The Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership program's advisory board provides the program with critical input and apprises leadership of current trends in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) spaces. The board advises on the curriculum to ensure that the program includes relevant courses in the practical skills that are sought after in DEI settings. The board meets twice each year to share networking opportunities, career development advice, and insight on what DEI supervisors are looking for in their candidate pool. They invite an open line of communication with Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Leadership students looking for resources within their fields.
Dr. Sarah Davila
Dr. Sarah Davila is in her 29th year with the Somerville Public Schools and currently serves as Director of Multilingual Learner Education and District Administrator for Family and Community Partnerships. Her work spans across multiple realms to support a highly diverse student population. Deeply committed to educational equity, Sarah has helped lead the district’s charge toward creating systems without barriers. Sarah is a founding member of the Somerville Sanctuary City Steering Committee and is Co-Facilitator of Somerville Educators for Sanctuary Schools with the Educators Union meeting regularly to educate and empower all members of the community and to build comprehensive supports and ally-ship with immigrant and undocumented students and families.
Dr. Davila holds a BA in Political Science from the University of Massachusetts, Boston. She earned an MFA in Studio for Interrelated Media from the Massachusetts College of Art, and a Ph.D. in Child Development from the Eliot Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University. Sarah is Adjunct Professor at Lesley University teaching courses on Educational Equity, Culturally Responsive Teaching, Language, and Literacy.
Senator Lydia Edwards
Senator Lydia Edwards is a career advocate, activist, and voice on behalf of society's most vulnerable. She was raised all over the world by her military mom but chose to make East Boston her home.
Prior to being elected to the State Senate and Boston City Council, Lydia worked extensively in the legal field. She worked as a public interest attorney with Greater Boston Legal Services focusing on labor issues such as fighting for access to unemployment insurance, back wages, fair treatment for domestic workers, and combating human trafficking. Additionally, she coordinated a statewide campaign to pass the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights - and she won. Following the bill’s passage, she was named Bostonian of the Year, Honorable Mention, by the Boston Globe.
As one of only two transgender people in his hometown, Ben Greene has always been the “designated educator”. After giving a successful TEDx talk in 2019 called “Where are you Sitting?”, he decided to go into education and advocacy full time and now works as a public speaker and LGBTQ+ inclusion consultant. Since graduating from Brandeis University in the summer of 2020 he has spoken in many different domains: at HR conferences like DisruptHR, and SHRM, school training sessions for religious and secular high schools, DEI summits like diversity Live! in the UK and Pitt Diversity Forum 2021, Higher Education Institutes including Washington University Medical School, Cornell ILR, and Tufts graduates school of arts and sciences, government agencies including NASA, legal organizations including Lowenstein Sandler and Eckert Seamans, and internal events for global corporations including FactSet, AXAXL, and Northwestern Mutual. He also sits on the advisory board of a global branding firm. He is passionate about educating others from a place of compassion--no matter where they’re starting from.
Sonja M. Spears, Judge (Ret.)
Sonja M. Spears is the Chief Equity and Inclusion Officer at Boston Health Care for the Homeless Program where she leads the program through initiatives to center equity in all aspects of their work. Before embarking on her current role, Sonja practiced law in New Orleans then was elected judge, beginning her tenure with her colleague as one of the two first black judges to ever serve in that New Orleans trial court. She served for twelve years before her retirement in 2010.
After her retirement from the bench, Sonja returned to her native Boston, Massachusetts and her alma mater Tufts University where she has been teaching in the Ex-College and with UEP since 2013. Additionally she teaches with the Trial Advocacy Workshop at Harvard Law School and previously taught Trial Advocacy at Tulane Law School, where she graduated from, for nearly ten years.
Robert Terrell is a member of the Roxbury Neighborhood Council, the Madison Park Development Corporation Board of Directors, the Citizen's Housing and Planning Association's Policy Leadership Council, Action for Equity's Steering Committee, the Boston NAACP's Housing Committee, and the Assessment of Fair Housing's Community Advisory Committee.
Currently Mr. Terrell serves as the Fair Housing, Equity and Inclusion Officer at the Boston Housing Authority and previously as the Executive Director of the Fair Housing Center of Greater Boston. His most recent projects include an investigation of gentrification and displacement in Roxbury, Massachusetts; the creation of a new Article within the City of Boston's Zoning Code to help prevent gentrification and displacement within transit corridors and is participating in the creation of a new Assessment of Fair Housing for the City of Boston.