Face advisory council
David C. Banks President/CEO,
Eagle Academy Foundation
Albert E. Dodson Chairman,
100 Black Men
Jodi Grant Executive Director,
Phyllis C. Hunter President,
Gayle Jennings-O'Byrne Vice President,
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
Liza McFadden President,
Dr. Gabrielle E. Miller National Executive Director,
Raising A Reader
Dr. Pedro Noguera Peter L. Agnew Professor
New York University
Earl Martin Phalen Chief Executive Officer,
Reach Out and Read
Susan Taylor Founder,
Andrew Young Co-Chairman,
Scholastic has appointed a national advisory council who will join the company in promoting the importance of family and community engagement initiatives and will advise Scholastic on how best it can support communities and children.
With expertise in Early Literacy, After School, Corporate Philanthropy, Volunteerism, Urban Education, and more, the FACE Advisory Council will help Scholastic connect and engage more educators, national organizations and community leader to advance student success.
David C. BanksPresident/CEO,
Eagle Academy Foundation
David C. Banks is the President/CEO of The Eagle Academy Foundation. He was the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public school in New York City. As President he is responsible for the successful leadership and management of the organization, which is charged with the replication of the successful Eagle model. Since opening in 2004, the Eagle Academy family has grown to encompass a total of three schools in the Bronx, Brooklyn and Queens, and is expanding its vision nationally.
The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first all-boys public high school in New York City in over thirty years, is a nurturing institution which believes that excellence, both in character and scholarship, opens doors and provides a bridge to equality. The Eagle Academies represent a partnership between students, school staff, parents, mentors, and community partners, who are all committed to the guiding principles of academic excellence, leadership and character development. These principles are supported by our core initiatives of mentoring, community service, extended day activities, Saturday Institute, summer programs, and family involvement. The first Eagle Academy for Young Men was established as part of New York City's twenty-first century high school reform initiative, an accomplishment achieved through a unique partnership with One Hundred Black Men, Inc. After five years of sharing space with the Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice, it has since moved into its own, state of the art facility.
Prior to becoming principal of Eagle, David served as the Founding Principal of The Bronx School for Law, Government & Justice. This theme-based high school provided a unique opportunity for him to combine his law and education background. During his tenure, David helped spearhead a community-wide effort to secure a permanent home for the school. As a result, Bronx Law is now housed in a $75 million, state of the art facility, representing an unprecedented partnership between the criminal justice community and an inner-city high school.
David is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and received his Juris Doctorate from St. John's University. He earned his Educational Administration and Supervision certification in only one semester by attending three colleges: Brooklyn College, City College and Baruch College.
David and his wife Marion reside in New Jersey. They have four children Jamaal, Aaliyah, Ali and Malcolm Rashaad, and one grandchild, Hayley.
Albert E. DodsonChairman,
100 Black Men
Albert E. Dotson, Jr., Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. and an equity partner in the Miami law firm of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod LLP, represents real estate developers in securing land use, zoning and other government approvals and permits for large-scale real estate developments and matters regarding federal and local government procurement contracts and compliance. He graduated from Dartmouth College with a degree in Economics and History and earned his juris doctor degree from Vanderbilt University, School of Law and was awarded the Bennett Douglas Bell Memorial Prize for academic achievement and high ethical standards. He is bilingual in English and Spanish, having studied at the Universidad de Granada in Spain.
Mr. Dotson was first elected as an officer of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. in 1994 as the organization’s Secretary. In 1996, he was elected Vice President and re-elected to successive two-year terms until 2004. In 2004, Mr. Dotson was elected Chairman of 100 Black Men of America, Inc. He became a member of 100 Black Men in 1989, when he was elected the founding president of his local chapter—100 Black Men of South Florida, Inc. Mr. Dotson served as President of the South Florida Chapter for 10 years.
Mr. Dotson has lectured at the National Law Institute on compliance with federal and state environmental laws and environmental insurance litigation. In 2005, Mr. Dotson was named by the Daily Business Review, “Most Effective Lawyers” in Real Estate/Construction Law.
