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Our mighty team of 4 runs Start:Empowerment's operations but our work is a part of a collective effort.

As a youth-led, horizontally-structured nonprofit, we rely on the input of fellow youth, organizers, students, our Vanguards, volunteers, community members, teachers, and advisors who help us execute our mission day-in and day-out.


Kier Blake


Director of Community & School Partnerships 
[+ Co-Founder]

For 8 years, Kier has worked as a community-based fieldwork and education advisor in Kenya, occupied Palestine, Lebanon, and amerika. Through various modes of community engagement and co-design, Kier supports the development of Start:Empowerment's holistic education platforms and projects which promote long-term sustainable educational and cultural growth in the communities S:E serves. 

Based on unceded, occupied Lenape-Munsee Canarsie land (Brooklyn, New York)

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Alexia Leclercq


Director of Youth Organizing & Campaigns 
[+ Co-Founder]

Based on unceded, occupied Cohuiltecan, Tonkawa, Comanche land (Austin, Texas)

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Alysha Berry


Director of Communications & Design

Over the past 6 years, Alysha has worked closely with teenagers in the Bronx, NY and New Delhi, India. Through her experiences as a (language) tutor and writing mentor, she has realized the importance of establishing alternate forms of education and the politics involved in translation, literature, and language. 


Through various modes of media and design, Alysha supports the development of Start:Empowerment’s media campaigns, platforms, and virtual community. 

Based on unceded, occupied indigenous land in 

(New Delhi, India).

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Aviva Magder-Pascaris


Curriculum Specialist

For 6 years, Aviva has worked to use education as a vehicle for change in not only Pre K - 12 environments, but libraries, farms, and gardens. Centering anti-colonial pedagogies in her curriculum design, Aviva supports the development of our systems change and justice-oriented curriculum offered on a sliding scale on Start:Empowerment's Curriculum Suite and in schools across NYC.

Based on unceded, occupied Munsee-Canarsie Lenape land (Brooklyn, New York)

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Meet Our Advising Committee.

In order to frame our work, we rely on leaders in the field to help us navigate the ins and outs of day-to-day operations and meet our mission.

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Dr. Osbourne


Founding Board Member

Kristina Unker


Branding & Media Advisor

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Help spark radical change by becoming a working board member at S:E!

"Grassroots groups challenge the 'business-as-usual" environmentalism that is generally practiced by the more privileged wildlife- and conservation-oriented groups. The focus of activists of color and their constituents reflects their life experiences of social, economic, and political disenfranchisement."

-Robert Bullard

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