Christopher Suarez, Founder and Board Member

chrissuarezChristopher Suarez is a teacher and lawyer who carries a passion for education reform and policy. A product of the Chicago Public Schools, he is particularly interested in urban education. He began his career teaching sixth-grade math at a charter school on Chicago’s near-west side, where he led an after-school math tutoring program.  Chris is an alumnus of the Yale Law School. While there, he served as a clinic director of the law school’s Education Adequacy Project, which challenged the constitutionality of Connecticut’s school funding system.  He also led the Project for Law and Education at Yale, which provides a forum for law students to discuss education policy. Chris is currently a litigation associate at a top Washington D.C. law firm, where he litigates patent and technology-related cases. As a litigator, Chris retains his passion for education and provides pro bono counsel to families who cannot afford representation in special education and school discipline cases. In his spare time, Chris is an avid runner and traveler.

Jenna Tomasello, Co-Founder and Board Member

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As a product of public schools and a first-generation college student, Jenna has always held a deep appreciation for education and the opportunities it afforded her. Jenna believes all children deserve diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments to achieve their full potential, informed by the immense personal and professional benefits she received from attending a diverse state college. Jenna is also a policy associate at the American Youth Policy Forum and her work involves the development of learning events and the dissemination of policy and practice guidance to frame issues, inform policy, and convene conversations that improve education and the lives of traditionally underserved youth. Jenna has a background in philosophy and legal studies and holds a master’s degree in educational policy from the University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.

Andrew Hairston, Board Member

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 12.22.28 AMAs a civil rights attorney, Andrew brings a deep passion for racial justice, educational equity, and meaningful school diversity to this role. He currently serves as a staff attorney for Advancement Project, where he supports the organization’s Opportunity to Learn and Power and Democracy programs. Andrew also serves as the 2017-2018 co-chair of the Civil Rights and Social Justice Committee of the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers Division. From 2016 to 2017, Andrew was the George N. Lindsay Fellow and Associate Counsel for the Educational Opportunities Project of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. He earned his law degree from Louisiana State University and his bachelor’s degree from Howard University. He is a member of the Louisiana State Bar Association, the American Bar Association and the
National Bar Association.

LeighAnn Smith Rosenberg, Board Member

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 10.22.30 PMLeighAnn Smith Rosenberg is a product of the public school system in Lexington, Kentucky, where she participated in magnet programs that achieved varying successes with integration. Pursuing equity in schools and communities became her personal and professional passion during her five years as a teacher and professional developer for Baltimore City Schools. LeighAnn focuses on intersectoral approaches to addressing systemic resource disparities and believes that solutions must be led by the communities they are intended to benefit. She currently works on housing and community economic development issues as a Staff Attorney at Maryland Legal Aid. LeighAnn obtained her B.A. in English and Psychology from the University of Southern California, and her Juris Doctor & Master of Arts in Education Policy from the George Washington University.

Erica Cuevas, Board Member

Erica Cuevas (1)Erica’s passion of ensuring all students have access to diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning environments stems from her experiences as a low-income, first-generation college student, and from her past studies of poverty and its impact on academic achievement. Erica is also a Policy Manager at Jobs for the Future (JFF) where she provides policy analysis, analytical research, project management support, and external engagement to advance JFF’s education and workforce policy priorities. Erica has a background in college access and persistence and educational policy development as it affects underserved populations. Erica holds a Masters of Public Affairs from The University of Texas at Austin.

Kimberly Quick, Board Member

Screen Shot 2017-10-11 at 2.03.31 PM.pngKimberly Quick is a Senior Policy Associate at The Century Foundation working on education policy in the foundation’s Washington, D.C. office. At TCF, Kimberly writes and conducts research on student assignment processes and school desegregation, as well as broader educational equity issues including tracking and within-school segregation, school disciplinary disparities, and voucher use and civil rights violations. She, along with her colleagues at TCF, also work to connect and provide research to school districts and charter networks who currently have or are interested in implementing diversity initiatives. Prior to joining TCF, Quick worked as a fellow in the Office of the Provost at Wake Forest, where she helped to develop the university’s communications, programming, and policy related to diversity and inclusion and student experiences. Kimberly graduated summa cum laude from Wake Forest University with a Bachelor’s degree in Politics and International Affairs and minors in English and American Ethnic Studies.

Willie Roberson, Board Member

Screen Shot 2017-10-12 at 10.23.46 PMBorn and raised in South Brunswick, New Jersey – one of the most diverse townships in the country – Willie believes firmly in sharing with the world the message of positivity and inclusiveness his youth experience brought him. In his professional capacity, Willie serves as Senior Digital Strategist at The Glover Park Group, where he is responsible for developing and managing advocacy, reputation, and brand campaigns across native, premium, and social media platforms. Willie ultimately fights for LTLT because of his passion for justice, coalition building, and grassroots advocacy efforts. He holds a degree in Political Science with a minor in Legal Studies from the University of Rochester.

Sophia Lee Suarez, Board Member

IMG_6753Sophia Lee Suarez is a writer and spokesperson of the 1.x-generation (bi-cultural & bi-lingual). She grew up in New Jersey and has family roots in Beijing, China. After completing undergraduate and graduate studies at MIT and Yale, respectively, she worked several years on Wall Street in equity investments. Currently, she is a community organizer and board member of Del Ray Artisans, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create an inclusive thriving art community.

Elise Franchino, Policy and Research Fellow

Elise is an education specialist and advocate. She earned a Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Education and a Master’s in Teaching English Language Learners. Over seven years, Elise taught Head Start, RTI and kindergarten remediation classes, and kindergarten in urban public schools. She witnessed the immense inequities faced by her young learners, as they faced trauma, poverty, segregated schools, large class sizes, and policies that did not serve their needs. In the fall of 2017, Elise moved to DC and became an advocate for equity in public education. She created a preschool curriculum currently being piloted by Save the Children, completed several courses in education policy and reform, and started an education policy blog called Picture Books to Politics. She is the Policy and Research Fellow at Learn Together, Live Together, and hopes to find a role at a non-profit organization or think-tank pursuing the goal of equity in education.

Alana Serfaty, MSW, Community Organizing Fellow

Alana is a DC native who moved back to the DMV area after completing her Master’s of Social Work at USC, in order to pursue a career in nonprofits. She has been successful in community organizing, grant writing, event planning, research, and other roles within the nonprofit field. She currently works as a Community Organizing Fellow for LTLT, getting the pulse of the school diversity movement within the city, and hopes to expand and deepen the work of LTLT in DC and across the country.

Thomasena Thomas, Summer Research Fellow

Thomasena Thomas is a rising junior at the College of Charleston. She is pursuing her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a concentration in Public Policy. Thomasena is from Florence South Carolina and spurs from a family of entrepreneurs. When she was 15 years old, she started her own cupcake and confectionery company; FairyCakessc. She created her company with a unique mission and purpose to provide the youth of SC with the skills, knowledge, and encouragement to pursue their career goals through culinary, leadership classes and mentoring programs. This inspired her to get involved in education. Amongst her advocacy work, she is a student ambassador for Save The Children Action Network and a delegate for the South Carolina Student Legislature. In the future, Thomasena hopes to become a Teach For America Corp member, Broad residency leader and potentially become Secretary of Education for America. Her goal is to provide students with the necessary access to resources they need to pursue the career of their dreams through Career and Technology Education programs. In her free time, Thomasena enjoys teaching baking classes and growing her faith walk by writing devotional pieces for Seele. Magazine.