Kweli Umoja received her B.A. in Mathematics and Pan-African Studies from Cal State Northridge in 1974. She began teaching math at Gompers Junior High School for the Los Angeles Unified School District in 1974.
Kweli completed her Masters Program in Education with special emphasis on Curriculum Research and Development in 1980 and also completed 40 units in accounting in preparation for opening my own school in the future.
The following positions were held while at Gompers:
Math Laboratory Coordinator 1977 – 1980
Title 1 and Compensatory Education Coordinator 1980 – 1984. As the Coordinator I developed the individualized math instruction program for grades 7 – 9 designed to provide the supplemental support for teaching skills from numeration to statistics and probability.
1984 Co-Author of “Light A Mathematics Path” diagnostic/prescriptive math workbook for preparing students for advance math (algebra to calculus, and beyond).
From 1984 – 1988 she worked with Dr. George McKenna at Washington Preparatory High School as Peer Hall Coordinator assisting students with habitual attendance and tardy challenges, also taught advanced math (i.e., Trigonometry, and Calculus), and Life Skills.
1988 – 1992 she started her own business for financial planning, and investments (i.e., mutual funds, securities, and stocks).
1992 – 1993 given the opportunity by Los Angeles Councilman Mark Ridley-Thomas to work as a Community Liaison for Rebuild Los Angeles to assist with coordinating the reconstruction needed after the urban disturbance of 1992.
1993- 1995 Math Teacher at Edison Middle School, Los Angeles
1995 – 1998 Advance Math Teacher at John C. Fremont High School, L.A.
1998 – 2002 Math/Science Magnet Coordinator, Fremont High School and we had 100% graduation rate and 90% of our students matriculated to college/university. As the Coordinator we established innovative test preparation, and block schedule programs (classes were 2 hours in length) to simulate the length of college courses. After two years of this initiative students’ test scores were higher than LAUSD and California Department of Education average. However, in 2002 Fremont High School Administration would not allow the Magnet School to continue block scheduling.
In 2002 she resigned from her position as Fremont Math/Science Magnet School Coordinator and became one of the Co-Founders of Community Harvest Charter School, Los Angeles (2002 – 2011).
2002 – 10 I began as High School Director, she became Director of Curriculum and Operations for Community Harvest Charter School.
2011 Retired and revised “LAMP” workbook
2012 Established the Umoja Development Foundation to promote economic and educational development (I,e low-income housing, charter/public school that focus on science, technology, engineering, math (stem) and stem remedial/enrichment intersession camps, math intervention individualized instruction using the “LAMP” workbook.
Member of WARD African Methodist Episcopal Church 1987 – Present.
Ashlye Durrell is a proud HBCU alumna, graduating from the illustrious Hampton University. Her professional identity is social worker and Senior Associate at Advocates for Human Potential (AHP). Her career has been driven by her experiences growing up in South Central Los Angeles, which developed her passion for the advancement of her community.
Ms. Durrell has developed leadership skills as well as passion and extensive experience working with adults experiencing serious and persistent mental illness (SPMI), individuals experiencing homelessness, individuals with co-occurring disorders, underserved and medically vulnerable populations, and those experiencing tri-morbidity.
She has in-depth knowledge of evidence-based practices such as trauma-informed care and harm reduction and is interested in healing Black communities through trauma-informed therapeutic interventions, using her own experiences for change and destigmatization.
Throughout her career, Ms. Durrell has helped hundreds of underserved and vulnerable individuals through case management and therapeutic services. As she continues to enhance her professional reputation she seeks and continues to serve in leadership roles and volunteer in areas of passion.
In addition to her new role serving the Board of Learning by Design, Ms. Durrell is a proud board member of another youth centered NPO- TRIBE (for the betterment of Black girls). Ms. Durrell has an undying drive for the advancement of Black culture, specifically as it relates to mental health.
Larry Jacobs is the West Region Sales Director for Shell Oil Company, accountable for a $250MM budget. He has more than 20 years of domestic and international experience with Shell Oil across a variety of leadership and business development roles.
