Nina Mehta

Nina Mehta is a co-coordinator of PARCEO living in New York City.  She has worked in many contexts with a wide range of community groups and organizations on collaborative research, education, cultural organizing and media projects. She has organized large-scale convergence spaces for community and movement-building, and has worked with neighborhood assemblies, coordinating public events and participatory conversations. Over the past 14 years, Nina has contributed to projects as a student, visiting scholar, journalist, public health associate, media educator, organizer and documentarian. She has taught participatory research and visual ethnography to public health practitioners, artists and community groups, globally- from NYC, to Mexico, and India. Nina has a background in anthropology, with a BA from Barnard College and MA from The New School for Social Research.

Sara Minsky


Sara Minsky works with PARCEO as a Design and Special Projects consultant. Sara grew up in New York City and, throughout high school, was part of a group of students, parents, teachers, and community members that organized to reverse her school’s selective and inequitable admission’s policy. Sara spent a semester abroad with the Mexico Solidarity Network learning with the Zapatistas and other social movement organizations throughout Mexico. She recently graduated from Guilford College in North Carolina and was working to bring anti-racist curricula classes there. She is also an artist and photographer and has helped photograph PARCEO-related events and design PARCEO’s materials.

Donna Nevel

Donna Nevel, a founding member of PARCEO, currently serves as a co-coordinator. She is a community psychologist, educator, and writer living in Miami. She has been a long-time organizer for justice in public education and was a co-founder of the Project to Challenge Segregation in OUR Public Schools. She is on the board of The Bloomingdale Family Head Start Program and the Parent Leadership Project and was co-founder of the Center for Immigrant Families. She is also involved with groups working for Israeli-Palestinian peace and justice, and against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism. She has written extensively on public education and racial justice and has an education blog in the Huffington Post. Donna has a Masters in educational leadership from the Bank Street Graduate School and a PhD in community psychology with a specialization in migration studies and liberatory education from the Union Institute. She teaches Participatory Action Research at NYU/Steinhardt.

Emilia Pfannl


Emilia Pfannl is a training and curriculum consultant at PARCEO currently living in Paraguay. She has worked with community groups in New York, Bolivia, and Paraguay on issues of early childhood education, arts education, family literacy, and bilingual education. She was a NYC public elementary school teacher for four years and taught graduate courses at Hunter College. She co-founded the Harlem Family Literacy Program, a community-based organization that focuses on issues of literacy and increasing educational opportunities for families. Emilia currently teaches at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción in Paraguay and works at the organization Paraguay Educa as the coordinator of an education technology center in Caacupé, Paraguay. Emilia has a background in Sociology and Political Economy and holds a Masters in International Education Policy from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Masters in Special Education from CUNY Hunter College.

Krysta Williams


Krysta Williams is a co-coordinator of PARCEO living in Portland, OR. Krysta has worked nationally and internationally as a community educator. She is a founding member and former director of the San Jose, Costa Rica based Centro de Tutoría, an educational resource center that addresses community-identified needs, including literacy training, tutoring, the first lending library, youth mentorships, and sports programs. Krysta continues to serve as a community educator and organizer centered around food justice and the many inter-related issues as she supports Zenger Farm in developing inclusive, participatory structures for community leadership. She is part of the Portland Black Food Sovereignty Council and the African American Leadership Forum.   As a public school teacher and program coordinator, she has extensive experience recruiting and coordinating volunteers, as well as facilitating trainings and reflections for participants and volunteers. Krysta holds a Masters in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy at NYU/Steinhardt.

Community advisors

Ujju Aggarwal, a community organizer and educator, has participated in efforts for immigrants’ rights, the intersections of arts and social justice, public education, and violence against women of color. She is an organizer with the Parent Leadership Project, has taught at the Educational Opportunities Center and at Hunter College, and recently completed her doctorate in anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center, where her research explores what contestations over public schools can illuminate about race, class, and gender, social reproduction, and urban space. Currently, she is a postdoctoral fellow at the Institute for Urban Policy Research at the University of Texas, Austin.

Dinu Ahmed is a community organizer working on educational justice in the South Bronx. She has a strong commitment to community-based work that builds power in working-class communities of color and challenges systemic abuse.

Leticia Alanis hails from Monterrey in Mexico, where she worked as a youth educator and directed educational programs for 18 years. Active in the immigrant rights movement since arriving from Mexico in 1996, she co-founded and now directs La Union, a member-led organization in Sunset Park, Brooklyn that works to advance social, cultural and economic justice for transnational families living in Brooklyn and for their communities of origin.

Gary L. Anderson is a professor in the Educational Leadership program in the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University. A former high school teacher and principal, he has published on topics such as participatory action research, critical ethnography, school micro-politics, and school reform and leadership. With Kathryn Herr, he has co-authored two books on action research; The Action Research Dissertation: A Guide for Students and Faculty. (2005, Sage Pub.) and Studying your own school:  An educator’s guide to practitioner action research. (2nd ed. 2007, Corwin Press). His most recent book is Advocacy Leadership: Toward a Post-Reform Agenda (2009, Routledge).

Marilyn Barnwell has been a part of the Early Childhood field for almost 50 years – serving as a teacher, teacher-director, and adjunct instructor. She has been an education director at Bloomingdale Family Program–Head Start for the past 31 years working closely with teachers, children, and their families. The past two years she has been part of the Parent Leadership Project, a collaboration between Bloomingdale and the Center for Immigrant Families.

Edwin Mayorga has been involved in organizing for educational justice with the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE) for 8 years. He is also a participant in the National Latino Education Research & Policy Project (NLERAP) and has been part-time faculty at Hunter College and New York University. He was a NYC elementary school teacher, and is completing his doctoral work in Urban Education at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. His dissertation examines the racialization of Latinos through contestation over education reform in NYC in the current period of racial capitalism. He is currently an Instructor in the Department of Educational Studies at Swarthmore College.

Tina Pack, LMSW, has been an active public school parent for over 15 years. She has participated as a parent leader within schools and in numerous campaigns for educational justice. In addition to her commitment to her own children, she has advocated for children, youth, and families within public education systems serving grades pre-k through college.