It started with wanting to share what sustains us


Leadership Team


Lisa Nwankwo
Co-Executive Director


Lisa Nwankwo is a social impact writer - crafting community-positive grants and content for schools, non-profits, and small businesses, and writing about wellness and social justice at WeTheUrban; a yoga instructor - with a focus on increasing access to wellness; and a youth and community advocate with a passion for connecting citizens to their communities and connecting communities to the resources that they need the most. Born in Philadelphia, Lisa earned her bachelor's degree in English from Temple University and began volunteering with literacy non-profits and practicing yoga in 2009. She has built more than nine years of service with the education and non-profit industries and is a current and former member of Executive Boards and committees for several Philadelphia non-profits including the Spruce Foundation, Tree House Books, and Young Involved Philadelphia. Lisa is certified in Alignment-Based Vinyasa (200 RYT) via Maha Yoga in Center City, Street Yoga (trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practice for at-risk youth), and Children's Yoga. Lisa believes that if to be radical means to grasp things at the root, self-care is a truly revolutionary act that is critical in community progress. 

read about Lisa for 'Women of Wednesday on Medium'.


Danielle Mancinelli
Co-Executive Director


Danielle began her studies in yoga six years ago as a way to relieve stress as an urban educator. Since then, she’s fallen in love with the practice - the joy it cultivates and possibilities it creates. A life-long education advocate, Danielle has participated in New Leaders Council, served on the executive board of Teachers Lead Philly, and is a member of the International Reading Association,  Connectors and Keepers of LEADERSHIP Philly, and Alpha Upsilon Alpha International Reading Honor Society. She has taught in diverse urban settings - ranging from charter, public, and independent mission schools - and has also served as an Early Literacy Specialist with the Children’s Literacy Initiative. In 2015, Billy Penn named her on the Who’s Next: 16 Young Teachers and Leaders Shaping Education in Philly list. Danielle holds a Master’s degree in Reading from Saint Joseph’s University, with undergraduate degrees in English and Political Science from Temple University, and is a PA Certified Reading Specialist. She is also a 200-hour Yoga Alliance certified instructor and certified in Street Yoga (trauma-informed yoga and mindfulness practice for at-risk youth). Danielle believes through breath and words, we can empower students to grow their voices and stand in their own true north. 

read about Danielle for 'Who's Next: 16 Teachers and Leaders Shaping Education in Philly' on Billy Penn.


Board of Directors

Our team of inspired and talented women who oversee and advise our processes and advocate for the voices of our students, families, and communities.


Elliot Imani-Griffin
Ceisler Media & Issue Advocacy

Allyse Orsini
Vice President
Associate Director of Development
Penn Medicine

Mary Kate Kalinich
Staff Attorney
Women Against Abuse

Jill Kalani
Financial Advisor
Janney Montgomery Scott

Nisa Nejadi
Manager of Recruitment Marketing
Teach For America

Jamie Graver, M.Ed
Immigration Services Specialist
Temple University