Meet the Bored


Malika Ali
Director of Pedagogy, Highlander Institute

As the Highlander Institute's Director of Pedagogy, Malika Ali is passionate about working to develop educators to be change agents of instructional and systemic equity and to nurture students’ cognitive development through culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy. Prior to working at the Institute, Malika served as an Innovation Specialist and a high school science teacher. She was a Rhode Island District Teacher of the Year and served on Governor Raimondo’s STEAM and Equity in Educator Preparation Working Group. Malika holds an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. in Public Health from Brown University. As a daughter of strong and brilliant Eritrean refugees, Malika has spent her life critiquing the systems that perpetuate educational inequity, and she is proud to be a part of the struggle to ensure that all children have access to, and can take advantage of, an empowering education.

For more on Malika and the Highlander Institute, visit


Dr. Diana Cournoyer, Oglala Lakota
Executive Director, National Indian Education Association

Through her passion and enthusiasm for supporting Native students, Diana has been a key driver in expanding NIEA's work beyond the halls of the U.S. Capitol to communities across Indian Country. She has helped shaped broader teacher hiring initiatives, created more opportunities for visits to tribal communities, acquired millions in grant funding for NIEA, testified before the US Congress in support of Native education, and inspired professional trust and collaboration among staff, colleagues, organizations and Native nations across the country. Her work has ensured that Native students have the best possible outcomes and educators have the best possible resources to support their efforts.

For more on Diana and NIEA, visit


Dr. David Hardy
VP of People & Culture, Education Elements

David Hardy is a former Superintendent by position, teacher by heart, and fighter against education inequity by passion. He loves, family, footwear, and finding ways to bring joy to anyone who needs it.

David was gifted two caring parents who made sure their two boys would go off to the best colleges in the country and dream.  As a sneaker loving Michael Jordan fan from Pennsylvania, education was always put first. He left for Colgate University as my high school’s all-time leading scorer to study economics.  But once he experienced asa teacher the injustice that existed in schools, the only business he wanted was the "business" of ending educational malpractice. It pushed David to earn a masters in Education Administration at St. Thomas University, a Masters in Urban Education Leadership from Teachers’ College, Columbia University and a Doctorate from Teachers’ College, Columbia University. He is also a writer and speaker by passion, a father and husband by love, and a photographer for inspiration.

For more on David and Education Elements, visit


David J. Johns
Executive Director, National Black Justice Coalition

David J. Johns is known for his passion, public policy acumen and fierce advocacy for youth. He is an enthusiast about equity—leveraging his time, talent and treasures to address the needs of individuals and communities often neglected and ignored. A recognized thought leader and social justice champion, David’s career has focused on improving life outcomes and opportunities for Black people.

On September 1, 2017, David Johns began his next life chapter as the executive director of the National Black Justice Coalition (NBJC)—a civil rights organization dedicated to the empowerment of Black lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer (LGBTQ) people, including people living with HIV/AIDS. NBJC’s mission is to end racism, homophobia, and LGBTQ bias and stigma.

For more on David and NBJC, visit


Dr. Jal Mehta, PhD
Author and Professor

Dr. Jal Mehta is a professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. His research explores the role of different forms of knowledge in tackling major social and political problems, particularly problems of human improvement. He has also written extensively on what it would take to improve American education, with a particular focus on the professionalization of teaching.


Keina Newell
Founder and Financial Coach, Wealth Over Now

Keina works with passionate and hardworking single women who need help creating clear financial goals so that they can save more, pay off debt, and stress less about money.

She started Wealth Over Now because her role as a financial coach is the perfect intersection of her passion and purpose. She wants to bring about generational change and truly believes that helping individuals build wealth and change their relationship with money will impact generations.

Keina imagines the generational shifts that will come when her clients feel empowered to teach others what they’ve learned. And she imagines them building up a community because they’ll be able to share how they’re achieving their money goals.

For more on Keina and Wealth Over Now, visit


Ron Rapatalo
Principal, Edgility Consulting

Ron loves thinking about how to improve himself, and how to help others improve themselves. Whether through leading a principal search, coaching someone on how to find their next best job, or teaching someone how to move properly on a VersaClimber, his life and career centers around helping others improve how to be better for themselves and others.

Ron has been coaching and leading executive searches for the last six years, taking what he learned from 20+ years in corporate, higher education, government, and non-profit contexts.

For more on Ron and his coaching work, visit


Dr. Darryl Tonemah, Kiowa, Comanche, and Tuscarora

Dr Darryl Tonemah is a health psychologist and musician, of Kiowa, Comanche and Tuscarora heritage. He was born on the Tuscarosa Reservation in New York, the son of an Indian Health Service worker and a nurse. He travels to communities around the world teaching methods of behavior change, health and wellness, and understanding and addressing trauma.

Tonemah has three bachelor's degrees, in Psychology, Sociology and Gerontology, a master's degree in Community Counseling, and a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and Cultural Studies.

In addition to his health services work, Tonemah is an award-winning recording artist, having produced five critically acclaimed CDs since 1992. He describes his musical style as "Native Americana."

For more on Darryl and his work, visit his professional Facebook page.

