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Board of Directors

A white man with light blue eyes smiling and looking directly into the camera leaning against a tan wall Charles Doolittle is currently a Senior Policy Advisor in the Office of Planning, Evaluation, and Policy Development (OPEPD). He covers a range of issues pertaining to teachers and principals, most recently including the development of Title II, Part A Guidance and final release of the teacher preparation regulations. He also covers special populations: homeless youth (participating in the U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness), neglected and delinquent youth, disconnected youth, and youth involved in juvenile justice and correctional education; in other words, students most likely to fall prey to the School-to-Prison Pipeline. Charles has dedicated his career to supporting efforts that increase equitable access to educational opportunity, what many have called one of the great civil rights issues of our time. In the words of Lerone Bennett, Jr., "An educator in a system of oppression is either a revolutionary or an oppressor."
Danez Smith appears wearing a mint green t-shirt and a gold necklace. They hold both hands behind their head and laugh with their eyes closed. Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer & performer from St. Paul, MN. Danez is the author of Homie (Graywolf Press, 2020), Don’t Call Us Dead (Graywolf Press, 2017), winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection, the Midwest Booksellers Choice Award, and a finalist for the National Book Award, and [insert] boy (YesYes Books, 2014), winner of the Kate Tufts Discovery Award and the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. They are the recipient of fellowships from the Poetry Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, Cave Canem, and the National Endowment for the Arts. Danez's work has been featured widely including on Buzzfeed, The New York Times, PBS NewsHour, Best American Poetry, Poetry Magazine, the 2020 Pushcart Prize Anthology, on the Late Show with Stephen Colbert. Danez is a member of the Dark Noise Collective and is the co-host of VS with Franny Choi, a podcast sponsored by the Poetry Foundation and Postloudness.
Taylor Johnson stands outside under leafy green tree branches which are blurred in the background and foreground, and looks slightly down toward the camera. They wear a black graphic t-shirt with a white design under a dark red striped flannel rolled up to the elbows.

Taylor Johnson is from Washington, DC. They are the author of Inheritance (Alice James Books, 2020), and their work appears in The Paris Review, The Baffler, Scalawag, and elsewhere. Johnson is a Cave Canem graduate fellow and a recipient of the 2017 Larry Neal Writers’ Award from the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities. They live in New Orleans where they listen.

Photo by Sean D. Henry-Smith.