Board of Directors

Alicia Brown Angemeer, PhD

Board Member
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
she/her/hers
aangemeer@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Alicia Angemeer is currently a program manager with Strong Women, Strong Girls (SWSG), a multi-generational mentoring organization for women and girls. She has developed and managed K-12 STEM programming for Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, taught English at Shady Side Academy, and worked in the Education Department of the Frick Art and Historical Center. Dr. Angemeer earned a doctorate from the Social and Comparative Analysis of Education program at the University of Pittsburgh. In her doctoral thesis, she employed a postcolonial lens to analyze the pedagogical challenges of Westerners reading and interpreting the Muslin Other. Dr. Angemeer also has a master’s in Secondary English Education, as well master’s and bachelor’s degrees in English from Duquesne University. She has been an active volunteer and Reading Buddy with the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh.

Jane Barrer

Jane Barrer

Board Member
Manhattan, New York
she/her/hers
jbarrer@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Jane hails from New Zealand where she was a Team Leader in the award-winning Christchurch City Libraries Network. In New York City, Jane was a School Library Media Specialist in the New York City Department of Education before moving to the United Nations International School.

Jane has been a member of the politically active M’Finda Kalunga Community Garden for over twenty years, taking on the roles of Co-Chair, Events Coordinator, caring for the garden’s hens, and establishing a story-telling program and free library for the Loisaida and Chinatown community

With prior careers as a choreographer, and as a location manager in the East Coast film industry, Jane continues to incorporate her love of the arts, her concern for the environment, and her commitment to action for social and environmental justice into her educational practice. 

Juli-Anne Benjamin

Board Member
Roselle, New Jersey
she/her/hers
jbenjamin@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Juli-Anne is a veteran educator who has dedicated her life to the service of children, both nationally and internationally, having lived and taught in West Africa and Southern Africa, the Caribbean, and, more recently, New Delhi, India. She lives and breathes literacy and genuinely believes it is both a comprehensive tool and the antidote that can eradicate poverty in the lives of children everywhere.

Juli-Anne spent two decades working in New York City Public Schools as an English teacher, reading specialist, mentor, instructional coach, and administrator. Currently, she is the Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Great Oaks Legacy Charter School in Newark, NJ, and is currently pursuing her Doctoral degree in Curriculum & Instruction. Juli-Anne also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Seton Hall University in New Jersey, where she teaches pre-service students about using literacy as a pathway to socially conscious instructional and assessment practices.  

As the Founder of @EdCampNewark (NJ) and @EdCampBrooklyn, Juli-Anne has married her love of classroom teaching with her passion for professional learning and teacher leadership. She works tirelessly within social justice and equity frameworks to include teachers of color and diverse educators in emerging professional learning spaces is committed to amplifying teachers as leaders and believes in equitable education for all.

Robert E. Braylock, Pharm.D.

Board Member
Cleveland Heights, Ohio
He/him/his
rbraylock@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Dr. Robert E. Braylock is a native of Cleveland Heights, OH and attended college in Findlay, OH at the University of Findlay (UF). Dr. Braylock graduated from UF with a bachelor of science, master of business administration and doctorate of pharmacy. During his time as a student, he worked very closely with the Office of Intercultural Student Services, including serving two years as its graduate assistant. Upon graduating, Dr. Braylock transitioned into the director position for intercultural student services and served in this capacity for 3.5 years. In his role at UF, Dr. Braylock enjoyed engaging with students through discussions and programs that encouraged them to consider other perspectives and experiences. Dr. Braylock is the founder, owner and CEO of BHK Consulting, LLC. BHK Consulting exist to bring unity amongst communities and nations from different cultures and backgrounds, and to establish justice and equity throughout creation. Dr. Braylock is married, and he and his wife have one energetic and loving child.

Jennifer Brown

Board Member
West Milford, New Jersey
she/her/hers
jbrown@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Jenny Brown, senior editor of Shelf Awareness, an e-newsletter for the book trade and also for consumers, has spent the past 30 years toggling between her two passions–education and bookmaking. She has served as director of the Center for Children’s Literature and interim children’s librarian at Bank Street College of Education, and publisher of Knopf Books for Young Readers. When she’s not combing bookshelves for her next read, you can find her performing cabaret at Don’t Tell Mama in New York. Jenny lives with her husband in Hewitt, NJ.

