Meet our team

We are parents, educators, and long-time community organizers committed to uplifting Black parent leadership and the fight for the future of Philly schools.

Our Staff

Shanée Garner
Founding Executive Director
Graduate of West Philly High School

Shanée Garner has worked for over 15 years to make public systems more accountable to our communities by crafting compelling messaging, unifying unlikely allies, and building coalitions that are too big to fail. As the former Director of Education Policy for Children First (formerly PCCY), she trained and mobilized hundreds of parents to advocate for fair funding for schools and supported CF’s expansion into Southeastern PA. Before founding Lift Every Voice Philly, Shanée served as the Director of Policy and Legislation for Councilmember Helen Gym. She was instrumental in building the coalitions that passed the nation’s strongest “Fair Workweek” law protecting 130,000 service workers and winning crucial renter protections including “Right to Counsel” legislation and the Emergency Housing Protection Act. Her leadership secured the first budget investments for unhoused LGBTQ youth, established the city’s first renter’s defense fund, and restored nurses, counselors, and water hydration stations to Philly schools. Shanée also led coalitions that successfully closed three private youth incarceration facilities with histories of systemic sexual and physical abuse of children. She is a former Philly neighborhood high school teacher and faith-based organizer in Kensington. Shanée is West Philly born and raised, and a proud West Philly high grad (Go Speedboys!).

Wes Lathrop
Organizing Director

Wes Lathrop has been working in the field of social change for 20 years. He is a co-founder of POWER (PA), has led multiple grassroots organizing organizations, and has managed successful campaigns in areas ranging from economic justice, criminal justice reform, and the expansion of voting rights. Before joining Lift Every Voice Philly as the organizing team lead, Wes provided consultation to a wide variety of social change organizations. He also spent three years studying ways in which individuals, teams, and organizations can increase their ability to make high quality decisions.

Jennifer Wilmot
Research and Design Director

Jennifer Wilmot is an education researcher focused on improving K-12 schooling practices and environments for Black students. Before Lift Every Voice Philly, she taught at the University of Kansas helping to train more than 150 preservice teachers. Before academia, Jennifer worked as a Program Manager for City Year Greater Philadelphia, and as a School Transformation Facilitator in North Philadelphia for Diplomas Now, the first school improvement program to win an Investing in Innovations federal grant. She was an inaugural Founders Fellow at Impact100: Philadelphia, a past National Parent Engagement Fellow at the Flamboyan Foundation in Washington DC, and Fellow at Stanford University. She has published in Educational Policy, Teachers College Record, and Multicultural Perspectives.

Stephanie Barrale
Operations Director

Stephanie has over 10 years of experience in local small business management. After starting her career in retail management, Stephanie then co-operated a community wellness studio and supervised more than 30 individuals. Here, she implemented systems and coordinated technical assistance to ensure smooth and efficient daily operations. As a member of the Domestic Worker Alliance (NDWA – PA chapter), Stephanie helped fight for the Philadelphia Domestic Worker Bill of Rights and secured some of the strongest protections for domestic workers in the country. Being a member of NDWA got her hooked on organizing and the collective power of people. Stephanie is excited to lead Lift Every Voice Philly’s operations in service of building power with public school parents in Philadelphia.

Lydia Robbins
Citywide Organizer

Lydia Robbins has been organizing with workers for 15 years in Philadelphia and throughout Pennsylvania. She has built strong committees that have led union elections, organized strikes, and negotiated improvements for healthcare workers, patients, and their communities. As a chapter organizer at Lift Every Voice Philly, Lydia is passionate about organizing with parents, caregivers, workers, and community members to build a world that reflects their collective dreams for their loved ones and themselves. When she is not organizing, she is raising her daughter in West Philadelphia.

