Christopher Suarez, Founder and Board Member (chris@learnlivetogether.org)

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 President (jenna@learnlivetogether.org)

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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 senior associate at The Hatcher Group, where she helps build and execute events that advance education and other mission-driven initiatives. 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.

Kimberly Quick, Board Vice President (vp@learnlivetogether.org)

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.

LeighAnn Smith Rosenberg, Board Treasurer (treasurer@learnlivetogether.org)

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.

Andrew Hairston, Board Secretary (secretary@learnlivetogether.org)

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 The 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.

Erica Cuevas, Board Member (diversity@learnlivetogether.org)

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 Senior 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.

Willie Roberson, Board Member (digital@learnlivetogether.org)

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 (info@learnlivetogether.org)

IMG_6753Sophia Lee Suarez is an art enthusiast and advocate. She is the Membership Director of Del Ray Artisans, a non-profit organization whose mission is to create an inclusive thriving art community. Sophia also serves as the Commissioner on the Alexandria Commission for the Arts, where she undertakes public art initiatives that celebrates diversity and promote open-mindedness in life and art. Before moving to the DMV, Sophia was a former investment banker in New York City. Sophia has a bachelor’s degree in finance and economics from MIT and a Master’s Degree in marketing from Yale School of Management.

Elise Franchino, Policy and Research Fellow (info@learnlivetogether.org)

Elise Franchino is a Research & Policy Fellow with Learn Together, Live Together. Elise taught preschool and kindergarten in urban public schools and child care centers in Pennsylvania and Delaware for eight years. Inspired to impact change in the education system to combat the injustices her young students faced, she decided to pursue education policy. Elise is currently a consultant for the early education team at New America, a research and policy think tank. She holds a B.A. in Early Childhood Education with a minor in Spanish and an M.A. in TESOL Literacy.

Arielle Kahn, Membership Organizing Fellow
(info@learnlivetogether.org)

Arielle HeadshotArielle Kahn grew up in Westchester, New York and moved to DC after graduating from Duke University in 2017. She interned at the U.S. Department of Education and on Capitol Hill. She has worked at the Afterschool Alliance, an education nonprofit and advocacy organization as well as on a congressional campaign in New York. She now serves as the Policy Assistant at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights. She is an educational equity advocate and loves working with LTLT.

Alana Serfaty, MSW, Community Organizing Fellow (info@learnlivetogether.org)

Alana is a DC native who moved back to the DMV area after completing her Master’s of Social Work at USC. She has been successful in community organizing, grant writing, event planning, research, and other roles within the nonprofit field. She currently works as a Legal Assistant at CAIR Coalition, helping detained immigrants across Virginia and Maryland. She also serves 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 (info@learnlivetogether.org)

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.