Cheryl Cox is the Great Great Great Great Granddaughter of Biddy Mason. She currently works in development, marketing, and is the President of The Biddy Mason Foundation™. Her clients are located across the country and consist of Universities, Hospitals, private medical practices, organizations, along with a slue of small businesses in many different industries. She was raised in Los Angeles, attended Marlborough School all while she was an Elite level Rhythmic Gymnast who has lived at the Olympic Training Center as both a gymnast and a coach (achieving many accolades along the way). She attended college at the University of California, Berkeley where she majored in both Physics, African American Studies, and minored in Dramatic Arts. She later moved to New York to dance for both Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and Anti-Gravity Dance Company. She is very versatile and has worked in many genres (as an Actress, Model, Dancer, Choreographer, Producer, Coach, Teacher, Director of Marketing, Director of Development, and President). Cheryl started her own highly competitive gymnastics and dance school in 2006 in New York City, where she had trained 2 students that competed in previous Olympic Games.
Cheryl Cox returned to Los Angeles in 2011 and Co-Founded The Biddy Mason Foundation™ in 2012 with her mother and sister, expanding on the decades of philanthropy her mother had established. Grandma Biddy had a saying about the “open hand,” this principal was the basis for how she lived her life and how she treated people. She left her descendants a legacy of bravery and hard work — Biddy endured incredible hardships and persevered every step of her journey, leading by example — her service to her community became her families prototype of how to live. Biddy Mason shaped the lives of all her children and grandchildren. From a very young age Cheryl was raised to give by her mother. It was this very influential teaching to give to those less fortunate, that demonstrated Biddy’s meaning of the “open hand is blessed”. Cheryl is very fortunate to have had her mother teach her the importance of giving, the ability to help others has given her a sense of fulfillment. She currently partners with multiple non-profits that offer services to underprivileged communities in Los Angeles, the United States, and across the world. The last mission she was able to participate in was to Haiti, February 2020. This mission was a medical partnership with the Gift of Sight, Howard University and Friends of the Children of Lascahobas.
Contact Cheryl: Cheryl@BiddyMason.info
Dr. Robynn Cox is an assistant professor at the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work and a faculty affiliate at the USC Edward R. Roybal Institute on Aging and the USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. Her research interests include the fields of crime, health, labor, housing, food insecurity, and social and racial inequality. She is primarily an inequality researcher who is concerned with understanding the social and economic consequences of criminal justice policies in general, and mass incarceration in particular. Specifically, her work focuses on how to successfully transition individuals impacted by mass incarceration policies back into society using a life course approach. Her life course approach to reentry has three pillars: systemic/institutional barriers to reentry (macro), family and community (mezzo), and the individual (micro).
Because of the housing barriers faced by the formerly incarcerated (and marginalized groups disproportionately impacted by mass incarceration), Cox (and colleagues) has taken the lead in developing a global definition and approach to improve the measurement of housing insecurity based on the development of the food insecurity measure. Her work purports that there are seven dimensions of housing insecurity: housing stability, housing affordability, housing safety, housing quality, neighborhood safety, neighborhood quality, and homelessness. Much like food insecurity, individuals that are income constrained will face tradeoffs across these factors to secure housing. Her work has led to the conceptualization and incorporation of a pilot housing insecurity module within the 2019 American Housing Survey (AHS).
Most recently Cox received a small grant from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth to investigate the effect of California’s Proposition 47 on labor market outcomes of low-skilled minorities. In AY 2018-2019, Cox was selected as a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis’ Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute (OIGI) and a Kelso Fellow at the Rutgers School of Management and Labor Relations’ Institute for the Study of Employee Ownership and Profit Sharing to explore how Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs) impact the labor market outcomes of the formerly incarcerated. In AY 2014-2015, she was selected as a Resource Center for Minority Aging Research Scholar (funded by the NIA) at the USC Schaeffer Center, where her research explored the impact of incarceration on health outcomes over the
lifespan. Cox has received additional funding from the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, the Russell Sage Foundation, the USDA Food and Nutrition Services, and the University of Kentucky Center for Poverty Research.
Cox has published in various academic and policy outlets such as Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (in press), Justice Quarterly, Research on Social Work Practice, Cityscape, Generations: Journal of the American Society on Aging, Journal of Labor Research, Southern Economic Journal, Review of Black Political Economy, and the Economic Policy Institute. In addition, she has presented her research at numerous professional conferences and has been featured on both locally and nationally syndicated news programs such as CNN, NPR, and KNX-CBS . She was also interviewed for the documentary film Juvenile. In 2011, she was invited by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis to take part in a roundtable conversation with Attorney General Eric Holder and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Chairwoman Jacqueline Berrien on workforce development and employment strategies of the formerly incarcerated.
Prior to her appointment at USC, Cox was an assistant professor of economics at Spelman College and a postdoctoral associate in the Department of Economics at Duke University. She earned her master’s degree and doctorate in economics from Georgia State University, where she was awarded the Andrew Young Fellowship. Cox completed her undergraduate studies at Duke University, where she obtained a dual bachelor’s in economics and Spanish and Latin American studies.
In her spare time, Cox enjoys spending time with her family. She is the proud mom of Daniel, 11, and Dakota, 2.
Contact Robynn: Robynn@BiddyMason.info
Left to right: Cheryl Cox, Robynn Cox, Daniel, and Dakota