Shané Harris, Chair
The Prudential Foundation
“As a local education fund, The Trust works to reduce fragmentation of efforts and mobilize civic leadership.”
Shané Harris serves as the Vice President of The Prudential Foundation, where she is responsible for management of Foundation staff and program strategy and overseeing the distribution of $25 million in annual Foundation grants. Ms. Harris oversees education policy for Prudential’s Community Resources Department and advises senior management on their support of education initiatives. She also serves as Secretary of the Foundation.
The Newark Charter School Fund
Mashea Ashton is the CEO of the Newark Charter School Fund, having joined the organization as a partner in February 2009. Before joining NCSF, Mashea served as the Executive Director for the New York Program and Senior Advisor for Charter School Policy for New Leaders for New Schools.
Mashea has also served as the Executive Director for Charter Schools for the New York City Department of Education, the National Director of Recruitment and Selection for the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), and as a special education teacher in Williamsburg, VA and Washington, DC.
The Hon. Ras J. Baraka, Ex-Officio
A native of Newark, whose family has lived in the City for more than 70 years, Mayor Baraka was educated in the Newark Public schools and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and History from Howard University in Washington, D.C. and a Master's Degree in Education Supervisions from St. Peter's University in Jersey City.
An accomplished legislator and administrator, he has spent more than two decades tackling issues that affect the quality of life for Newark residents, including public safety, employment, health, economic development, and civic engagement. Specific highlights include legislation to acknowledge and address violence as a public health issue, to address complaints on late-night loitering, and to address abandoned properties and blight.
"As an educational leader I have devoted my advocacy to making more real the promise of higher education as the road to social mobility, a context for democratic practice, and a participant in community building and public problem-solving."
Nancy Cantor, chancellor of Rutgers University-Newark since January 1, 2014, is a distinguished higher education leader who is helping to forge a new understanding of the role of universities in society.
Prior to joining Rutgers University-Newark, Cantor served as chancellor of Syracuse University from 2004-2013. At Syracuse University, she spearheaded pursuit of its vision, Scholarship in Action, a view of the university not as a traditional "ivory tower," but as a public good, an anchor institution that collaborates with partners from all sectors of the economy to more effectively serve the needs of society.
Under Cantor's leadership, Syracuse University (SU) built on its historical strengths, pursuing cross-sector collaborations in the City of Syracuse that simultaneously enriched scholarship and education, spurring transformation of the older industrial city. These local engagements in key areas-such as environmental sustainability; art, technology, and design; neighborhood and cultural entrepreneurship; and urban school reform-resonate nationally and globally, demonstrated the inter-connectedness of the pressing issues of our world.
YouthBuild Newark/Newark Leadership Academy
"We have to provide our students with an opportunity to believe that anything is possible. We do that by giving them the right tools."
Robert Clark is the founder and executive director of YouthBuild Newark, a community service, job-training, and pre-apprenticeship program where low-income young people can also work toward a GED or high school diploma. YouthBuild Newark is the local partner of YouthBuild USA.
Clark is the first YouthBuild graduate to found a YouthBuild program. A graduate of YouthBuild Boston and Public Allies, he has over 18 years of experience in youth development and organizational development. Prior to founding YBN, Robert served as a Technical Assistance Contractor for YouthBuild USA – the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) national technical assistance provider. As a result of his experience, Robert has lent his expertise to the local education authority to help create a long-term strategy for alternative education and comprehensive high schools that can appropriately meet non-traditional youth's needs.
In June 2006, Irene Cooper-Basch became the third Executive Officer and Secretary of the Board for Victoria Foundation, a private grantmaking institution founded in 1924,with current assets totaling $200 million. Prior to this appointment, she served as a Program Officer at Victoria Foundation and the Healthcare Foundation of New Jersey for10 years. Both foundations have a strong grantmaking focus on the city of Newark, New Jersey.
Joe Della Fave
Ironbound Community Corporation
Joe Della Fave is executive director of the Ironbound Community Corporation (ICC), which empowers residents of the Ironbound section of Newark — a diverse neighborhood of 50,000 people – to build better lives for themselves and a better community for all who call the Ironbound home.
As the leading social service organization in the Ironbound, ICC takes a unique approach to delivering quality services by linking them with community planning, development, and activism.
This ongoing effort to transform lives and community began in 1969 when residents started a preschool as a grassroots response to a growing need for childcare. Today, ICC remains loyal to its original commitment to develop grass-roots solutions to neighborhood needs.
Steven J. Diner
“The Newark Education Trust acts as an advocate for the community in holding the Newark Public Schools accountable in establishing a new culture of excellence.”