A partial listing of Mr. Dotson’s other involvement includes FTAA Ministerial Board of Trustees, Super Bowl XLI Host Committee, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Miami (Board of Governors), The Simon Wiesenthal Center (Tribute Committee), United Way of Miami-Dade County (Trustee), Overtown Youth Center (Chair Board of Directors), Dade County Bar Association Blue Ribbon Commission on Judicial Campaigns, Miami Business Forum, Jackson Memorial Hospital Public Health Trust (Trustee), The National Conference of Community and Justice (51st Annual Humanitarian Award Committee), Alliance For Ethical Government (Executive Committee, Chair Lobbying Reform Task Force), Beacon Council, Miami-Dade County 1998 Empowerment Zone Application Task Force and Defense Orientation Conference Association.
Mr. Dotson is a native of Detroit Michigan and currently resides in Miami, Florida with his wife attorney Gail Ash Dotson and their two elementary school aged children Ashley and Albert III. He and his family are members of Sweet Home Missionary Baptist Church, where Mr. Dotson serves as Chairman of the Trustees.
Jodi GrantExecutive Director,
Since 2005, Jodi Grant has been Executive Director of Afterschool Alliance, a non-profit public awareness and advocacy organization working to ensure that all children and youth have access to quality, affordable afterschool programs.
Afterschool Alliance seeks to educate the public, the media and policy makers about the enormous potential of quality afterschool programs and how programs across the country are inspiring children and creating opportunities for them to succeed academically, socially and professionally. Afterschool Alliance serves as a national voice for afterschool and provides resources and materials to more than 26,000 afterschool programs. It organizes national and local afterschool events, including the organization’s signature event, Lights On Afterschool; conducts research on the need and support for afterschool; creates tools for afterschool practitioners; and connects afterschool leaders to national, state and local opinion leaders.
As Executive Director, Grant oversees all aspects of Afterschool Alliance’s work – setting its goals and strategies for reauthorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, working with the field to help programs tap into federal funding streams, and supervising research to help national, state and local afterschool advocates and providers support, create and expand quality afterschool programs.
Prior to joining Afterschool Alliance, Grant served as Director of Work and Family Programs for the National Partnership for Women & Families. In that position, she worked to protect and expand the Family & Medical Leave Act, and was a member of the team that successfully defended the law before the U.S. Supreme Court. Prior to that, she worked on Capitol Hill as General Counsel to the Senate Budget Committee and as Staff Director for a Senate Committee. Her legislative accomplishments include expanded support for the child tax credit, the Child Health Insurance Program, and class size reduction. She also served as liaison to the National Governors’ Association, where she worked closely with Republican and Democratic governors.
Grant graduated from Yale University with honors in 1990 and was elected senior class president. She received her law degree from Harvard University, where she was elected class president (first marshall). As a student, she volunteered at an afterschool program. She currently serves as: a Trustee of the America’s Promise Alliance, an Advisory Board Member of Time Warner Cable’s “Connect a Million Minds” campaign, and as Co-Chair of the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry’s Student Development Advisory Committee. Grant, her husband and two children live in Bethesda, Maryland. Grant is an avid cyclist.
Phyllis C. HunterPresident,
Phyllis C. Hunter, President of Phyllis C. Hunter Consulting, Inc., was appointed by Congress and President Bush to the board of the National Institute for Literacy, and has served as an advisor on the President’s Educational Transition Team. On November 15, 2002, she was honored with the Marcus Foster Memorial Award for Distinguished Educator of the Year by the National Alliance of Black School Educators. As a reading consultant who specializes in scientific research-based programs, Mrs. Hunter has traveled the nation providing on-site technical assistance to states implementing comprehensive reading programs. Mrs. Hunter proclaims that reading is the new civil right!
The Phyllis C. Hunter Classroom Libraries is her most recent publication that was created in conjunction with Scholastic Inc. The libraries are based on scientific research, Mrs. Hunter’s own years of classroom experience, her connection with schools across the country, and her work as a national literacy specialist.
In Texas, Mrs. Hunter was an administrator with the Houston Independent School District for seven years. She managed the reading department for the district’s 282 schools, Grades PreK–12.
In August 1998, Lauren Resnick, Director of the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh, appointed Mrs. Hunter a National Fellow of the Institute for Learning. Mrs. Hunter’s tenure in education includes a principalship with California’s Hayward Unified School District. Formerly an elementary, middle, and high school teacher, she has also held the positions of curriculum specialist, certified speech and language therapist, specialist in special education, and coordinator of a mentor-teaching program.
