Nina Mehta


Nina Mehta is a community educator and co-director of PARCEO from New York City. She has worked with a wide range of community groups and organizations on collaborative research, education, cultural organizing and media projects. Nina has taught and worked on participatory research and visual ethnography projects with public health practitioners, graduate students, young children, artists and community groups. Nina has a background in anthropology, with a BA from Barnard College and MA from The New School for Social Research.

Donna Nevel


Donna Nevel, a founding member of PARCEO, serves as its co-director. She is a community psychologist and educator living in Miami. She has been involved with groups working for educational justice; against Islamophobia and anti-Arab racism; for immigrant rights and racial justice; and for Palestinian justice. She has written extensively on these issues. Donna has a Masters in educational leadership from the Bank Street Graduate School of Education, and a PhD in community psychology with a specialization in migration studies and liberatory education from the Union Institute. She taught Participatory Action Research (PAR) at NYU Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development.

Emilia Pfannl


Emilia Pfannl is a training and curriculum specialist at PARCEO currently living in Cambridge, Massachusetts. 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. Until recently, Emilia taught at the Universidad Nacional de Asunción in Paraguay and worked 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.

Chloe Villalobos


Chloe Villalobos currently finds home in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, where she works alongside different collectives to help organize platforms for transnational solidarity among artists and activists. She also recently helped coordinate a network of favela-based socio-environmental justice projects and engaged in PAR to help strengthen community-based solutions. Chloe believes in combining transnational perspectives with local alternatives to oppressive structures and social norms. Her dream is to co-run a community library/café that brings together people of all ages and backgrounds to think, talk and act on accountability, sustainability and healing justice.

Ericka Ward

Ericka Ward is a democratic educator committed to creating community learning spaces that facilitate healing, liberation and love. She has worked as both a grassroots organizer and early childhood educator, always using popular education and participatory action research to build empowering relationships in the communities she served. She believes that love, care and connection provide the foundation for learning and for transformation and thus centers her work in love.

Krysta Williams


Krysta Williams is a founding member of PARCEO and currently lives in Oakland, CA. Krysta has worked nationally and internationally as a community educator and public school teacher. 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 has supported organizations as they shift their culture, policies, and trainings in service of justice. Krysta continues to serve as a community organizer and advocate for social justice, especially food justice, through working with organizations to develop inclusive, participatory structures for community leadership and supporting equitable access to nourishing and sustainable food through public school meals. Krysta holds a Masters in Educational Leadership, Politics, and Advocacy at NYU/Steinhardt.

Community advisors

Ujju Aggarwal, an educator and organizer, has participated in efforts for immigrants’ rights, the intersections of arts and social justice, public education, and violence against women of color. She has been an organizer with the Parent Leadership Project, and Center for Immigrant Families, has taught at the Educational Opportunities Center, at Hunter College and elsewhere. She completed her doctorate in anthropology at the CUNY Graduate Center. Her doctoral research explored what contestations over public schools can illuminate about race, class, and gender, social reproduction, and urban space. Currently, she is an assistant professor of anthropology and experiential learning at the New School for Social Research.

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 over 31 years working closely with teachers, children, and their families. She has also been part of the Parent Leadership Project, a collaboration between Bloomingdale and the Center for Immigrant Families.

Edwin Mayorga has been a long time organizer for educational justice including with the New York Collective of Radical Educators (NYCoRE). 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 co-founder and co-researcher of the Education in our Barrios Project. He is an assistant professor in the Department of Educational Studies and the Program in Latin American and Latino 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.

Chandra Talpade Mohanty, Distinguished Professor of Women’s and Gender Studies and Dean’s Professor of the Humanities at Syracuse University. Her work focuses on transnational feminist theory, anti-capitalist feminist praxis, anti-racist education, and the politics of knowledge. She is author of Feminism Without Borders: Decolonizing Theory, Practicing Solidarity (Duke University Press, 2003), and co-editor of Third World Women and the Politics of Feminism (Indiana University Press, 1991), Feminist Genealogies, Colonial Legacies, Democratic Futures (Routledge, 1997), Feminism and War: Confronting U.S. Imperialism, (Zed Press, 2008), The Sage Handbook on Identities (Sage Publications, 2010), and Feminist Freedom Warriors (Haymarket Books, 2018).