bucks chapter of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society, member of the Open Education Team, and the student liaison to the Alumni Council.
In the fall of 2019, Mr. Berube graduated from the Bucks Basic Fire Academy as a volunteer out of the Newtown Fire Association. He’s also previously worked with A Woman’s Place domestic violence agency in Doylestown as a creative consultant and direct service volunteer.
During his literary studies at Bucks, Mr. Berube was fortunate enough to do a concentrated study of poetry under the late Dr. Christopher Bursk, whose tutelage guided him to winning the Penland Prize for poetry by the college in spring 2021.
Professionally, Mr. Berube has been a photographer since 2016, and has used his platform to engage with civil rights leaders, document protests, and promote other artists of color. At present, he is working on a short film about immigrant families that have been separated at the Mexico-United States border.