Our Parent Engagement Team

Patricia Scott

Patricia Scott is a home healthcare professional with a career spanning over four decades. Patricia has worked with the Homecare Associates of Philadelphia, Liberty Resources, Public Partnerships, and recently retired from Tempest Unlimited. Hailing from West Philadelphia, she has served as a block captain for 22 years. Patricia believes that we all share a collective responsibility for the well-being of future generations. In moments of respite, Patricia finds joy in traveling with her group of friends affectionately known as “The Golden Girls.”

Raven Holloway

Raven Holloway is a higher education professional with 12 years experience. After graduating from Temple University, Raven’s career began in Residence Life and expanded to administrative roles at the Community College of Philadelphia and Rutgers University-Camden. She is a Philly native of the Wynnefield neighborhood and draws inspiration from her parents, who taught her the importance of using one’s voice to address injustices and spark change. Her interests include supporting Philly sports teams, enjoying live music and concerts, and spending quality time with family and friends.

Alexis Smith

Alexis Smith, a paralegal and native of West Oak Lane, was born into a family of educators. Her mother and grandmother were both teachers who imparted in her the belief that parents can shape educational outcomes. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Howard University where she was a member of the Debate and Mock Trial teams. Alexis also interned with the DC Public Defenders Service working with system-involved youth. Alexis is a gifted makeup artist with a love for all things beauty related.

Our Board of Directors

Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad
Graduate of Regional High School

Abdul-Aliy A. Muhammad is a Philadelphia born writer, organizer, and co-founder of the Black and Brown Workers Co-op. In their work, they often trouble ideas of medical surveillance, bodily autonomy, and Blackness. They have over a decade of nonprofit experience, an understanding of cooperatives, and anti-oppressive praxis that informs all of their work.

Amy Faulring

Amy Faulring is the proud parent of two elementary-age Philadelphia public school students and longtime organizer for economic, racial, and environmental justice. Her current day job includes coaching executive directors and leaders of social change organizations in equitable, sustainable, and results-driven management. She has previously led national organizing and electoral campaigns with organizations like and Greenpeace. Amy has been involved in local Philadelphia organizing for nearly a decade, including campaigns to transform school building facilities; increase school budgets; and elect progressive leaders to city and state-wide office. Amy also serves on the board for the Alliance for Youth Action, a national organization that unites young people to strengthen our democracy, fix our economy & fight injustice.

Dr. Christopher McGinley
Graduate of Lincoln High School

Dr. Christopher McGinley has been an activist educator from the earliest days of his tenure when he worked tirelessly to advocate on behalf of children with disabilities. His involvement in leadership activities in the School District of Philadelphia led him to become an elementary school principal at Adaire School at the age of 30. While working in Philadelphia, he was promoted to the positions of middle school principal at Austin Meehan, cluster leader, and executive director of leadership development. He was responsible for planning professional development and preparing new principals. In 1999, Dr. McGinley became the assistant superintendent and then became superintendent of the School District of Cheltenham Township in 2003. He worked with the University of Pennsylvania to establish the Delaware Valley Minority Student Achievement Consortium (Delaware Valley Center for Equity and Excellence), an organization dedicated to closing the achievement gap. In 2008, Dr. McGinley became the superintendent of Lower Merion School District, a district routinely recognized as one of the top school districts in the nation. He concluded his service in Lower Merion in 2014. Dr. McGinley has also been a strong advocate for inclusive practices in special education.

Dr. DeAndre Jones
Graduate of Bodine High School

Dr. DeAndre Jones, with more than 16 years of experience, is a higher education administrative professional. Committed to completion, DeAndre’s passion is creating educational pathways and opportunities for students from disadvantaged backgrounds. During his career, he has worked with the gamut of students in higher education at various types of institutions. He believes in the life-changing opportunities provided by post-secondary education completion and that all students should have exposure and access to these opportunities. DeAndre is currently a political appointee in the Biden-Harris Administration serving at the US Department of Education’s Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education. He is a graduate of Bodine High School and holds a Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership from Saint Joseph’s University.

