2024 Mentor: Shari Baber

Shari Baber was part of the first graduating class of CVI’s Boards & Commissions Fellowship in 2021. She is a longtime Boise resident and business owner, the organizer of the city’s annual Soul Food Festival, and founder of Brown Like Me, an organization that fosters belonging and community for Black youth and their families. 

She serves on the City of Boise’s Parks and Recreation Commission, where she was the first Black woman to ever sit on the commission. She works to ensure that every resident of Boise has green space available to them and to make board and commission service more accessible to people with disabilities. 

Shari wants everyone to know that their experience is enough, and that there are service opportunities for everyone, whatever their background. “We need to help people understand that they belong in these spaces. It is your space and you have a right to be there. They are making decisions that affect your community,” says Shari.