The Consortium for Policy Research in Education, which includes the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, Stanford University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin–Madison, unites these five top research institutions in an exciting venture. As an executive board member of CPRE, Mrs. Hunter helps to improve student learning through research on education reform, policy, and finance.
As a board member of the International Reading Association’s Urban Diversity Initiatives Commission and the National Center for Family Literacy, Mrs. Hunter impacts reading instruction worldwide. Mrs. Hunter has implemented extensive education reform for a diverse community of learners nationwide.
Gayle Jennings-O'ByrneVice President,
JP Morgan Chase Foundation
Gayle Jennings-O’Byrne helps implement the firm’s philanthropic vision to build vibrant communities. She is responsible for investing in not-for-profit organizations, programs and solutions that address issues of affordable housing, workforce development, early childcare, education, arts and culture and the environment. She is responsible for developing and managing a portfolio of partner and program investments, which includes conducting due diligence, community development services, technical assistance, consulting, referrals and grants.
Previously, Mrs. Jennings-O’Byrne was vice president, International Government Relations, managing global issues related to corporate finance and investment banking with respect to the firm’s legislative and regulatory affairs. Ms. Jennings-O’Byrne worked with various branches of government in the U.S. on a wide range of issues that are key to the firm’s global business strategy.
Mrs. Jennings-O’Byrne began her career at JPMorgan Chase as an associate in the Mergers and Acquisitions group. Her experience included various analytical, strategic advisory assignments such as acquisitions, leveraged buy-outs and defense advisory. She was promoted to vice-president in the group as a result of her corporate finance skills and merger experience.
Prior to joining J.P. Morgan Securities Inc., Ms. Jennings-O’Byrne was a senior press relations manager for Sun Microsystems Computer Co. where her responsibilities included developing and implementing global publicity and marketing programs.
She is committed to the development of New York City and the potential of communities. She earned a bachelor’s degree in Economics from The Wharton School of Business and masters in business administration (MBA) from The University of Michigan Business School. As part of her degree programs she studied at the National University of Singapore, the City of London Polytechnic and traveled throughout Israel on a research project for the Israeli Tourism Dept. She serves on an advisory board for the Ghetto Film School, the Cinema High School and the Eagle Academy Foundation. She is proudly married to David O’Byrne and resides in New York City.
Liza McFadden is president and founder of Volunteer USA Foundation. Volunteer USA manages a growing portfolio of brand name nonprofit programs. These include such innovative holdings as Teen Trendsetter Reading Mentors™, where teen volunteer leaders mentor thirdgraders to improve reading skills with the ultimate goal of impacting state graduation rates to Eco-Volunteer USA ™, where volunteers are providing big help to help state parks survive and thrive.
Liza is best known for her work in the development of creative and sustainable public-private partnership efforts that respond to critical community needs. For example, in response to the devastating hurricanes that hit Florida 2004 and 2005, Governor Jeb Bush tapped Liza to start-up and manage the Florida Disaster Recovery Fund. Under her leadership, over $24-million was raised in private funds to help rebuild low-income homes and nonprofits.
Liza volunteer efforts to support education include her appointment by President George W. Bush and confirmation by the Senate to serve on the National Institute for Literacy Board. In her home state of Florida, Liza has served as volunteer chairman of the innovative and somewhat controversial Florida Schools of Excellence Board, designed to sponsor and approve charter schools at the state level. Liza also served this past year on Governor Rick Scott’s Education Transition team in Florida, which strongly advocated continued education reform efforts to ensure Florida remains steadfastly focused on academic improvement.
Liza is currently authoring a bill to create Family Charter Schools to provide parents adult education and literacy services in a charter school setting. For more on Liza and the unique work of Volunteer USA , visit their web or program Facebook sites.
Dr. Gabrielle E. MillerNational Executive Director,
Raising A Reader
Dr. Gabrielle Miller joined Raising A Reader as National Executive Director in December 2008. Raising A Reader is a national nonprofit organization offering local agencies an evidence-based early literacy and parent engagement program that has been proven to improve the reading readiness skills of children ages 0-5. Prior to assuming her current role, Dr. Miller was vice president for programs at Reading is Fundamental, the nation’s oldest and largest nonprofit literacy organization. In that role, she was responsible for all literacy and early education programs, including Reading is Fundamental’s multicultural initiative, all special literacy initiatives and established new, innovative programming efforts.
