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Our Executive Team

As former teachers, our Executive Team is uniquely positioned to help districts and educators begin dismantling oppressive practices in order to ensure that every child receives a fair and equal education.

Ashley Y. Lipscomb, MT, MDiv

Chief Executive Officer

Ashley Y. Lipscomb has a wealth of experience working with, motivating, and advocating for students and educators.

After working as a teacher for five years and serving as a youth minister for eight years, Ashley has developed specialized interventions for her students, contributing to her success as an information literacy and language arts teacher at Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown, NJ. During her time in the classroom, Ashley advocated for the expansion of the language arts curriculum, leading to the incorporation of young adult literature that portrayed the Black experience. She also worked closely with school administrators to address pipeline issues contributing to the lack of a representative teaching staff.

A graduate of Hampton University (BA English and Master in Teaching), Harvard Divinity School (MDiv) and Montclair State University (Certificate in Supervision), Ashley has participated in and spearheaded several committees focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion in both K-12 and higher education settings. She provides DEI consulting to students in the Diversity and Inclusion Management Course at the Harvard Extension School.

Currently, her research uses a womanist methodology to center her story as a child of adjudicated parents and a Black woman from an urban community impacted by the racial implications of policies and laws, like mass incarceration, and analyze the effects they have on the emotional, spiritual, physical, social, political, and economic growth and development of the individual. Utilizing her research, she has created a unique framework to address the systemic racism that is deeply embedded in pedagogical practices and colonized curriculums which impedes the most vulnerable populations of  students from flourishing.

Brittany Spatz, MEd

Chief Operating Officer

Recognizing that schools are the only universal safety net in our nation, Brittany Spatz has dedicated the past decade to creating comprehensive systems of support to address racism and inequality. 

Starting her career as an English teacher at Clifton High School, Brittany began her anti-racist work incorporating Black literature into her curriculum, introducing the concept of social-construction to her students, and empowering them to be critical consumers of media and literature. Brittany continued this work while teaching Language Arts, and later Digital Literacy, at Frelinghuysen Middle School in Morristown, NJ. 

In 2015, Brittany made her non-profit debut as the ExpandED Director for PS/MS 188 in New York City where she integrated enrichment programming into the extended school day, and developed a tiered intervention system to address the trauma and chronic stress that many of her students were experiencing.

After successfully managing a million dollar budget and building out comprehensive partnerships to support the students at PS/MS 188, Brittany was asked to expand her work throughout Educational Alliance in the newly minted role of Director of Program Partnerships. During this time, Brittany also served as the Interim Associate Executive Director of their Manny Cantor Center.

Brittany continued to advance the agency's mission of providing educational and wrap-around services to some of New York City's most vulnerable communities in the role of Director of External Engagement where she identified and cultivated strategic partnerships, codified internal partnerships among the agency's 30 programs, and spearheaded a wide-range of special projects. Most recently, Brittany has served as an External Engagement and Academic Partnership consultant at Mount St. Dominic Academy in Caldwell, NJ.

Brittany holds a BA in English/Secondary Education from The College of New Jersey and a MEd in Instructional Technology from The University of Maryland. She was named one of New York NonProfit Media's 40 Under 40 in 2018.

Our Advisory Council

The following content experts have agreed to serve as advisors to our work.

Melissa Wood Bartholomew

Melissa is the Associate Dean of Diversity, Inclusion & Belonging at Harvard Divinity School. She is a lawyer and a racial justice and healing practitioner. 

Nailah Butler

 

Nailah is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Epitome of Soul, Inc., an organization focused on bringing arts back into schools and developing leaders through the arts.

Angela M. Counts

Angela is a Lorraine Hansberry award-winning playwright, filmmaker and accomplished career professional in admissions, D.E.I., and student leadership development.

Jaliyla Fraser

Mathematics Supervisor, East Orange School District

Computer Science Advisory Board Member for the State of New Jersey Department of Education

Dr. Cheryl Giles

Cheryl A. Giles is the Francis Greenwood Peabody Senior Lecturer on Pastoral Care and Counseling at Harvard Divinity School and a licensed clinical psychologist.

Warren Kersey

Special Education Teacher, Morris School District

Sydney Montgomery, Esq.

Owner and Founder of S. Montgomery Admissions Consulting

Cynthia Perez

 

Bilingual Science Teacher, Morris School District

Mike Spence

 

Motivational Speaker, Founder of TRIBE

Taylor Stewart

Doctoral Student, Counseling Psychology

Researcher for the Institute for the Study and Promotion of Race and Culture

Nicole Washington

Math Instructional Coach, East Orange School District

Our Board of Trustees

Naa-Shorme Aidoo, Education Policy & Reform

Alex Gregorek, Real Estate & Sales

Aisha Taylor Issah, Black Owned Business

Kevin L. Matthews, II, Financial Literacy 

Chijindu Obiofuma, Criminal Justice Policy

Karen Osorio, Corporate Sales 

Lumumba Seegars, Organizational Behavior & DEI

Nikki St. Germain,* Public Health 

Shadoe Tarver, Restorative Justice

Natasha Washington,* Special Education

 

*Co-Chair

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