Community Coordinator, OEA
Shanna Bent is a Program Coordinator, Anti-Bias and Diversity Implementation within the Office of Equity and Access New York City Department of Education. She supports the Implicit Bias team, educators in professional learning focused on being aware of our biases and how to limit them. She also ensures that the Executive Director is fully equipped for successful performance by anticipating her needs, including the preparation, production and distribution of background and briefing materials for meetings, conferences, presentations and travel. Prior to joining the IB/CRE team, Shanna supported the AP for All Initiative to scale their work across the city. Shanna is a graduate of the NYC Public Schools and attended Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
Jeremy Chan-Kraushar is a Director of Implicit Bias Education and Culturally Responsive Education for the Office of Equity and Access at the NYC Department of Education. He has coordinated, managed, and developed multiple initiatives for the NYC DOE including Connected Foundations, Digital Ready, and the Mastery Collaborative. Jeremy began his career as an English and Math teacher for students with learning disabilities in a public middle/high school in Brooklyn. He has a B.A. from Bowdoin College, a M.Ed, Special Education from Hunter College School of Education, a M.P.A. from the O’Neill School for Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University, and is currently pursuing a J.D. at CUNY School of Law with a focus in Education and Civil Rights.
Lyrica Fils-Aimé serves as a Director of Equity Transformation at the NYCDOE. Lyrica is a NY State Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Registered Play Therapist. Lyrica obtained her MSW from New York University and a Master of Science in Nonprofit Leadership from Fordham University. Lyrica works from an anti-racist, culturally aware, immigrant informed, biracial understanding framework. Prior to joining the Implicit Bias/Culturally Responsive Environments team at the NYCDOE, Lyrica worked in Bronx schools as a Community School Director. In this role, she created and designed equity teams, affinity groups, and multi-cultural programming, and supervised social workers with an anti-racist and anti-oppressive leadership focus.
Sonya Hooks joins the Office of Equity’s Implicit Bias-Culturally Responsive Environment team after serving as the Deputy Executive Director in the Charter Schools Office at the NYC Department of Education for eight years where she was responsible for managing the complex and diversified duties to evaluate, support, develop, oversee and create policies for 225 public charter schools citywide. She joined the NYC DOE in 2006 after serving on planning teams for 3 new traditional and charter schools. She has worked in various capacities at the NYC DOE – from working with parent leader in the Family Engagement Office to Chief of Staff for the Office of Portfolio Planning. Sonya did her undergraduate work at Hampton and Temple Universities studying Africana Studies and Sociology earning a BA and studied Higher Education Administration at Columbia University Teachers College.
Elise Jayakar (she/her) serves as an Equity and Anti-Bias Trainer in the Office of Organizational Development & Effectiveness. Elise is a social worker by trade and racial equity facilitator by practice. Elise obtained her Master of Social Work from Columbia University and her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan. She uses an anti-racist queer lens centering those most impacted in all her work. Prior to joining the Central Implicit Bias team, she worked as the Director of Youth Development at the YA-YA Network, an organization focused on training the next generation of youth activists focusing on ending the school-to-prison pipeline. Throughout the last 7 years, she has worked as a facilitator, consultant, and organizer creating the anti-oppressive world we all wish to live and thrive in.
Dr. Gary Knight
Senior Director, OEA
Dr. Gary Knight is currently a Senior Director for the Office of Equity and Access of the New York City Department of Education. As a Senior Director, he is a member of the Implicit Bias/ Culturally Relevant Education team, working effortlessly to dismantle systemic injustices that lead to inequities in student outcomes.Before working as a member of the IB/CRE Team, Gary worked as a Principal Leadership Facilitator, Director of School Quality and founding Upper School Principal and Elementary Assistant Principal in Newark, New Jersey. Prior to that, he served the New York City Department of Education as a Resident Principal and teacher. Gary holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Kean University, a Master’s Degree in Education from Brooklyn College, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Long Island University and a Bachelor’s Degree from Hampton University. In addition, he completed additional graduate studies through the New Leaders for New Schools program, received certification as an educational leader and is a certified principal mentor for new principals and school administrators.
Senior Advisor, OEA
Lamson Lam is a passionate educator who started his career working with justice involved youth, went on to become a teacher in East Harlem, a principal in Brownsville, the head of the Office of Interschool Collaborative Learning, and then the Senior Advisor for the Black and Latino Networking and Development Employee Resource Group. Throughout his career, one thing has remained constant: Lamson has always been committed to equity for underserved students and communities. While equity has always been his focus, what he is most excited about in his current work, as a Senior Advisor at the Office of Equity & Access, is joining a team whose sole charge, whose entire purpose, is providing more equity and access to our city’s 1.1 million children. His writing has been published in Educational Leadership and in Teaching with Fire. He currently serves on the Board of Exalt, a non-profit that serves court-involved youth. When Lamson’s not at work, he loves playing with his boys (9 and 6), playing sports, reading, and traveling.
Community Coordinator, OEA
Nelly Lluberes is a program manager in the Division of School Climate and Wellness in the New York City Department of Education. She supports educators to engage in professional learning focused on building inquiry practices, English as a New Language content knowledge, and leadership skills.Nelly has also worked in education for 19 years and holds a Bachelors in Modern Languages.
Ruben Mina, LMSW, is a Director of Equity Transformation & Culturally Responsive Environments in the New York City Department of Education, within the Office of Equity & Access. In this role, he supports schools and districts in implementing policies and practices to reduce disproportionate outcomes for certain groups of students, along with facilitating workshops on implicit bias awareness and other topics related to educational equity.Ruben earned his Masters degree from Hunter College, his B.A. from The City College of New York and has been a social work community practitioner for close to a decade.
Darnese Y. Olivieri is a Director of Equity Transformation and Culturally Responsive Environments (CRE) within the Office of Equity and Access for the New York City Department of Education. She supports educators in becoming aware of how policies, practices and processes around special education, discipline and accelerated programming within school buildings and across districts can create harmful outcomes for our most vulnerable student sub-groups without careful, critical and targeted ongoing analysis. Darnese has worked in education for over 20 years and in New York City classrooms for nearly 14 of those years. She holds a Master’s in Education for Teaching English and Communication to grades 7-12 from St. John’s University in Queens, NY, studied Musical Theatre at Howard University in Washington, DC and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English/Theatre Arts from New Jersey City University.
Executive Director, ODE
Yvonne Soto (she/her) serves as the Executive Director for the Office of Organizational Development & Effectiveness at the NYCDOE. Bringing over 18 years of work experience in large urban school districts, Yvonne is passionate about education, empowering leadership, and inclusive workplace cultures. In her role, she leads the design and implementation of programs and strategies that prioritize and support the recruitment, engagement, leadership development, and retention of NYCDOE employees. She also oversees the Implicit Bias/CRE initiative for 6,500 central administrative employees. Her work sits at the intersection of two key Chancellor’s priorities — develop people and advance equity now — to continue high-quality support for schools.
Marilyn Stotts (she/her) is a director of anti-bias and diversity implementation in the Office of Equity and Access (OEA) in the New York City Department of Education. She supports educators to engage in inquiry practices to support racial and gender equity for New York City’s 1.1 million students. In OEA, Marilyn leads professional learning on implicit bias awareness and the bias-based beliefs that can drive disproportional outcomes for students. Marilyn has a background in building improvement science practices in schools, English as a New Language content knowledge, and leadership development. Marilyn has worked in education for 15 years and holds a Masters in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages from the New School for Public Engagement in New York City as well as Bachelor degrees in Political Science and German from UC, Davis.