Higher Ground

Advisory Groups

Higher Ground is advised by several groups that offer guidance and critical feedback.

The Board of Advisors

The Board of Advisors is composed of parents, leaders, and key voices in the fields of education, health, law, housing, social services, non-profit organizations, faith-based institutions, and business who advise Higher Ground on its strategic plans and initiatives.

  • Adina Astor, Founder & Principal, Adina Astor Consulting
  • Carroll Blake, former Executive Director and current member of the BPS Opportunity & Achievement Gap Task Force
  • Pablo Calderon, former Manager Community Relations & Construction Affairs, MBTA
  • Shirley Carrington, former Higher Ground Board Member
  • Arthur Choo, former Higher Ground board member and Clerk
  • Cassandra Clay, Empower Success Corps
  • Phil Clay, Professor Emeritus, MIT
  • Jerry Cox, Leadership and Organizational Development Consultant and founding Higher Ground board member
  • Randall Davis, former Higher Ground board member and Treasurer
  • John Drew, President/CEO, ABCD
  • Kathy Drew, former Higher Ground Education Advisor/Advocate, Retired Teacher
  • Abrigal Forrester, Executive Director, Center for Teen Empowerment
  • Rev. Arthur Gerald, Pastor Emeritus 12th Baptist Church and founding Higher Ground board member
  • Tom Glynn, CEO, Harvard Allston Land Company; Lecturer, Harvard University
  • Charlotte Golar-Richie, Founding Higher Ground Board Chair and former Vice Chair
  • James Jennings, Professor Emeritus, Tufts University
  • Cassandra Johns, Instructional Support Leader and Assistant Principal, Providence School District
  • Rona Kiley, former Higher Ground board member & Education Committee Chair
  • Brandon Lopez, Social Worker, Higginson Lewis School
  • Tulaine Montgomery, Co-CEO, New Profit
  • Keith Motley, Consultant President/CEO, Urban League of Eastern MA
  • Jerry Mogul, former Executive Director, MA Advocates for Children
  • Elaine Ng, Executive Director, Third Sector New England
  • Alexandra Oliver Davila, Executive Director, Sociedad Latina
  • Arthur Pearson, President/CEO, Thompson Island Outward Bound Education Center
  • Bill Pinakiewicz, former Senior Strategic Advisor, Nonprofit Finance Fund
  • Charlie Rose, Senior Vice President & Dean, City Year
  • Sharon Scott-Chandler, President/CEO ABCD
  • Monalisa Smith, Founder, President/CEO, Mothers for Justice & Equality
  • Rev. Liz Walker, former Senior Pastor, Roxbury Presbyterian Church

Bill Pinakiewicz, Board of Advisors member

“The ethos that they bring to working with the community, invited collaboration, making available a platform for advocacy, agency, and voice. [They are] advancing equity in communities in the right sort of way.”​

Parent Teacher Advisory Group

Our parents and educators are the experts on what their schools and communities need. We support them to convene, mobilize, lead and advocate for strong outcomes in education, health and housing. 

  • Adedolapo Abioye, Teacher – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Shakeeda Barte, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Kenneth Bibby , Teacher – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Annie Bledsoe , Teacher – Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
  • Dianne Cox, Site Coordinator – Crispus Attucks Children’s Center
  • Sylvia Cross, Parent – Ellis School
  • Shondell Davis, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Mary Delgado, Family Liaison, Ellis School
  • Liseranny Diaz, Parent – Ellis School
  • Katie Doherty, Teacher – Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
  • Catherine Effie, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Milagros Feliz, Parent – Ellis School 
  • Johana Feliz, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • William Fontanez, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Latoya Gatlin, Parent – Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
  • Erik Grau, Teacher – Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
  • Susana Guzman, Parent – Ellis School 
  • Soyica Jackson, Teacher – Ellis School
  • Heather James, Teacher – Ellis School
  • Brandon Lopez, School Social Worker – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Shareef Lorenzo, Parent – Crispus Attucks Children’s Center
  • Amelia Mitter Burke, Teacher – Ellis School
  • Nadine Moore, Parent 
  • Jenny Pimentel, Teacher
  • Olga Ramos, Parent – Higginson Inclusion K0-2 School
  • Amarilis Rosario, Parent – Ellis School
  • John Sealey, Teacher – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Han Tran, Teacher – Ellis School 
  • Maria Vargas, Parent – Ellis School 
  • Marissa Velasquez, Family Engagement Director – Crispus Attucks Children’s Center
  • Barbara Veras, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Desiree Walker-Brown, Teacher – Ellis School
  • Lashaunda Watson, Parent – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Percy Watson, Teacher – Higginson Lewis K-8 School
  • Patricia Woodruffhicks, Teacher – Higginson Lewis K-8 School

Join an Advisory Group