Edurne (Eddie) Irizarry
Graduate of Bodine High School

Edurne (Eddie) Irizarry has 20+ years of experience working in Philadelphia’s nonprofit sector. Born in Puerto Rico and raised in Philadelphia, she has held positions at leading organizations including the Philadelphia Foundation, Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Youth United for Change, Congreso de Latinos Unidos and the Mazzoni Center for LGBTQ Health and Well Being. Currently, Eddie is Lead for Community Impact at Social Venture Partners Philadelphia, managing all grantmaking and donor learning, utilizing both personal and professional experiences to organize 60+ donors in implementing trust-based philanthropic practices in Philadelphia. A traumatized but proud product of Catholic elementary and middle schools and graduate of Bodine High School in Philadelphia, Eddie’s experiences have fostered a deep responsibility to Philadelphia, her hometown, and a deep desire to return dollars stripped from Black and Brown communities back to where and who they belong.

Inella Ray
Graduate of The Academy at Palumbo

Inella Ray is the Director of Parent Advocacy & Engagement at Children First. As a Philadelphia native and a proud graduate of Philly schools, Inella understands the power of what happens when we invest in tomorrow’s generation. Prior to Children First, Inella served as the Director of School Operations at KIPP Lanning Square and has also worked across the education space ranging from out-of-school time programming, teacher recruitment, and youth development. Inella holds a Bachelor of Business Administration from Temple University’s Fox School of Business and is currently pursuing a Master of Education at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She is a West Philadelphia native, where she still lives with her partner, and strives to live her life with the joy it deserves!

Jamie Kudera
Graduate of Central High School

Jamie Kudera is a West Philadelphia native with a lifelong relationship to the School District of Philadelphia shaped by her experiences as a student, parent, and daughter of a teacher and active PFT member. She taught her own children civic engagement and advocacy through trips to City Hall and Harrisburg to lobby for needs as basic as a full-time nurse in their elementary school. Professionally, Jamie has directed marketing, communications, proposal writing, strategic planning, and program development efforts in health and social services organizations and higher education. Much of her current freelance work focuses on communicating complex medical information and research findings to lay audiences. A strong believer in the power of the people’s voice and voting, Jamie has served as a committee person in the 46th Ward since 2012. She is a former board member of the University City Arts League, the Penn Alexander Home and School Association, and Dancefusion Modern Dance Company. She is a founding member of the Central High School Anti-Racism Network, a parent group created in 2020 in response to student concerns about racism and inequity. Jamie is a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for Girls, Brandeis University (B.A.) and Yale University (M.B.A.).

Jordan Konell, Esq.
Graduate of Central High School

Jordan Konell, Esq., is a native of Northeast Philadelphia with a deep commitment to harnessing law and policy at the local level to create a more just and equitable city. The son of a single mother who worked as a Philadelphia public school teacher for 40 years, Jordan is dedicated to using his privilege to support the work of organizers who labor and campaign for economic and education justice. Jordan currently works as a union-side labor attorney in Philadelphia, providing legal assistance to public and private sector labor unions and their workers as they organize, negotiate, and advocate for fair pay and better working conditions. He previously worked as Legislative Aide to Philadelphia City Councilmember Helen Gym, where he focused on labor, housing, juvenile justice, and education policy. He is a graduate of Central High School, Yale College, and the University of Pennsylvania Law School, where he founded the Philadelphia Community Organizing Pro Bono Project, a pro bono project providing legal support to Philadelphia and Pennsylvania-based community organizers, and the Philadelphia Fair Lease Project, which is working to produce a model rental lease for the City of Philadelphia. He also studied at the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar.

Keisha Nicholson
Graduate of Olney High School

Keisha Nicholson is a graduate of Philadelphia Public schools and has been advocating for kids in public education for 30 years. She became a leader in Lift Every Voice Philly because she believes strongly in the values and quality education for all students. Keisha believes parents need to have a voice in their children’s education and children should have the freedom to choose their future not have it chosen for them. In addition to her advocacy work in public education, Keisha is an activist in her union, Homecare PA, and an aspiring entrepreneur.