Larry attended UCLA and earned a BS in Applied Mathematics. While in college he worked for the Young Black Scholars – an organization dedicated to preparing high school students for college.
He believes this opportunity was invaluable and spurred his passion for educational youth programs. Early in his professional career he also mentored college students through the Black Executive Exchange Program (BEEP) — an organization committed to exposing college students to corporate executives in hopes of gaining career insights and opportunities.
Years later a friend invited him to participate in career day at Green Dot. Larry was impressed with the students’ drive and the school’s ambition. He soon after became an ambassador and helped support Green Dot through personal and corporate philanthropy.
Larry values diversity in corporate America and believes education to be the greatest equalizer. In his spare time he enjoys cooking, working out and playing the bass guitar.
Rasheeda A. Washington
Founder, Beyond Sixth
Rasheeda brings over 15 years of experience in organizational effectiveness, strategy, operations, and business process design.
She has achieved positive results and real impact working across multiple sectors and with organizations of various sizes. Rasheeda spent 10 years working in corporate supply chain before transitioning to the K-12 sector in 2013.
Since then she has served as the executive director of operations for the Tennessee Department of Education and the Senior Director of Recruitment and Selection for The Broad Academy program at The Broad Center.
In 2019 Rasheeda founded Beyond Sixth to support organizations in achieving significant outcomes and impact through developing and implementing solutions based in the people, values, and culture of their organization.
Rasheeda has a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville and a Master in Business Administration from the Krannert School of Management, Purdue University.
She is the proud fur-mom of her rescued terrier KJ and loves roller skating, hiking, and volunteering with youth-centered organizations.
Earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from George Mason University and participating on a professional level as a long jumper for The United States has afforded Ms. Brown a perspective that is critical in assisting youth in progressing through physical education and athletics.
The combination of these academic and professional ventures has instilled the values of time management, consistency, and work ethic, which are essential pillars of her current work with young people.
These experiences has assisted Ms. Brown in facilitating the integration of the well-rounded student-athlete during this technological shift in society. Ms. Brown encourages student-athletes to be process-driven versus outcome-oriented, by nurturing avenues of focus, balance, resilience, and discipline to help prepare them for the road ahead.
Earl Turner III is a seasoned entrepreneur with a passion for education. Throughout his career, Turner has been a strategic leader with a results-driven orientation. Having spent a portion of his career as a Residential Developer in New Orleans LA where he built a multi-million dollar operation in just seven years, Turner made the decision to transition from the role of
president of his business in 2013, to join the Teach For America program as a middle school mathematics teacher. Outside of the classroom, Turner was one of 540 Fellows selected from 6500 top graduate students and emerging leaders nationwide for the 2015 Edu
He executed a High-impact project for The Los Angeles Fund for Public Education developing a business plan that will expand partnerships for Linked Learning Pathways. The plan opened summer internship access to LAUSD’s High School juniors and seniors at prominent local and international organizations in Los Angeles (i.e. William Morris Endeavor (WME), Space X, The Mayors Fund, Participant Media, Bad Robot).
Additionally, Turner sat on the Corp Member Advisory Committee for Teach For America and the school board as Vice President for Teach Public Schools where he leveraged his wealth of experience in business and education to build social impact in Education Policy across Los Angeles.
Turner has served as a member of the Regional Strategy Team at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE) and a member of the Restorative Justice committee at Angelenos Organizing for Education (AO4E).
Turner also worked as a policy analyst for LAUSD’s school board president where he made recommendations for the district's Superintendents 2016 - 2019 Strategic Plan; he analyzed expenditures for the district's $7.6 billion budget, and he drafted a research report highlighting factors driving down student achievement in mathematics.
Turner holds a BA in Business Administration from Nebraska Wesleyan University, a MA in Digital Learning at Loyola Marymount University, and is a Doctoral student at Johns Hopkins University in the School of Education.