Susan Freiss

President
Madison, Wisconsin
she/her/hers
president@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Susan is an educator and learning facilitator. She was a previous Jane Addams Children’s Book Award selection committee member. As a multiage teacher she co-created a social justice based 4/5 Learning Place program in which children compared and contrasted contenders for the Jane Addams Award and made recommendations to the selection committee as a centerpiece of their literacy work. This process grew to include a dozen classrooms around the country via online student blogging. Susan currently teaches online middle school reading, writing, and higher order thinking. She holds a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction and became a Wisconsin Master Teacher in 2009.

Tracey Grace, MBA

Board Member
Sandy Springs, Georgia
she/her/hers
tgrace@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Tracey Grace is a woman of grit. Before breaking into tech by founding IBEX IT Business Experts, Tracey led successful sales teams at companies like Learning Tree and FedEx and obtained her BA and her MBA from the University of Pittsburgh. She also developed software applications, including Certifiably Diverse to help clients like the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) boost their supplier diversity. At IBEX, she helps organizations such as NASA, CDC and Cox Communications implement and train workers on cutting-edge technologies. A minority-woman founder, Grace realized IBEX’s value wasn’t just in tech training, but also in connecting companies with underrepresented groups. Although her professional expertise lies in Training and Best Practices, she’s a uniquely powerful authority on topics like diversity, networking, and leadership. Grace also serves on the PBAN Board, the Pitt Black MBA Network, raising scholarship dollars, recruiting and advocating for African American Students to obtain their MBA.

Beatrice López, Ed.D.

Board Member
Westchester County, New York
she/her/hers/ella
blopez@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Perceiving every experience as an opportunity for gaining knowledge, growth, and self-reflection, Dr. Beatrice López defines herself as a life-long learner and an agent for social change. Dr. López’s professional experience includes 14 years teaching in New York City Public Schools, serving as a K-8 Dual Language School Assistant Principal, and currently in the position of District Administrator for English Language Arts and Literacy in Middle Schools. Before her work in Pk-12 education, Dr. López spent eight years working with grassroots organizing efforts and state legislative advocacy for access to education policy for economically disadvantaged families. Dr. López’s doctoral research focused on culturally proficient leadership practices in response to the needs of historically underserved student populations. Beyond Dr. López’s work in schools, she serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Advancing Latinas into Leadership Mentoring Program, serves a mentor for the UStrive College Mentoring Program, and is part of the Hunter College Equity and Advocacy Committee. Dr. Lopez has been the recipient of the Hunter College Welfare Rights Initiative Inspiring Leadership Award, Leadership for a Changing World Certificate of Recognition for Outstanding Community Leadership, and the New York City National Organization for Women (NOW) Susan B. Anthony Award. Dr. Lopez’s mission as a professional has been to help ignite the transformation of lives through education while cultivating high-quality, equitable, and socially just learning environments.

Andrew Medlar

Andrew Medlar

Treasurer
Long Island City, New York
he/him/his
treasurer@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Andrew is the Director of Book Operations for New York Public Library and Brooklyn Public Library, and the former Chicago Public Library Assistant Chief for Technology, Content, and Innovation. He is a past president of the Association for Library Service to Children; has been named Librarian of the Year by the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade and the Spanish Association of Publishers Guild; received the Illinois Library Association’s Davis Cup for “outstanding contributions in library service to young people;” and has been honored with the American Library Association Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender Round Table’s Award for Political Activism.

Zia Meyer

Zia Meyer, MLIS

Board Member
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
She/ Her/ Hers
zmeyer@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Zia is a library assistant and children’s specialist at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. She is currently in pursuit of her Master of Library and Information Science at the University of Pittsburgh. Zia has an academic background in cultural studies with a focus on representations of race and gender and has been working to make library collections and programs for children meaningfully intersectional since early 2017.

Rachel Vinciguerra

Vice President
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
she/her/hers
vp@janeaddamspeace.org

Bio

Rachel currently works at the Pittsburgh-based nonprofit Hello Neighbor as their National Program Manager. She specializes in social service program design and evaluation specifically for women, girls, and international populations. She is the Vice President of a girls’ organization in Haiti she co-founded in 2015. She has worked with non-governmental organizations in the U.S. and abroad including the United Nations Development Programme, God’s Vision for Haiti (foster care program), and Strong Women, Strong Girls (multigenerational female mentorship program). She is also a certified yoga teacher with a Masters of Social Work and Masters of International Development.


Join Our Board

Inquiries regarding joining the board are welcome. Ideal candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Professional experience with leadership accomplishments in education, youth programming, publishing, fundraising, or the nonprofit sector
  • A commitment to and understanding of JAPA’s youth beneficiaries, preferably based on experience
  • An affinity for cultivating relationships and convening, facilitating, dialoguing, and building consensus among diverse individuals

See full requirements and responsibilities.