National Advisory Committee on Inclusive Practices

NACIP Overview is pleased to announce the appointment of an esteemed group of national education equity thought leaders to its National Advisory Committee on Inclusive Practices (NACIP). Formerly known as Taking All Students to Success in Early Learning (TASSEL), the committee serves as an advisory body to leadership to support the development of strategies and programs aimed at advancing access, excellence, and equity for all learners.

Members of the NACIP bring their national perspective and lens for inclusive excellence to:

  • Provide guidance and thought partnership to advance and maximize Waterford’s impact through partnerships, content development, and program delivery.
  • Serve as a liaison between Waterford leadership and the communities we serve by communicating feedback and community-based expertise.
  • Leverage professional networks and serve as an intermediary to support Waterford’s outreach efforts and program implementations.
  • Recommend strategies that respond to the social and cultural needs of the families and communities we aim to serve.

Meet the Members

Augustus Mays Headshot

Augustus Mays

Vice President for Partnerships and Engagement, Ed Trust

Augustus serves as Ed Trust’s Vice President for Partnerships and Engagement. In this role, Augustus leads the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates to enact equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels. He does this by working collaboratively with Ed Trust’s president & CEO and the senior leadership team to coordinate the organization’s overall advocacy agenda.

Prior to joining Ed Trust, Augustus served as the director of policy and outreach at WestEd, where he led the organization’s strategic efforts to increase its visibility and impact with federal and state policymakers in the education, health, and justice prevention space. Before that, Augustus was the manager of policy & advocacy at Knowledge Alliance, the national trade association representing the education research, development, and service industry.

Augustus holds an MPA from the University of Oklahoma and a BA in political science from Virginia Commonwealth University. NACIP member Emily Simon

Emily Simon

Senior Manager, Consulting, The New Teacher Project

Emily Simon is currently a consultant with TNTP and the contract she is working on is with the State of Massachusetts to implement a statewide reading foundational skills curriculum for Kindergarten-Grade 2. Her immediate past position was as the Preschool-Grade 2 Program Manager with the Office of Early Childhood Education at Chicago Public Schools where she designed and implemented district-wide professional learning. Within the field of early childhood, her experience includes working as an administrator, teacher, and service provider to children and families in different programmatic models including public schools, federally funded Head Start, and community-based partnerships. Central to her 15 years of professional experience is working as an advocate and communicating the importance of cultural and educational initiatives to sustain our communities.

Her educational background includes holding a Master of Arts Management, with an interest in Arts, Youth, and Community Development (AYCD), a MSEd in Early Childhood Education with endorsements in Special Education and English as a Second Language, and, most recently, a EdM from the School Leadership Program at Harvard Graduate School of Education/Harvard University.

Jacob Crane

Jacob Crane

Program Strategist, Culture Fire Events Inc.

Jacob Crane is from the Tsuut’ina Nation, Alberta, Canada. He attended Utah Valley University in pursuit of a Business Management degree with a minor in International Business, pausing his scholastic endeavors to focus on his career and small business passion. Currently, he is the Executive Director for a new startup nonprofit, Culture Fire Events Inc., which specializes in hosting Indigenous events, gatherings, and celebrations that focus on building community and strengthening bridges to the greater Utah area. When he is not event planning, he fights for climate justice with Indigenous Climate Action (ICA). In past years, Jacob was part of the Renewing Indigenous Economies cohort through the Hoover Institute located at Stanford University. He also received congressional recognition from Secretary of State Deb Haaland for his work in Indian Country.

Advocating for Indigenous rights is something that Jacob holds dear to his heart and has contributed to the work that he does now, shaping his outlook on ensuring BIPOC communities have a seat at the decision-making table. By creating space for Indigenous people, Jacob believes that we advance not just diversity and inclusion but equity and transformational change.

Lee Means

Lee A. Means

Director of Family Equity and Justice, Family Equality

Lee A. Means (he/him/his) is the Director of Family Equity + Justice at Family Equality. He is a longtime New York City educator with a background in law and the performing arts. He taught in various K-12 environments as a teacher and teacher leader in New York City and Newark, NJ.

Lee has a Bachelor of Arts, Religious Studies, and Doctorate of Jurisprudence from Indiana University. Lee also has a Masters of Science, Education Policy degree from University of Pennsylvania. He has studied courses in Dutch and European Law at Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam and ESADE in Barcelona. All these experiences are important parts of his identity as a lifelong learner.

The unifying element of all of Lee’s work has been a heavy engagement with a diverse group of stakeholders, but especially with families and children. Coming from a huge diverse family, it is natural for him to navigate towards families and to seek to understand how they function regardless of geography, composition, socioeconomic status, race, gender identity, citizenry, ethnicity, and sexuality.

Lisia Satini

Lisia Satini

Program Director, Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition

Lisia Satini serves as the CHW Program Director for the Utah Pacific Islander Health Coalition (UPIHC) and the Executive Director for Jordan River Support Services. She’s 1st Generation Tongan American born and partially raised in the Bay Area of California. Lisia serves on the Utah Department of Child Family Services Quality Improvement Committee, Mayor Erin Mendenhall Salt Lake City Commissioner for the Racial Equity Policing Commission, Board Member of Utah Clean Cities, and has served in many various capacities. She previously served as Backman Elementary School PTA President, resident board member for University Neighborhood Partners, and advisory board at Neighborworks America (Utah). She has served on the WIC Advisory Board, as a substitute teacher for the HeadStart Preschool Program, and was an interim director for the Utah Pacific Islander Civic Engagement Coalition (UPICEC). She worked in Social Services for over 7 years at Children’s Service Society of Utah in the Parents As Teachers Home Visitation Program as the Program Manager, and a previous member of the National Child Welfare League of America.