Before joining RIF, Dr. Miller served as assistant vice president of educational programs at the Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore, MD, where she held a number of positions before ultimately assuming a leadership role in the special education department. During her time at the Kennedy Krieger Institute, Dr. Miller was primarily responsible for educational program development and research. Her research efforts focused on evaluating interventions for at-risk learners of all ages. Concurrently, she served as an assistant professor in The Johns Hopkins University’s Graduate School of Education’s Department of Special Education.
Dr. Miller began her career as a general and special education teacher in the Queen Anne’s County, Maryland public school system. She earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from the University of Delaware and completed her graduate studies (both master’s and doctoral) in special education and administration at Johns Hopkins University. She has two grown step-sons and in her spare time enjoys reading, golf, gardening, classic movies, and spending time with her husband, Jeffery
Dr. Pedro NogueraPeter L. Agnew Professor
New York University
Pedro Noguera is the Peter L. Agnew Professor of Education at New York University. Noguera is an urban sociologist whose scholarship and research focuses on the ways in which schools are influenced by social and economic conditions in the urban environment. He holds faculty appointments in the departments of Teaching and Learning and Humanities and Social Sciences at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education and Development, as well as in the Department of Sociology at New York University. Dr. Noguera is also the Executive Director of the Metropolitan Center for Urban Education and the co- Director of the Institute for the Study of Globalization and Education in Metropolitan Settings (IGEMS). In 2008, he was appointed by the Governor of New York to serve on the State University of New York Board of Trustees.
Dr. Noguera received his bachelors’ degree in Sociology and History and a teaching credential from Brown University in 1981. He earned his masters’ degree in Sociology from Brown in 1982 received his doctorate in Sociology from UC Berkeley in 1989. Dr. Noguera was a classroom teacher in public schools in Providence, RI and Oakland, CA. He has held tenured faculty appoints at the Harvard Graduate School of Education (2000-2003), where he was named the Judith K. Dimon Professor of Communities and Schools and at the University of California, Berkeley (1990-2000), where he was also the Director of the Institute for the Study of Social Change. He has published over one hundred and fifty research articles, monographs and research reports on topics such as urban school reform, conditions that promote student achievement, youth violence, the potential impact of school choice and vouchers on urban public schools, and race and ethnic relations in American society. His work has appeared in multiple major research journals. Dr. Noguera is the author of The Imperatives of Power: Political Change and the Social Basis of Regime Support in Grenada (Peter Lang Publishers, 1997), City Schools and the American Dream (Teachers College Press 2003), Unfinished Business: Closing the Achievement Gap in Our Nation’s Schools (Josey Bass, 2006) City Kids, City Teachers, with Bill Ayers and Greg Michie (New Press 2008), and The Trouble With Black Boys…and Other Reflections on Race, Equity and the Future of Public Education (Wiley and Sons, 2008). Dr. Noguera appears as a regular commentator on educational issues on CNN, National Public Radio, and other national news outlets.
Earl Martin PhalenChief Executive Officer,
Reach Out and Read
In 1967, Earl Martin Phalen was born into the foster care system. 70% of his African-American male peers in foster care ended up in jail.
As the result of being adopted by George and Veronica Phalen, and their passion for reading and education, he graduated from Yale University and Harvard Law School.
Having witnessed the transformative power of education and family involvement, he has dedicated the past 20 years of his life to expanding the life opportunities of children through learning and academic engagement.
Phalen is currently the Chief Executive Officer of Reach Out and Read and Founder of Summer Advantage USA . Reach Out and Read is comprised of 30,000 pediatricians in 4,535 hospitals across the nation. Pediatricians “prescribe reading time” to 3.9 million children annually. Children impacted by Reach Out and Read show a 6 month developmental edge over their peers by preschool and score higher on language skills assessments. It is one of the few literary nonprofits that impact 35% of all low income mothers and infants in the United States.
Phalen is also the Founder of Summer Advantage USA . Recognized by the White House initiative United We Serve, Summer Advantage USA engages thousands of children each summer in research based academic programs. In August of 2010, Summer Advantage USA was recognized by the Indiana Department of Education for dramatically impacting school district performance and student test scores.
