Equity Office Staff
ANGELA ALLIE, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF EQUITY
Prior to returning to the District in 2016, Ms. Allie spent five years as principal of Propel Andrew Street High School, ranked as one of the Best High Schools in America in 2014 by U.S. News and World Report for math and reading proficiency and college preparation. Ms. Allie received her master’s degree in teaching from Hampton University and is currently a doctoral student in the School Leadership program at the University of Pittsburgh, where she spent three years as a K. LeRoy Irvis Pre-Doctoral Fellow and simultaneously served as the inaugural student fellow for the Duquesne University Center for Educational Leadership and Social Justice.
Ms. Allie began her career as an English teacher at Pittsburgh Oliver High School, where she later became an Instructional Teacher Leader, Assessment Coordinator, and curriculum writer. She is a recipient of the 2010 Equity Leadership Recognition Award from the Summit for Courageous Conversation. Her research pursuits have included Critical Race Theory in Education, the Asa G. Hilliard III and Barbara A. Sizemore Research Course on African Americans and Education, and school leadership for racial equity. Her studies and practice both reflect a commitment to systemic racial equity for historically marginalized students.
SISTER IASIA THOMAS, PROJECT MANAGER
Sister IAsia is a native of Cape Town, South Africa whose professional experiences have been realized in the context of education, multi-disciplinary cultural arts, high performance learning, and African centered arts education. Prior to joining the Equity team, she served Pittsburgh Public Schools as director for the Culturally Responsive Arts Education (CRAE) program of Pittsburgh Public Schools where she also taught African dance, artistic leadership, and creative writing to elementary, middle and high school learners.
She currently serves the District as a project manager of Equity with an emphasis on cultural relevancies in pedagogy, student identity, and transformative practice. She is interested in unifying the continental African and African American learners of PPS and their families to uplift, strengthen, and nourish the spirit of resilience innate in people of color.
ELIZABETH BROVEY, DIRECTOR, EQUITABLE LEARNING ENVIRONMENTS
Elizabeth has over 25 years of urban education experience involving classroom instruction, teacher leadership, training and support to academic coaches, and curriculum writing focused on teaching mathematics from an equity stance. She also achieved National Board Certification and served as a professional development facilitator, curriculum writer and assessment developer for the University of Pittsburgh’s Institute for Learning. Her practice has been nationally recognized and utilized through the NCTM’s Principles to Action Professional Learning Toolkit.
To advance equitable learning environments, she has facilitated school-wide PLCs, New Teacher Induction and professional learning for cultural responsiveness across content areas. As a school-based coordinator for Education Uncontained, she partnered with Duquesne University to bring learning experiences that are liberating and responsive to today’s youth in the area of social justice and youth agency, critical media and organizing for change. Elizabeth joined the Equity Office in January, 2019 with a commitment to deepen her action, knowledge and effectiveness as a Racial Equity Affiliate poised to grow and support adults and children through culturally relevant teaching and learning.
ALYSE ALEXANDER, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Prior to joining the Equity Office, Alyse served as Program Coordinator and English Instructor for INVESTING NOW, a pre-college program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, where she developed and implemented culturally relevant curriculum and programming for historically underrepresented students in education. Alyse received a bachelor’s degree from Spelman College and a Master’s in Education from Duquesne University, where she was inducted into the Chi Sigma Iota honor society for professional excellence in counseling.
Alyse has over 10 years of experience in providing individual/family therapy to historically marginalized students in special education. She specializes in a behavioral theoretical approach to counseling, where she has experience in behavior management and restorative practice strategies as a means of reinforcing a trauma-informed culture. In her role with Pittsburgh Public Schools, Alyse is committed to keeping the voices of marginalized students at the center of her work to critically engage in the construction of their education.
DEMETRIUS BALDWIN, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Before joining the Equity Office, Demetrius served as a substitute teacher and championship winning coach at The Linsly School, a private boarding institution in West Virginia. During his time there, he advocated for marginalized, minority students and developed the skills necessary to partner with staff and administration on how to best serve minority populations through providing more equity in the classroom and beyond. A native of Pittsburgh, Demetrius earned a bachelor's degree from Bucknell University School of Psychology, where he was an All-American football player and Rieu award winner. His experiences living in Rankin and doing community outreach while attending private schools forged in him a spirit of advocacy for youth and equipped him to navigate difficult and courageous conversations across multiracial settings. Through his work as an Advocate, he hopes to prepare students for success inside the classroom, but also provide them the tools to be active citizens in this changing world they will be called to lead.
YAZMIN BENNETT-KELLY, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Yazmin is a 2019 graduate of Carlow University where she received a Bachelor of Arts in English and Secondary Education. Prior to joining the Equity team, she spent several months teaching English Language Arts at Schiller STEAM Academy. One of her greatest accomplishments includes receiving the highest academic and service honor from her alma mater, permitting her to serve as the 2019 commencement speaker. She is also a cohort member of The Vira I. Heinz (VIH) Program for Women in Global Leadership, a program that offers a unique opportunity for international experiences, leadership development, and community service. Yazmin studied abroad in Accra, Ghana for four weeks, where she developed a deeper understanding of the concept, Sankofa, meaning “go back and get it.” Sankofa reminds us that we must go back to our roots to move forward. As a PPS graduate, Yazmin is looking forward to providing the support and service that she needed as an African American student. While serving as a Student Equity Advocate, she is committed to facilitating spaces that uplift and empower historically marginalized students.
