Who We Are

Board of Directors

Aimee Peoples, Director of Labor & Management & Employee Relations, District of Columbia Public Schools 
(Board Chair)

Anjali Nagpaul, Director of DC Programs, Fair Chance (Secretary)

Betty FengConsultant (Treasurer)

Avni Gupta-KaganEducation Consultant, Gupta-Kagan, LLC

Dwanna Nicole, Executive Director, Restorative Justice Partnership

Jasmine Hicks, Director of Youth Leadership Development in Community and Youth Engagement, Truth Initiative

Joseph Pate, Digital Campaign Manager, Center for Community Change

John Kern, Founder and PrincipalBeta Strategy Group 

Lee Whack, Senior Development DirectorChalkbeat (Vice-Chair)

Ryan ComptonOf Counsel, DLA Piper

Talia Brock, Program Manager

Talia Brock was born in Washington, DC, raised in Silver Spring, MD and has been a resident of DC since 2014. Her interest in social justice work began to take shape while she was studying abroad and volunteering at an after-school program in Santiago, Dominican Republic. Following this experience, Talia channeled her deep frustration with systemic oppression into her work in education and community organizing. Talia loves reading fiction, creating art, speaking Spanish and advocating for self-care. She is excited to join CE’s team and work alongside the amazing young people CE engages.

Desmond Cole, Program Associate

Des is from Southeast DC. Before working at CE full-time, he was a CE Fellow and youth internship facilitator. He brings a youth-centered perspective to his work, and as a young person himself, understands what young people need. He is excited for the chance to work with young people, hear their thoughts and concerns, and find ways to address them.

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Lewam Dejen, Communications Coordinator

Lewam calls Arlington, VA home– specifically its Black and Brown immigrant communities. At university, Lew studied International Relations with a concentration in Africa and Film & Media Studies. Her political commitments manifested through her journalistic work as co-founder of a progressive zine, and as an organizing member of several campus coalitions resisting racial and class violence. The principle that all people deserve love, safety, and community is one of her core beliefs, exercised through her work as a member of BYP100’s DC Chapter and facilitator of Black Feminist Book Club’s DC Chapter.

Nicole Newman, Executive Director

A writer, passionate advocate, and nonprofit professional, Nicole learned how to organize from her aunt and grandparents who, at an early age, exposed her to collective action by those most impacted demanding equity. She was taught by her mother to ask as many questions as satisfied her curiosity. A fourth-generation Washingtonian, she graduated from Trinity University with a Bachelor's in Political Science and her Master's in Organizational Development from American University, both in Washington, DC. She has spent her career focused on creating more equitable, people-focused organizations through training and conversation around racial equity and inclusion; community organizing and client engagement; advocacy; strategic growth and planning; and navigating change and conflict. Most recently, she was the Senior Specialist of Community Relations at the DC Public Charter School Board, where she managed public engagement on behalf of the board. She likes traveling, sunflowers, unicorns, the enneagram, and being in nature.

Felicia Ramos, Interim Operations Manager

Felicia hails from Chicago with an extensive background in advocacy, youth development, and program design. Felicia’s experience working within Chicago’s school and housing systems, as well as for non-profit agencies here in DC has expanded her capacity to support and empower marginalized young people. Through her work in Chicago’s nonprofit field, Felicia revamped and facilitated teen dating violence prevention workshops and forums for over 1,000 high school students. As the Program Director for the Chicago Public Schools’ (CPS) Groundbreakers, she had the unique opportunity to partner with 30 high school students to plan and build over 30 new playgrounds each year. During her most recent tenure as the Academy Director for a hip-hop and arts education non-profit here in DC, Felicia developed a visual arts apprenticeship program, systems for outreach and enrollment of young artists, and established effective working relationships with local professional artists, educators and school-based staff.

Kerri Richardson Redding, Program Director

Kerri is a DC native, professional photographer, and former independent school educator who has held roles in progressive, Montessori, Quaker, international, and International Baccalaureate independent school communities during the past 20 years. Kerri is a digigriot; an educational technologist; and passionate advocate for community- building, diversity, equity, inclusion, social justice, and civic engagement. She has spent her life examining our evolving relationship with the visual and performing arts; media literacy and our media diets; mediated communication; and the power of storytelling to increase our capacity for complexity, empathy and radical love. Kerri holds a BA in Theater, Stage Management, and Directing from Wesleyan University as well as a M.Ed in Human Development from Loyola University. 

Nadia Richardson, Senior Operations Coordinator

A native Washingtonian, Nadia participated in CE's Internship and Fellowship Programs and was then hired as a Summer Youth Facilitator before joining CE’s staff. She studied communications and multimedia and has also worked in DC schools, teaching the arts, such as dance and photography, to younger children. Having grown up as a Black girl in DC, Nadia is able to bring a relatable voice and understanding in her work with youth. She loves that CE values the voices of young people and works to uplift those voices.

Marisa Stubbs, Director of Development & Communications

Originally from smalltown Mississippi, Marisa's family moved to the DC area when she was elementary school, and DC is now her second home. Marisa brings more than 15 years of experience in nonprofit administration, fundraising, youth development, program management, and curriculum development. Outside of a stint as a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa, she has focused primarily on building the capacities of youth and small, community-based organizations. Prior to Critical Exposure, Marisa served as Executive Director of Food For Life, a social enterprise and culinary job training program for DC youth that she founded in early 2011.