These latest additions are the first step in re-envisioning board membership, purpose, and culture for an organization that has been committed to social justice and racial equity for 30 years.
MILWAUKEE, WI – Public Allies is honored to announce the appointment of four new board members to the Public Allies National Board of Directors. Looking towards a co-created future of the organization, Public Allies will work to re-imagine its board structure, purpose, and governance, starting with these outstanding new additions. Public Allies will continue to remodel its Board of Directors in the coming year with the goal of fully aligning with and living into its values, with critical representation from Public Allies program and staff alumni as well as Operating Partners. Two new alumni-elected board members will be announced in the coming weeks, with terms beginning in early 2023.
“As we look ahead to the bright future of our beloved Public Allies, we do it collectively with the strength of our entire community of values-aligned leaders, which includes Allies, staff, partners and board members,” says Jenise Terrell, Interim CEO of Public Allies. “I am humbled and honored to have the opportunity to welcome these four individuals to Public Allies. Together, they represent the kind of leadership we at Public Allies want to see in the world.”
“These new members have all supported and helped grow Public Allies, be it nationally or locally. They are the right leaders to help Public Allies live into its promise,” says Kanwar Singh, Chair of the Public Allies National Board of Directors. “They bring a diversity of talents, networks, and lived experiences, and above all, each of these new members holds a deep knowledge and love for this organization and a bolstering commitment to the values and mission of Public Allies.”
Chanda Smith Baker, Priya Bhatia, Marc McAleavey, and Dr. Adren O. Wilson bring decades of experience in the fields of inclusive leadership, public policy, social impact, and philanthropy. They will begin their terms in January 2023. Learn more about the Board of Directors appointees below:
Chanda Smith Baker has over 20 years of experience working in, for, and with underestimated communities. In 2017, Chanda joined the Minneapolis Foundation as the Senior Vice President of Impact, where she oversees the foundation’s grant-making programs, provides strategic direction to community initiatives and partnerships, and is the event and podcast host of Conversations with Chanda.
Previously, Chanda spent 17 years at Pillsbury United Communities, culminating her career there as president and CEO. As CEO, Chanda led the efforts to launch and house Public Allies Twin Cities, and previously served on Public Allies national board of directors. She has served on numerous nonprofit and philanthropic boards, including as a trustee at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota and a board member for CommonBond Communities.
Priya Bhatia currently serves as a Policy Advisor at the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, where she is focused on building access to affordable, high-quality early care and education to promote equity and inclusion. She is an attorney by training and practiced immigration law and commercial litigation before moving into the public sector. As an immigration lawyer, Priya advocated for survivors of domestic violence and other immigrant families. Priya is a member and former President of the Public Allies Wisconsin advisory board.
As an immigration lawyer, Priya advocated for survivors of domestic violence and other immigrant families. Priya earned a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science with honors from Northwestern University and a Law Degree from The University of Chicago. A native Chicagoan, Priya has lived in Milwaukee for over a decade. She is passionate about creating stronger and more equitable communities in her adopted hometown. Priya enjoys baking with her children and hiking with her pandemic puppy in her spare time.
Marc McAleavey, MSW brings over two decades of experience establishing, and leading place-based organizations dedicated to sustainable community development. He served as founding executive director of Playworks Indiana and Public Allies Indianapolis, supporting 150 Allies in resident-led quality-of-life organizing and planning in over 20 neighborhoods. Marc led evaluation and documentation at the Indianapolis Neighborhood Resource Center and Founded The Zawadi Exchange, an asset-based community development organization.
Marc holds a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and a Master of Social Work from Indiana University. He enjoys teaching graduate-level policy, program design, and community development courses and is an Adjunct Professor in the School of Social Work. Marc serves on the boards of the Indiana Afterschool Network, Indiana University School of Liberal Arts Alumni Board, Uplands PEAK Animal Sanctuary, and the Central Indiana Community Foundation’s Racial Equity Advisory Council.
Dr. Adren O. Wilson, an experienced leader committed to equity, is leading the next chapter of President Obama’s national call to action to build safe and supportive communities where boys and young men of color have clear pathways to opportunity as the Executive Director of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance. Prior to his role with My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, Dr. Wilson served as the Deputy Chief of Staff to the Governor of Louisiana. He is a known leader within the Public Allies community, having previously served as the national CEO.
Wilson holds a Master’s in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Doctorate in Public Policy from the Nelson Mandela School of Public Policy and Urban Affairs at Southern University, and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science from Louisiana State University.
About Public Allies
Public Allies is a 501c3 national nonprofit committed to advancing social justice and racial equity by engaging and activating the leadership of all people. Our mission is to create a just and equitable society and the diverse leadership to sustain it. Since 1992, we have been a pioneer in recruiting and developing equity-focused change-makers. We have built a powerful network of more than 9000 proximate leaders who bridge races, ethnicities, socioeconomic levels, and cultures. Holding roles ranging from elected officials to heads of foundations and organizations, they reflect system re-designers, policy shapers, builders of inclusive cultures, and transformers of cultures – ones that accept, value, and view differences that we all bring to the table as strengths.