ROBERT (JON) HAIRSTON, JR, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Jon has over 20 years of urban youth experience involving strong Black male mentorship, educational and recreational programming, community development and empowerment, and civic engagement. After his studies in Business at Penn State University, Jon began working to improve his community by becoming the executive assistant for the Beltzhoover Citizens Community Development Corporation. Soon after working with communities and families, he found his true passion as the Program Director of an extended school program for young Black men called One Small Step, 21st Century Community Learning Centers. Prior to joining the Equity Office, Jon was a center director for City of Pittsburgh, Citiparks, where he worked to improve opportunities for healthy recreational and educational opportunities for children and families in our Pittsburgh city neighborhoods. Jon has received several awards and accolades for his efforts over the years, including nomination and induction into the 2017 Pittsburgh Courier’s Men of Excellence, citations from local government officials, and grant awards to serve his community. One of his greatest awards was being presented with a proclamation and a day named after him in recognition of his efforts in the Black community. Jon looks forward to continuing his efforts advocating and working for equity, equality, and excellence for Black youth in the Equity Office of Pittsburgh Public Schools.
SYDNI MUNDY, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Sydni has over 10 years of experience working in the urban education field after receiving her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Carlow University. Her start as a CORO Fellow in the Community Problems Program propelled her into a lifelong mission in urban education. She has served in multiple leadership roles such as Program Director for non-profits with a focus on urban education and out of school time resources for students. Most recently, Sydni was the Program Assistant for the Out of School Time office for Pittsburgh Public Schools where she oversaw the District’s After School Academy which provided additional educational and enrichment resources to students at Brashear, Faison and Perry. Community Engagement serves as one of Sydni’s passions as she sits on multiple community boards that focus on the advancement of the urban community and children on the West End of Pittsburgh. She currently serves as the President of the Win-Char Civic Association. Joining the Equity Office as a Student Equity Advocate allows her to continue to pursue her passion for working in urban education and helping with the advancement of Black and Brown students who are historically marginalized in the education system.
YASMIN RAY, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
Yasmin has over 10 years of experience formally working with high school and college age youth. She is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in Psychology and is currently completing coursework for her master’s degree in Higher Education through Penn State World Campus. Much of her focus has been on cultivating student achievement through an inclusive and empathetic approach. Yasmin’s most recent achievements include graduating from the 2019 Coro Pittsburgh Women in Leadership Program and moderating for “The Hearts and Minds of Our Youth: How to Build Strong, Inclusive and Welcoming Communities Town Series” presented by Westmoreland Diversity Coalition hosted at Penn State New Kensington. Yasmin believes her role as a Student Equity Advocate will allow her to build genuine connections with students, parents and all those who strive to make the Pittsburgh Public School System an integral part of the Pittsburgh community. She understands the need to provide students the resources and proper support to nurture their success. It is Yasmin’s mission to help her students thrive, not just survive.
KENDALL ROBERTS, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
A native of Trinidad & Tobago, Kendall recently relocated to Pittsburgh from West Palm Beach, Florida. His work in urban education for the past seven years involves classroom instruction along with overseeing the coaching and mentoring of boys and girls soccer programs, for which he was awarded Coach of the Year multiple times. Prior to joining the Equity Office, Kendall was part of the Pittsburgh Public Schools Food Service Management team. Kendall holds a bachelor’s degree from Palm Beach State College in Supervision & Management with a concentration in Healthcare and a master’s degree from Ohio University in Recreation & Sport Sciences. In his current role, Kendall is excited to advocate for and support students who grew up with similar struggles and hardships he faced as an immigrant child navigating the American school system. For him, the Student Equity Advocate program allows students to see similar faces fighting for their educational rights and working alongside them to maximize their potential. To build unity among the Caribbean, Continental Africans and African American students, he wants students to learn about and embrace each other’s cultures.
QUINCY KOFI SWATSON, STUDENT EQUITY ADVOCATE
For much of his career, Quincy has worked in education creating culturally relevant STEM and life skills curricula that address the racial achievement gap. For his social justice leadership in the public sector, Quincy was selected by Pittsburgh Magazine and PUMP as a 40 Under 40 honoree and by the Pittsburgh Business Times as a winner of the publication’s 30 Under 30 award. A proud graduate of Perry Traditional Academy, Quincy feels the responsibility to return the investment so many poured into him. He is very active in local marches, protests, and rallies calling for justice and equity. While he is currently completing his degree in Organizational Leadership at Point Park University, he remains committed to his role as a Student Equity Advocate and hopes to transform the lives of students as well as the inequitable conditions that interfere with their success.