Register for this virtual program HERE.
Dr. Kani Ilangovan is the founder and a board member of Make Us Visible NJ. She is also a child, adolescent and adult psychiatrist and mother. As a psychiatrist, she sees the lifelong impact of racial trauma and the physical and mental toll on children and our communities. She is so thankful to the NJ legislature and Governor Murphy for signing the AAPI Curriculum Bill into law and establishing the DOE Commission on Asian American Heritage. Thousands of people collaborated to get the AAPI Curriculum bill and DOE Commission on Asian American Heritage passed. It was a massive mobilization effort and she is so grateful to the 60+ allied organizations who advocated for this cause.
Ying Lu, Associate Professor at NYU Steinhardt of Culture, Education and Human Development. She is the director of Education Studies (a BA program) at NYU Steinhardt. She is a Faculty Senator on NYU Faculty council, and a member of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Committee of the Faculty Council.
Sima Kumar is a Make Us Visible NJ board member, a New Jersey educator and mother who moderated an interdisciplinary exploration of Asian American and Pacific Islander experiences in the United States with poet Alison Roh Park and documentary filmmaker Angel Velasco Shaw. She also published an article in NJEA Review called Asian American in America’s Literary Heritage that explored the origins of the invisibility of Asian and Asian American literature and history in the K-12 curricula and provided a pedagogical approach to creating more inclusive curricula to meet the needs of the increasingly multiracial and multiethnic demography of students in the public school classroom. She testified at Assembly and Senate Education Committee meetings. Currently, she is involved in a curriculum development project through OCA-Asian Pacific American Advocates out of Washington, D.C., which is being spearheaded by Ting-Yi Oie and is also collaborating on the AAPI Digital Textbook Project with colleagues at UCLA.
Allison Staffin has been part of the Cherry Hill Public Schools since 1991. She is currently serving as a District Curriculum Supervisor of Curriculum and Instruction. Allison began her career as a social studies teacher spending 12 years in the classroom at Cherry Hill High School West. She just completed her 18th year as an Assistant Principal at High School West, and was honored to be named the 2016-2017 NJ Visionary Assistant Principal of the Year through NJPSA.
Christy Lee is an English teacher at Cherry Hill High School West. This is her seventh year in education, with experience in both public and private schools. She is passionate about teaching empathy through literature and equipping students with critical thinking skills to be responsible and kind citizens in the real world. She is particularly passionate about bridging the gap of inequality in schools. She believes that literacy and meaningful relationships with students are the bedrock for student success. For this end, she is also a mentor in the At Promise Mentorship Program at West, an after-school help program for at-risk students.
Next year, she will be teaching Asian American Pacific Island (AAPI) Studies, the first of its kind in the state of New Jersey. Together with curriculum experts in Cherry Hill School District, Make Us Visible New Jersey, and other stakeholders in the local community, she hopes to bring more awareness to the AAPI community.
When she is not in the classroom, you can find her serving in her church community at Grace Ministry or chasing her energetic toddlers at the park.