Jen Curry, Ed.D. grew up in Queens, NY and attended New York City public schools. She is a first-generation college graduate, also earning a masters in non-profit management and doctorate in education leadership from NYU. Jen has held roles in after-school program management, education and youth development policy and advocacy, summer camp leadership, and workforce and career development. She is a member of the NYU Latino Alumni Committee and Vice President of the NYS Network for Youth Success board of directors, and leads ChangePD’s efforts to deliver high-impact and cost-efficient professional development.
Bari Katz is an educator, facilitator, and curriculum designer who works with organizations and schools across the country to develop programs, trainings and custom curricula around equity, diversity and inclusion, and social justice. She also supports organizations with culture building, coaching, and strategic replication planning. Among Bari’s many accomplishments, she co-founded a high school and serves as an adjunct professor at CUNY’s Borough of Manhattan Community College.
Charise Liggins is the founder of Sassy | Chic | Geek – a multi-media design company that creates female avatar characters to celebrate the diversity of women, girls, and ideas that inspire lifelong learning, self-expression and social change. She has worked in both the public and private sector in areas of publishing, finance, education and small business and economic development. Charise received her MS in Nonprofit Management from the New School University and a BBA in Marketing from Pace University.
Lori Nathanson, Ph.D. believes that emotional intelligence, part of the social and emotional learning (SEL) field, is a powerful lever to increase equity. With a decade of experience in SEL, Lori synthesizes high-level information on the spot and draws practical connections to both formal and information educational settings. Lori created a personalized program of study combining psychology, education, and policy at Duke University (BA) and continued with interdisciplinary studies for her doctorate at the University of Virginia (PhD). Through her postdoctoral fellowship at Yale, she implemented and studied RULER, an approach to teaching emotional intelligence.
Natalie Overton taught middle school in the Bronx and Brooklyn where she fell in love with her students and simultaneously developed a deeper inquiry about the unspoken necessity of self-love, community, and understanding that is needed to create a successful classroom. This led her to train, coach, and mentor teachers to first develop a rooted understanding of themselves. Natalie is a Teach for America alumna, a certified yoga instructor, and the founder of OmmGirls.
Ashley Pinakiewicz is a design thinker, brand strategist, and educator. Ashley consults with educational organizations, non-profits, and start-ups to bring human-centered strategy, messaging, and processes to their work. She just completed two years as the the founding 7th grade English teacher at Girls Prep Bronx Middle School, where she learned alongside the world’s best 7th grade girls. Ashley cut her professional teeth at design and innovation firm IDEO. She has a BA in English Literature from Georgetown University and a Masters in Education from Harvard University.
American Camp Association (ACA) of NY and NJ is dedicated to preserving, promoting and enhancing the quality of the summer camp experience. Because of camp, children and adults have the opportunity to learn important lessons in community, character-building, skill development, and healthy life lessons that can’t be learned anywhere else. ACA, NY and NJ's professional development helps camps, schools, and youth programs bring the best of the camping experience to the youth they serve.
Museum Access Consortium (MAC) is led by an all-volunteer steering committee, comprised of museum and theater professionals, educators, advocates, and disability service providers with decades of experience training staff, launching and evaluating programs, and advancing cultural inclusion in New York City.
NYS Network for Youth Success is dedicated to building a youth-serving system that increases the quality and availability of afterschool and expanded learning programs. The Network supports programs that promote young people’s intellectual, social, emotional, and physical development outside the traditional school day. The Network designed New York State’s school-age care credential and after-school accreditation programs, and offers a range of professional development opportunities across the state.