Amada is currently the Associate Director of Advising and Student Services at NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Administration, Leadership, and Technology where she is also pursuing her Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies. Amada is also a professor for the Latin American and Latinx Studies Department at CUNY’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice. At John Jay, she teaches courses on the history of Latinxs in the United States with attention to the establishment and development of the diverse Latinx communities through migration, colonization, racialization, and integration.
Amada is a social innovator with a wide range of experience leading and developing programs for underserved populations. Before joining NYU, Amada worked for a private education consulting firm as Director of Training and Program, focusing on programming support and training opportunities to propel underrepresented educators and entrepreneurs to excel across sectors using an asset-based lens. In addition, Amada provides consulting services in research, planning, and support on various projects that close the achievement gap and provide greater access to all vulnerable young adults in education and the workforce. Amada has worked closely with the Postsecondary Education Subcommittee of the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanics under the Obama Administration through her consulting services. Through this work, Amada led the organizing of powerful convenings between the nation’s top scholars, policymakers, and practitioners intending to impact policy and address the deficit in college enrollment and completion for Latinx students.
Before working in the private sector, Amada served as a Youth & Family Director for the YMCA of Greater New York. She was responsible for successfully implementing program development and evaluation of youth programs in this role.
A native of the Dominican Republic, Amada has a passion for supporting recently arrived young adults to achieve academically and professionally. She has led various start-up initiatives, including a small nonprofit that provided support services to New York City high schools and communities with a high immigrant population, becoming one of the city’s first immigrant peer-to-peer mentoring model at the time.
Amada holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Nonprofit Management from Columbia University and a BA from CUNY Bernard Baruch College. Amada also served as an Education Pioneer Fellow in partnership with the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Daonese Johnson-Colón, founder of Coaching Amplifies, LLC, is an innovative leader with 20 years of experience in nonprofit administration and workforce management. She has dedicated her career to building spaces that promote leadership, inclusivity, and equity to foster personal and professional development in education, criminal justice reform, and media. Currently, Daonese serves as the Chief Operating Officer for PushBlack, a national non-profit media organization. Prior to joining PushBlack, she served as the Vice President of Operations/COO for JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA). Daonese serves her community in a multitude of ways. She is an adjunct lecturer for John Jay College’s Accelerate Complete Engage (ACE) program and faculty mentor for the New York Giants Touchdown Fellowship and Justice Capital Initiative Fellowship. She is a faculty mentor for the mentor for the New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows program. Lastly, Daonese is a trained conflict resolution mediator and a certified professional coach. A recipient of the NAACP Minority Achievement Recognition Award, Daonese graduated Summa cum Laude with a Master’s in Legal Studies from Kaplan University and holds the SHRM-CP certification.
Expertise, Passions, and Pursuits
Non-profit Management and Governance, Organizational Management, Organizational Change, Workforce Development, Human Resources, Burnout Prevention
Executive Coaching, Curriculum Development, Mediation
Master’s in Legal Studies, SHRM-CP certification, Certified Professional Coach
Dr. Diane J. Johnson has almost 30 years experience in the business, public and social sectors in a multitude of roles. They include change management consultant, trainer and executive coach, program director, evaluator and researcher, fundraiser, communications/pr lead, and organizational culture specialist. Extraordinarily skilled, purpose-driven, highly intuitive and analytical, Dr. Johnson, Ph.D. is CEO and Founder of Mmapeu Organizational Consulting. Mmapeu is a South African name that means “woman who carries ideas.” Mmapeu Consulting, a national consulting firm has trained, consulted and worked with more than 11,500 mission-driven individuals, businesses and organizations.
Clients include not-for-profits; colleges, universities and K-12 educational institutions; local, state, and federal governmental agencies; socially responsible businesses; multinational corporations; community based organizations; philanthropic entities; arts and culture groups; activists; volunteer associations and researchers. Dr. Johnson is the author of several books, including Proud Sisters, The Wit & Wisdom of African- American Women; Mother Love (which collectively have sold more than 170,000 copies), and The Cultural Diversity Fieldbook (with over half a million downloads).
Don Waisanen is a Professor in the Baruch College, CUNY Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where he received the Presidential Awards for Distinguished Teaching and Distinguished Scholarship. He teaches courses and workshops in public communication—including strategic communication, executive communication skills, and seminars on leadership, storytelling, and improvisation. All of Dr. Waisanen’s research projects seek to understand how communication works to promote or hinder the force of citizens’ voices, including the recently published Leadership Standpoints: A Practical Framework for the Next Generation of Nonprofit Leaders (Cambridge University Press), Improv for Democracy: How to Bridge Differences and Develop the Communication and Leadership Skills Our World Needs (State University of New York Press), Real Money, Real Power?: The Challenges with Participatory Budgeting in New York City (Palgrave Macmillan; with Daniel Williams), Immigration and Strategic Public Health Communication: Lessons from the Transnational Seguro Popular Project (Routledge; co-authored with Robert Smith and Guillermo Yrizar Barbosa) and Political Conversion: Personal Transformation as Strategic Public Communication (Rowman & Littlefield). Previously, Dr. Waisanen worked in broadcast journalism, as a speechwriter, and on political campaigns. He is the founder of Communication Upward, an adjunct lecturer at Columbia University and New York University, and received a Ph.D. in Communication from the University of Southern California’s Annenberg School.
Edith Asibey is the Principal of Asibey Consulting, a consulting firm that helps mission-driven organizations take audiences from intention to action. She is an Adjunct Professor of Communications and Marketing at Columbia University. Prior to these roles, Edith led advocacy, partnerships and communication for UNICEF in Brazil, where she launched innovative digital work partnering with Google, Facebook and others. She was also the Chief Communication Officer at The Atlantic Philanthropies, the largest limited-life foundation in the world.
