Pedro Noguera, Ph.D. (Board Chair)


Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University.  Dr. Noguera is a sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions, as well as by demographic trends in local, regional and global contexts.  Dr. Noguera holds faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development.  He also serves as an affiliated faculty member in NYU’s Department of Sociology.  Dr. Noguera is the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co-Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS).  From 2008 – 2011, he was an appointee of the Governor of New York to the State University of New York (SUNY) Board of Trustees.

Dr. Noguera has published over 150 research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, the role of education in community development, youth violence, and race and ethnic relations in American society.  His work has appeared in multiple major research journals.

Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, MSNBC, National Public Radio and other national news outlets.  He has received numerous awards, including the following:

  • 1997 Wellness Foundation Award for Research on Youth Violence
  • 1997 University of California’s Distinguished Teaching Award
  • 2001 Honorary Doctorate, University of San Francisco
  • 2001 Centennial Medal, Philadelphia University
  • 2003 Forward Magazine Gold Award (City Schools and the American Dream)
  • 2003 AESA Critics Choice Book Award (City Schools and the American Dream)
  • 2005 Whitney Young Award for Leadership in Education
  • 2006 Eugene Carrothers Award for Public Service
  • 2008 Schott Foundation Award for Research on Race and Gender
  • 2008 AESA Critics Choice Book Award (The Trouble With Black Boys)
  • 2009 Scholastic Corporation Education Hero Award
  • 2011 Honorary Doctorate, Bank Street College
  • 2012 Honorary Doctorate, Metropolitan College of New York

James Deslonde

Vice President of Human Resources, Twitter Inc.


Rodney F. Witcher, II



Rodney Witcher is the Co-Founder and Vice President of Business Development at MdotM, a Silicon-Valley Tech Firm.  Witcher manages MdotM’s relationships with the plethora of supply sources available to advertisers through MdotM (“Earth’s Biggest Mobile DSP”).  Rodney Witcher earned his BBA from the Red Macombs School of Business at the University of Texas at Austin.



Athena Chang

Health and Wellness Expert, Madame Athena Chang, specializes in educating, empowering and aiding individuals in creating healthy, long-term lifestyle changes. For Madame, healthy living is not just a career, it is a way a life.  Her passion led her to Columbia University where she received a Master’s in Educational Development with a specialization in Health.  In 1998, Madame founded her health business, Madame Chang Inc., and later For Life Inc., the non-profit arm. In 2006, Madame Chang migrated to the island of St. Lucia where she consulted with the United Nation’s health agency, the Pan American Health Organization, on the Health Promoting Schools Project, an initiative that aimed to transform schools into healthier environments.  Madame Chang has since migrated to Los Angeles, California where she created and implemented a wellness strand at Will and Jada Smith’s former school. She also co-hosted Healthy for Life, a health talk show on Jamie Foxx’s Foxxhole on Sirius XM.  She recently became the Director of Community where her focus is to increase awareness in the African American and Latino communities of the many toxic chemicals that are in our household products.

Analena Hope Hassberg

Analena Hope Hassberg is a scholar, activist, and educator committed to organizing low-income communities of color around food justice and environmental justice. She is an Assistant Professor of Ethnic and Women’s Studies at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, and an active member of several community-based organizations in South Los Angeles. Analena’s research investigates and complicates notions of food security and food sovereignty, and situates food as central to freedom struggles and liberation movements.