Prior to his current endeavors, Phalen led BELL, a summer and after school learning program that grew from 15 children at one site to over 17,000 scholars in five states.
Earl Martin Phalen’s work and expertise has also been noted by ABC World News, Time Magazine, a Governor and two U.S. Presidents. He was the Co–Chair of Governor Deval Patrick’s Education Task Force, an education advisor to President Obama’s campaign and received the Presidential Service Award from President Bill Clinton. A contributor to the Huffington Post and former presenter at the National Press Club, he is the uncle to 31 nieces and nephews.
Susan L. Taylor is synonymous with Essence magazine, the brand she built—as its fashion and beauty editor, editor-in-chief and editorial director. For 27 years she authored of one of the magazine’s most popular columns, In the Spirit. As the driving force behind one of the most celebrated Black-owned businesses for nearly three decades, Susan Taylor is a legend in the magazine publishing world.
She was the first and only African American Woman to be recognized by the Magazine Publishers of America with the Henry Johnson Fisher Award—the industry’s highest honor—and the first to be inducted into the American Society of Magazine Editors Hall of Fame. She is the recipient of the NAA CP President’s Award for visionary leadership and has honorary degrees from more than a dozen colleges and universities.
A fourth-generation entrepreneur, Susan grew up in Harlem working with her father in his women’s clothing store. She founded her own cosmetics company, a first for Black women, which led to the beauty editor’s position at Essence. She is the author of four books: In the Spirit: The Inspirational Writings of Susan L. Taylor; Lessons in Living; Confirmation: The Spiritual Wisdom That Has Shaped Our Lives, which she coauthored with her husband, Khephra Burns; and her most recent, All About Love, Favorite Selections from In the Spirit on Living Fearlessly. She is a much sought-after speaker, inspiring hope and encouraging us to reclaim our lives and create sustainable communities.
She is an avid supporter of a host of organizations dedicated to moving the Black community forward, but her passion and focus today is the National CARES Mentoring Movement, a call to action, which she founded in 2006 as Essence Cares. The National CARES Mentoring Movement is a massive campaign to recruit one million able adults to help secure our children who are in peril and losing ground. “Not on our watch!” she says. “Our children are the mothers and fathers of our tomorrows, and their future is in our hands.” The goals of the CARES Movement are to increase high school graduation rates among African American students, and end the violence in Black communities and the over-incarceration of our young. “Creating safe, top-tier schools in every underserved community in this nation is the mandate—and it’s doable,” Taylor says.
Ambassador Andrew Jackson Young, Jr. is a noted Civil rights activist, was the former mayor of Atlanta, Georgia and the United States’s ambassador to the United Nations in the Jimmy Carter administration.
After one year at New Orleans’ Dillard University, in 1947 Young went to Howard University in Washington D.C. where he received his Bachelor of Science and pre-med degree in 1951. He had originally planned to follow his father’s career of dentistry, but then felt a religious calling. He entered the ministry and received a Bachelor of Divinity degree from Hartford Theological Seminary in Hartford, Connecticut in 1955.
Andrew Young then served as pastor of a church in Marion, Alabama. In Marion he met Jean Childs, who was to become his wife, and studied the writings of Mohandas Gandhi. Young became interested in Gandhi’s concept of non-violent resistance as a tactic for social change. He encouraged African Americans to register to vote in Alabama, sometimes facing death threats while doing so. He became a friend and ally of Dr. Martin Luther King at this time.
In 1957, he moved to New York City to accept a job with the National Council of Churches. However as the civil rights movement heated up Young decided that his place was back in the US South, and moved to Atlanta, Georgia. He again worked on drives to register Black voters. In 1964 he was named executive director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, with whom he organized many peaceful protests. Young became one of Dr. King’s principle lieutenants, and was with King in Memphis, Tennessee when King was shot in 1968.
Andrew Young helped draft the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
In 1972 Young became Georgia’s first African American congressman since Reconstruction. He was re-elected in 1974 and 1976.
In 1976, President Jimmy Carter appointed Young the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. He held that post until 1979, when he was forced to resign after a controversy ignited over his meeting with a representative of the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
Andrew Young was elected mayor of Atlanta in 1981, and re-elected in 1985.
Young was co-chair of the committee which brought the 1996 Summer Olympics to Atlanta.
Young continues his activism in favor of human rights, and is co-chair of Good Works International.