Bridging Cultures Group Inc


Maimuna Mohammed

Maimuna Mohammed has a master’s degree in Early Childhood Leadership from Bank Street Graduate College of Education’s Principal Institute. She has been working as an early childhood educator in community based programs, in New York City for more than 35 years, and has gained a wider experience in teaching a variety of students. In that time she has specialized in working with all types of abilities, families and cultural ways of learning and doing. Reveling in the mysteries of creative equitable classroom management skills, team work, and enjoying working in play centered style.

Ms. Mohammed uses multiple approaches to encourage cooperation between organizations and individuals to help all team members to gather around a common value, goals, and culture that will improve the communities. Her partnership support for families and community includes getting other individuals, organizations, alliances, and coalitions involved in accomplishing community goals. She supports Elevating Parent Voices and has a sense of loyalty and devotion to supporting and improving community growth and development.

Jonayah Marie Jackson (Jo) is a data analysis consultant with 4 years of experience working in higher education.  In her last role, she was the project manager for the Center on Culture, Race & Equity at Bank Street College of Education.  There, she managed research projects, conducted interviews, administered focus groups, and co-facilitated professional development sessions for educators and caregivers.  In addition, Jo supported her team with graphic design, website maintenance, and administrative/technical support. A graduate of Williams College with a major in Anthropology and a concentration in Africana Studies as well as a certificate of Software Engineering from Columbia University School of Engineering, Jo brings her experience conducting fieldwork, creating materials, and working in nonprofits and higher education to her teams. Currently, she is bridging her passion for data and technology by working on educational- and medical-themed applications.

Jonayah Jackson

Trent Webb

Trent Webb is an award-winning educator and nationally recognized public speaker. He also is a nationally honored collegiate speech and debate coach. Both his undergraduate and graduate work was done at Texas State University – San Marcos in the field of Communication Studies, with an emphasis on Rhetoric, Public Affairs and Theatre/Performance. He currently teaches Public Speaking and Argumentation & Debate courses at various colleges in the NYC metro area. His primary focus in the classroom is fostering student advocacy and increasing diversity by amplifying the voices of the disenfranchised – most notably in BIPOC and LGBTQ+ communities.
Growing up in a military household, Trent was afforded the opportunity to travel extensively throughout the world. He regularly draws upon those experiences in his approach to DEIB work. He has served on various diversity steering committees and has incorporated diversity strategies in both educational and nonprofit organizations. Most recently, he completed his official certification in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion at Cornell University. He endeavors to make all aspects of the education process more inclusive.
Throughout Tahira’s long and successful DEI, media production/marketing career, her versatility emerged as she successfully navigated a myriad of responsibilities. Notably, Tahira possesses a deep understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities in engaging diverse audiences, skillfully crafting culturally relevant and authentic messaging across programming, marketing externally and internally. A stalwart advocate for diversity and inclusion, Tahira served as the NBCU Cable DEI lead. During this tenure, Tahira tracked and reported diversity data with a focus on increasing Year over Year results, this included spearheading programs across the portfolio to directly increase diversity in front of and behind the camera all grounded in the belief that everyone deserves representation in media. 
Tahira’s journey into education advocacy was inspired by her own experiences in the NYC public school system, where she personally received a stellar education. Tahira’s active involvement in the NYC public education sector gained momentum with the enrollment of her three children in a diverse array of public schools, including zoned elementary schools, middle schools, and specialized academic and arts high schools. From being voted into the inaugural class of the CEC councils under former Mayor Bloomberg to volunteering with various schools and parent organizations, Tahira was active in understanding the structure and process at the DOE to advocate for schools’ day to day needs and the needs of a diverse population of students. 
Notable current and past work include serving on the CEC Parent Council District 22 for two years, SLT rep, DLT rep, Parent member – PLAN Advisory Group, Parent Advisor – Blue Ribbon Commission on Graduation Measures, and as a current member of the CPAC High School Committee. Additionally, Tahira served as the President of LaGuardia HS PA in 2021-2022, a 501c3 org with and YTY operating budget of $500,000, prior to the stint as president she was a parent volunteer where she also produced a Emmy nominated student talent show Rising Stars that was aired on the local NY PBS station WNET/

Tahira Bhatti

Lisette Roman

Lissette Roman is a mother of three who has worked in the field of education for over eighteen years. Lissette most recently served on the Staten Island Hebrew Public team as Founding School Director and Network Culture Leader after serving as Founding School Director at Cypress Hills Ascend Lower School. 

During her career, she held various educational roles in Honolulu, including instructional mentor and operations specialist at Teach For America, program specialist at Read Aloud America, and Founding School Board Member of DreamHouse Ewa Beach. Lissette Roman has also held teaching positions at Achievement First in Bridgeport, CT, and in Las Vegas Public Schools, where she began her teaching career as a Teach For America Corps member. 

Lissette is fluent in both English and Spanish. She earned her bachelor’s degree in professional studies and human services from Metropolitan College of New York and her master of arts in education from Touro University.

