Chairman: Ra Shad Frazier-Gaines is a national community advocate reared in Aiken, SC. Gaines, affectionately known as Ra Shad. He began honing his leadership and organizational skills in 4-H, student government, the step team, the academic team, Future Business Leaders of America, and as an athletics manager in elementary, middle, and high schools respectfully. At a young age Gaines showed an earnest and sincere compassion for those who could not defend themselves and has carried that mindset and course of action into his professional career.
Gaines formally attended Voorhees College and the University of South Carolina before completing his Bachelor of Arts in Management from American Public University (2015). It was at Voorhees College where Gaines served as the President of the Pre-Alumni Council and Secretary of the Student Government Association that he began to learn how to advocate and translate the needs of the people to those in leadership. At the University of South Carolina, Gaines would become the President of the Association of African-American Students (Black Student Movement) and serve as the president of two statewide organizations the South Carolina Young Democrats and SC Organization for Residential Education where he would learn to manage, balance, execute, and the cost of leadership. American Public University provided Gaines a new skillset in digital organizing and digital civic engagement as the President of the Democratic Society.
2007 would bring new waves for Gaines as he was a main component in USC’s hosting of the 2007 College Democrats of American National Convention; his promotion to the President of the South Carolina Young Democrats; and employment as a field organizer with Iraq Summer to organize community members to urge Congress to place a time table to bring our troops home from the Middle East. Gaines would also become the state campaign coordinator for Dennis Kucinich for America during the 2008 Democratic Presidential Primary in South Carolina. Since that first issue campaign in Wilmington, Delaware, to present day Gaines has staffed and managed campaigns in AL, FL, GA, MS, NC, PA, SC, TX, and VA.
2009 would bring new beginnings as well, Gaines accepted a temporary assignment in Birmingham, Al where he would launch his small business development and political consulting firm, The Letter R.
In 2012 after returning home from St. Petersburg, FL where Gaines served as a successful Field Organizer and GOTV Lead for Organizing for America in Pinellas County, Gaines ran for the At-Large seat on the Aiken City Council. He would immediately be appointed the Aiken County Historical Commission by County Councilman Willar Hightower.
Gaines’ appreciation for professional communications would lead him to Las Vegas, NV as an intern and member of the Public Relations and Event Management Team for the 2008 World Series of Poker Tournament for Harrah’s Entertainment (now Caesar’s Entertainment). 2013 would bring excitement as Gaines would become a co-anchor at WAAW SHOUT! 94.7FM, later he would produce his own daily show the Radio Praise Break at Midday with ‘Your GodSon, Randy Ra Shad’ being his On-Air persona. Gaines produced a weekly, community and political talk show – Talk2Me, launch GodSon Media, and would be a finalist for the RJ Social Scene’s People Choice Awards for Radio Personality/DJ of the Year.
Currently, Gaines is an ordained minister in the Church of God in Christ and currently serves as the chairman and co-founder of two nationwide social justice/progressive entities: the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America and Black Progressives. He also serves as Treasurer of the Aiken County Historical Commission. Gaines was recently re-appointed as the Deputy Director of political education for Scholastic Motivation Ministries of the Churches of God In Christ, Inc.