Our New Orleans Team

Danitra Wansley
Program Director, New Orleans

As a Black woman from rural Georgia in the United States and a first-generation university student, Danitra was driven to use her strengths to serve the communities that needed her most. After directing a non-profit academic summer camp in Boston, Danitra joined Teach for America in greater New Orleans. She taught 7th grade English Language Arts at KIPP McDonogh 15 Middle School for the Creative Arts while serving as a part of Teach for America’s cohort for culturally responsive pedagogy, Teach4Liberation. As an Impact Manager with City Year New Orleans, she managed and coached three teams of school-based AmeriCorps members on leadership development and K-12 instruction. Danitra earned a Bachelor of Arts with honors in History and Literature from Harvard University. She is also a recipient of Harvard College’s Jonathan M. Levin Prize for Teaching and Social Justice, awarded annually to the most promising undergraduate who intends to become a public school teacher.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
of the way that High Resolves responds to the needs of schools and organizations in the development of our youth’s social skills. In New Orleans, there is a tremendous opportunity to innovate and leverage our community’s resources, and my role allows me to do that and empower youth to do the same.

Kevin Lewis
Program Manager, New Orleans

Kevin has a desire to help young people better understand their own identities and how they can see themselves as social change agents inside and outside of their communities. While in college, Kevin developed a passion for building spaces of community and learning across difference through cultural and social justice education. His dedication to facilitating and teaching social justice and global competency concepts led him to serve in various roles where he was responsible for creating and facilitating workshops and programs. Kevin holds a Bachelor of Science in Human Development & Family Studies from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Science in Higher Education & Student Affairs from Indiana University Bloomington.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
Growing up in Detroit, MI opened my eyes to the issues that plague many urban cities in the United States. It was not until I was older that I realized I truly missed out on being able to have conversations about leadership and social change at an early age. This informs why I believe beginning conversations about collective identity and global citizenship earlier in childhood is so critical. I’m passionate about educating youth about different social issues because I believe that they are the ones that can truly take ownership over the progress of our society. High Resolves builds capacity within youth to understand how they can contribute to a more just and equitable world for everyone to live in.

Roxy Pirnia
National Program Director, USA

Roxy is extremely passionate about education reform and equity, particularly in the United States. Upon graduation from university, Roxy joined High Resolves as an intern, analyzing student work and reporting on program outcomes. After her internship, Roxy returned to the United States to continue pursuing her passion of working with youth. She worked as both a Corps Member and Team Leader with City Year in Boston, and subsequently as a Program Manager with Boston Scholar Athletes. Through her various roles, Roxy has continuously seen the importance of providing the space, resources, and skills for young people to build the social emotional capacities that are often not explicitly taught in school settings. Roxy is excited to again join the High Resolves team, and to build the bridge to the United States. She holds a Bachelors’ Degree in Psychology from the University of California, San Diego, and a Masters’ Degree in Education Policy and Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
My passion for this work stems from my own experiences in education. Prior to college, my education was mostly academic, lacking much application to life beyond the classroom. It was not until my time at the University of California, San Diego that I began to think critically about the world around me – about my own identity, about how I fit into the world, and what type of world I wanted to see. I am passionate about the work we are doing at High Resolves because it provides young people with the opportunity that I did not have, the opportunity to begin this journey earlier on and to better understand my role as a global citizen.

Chantelle Kohn
National Program Director Canada, Head of Curriculum North America

Chantelle’s passion is helping others become critically aware of how our world currently functions and the role they can play in transforming it to create inclusive and equitable communities. She has a decade of extensive experience in the education field and has facilitated multiple countries. Chantelle has held various roles at High Resolves, starting as a Program Manager in Brisbane, Australia and now leads the Toronto hub while also overseeing the curriculum development and training for the North America team. She has a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education (Secondary) from the University of Queensland and a Masters of International and Community Development from Deakin University.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

It is through education that we can transform the way we see ourselves, the world and our role within it. High Resolves provides important opportunities for people to better understand the oppressive structures of society and how they have contributed to both past and present inequities and harmful divisions. Most importantly, it focuses on helping participants develop the attitudes, values and skills needed to take action and create inclusive communities, locally and globally. I am passionate about High Resolves because it is helping people create much-needed change.