Erika is not available as a mentor for Spring 2023.
Erika Bernabei, PhD, Co-Principal at Equity & Results, connects intentions to accountability and impact in service of Black, Indigenous and communities of Color and our collective humanity. Through Equity & Results, Erika leads the strategic design and implementation of whole organization and collaborative work to achieve racially equitable results. Equity & Results uses antiracist principles, developed by the People’s Institute and elders, scholars and organizers throughout time, to transform how systems work and strategically disrupt common practices and replace them with actions that address the root causes of the problem. Erika is an expert in Results Based Accountability (RBA) and has worked with groups nationally and internationally to successfully use this tool. Prior to Equity & Results, Erika served as an Assistant Commissioner in the New York City Department of Homeless Services and nearly a decade at PolicyLink – where she developed and managed a results-driven infrastructure and support system for more than 50 Promise Neighborhood communities to produce holistic and measurable outcomes and advance equity and opportunity. Erika is a member of the Antiracist Ecosystem of practitioners who work together for greater antiracist impact. She holds an MA in Education Policy from Teachers College, Columbia University, and a PhD in Educational Leadership from New York University.
Jamie Lonie supports the digital communications and marketing needs of Asibey Consulting’s clients. He has several years of experience in traditional and digital nonprofit communications, amplifying social justice causes and movements for equity. After moving from Edinburgh at a young age, Jamie quickly traded his Scottish brogue for a Tennessee drawl. After college, he began his career as a PK-5 science teacher in the Houston Independent School District. As a result of his classroom experience, he has focused his career on digital communications for education nonprofits and other mission-driven organizations – especially those working to support schools, students, and families.
In this capacity, Jamie has served as a digital media specialist for global organizations like the Education Commission and the Global Business Coalition for Education, managing digital content across these organizations’ websites, blogs, email campaigns, and social media channels. Previously, Jamie helped develop Teach For America’s national social media strategy as Director of Social Media Community and supported local communications for the organization’s Houston region as Director of Communications and Marketing.
Today, Jamie helps a variety of clients working domestically and internationally assess their current digital presence, understand the broader online conversations around their area of work, and strategize how to best leverage digital tools to better engage supporters online.
Jamie graduated from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville with a Bachelor of Science in Public Relations. He also holds a Master of Education degree from the University of St. Thomas in Houston, which he earned while teaching elementary science.
Recently, Jamie was named a member of the University of Tennessee’s 2021 Volunteer 40 Under 40 list and was awarded the 2010 Public Relations Alumni of the Year for his service to his alma mater. Jamie is the President of the university’s New York alumni chapter and on the Board of Visitors for the College of Communications & Information. During his tenure, he organized remote nonprofit internships for communications students during the pandemic and helped raise thousands of dollars in scholarships for freshmen.
Dr. Janet Dewart Bell, Ph.D. is a nationally recognized expert in communications and leadership. with a doctorate in Leadership and Change from Antioch University, serving now on the Board of Governors. She is a graduate of the Baruch Executive Masters Program, She is an Adjunct Assistant Professor at the Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs, where she has taught since 2017 in Executive, Masters, and undergraduate programs. She and Dr. Naomi Nightingale co-teach a course on Leadership and Strategy in Public Affairs in the Summer Session. She is passionate about the opportunity that Baruch provides, having been among the first in her family to attend college and having worked full time while pursuing each of her degrees. She often states that she “bleeds Baruch blue.” Bell has established an endowed scholarship at Baruch.
She has been a key strategist and senior executive at several national organizations, including, National Public Radio, the National Urban League, PolicyLink, and The Opportunity Agenda. A lifelong social justice advocate, Bell is a Civil Rights Movement veteran. She chairs the Women’s Media Center and is the founder and president of LEAD InterGenerational Solutions, Inc., a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting intergenerational leadership. She is a notable national speaker, whose most recent engagements have included Boston University’s seminal panel on Critical Race Theory.
She is a 2022 recipient of the Frances Perkins Intelligence and Courage Award, named after the woman credited with the moral and social underpinnings of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s’ New Deal.
Among her accomplishments are an Emmy® for outstanding individual achievement (CBS-TV affiliate in Washington, DC) and programming for National Public Radio, which was honored with a Peabody award.
Bell is the author of the Lighting the Fires of Freedom: African American Women in the Civil Rights Movement, which was a nominee for the NAACP Image Award. She is co-editor of a book of the Derrick Bell Lectures on Race in American Society, the ongoing series she founded in 1995 to honor her husband. Her forthcoming book is Blackbirds Singing: Inspiring Black Women’s Speeches from the Civil War to the 21st Century.
Bell also serves on the boards of the Authors Guild and CancerCare. She is active in the Global Citizens Circle and is an ordained elder of the Presbyterian Church USA.
For additional information: https://janetdewartbell.com/biography
Kary Perez is a nonprofit leader with a successful background in audience growth and engagement.
Her work today is focused on expanding Chalkbeat’s audience in service of the organization’s mission to ensure children across the country get fair access to education. This primarily involves being the go-to person for the toughest, most ambiguous problems in the organization. Her responsibilities include audience growth, research and development of new products, and managing Chalkbeat’s small donor program.
At DoSomething Strategic, Kary worked with over 20 clients to help them better understand and engage young people (millennials and Gen Z). She led the strategy and execution of social good initiatives for major brands like Google and ESPN, and for large-scale nonprofits like The JED Foundation and Feeding America.