Lauren Gonzalez holds a Master’s degree in International Education Development with a concentration in International Humanitarian Issues from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Health Science from Boston University. She began her career as an ESOL instructor with the International Rescue Committee and has since worked to develop more inclusive educational spaces. Lauren currently serves as a consultant for numerous school districts nationwide, offering strategic guidance and formulating data-informed recommendations. In her previous roles, she worked on federal and state grants at Teachers College- Columbia University and Rutgers University’s New Jersey Safe Schools Program. Lauren successfully managed research projects and played a key role in developing and facilitating educational programs on Career and Technical Education, Peace and Human Rights, Violence Prevention, Occupational Safety, and Culturally Responsive Pedagogy for education professionals and secondary students.

Lauren is driven by a passion for addressing educational inequities. With her multifaceted background, commitment to research-driven strategies, and a track record of providing impactful support to schools. She brings a unique skill set to education and workforce development and is dedicated to redefining educational paradigms and empowering learners.

Lauren Gonzalez

Michelle Lewis

Michelle Lewis is the owner of L.E.A.R.N Coaching & Consulting, where she provides services to educational, not-for-profit, public and private organizations to create/ build upon existing systems to improve operational functions. She also provides coaching services to educators at various stages of their career.

For over 15 years, she has served multiple schools with large populations of Title I, Black and Latino children, English language learners, and immigrant families. She has experience as a network leader, school leadership coach, teacher coach, workshop designer and facilitator, edTPA evaluator, curriculum writer and history educator. Michelle has supported, supervised and coached novice and veteran leaders, teachers and non-instructional staff to build their capacity.  She has expertise in creating systems and learning experiences to enable those she supports to be successful. 

She was previously the Associate Director for Performance Management & Development at New Visions where she has held multiple roles during her 11 year tenure. She has a M.S.Ed in educational leadership from Brooklyn College, a M.A from NYU and a B.A from Hunter College.  Her career has been a complete commitment to working with adults who want to continue to LEARN.

Dr. Simran Jeet Singh is an award-winning educator, writer, activist, and scholar who believes deeply that love, equity, and justice are closely intertwined. He writes and speaks regularly on issues of diversity, inclusion, civil rights, religion, and hate violence, and his thought leadership extends to a number of audiences, from the White House and the Pentagon to university campuses and social justice groups.

Simran is a professor of religion at Trinity University and Senior Religion Fellow for the Sikh Coalition, a civil rights organization based in New York City. This year, Simran serves as the Henry R. Luce Fellow for Religion and International Affairs at NYU’s Center for Religion and Media. He frequently contributes opinion pieces to various news outlets, and he has become a consistent expert for reporters around the world in television, radio, and print media. Simran is also on the board for Religion Newswriters Association, a fellow for the Truman National Security Project, and a term-member with the Council on Foreign Relations.

Simran Jeet Singh

Dr. Sango Blake

Nationally known as the Hip Hop Principal, Dr. Shango  A.  Blake-CEO of TRU SK Consultants, LLC is a much sought after speaker about issues in urban education; from pioneering unique collaborations between students, teachers, parents, and the community towards creating and sustaining a vibrant academic atmosphere, to his successful tenure as a New York City Principal, he has proven to be a true renaissance educator. As a Principal, Dr. Blake saw a profound need to institute drastic and creative changes to improve his school’s failing health. Dr. Blake initiated a bold and daring self-created project to integrate a conceptualized Hip Hop based educational program. This program led to the creation of:

  • A new curriculum model that included teacher development, parent involvement, and school/community collaboration.
  • His school went from one of the lowest-performing schools in the district to number one in reading and math.
  • As a result,  Dr. Blake has been featured on Oprah Winfrey, People Magazine, 98.7 Kiss FM, The Joey Reynolds Show, WABC channel 7 news, and WCBS Channel 2 interviewed Dr. Blake.

As Chair of the Education and Youth Committee of the Million Man March Coordinating Council of Queens, Dr. Shango Blake has been responsible for:

  • The exposure and placement of hundreds of high school students to Historically Black College and Universities
  • Resolving  violent conflict between rival gang members
  • Organizing Youth Empowerment Days


Scheherazad Al-Salamin (she/her) is of Palestinian-American heritage hailing from Yonkers, NY. Scheherazad believes in the power of an anti-racist education to free young minds. Her journey began at Sarah Lawrence in Bronxville, NY (B.A. with a focus on Arabic:English translation) and continues on at the Teacher’s College of Columbia University (M.A. in Social Studies Curriculum Pedagogy).

Scheherazad has spent the last ten years serving in schools within urban communities. She believes in the power of teaching for justice and works to support educators in unpacking their own histories, backgrounds, identities (all leading to a wonderful wealth of knowledge) before engaging in disciplinary thinking with students.

Scheherazad has worked with students and families in the field of education as a teacher, school leader and network lead. Scheherazad has spent time in forty schools, across several regions (NY, RI, CT, D.C., CA, WI, TN) within two large networks of the charter sector. Scheherazad has experience coaching and leading towards vision for instruction on both a school and network level within the charter sector. Of her many interests, Scheherazad finds her passion in project based learning as means of re-shaping pedagogical beliefs about what it means to both “teach” and “learn.”

Scheherazad Al-Salamin