Elizabeth Goodyear
Founding Family, New Orleans

Elizabeth is our founder and champion in New Orleans and it is thanks to her that NOLA has become our biggest hub in North America.

Lisa Gorman
Chairwoman of U.S. Board

Lisa is the Chairwoman of High Resolves’ U.S. Board. Lisa was formerly of counsel with the Detroit-based law firm Abbott Nicholson and was a former partner at Timmis Inman. Her clients included non-profit organizations and private foundations. Lisa holds a BA from Tufts University and a J.D. from Boston College. She serves on the President’s Advisory Council of Tufts University.

Tom Gorman
Board member

Tom Gorman was formerly the CEO of Brambles Limited, an ASX-listed supply chain solutions company operating in over 60 countries. Prior to joining Brambles, Tom spent 21 years working with Ford Motor Company in a number of senior positions in the US, Europe and Australia where he was President of Ford Australia from 2004 to 2008.

Mehrdad Baghai
Co-Founder, Chairman, and Global CEO

As Global CEO of High Resolves, Mehrdad has focused on rapid growth of the program in Australia and expansion into the U.S., Canada, China, Brazil and Africa. Mehrdad is Chairman of Alchemy Growth, a boutique strategy advisory firm. Previously, he was a partner at McKinsey & Company and co-leader of the Firm’s worldwide Growth Practice, and an Executive Director at the CSIRO, Australia’s national science agency. Mehrdad has degrees from Harvard Law School, Harvard Kennedy School and Princeton University. He is a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I have seen and felt the impact of social division and hatred first hand. We need to think of prejudice, racism and hatred as public health issues and engage in immunization programs in order to eradicate these diseases.

Paul Kelsey
Global COO

Paul Kelsey was the inaugural CEO for High Resolves for ten years in Australia and is now the Global Chief Operating Officer. Prior to High Resolves, Paul was in various senior management positions in financial services for over 20 years.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about High Resolves more than ever now because I have three teenage children, and I see first-hand how difficult it is for young teenagers to develop a genuine sense of empathy for global issues and to feel empowered to make a difference.

Roya Baghai
Co-Founder & Chief Creative Officer

Roya has a degree in architecture but has worked in many different design fields, from graphic and object design to typography. Throughout all her work, she has been passionate about creating transformative experiences through design. Her commitment to creating positive social change and empowering young people to do the same was the inspiration and driving force behind the co-creation of High Resolves in 2005 and her deep involvement since. Over the last three years, she has also been the Executive Director of Videos for Change: a powerful platform that is amplifying the voice of young people who have creatively engaged with social issues and are catalysing positive change in the world.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…
I am passionate about contributing in some small way to the creation of a world with unity in diversity, and where justice and equality of opportunity is upheld and experienced by all. I am joyous and privileged to work towards this vision with the impressive and multi-talented team at High Resolves.

Aaron Raye
Intern

Aaron has a deep-rooted interest in bridging gaps between different groups of people and working towards creating a more equitable future for all of humanity. Aaron is from Frisco, Texas, and is currently a Levine Scholar at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and is working on a project to bring High Resolves to North Carolina in order to assist school districts in Charlotte with producing global citizens. While in high school, Aaron created a club called The Bridge that responded to discord and brought together different groups of people to talk about the world’s most pressing social issues in an open and non-discriminatory manner. The results of The Bridge is what inspires his work with High Resolves as it helped to illustrate that the power to change society is in the hands of youth.

I am passionate about High Resolves because…

We are currently living in a world that is becoming more globalized and connected by the day, and increasing global fluency among young people is the key to advancing society. I am passionate about spreading the motives of High Resolves in order to rally young people to be positive agents of social change.

Contact our New Orleans team

Our history

High Resolves New Orleans was established in December 2017.

With the incredible backing of Elizabeth Goodyear, a High Resolves founding family member, New Orleans is now our biggest hub in North America.

Our current partners include Metairie Park Country Day School, Bricolage Academy, Live Oak Wilderness Camp, NOLA Micro Schools, and the Orleans Parish School Board Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council.  During the 2018-2019 school year, we have worked directly with over 40 educators and 300 middle and high school students.  We plan to expand our reach in the coming school year through school programs and teacher professional development.

Partners

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