Meet the Bored


Dr. Kiara Butler
CEO and Founder of Diversity Talks

Dr. Kiara Butler is the CEO and Founder of Diversity Talks, a Rhode Island-based training company, which specializes in providing student-led professional development grounded in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Dr. Butler is a strong advocate for student voice and in her current work, she focuses on bringing the voices of marginalized groups to the forefront. Because of her advocacy, she has been recognized for her work in various capacities such as Forbes 30 Under 30 and TEDxProvidence.

Originally from Mississippi - a state known for biases, bigotry, and racism - Dr. Butler is a graduate of the state’s K12 public education system.  When a K12 student in Mississippi, she did not believe educators were aware that the lack of inclusivity of all races, religions, and cultures had a connection between students feeling marginalized and low student performance.  Today, her experiences as a student remain the driving force behind her commitment as a change agent transforming K12 public education.

Dr. Butler has obtained a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Interdisciplinary Career Oriented Humanities with an emphasis in African American Studies from the prestigious  Tougaloo College and became a member of the Gamma Psi Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated. Dr. Butler also holds a Master of Public Administration degree from Belhaven University and a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from Johnson & Wales University.


Angelo Garcia
Founder & Head of School of Segue Institute for Learning


Hassan Hassan
CEO of 4.0 Schools

Seventeen years ago, Hassan and his mother immigrated to the US through the Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery. Today, he serves as the CEO of 4.0, a national incubator that connects, coaches, and invests in 100+ leaders every year to pilot their visions for promising learning models.

Kim Neal
Founder & Executive Director, BELIEVE High School


Kyle Quadros
Founder, Tilo Learning

Kyle has worked in the fields of mental health and education for over twelve years. He received a Masters in Special Education with a concentration in Applied Behavior Analysis from Arizona State University in 2011. He holds certifications as a K-12 Building Administrator, District Level Special Education Administrator, and Provider Certification Training in Collaborative Proactive Solutions. Prior to teaching, Kyle worked at two leading psychiatric hospitals in Rhode Island. He has worked on locked down psychiatric units, residential care, and home-based services. He was a 2009 Teach for America Corps member where he taught in a 1-4 Self-Contained Autism classroom in Phoenix, Arizona. As a second year teacher, Kyle was a national semi-finalist for teacher of the year. He was the building principal of a leading elementary school in Rhode Island that by design was intentionally diverse.

Kyle founded TILO to combine his personal and professional experience in hopes of inspiring a new reality of what is possible.

For more on Kyle and Tilo Learning, visit


Randy Seriguchi
Executive Director of Urban Ed Academy

Randal Seriguchi, Jr. competes with the school-to-prison pipeline. As the Executive Director of UEA, he is supporting the early leg of a parallel pipeline to success for the remaining African American boys in the city. Through Saturday school programming, STEM experiences, in-school mentorship, and strong community engagement, UEA is a reliable partner in the elementary school space. He is a leading advocate for recruiting more men of color into the classroom. Prior to moving to San Francisco, Randy spent 5 years working to lift up social justice through education in D.C. and California. He is an active member of the New York State Bar Association, holds a Juris Doctor degree from the American University Washington College of Law, and received his Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Michigan.


Miki Tomita
Founder and CEO of Education Incubator

As Found of Hawaiʻi-based nonprofit, Education Incubator, Miki is dedicated to empowering young people, adults and communities to live with passion and purpose in service of a better world.

Miki and the EI team work with Hawaiʻi youth, educators, and organizations to develop place-based, culture-based, purpose-driven innovative approaches to education and entrepreneurship for a thriving Hawaiʻi.  EI works with hundreds of youth and adults through in- and out-of-school programs to approach community problem-solving and solution-generating through the lens of passion, purpose, and positive-change, in service of local communities with authenticity and aloha.
Miki has worked in education for 20 years as a teacher, administrator, curriculum developer, and researcher. Born and raised on Maui, Miki graduated from H.P. Baldwin High School, earned a B.S.E. in Biosystems Engineering at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa, and a Ph.D. in Education at Stanford University.  She identifies as a descendant of settler colonizers, an indigenous ally, a student of traditional healers and practitioners, an inventor and a maker. She has spent her life working to help create positive change for our planet and people, and has been accompanied on her path for 12 years by her daughter Mayumi.

Anashay "Teach Em" Wright
Founder & Chief Executive Disruptor, Disruptive Partners

Anashay is a national award-winning educator, speaker and educational consultant who partners with leaders, policy-makers and communities to disrupt inequities across the K-12 sector. She’s passionate about supporting leaders who are committed to advancing educational policies and instructional practices that create  equitable learning experiences for ALL students. Anashay brings over two decades of experience in designing innovative programs for nonprofits, universities and K-12 schools.

For more on Anashay and Disruptive Partners, visit


Karla Vigil
Chief Executive Officer, Equity Institute

Born in El Salvador and raised in Providence, Rhode Island, Karla E. Vigil serves as the chief executive officer and co-founder of the Equity Institute, an organization whose mission is to develop and implement innovative solutions for building more diverse, equitable, and inclusive learning and professional environments. Karla oversees the organization’s creative vision and leads strategic initiatives that focus on developing equitable policies and practices. She also has been a strong advocate in her state and beyond voicing the importance of recruiting and retaining teachers of color.

Karla was a Deeper Learning Equity fellow and was recently selected as a Pahara NextGen Fellow, Winter 2020 cohort. She lives in East Providence, RI with her partner and three sons.

For more on Karla and the Equity Institute, visit