She received her Case Management with the University of Utah College of Social Work program. Utah State Department of Health & Human Services Community Health Worker, QPR/CPR/First Aid certified, DTTAC Diabetes Lifestyle Coach, Living with a Healthy Lifestyle with Chronic Diseases & Diabetes Facilitator, and Certified Medical Interpreter (Tongan).

Luis Chavez

Luis Chavez

National Education Committee Equity Chair, LULAC

Luis Chavez, a senior director with Career Ladders Project, has worked with more than 75 community colleges across California, in coalition with many of their K-12 districts and community partners to address student success and equity issues. His driving mission is to ensure that Latinos and other underserved students are prepared and have equitable access to postsecondary opportunities that builds familial prosperity, supports their identities, and acknowledges their contributions and values their communities.

Luis serves as the Equity Chair on the Education Subcommittee for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), is a founding member of the Latino Institute for Corporate Inclusion, which he has led since 2011, and helped create the Latino Tech Summit to foster diversity and inclusion in Silicon Valley.

A transfer alumnus of Mt. San Antonio College, Luis holds a bachelor’s degree from UC Irvine and a master’s degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills. His training also includes programs with the Harvard Institutes for Higher Education, the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility, the Harvard Business School, and UCLA Anderson School of Management’s Latino Leadership Institute.

matt grimes board member of

Matt Grimes, PhD

Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion, Cleveland Guardians Baseball Organization

Matt Grimes (he/him/his) is an award-winning Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging (DEIB) scholar-practitioner whose work centers on helping organizations develop a highly skilled, culturally proficient, & racially diverse workforce at all levels. A multiracial-millennial, functional poverty survivor, and education evangelist, Matt unapologetically advocates for social justice and courageous conversations by practicing asset-based framing and co-designing anti-racist practices and policies.

Matt has spent the last decade providing culturally responsive leadership, consultancy, thought-partnership, training, and executive coaching services to schools, non-profits, cities, and corporate organizations in New York, Massachusetts, Arizona, Ohio, Spain, and various countries in Latin America.

Matt currently serves as the Head of Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion for the Cleveland Guardians Baseball Organization. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Spanish & Multicultural Studies from Siena College and earned his master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he served as an Equity & Inclusion Fellow. Matt received his Doctor of Education degree from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign in leadership and equity. Matt is also a former United States Fulbright Scholar and Teach For America alumnus.

Natalie Alvarez

Natalie Alvarez

Chief Operating Officer, Greater Phoenix Urban League

Natalie Alvarez has been with the Greater Phoenix Urban League (GPUL) for over 25 years and is now the Chief Operating Officer. She has dedicated her career to working with children and families; the GPUL provides one of the largest Head Start programs in the city, providing services to Phoenix’s most vulnerable populations. Natalie partnered with Tucson Urban League and State of Black Arizona on the No Ceilings on Success, Education Equality for All program, examining if and how Arizona is advancing equity in schools. The team has been meeting with the community to not only bring awareness around the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) State plan, but to hold the State leaders accountable.


Tayshu Bommelyn

Senior Program Officer, Humboldt Area Foundations’ Native Culture Fund

Tayshu Bommelyn is the Senior Program Officer for the Humboldt Area Foundations’ Native Culture Fund. She grew in and around Del Norte County and greater Northern California/Southern Oregon. Understanding the importance of thinking of and caring for our world and all its inhabitants has been the foundation of her entire life. Her earliest memories are of her desire to help her community, especially the future generations.She grew up deeply knowing how important our natural world and each living being is.

After completing college, she supported her childhood goal for nearly two decades as a professional public school educator in Humboldt and Del Norte Counties. She was honored to teach all grades TK-12, and served as program director and an administrator. In that professional life, she was able to develop deep bonds with many and support all parts of her community.

As she transitioned into a new role, it was important for her to hold tight to those connections and continue supporting and being of service to her community. Her desire for service, growth, and care led her to joining the team at HAF/WRCF. Since 2018, she has been honored to work in many roles within the Grantmaking team. These days her work sits with the Native Cultures Fund (NCF). She is honored to devote her professional life to supporting the cultural revitalization of Indigenous people within their service area and beyond. NACIP member Veda Ajamu

Veda Ajamu

Chief DEI Programs & Community Engagement Officer

Veda Ajamu serves as the Chief DEI Programs & Community Engagement Officer at the National Civil Rights Museum where she has worked since 2010. In addition to her work there, Veda is a passionate and longtime criminal justice reform advocate and a Justice Reform Fellow at FAMM. She also has served on the Institute of Museum and Library Services Museums for America Community Anchors (2021) and Wayfinder Foundation Community Activist Fellowship Program (2018) grant review panels. Ajamu is the recipient of Southwest Tennessee Community College 2020 Carter Godwin Woodson Award of Merit for her personal and professional work.