Sister Kwayera Archer-Cunningham is the founding president and chief executive officer of Ifetayo Cultural Arts Facility, Inc. She is an experienced arts educator, a seasoned administrator, and a professionally trained dancer/choreographer. Sister Kwayera has developed innovative programs combining the arts with core principles and traditions in African culture that build community and inspire total well-being.
Jan Gallagher is a freelance writer and editor with 15 years of experience in education and in publishing (sometimes simultaneously). She serves as director of communications of the Literacy Assistance Center in New York City.
Eileen Lyons has worked in New York City community-based agencies serving children and teens for 24 years. She holds a masters degree in social group work and is committed to practice that addresses the educational, developmental, and social-emotional needs of young people. She is currently a freelance consultant in New York City and Vermont.
Kerry Odom is the program officer for the Education Initiative at the Youth Development Institute. She previously served as the Education Director at GirlSpace: The East Harlem Center for Girls, where she created curriculum and assisted in the development of educational program for adolescent girls. A former teacher in the New York City public schools, Kerry received her masters degree in education from New York University.
Lori Z. Ragsdale is a children’s librarian at the Carrollton Public Library in Carrollton, Texas. She holds a master's degree in youth librarianship from the University of North Texas. Before turning to librarianship, she taught elementary school for 15 years.
Lena Townsend is executive director of the Robert Bowne Foundation, where her responsibilities include oversight of grants made for literacy-based afterschool and youth programming. She has published articles on reading, professional development, and adult literacy. She holds a master’s degree in reading from Teachers College, Columbia University, and an M.P.A. in not-for-profit management and policy from NYU's Wagner School.