Chancellor Steven J. Diner has headed Rutgers University-Newark since July 2002.
Rashon K. Hasan, Ex-Officio
Newark Public Schools Advisory Board
"Education is freedom. Therefore, those who are educated will enact change while others simply do as they are told."
Rashon was born and raised in Newark, NJ and believes that this great city has helped mold him into the man he is today. Rashon is a product of the Newark Public Schools system and understands the importance of obtaining a quality education. Rashon is the first college graduate in his family.
He earned his bachelor's degree in Political Science from Clark Atlanta University in 2007 and served as a member of the Board of Trustees as well as Student Government Association President (2005-2006) and Vice-President (2004-2005). Rashon represented Clark Atlanta University as a student leader on various occasions such as during HBCU leadership retreats, Young Political Leadership summits on Capitol Hill, and during conventions for The American Israel Public Affairs Committee (2004-2006). Rashon organized student led movements to change policies and working conditions for cafeteria workers who were employed by Sodexho in 2005. He also led a series of protests to improve public safety and prevent tuition increases at Clark Atlanta University. Rashon was featured in the September 2005 edition of Ebony Magazine as a future leader, during which he was highlighted for his loyalty and commitment to improving education. Rashon was also very instrumental in the implementation of enhanced recruiting efforts geared towards students in Newark, NJ. Because of these initiatives Newark, NJ now represents the fourth largest student population at Clark Atlanta University.
Celia M. King
Leadership Newark, Inc.
“It is an honor and a privilege to be able to contribute as a board member of the Newark Trust for Education. As an independent organization, we work diligently on behalf of the students of Newark, and our focus is high student achievement and academic excellence for all students.”
Presently, Celia M. King serves as the executive director of Leadership Newark, Inc., where she is responsible for ensuring a myriad of citizens committed to the City of Newark, enhance their skills and knowledge based on numerous public policy issues affecting the community.
La Casa de Don Pedro
Since 1998 and under Mr. Ocasio’s stewardship La Casa has experienced tremendous growth and consolidation of its programs and advocacy activities while adding vigor to its economic development work by employing a focused, targeted, comprehensive and integrated strategy plan.
Schumann Fund for NJ
"One of our primary goals is to keep the public in public education. Transparency in decision making, access to timely information, and meaningful participation by Newark's citizens are values central to the Trust."
Barbara Reisman has been Executive Director of The Schumann Fund for New Jersey since 1997.
The Schumann Fund makes program and policy grants in New Jersey to expand access to high quality early childhood education, for environmental protection and education in urban New Jersey, and to improve public education.
Since 1997, the Schumann Fund has helped to launch: a coalition of early childhood educators, Head Start grantees, public school principals, teachers and child advocates working for expansion and improvement of early childhood education; the National Institute for Early Education Research; a state-wide public education campaign to build support for public and private investment in high-quality early childhood education; a "Lighthouse" Initiative, which helped develop three exemplary early childhood centers in Newark; and a community and parent organizing effort to improve public schools.
New Jersey Performing Arts Center
“One of the goals I have is that arts education be as important and preeminent in any of the work that we do."
NJPAC President John Schreiber joined the Trust's board of directors in December 2012 and has served as president of the New Jersey Performing Arts Center since July 2011.
Prior to his arrival at NJPAC, he served as executive vice president of social action and advocacy of Participant Media, LLC, where he was responsible for managing the creation, development and execution of unique social action and advocacy campaigns for each participant film.
Abbott Leadership Institute
“The community’s voice is vitally important in the conversation of education reform in Newark. As such, The Trust will augment and support the voices already engaged in education reform, providing information and access to other resources as needed. This is one way The Trust helps to align efforts.”
Junius W. Williams is a noted attorney, educator, musician and community advocate. As the Director of the Abbott Leadership Institute, at Rutgers University, Newark, he teaches advocacy skills to parents and professional educators.
Williams is the youngest person elected President of the NBA. As NBA President (1978-79), he presented a critique of the proposed constitution for the African Nation of Zimbabwe to the United Nations. His administration was called "The Year of Affirmative Action", in support of affirmative action in the wake of the Bakke case.
Clement Price, Chair Emeritus*
"The Newark Trust for Education is an independent organization committed to acting as a convener in bringing together diverse civic stakeholders around reform. We engage in meaningful collective work on behalf of all Newark’s children."
Clement Alexander Price served as Board of Governors Distinguished Service Professor of History and Director of the Institute on Ethnicity, Culture, and the Modern Experience, Rutgers University, Newark Campus.
Cami Anderson, Ex-Officio Member
Joe DelGrosso, Ex-Officio Member
President, Newark Teachers Union