Skip to main content

National Prism Alliances

Teach For America’s National Prism Alliances (formally TFA’s LGBTQ+ Community Initiative) launched Prism in 2014 with the purpose of creating brave spaces for LGBTQ+ teachers and ultimately students in every region. Learn more about our National and Regional Prism collations and how you can get involved.
On This Page

About Prism

What Is Prism?

Prism is a coalition of corps members, TFA alumni, non-TFA educators, civic and religious leaders, youth advocates and policymakers, and community members, all collaborating to share strategies and resources to support LGBTQ+ students and all students. 

The network operates nationally and as local initiatives in more than two-dozen Teach For America regions. Members meet up quarterly for ongoing learning and professional development on LGBTQ+ leadership and transgender and non-binary advocacy.

Download our one pager

Watch the 2022 Prism Month Kickoff Call

National Prism Board 2019-2021

Our national Prism board includes members who represent diverse and multiple intersecting identities within the LGBTQ+ community. The board oversees the strategy and direction of Teach For America’s national LGBTQ+ supports and programming. The 2022 National Prism Board will be announced in June of 2022. 

Am Norgren (D.C. Region ’10)
he/him/his
Professional Services Advisor, Agile Mind
Phoenix, AZ
Liaison  

Audrey Momoh (Bay Area ’16)
she/her/hers
Education Program Associate, 
Oakland Mayor’s Office
Oakland, CA 

CJ Crowder (Bay Area ‘99) - Co-Chair
he/him/his
Area Manager, New England
Catapult Learning
Boston, MA 

Coyote Shook (New York ’12)
they/them/their
Ph.D. Candidate, Univ. of Texas
Austin, TX

Wren Walker Robbins
she/her/hers
Dept. Head of Secondary Education, Salish Kootenai College
Pablo, MT

Gil Garza (Rio Grande Valley ’16)
he/him/his/el
Manager, Pre-Corps Experience, Teach For America
McAllen, TX

Jeremy Scheiner (Massachusetts ’13) - Co-Chair
he/him/his
Deputy Director, Equity & Inclusion, ACLU
Somerville, MA 

Jesse Holzman - Secretary
they/them/their
Ph.D. Candidate & Graduate Student Instructor, University of Illinois at Chicago
Chicago, IL 

Justin Tindall (San Antonio ’12)
he/him/his
Director, Education & Global Programming, It Gets Better Project
Hollywood, CA

Washington Navarrete (Arkansas ‘14)
he/him/his
Education Leadership Program Manager, UnidosUS
Los Angeles, CA

Kat Ling (Mississippi Delta ’11)
she/her/they/them
Interim CEO, Moonshot Edventures
Denver, CO

Kezia Gilyard (Mississippi Delta ’12)
they/them/theirs
LGBTQ+ Coordinator, Equity & Diversity
Broward County Public Schools
Ft. Lauderdale, FL

Omar Ornelas (California Capital Valley ’14)
he/him/his
Director, Program Applications, Teach for America
Lathrop, CA

Sarah Storm (D.C. Region ‘11)
she/her/hers
Coordinator, IMPACT Operations, DC Public Schools
Washington, DC 

Umut Dursun (Miami-Dade ‘11)
he/him/his
Executive Director of Education, YES Institute
Miami, FL

Regional Prism Coalitions

Nationally, more than half of Teach For America regions have Prism coalitions which are led by a regional Prism board. Members of each coalition advocate for and engage people who identify as LGBTQ+ in ways that best match the unique needs and complexities of their local communities. Importantly, coalitions partner with both national and regional external partners who are sometimes better positioned and equipped to support policy, queer and transgender youth leadership and development, or BIPOC intersectionality. 

Prism coalitions are often in different stages of development, aligned with other Board strategies, such as: 

  • Ideation: The region has been thinking about taking steps to start a Prism coalition;
  • Emerging: Informal meetings and programming but no Board establishment; 
  • Operational: Coalition is supported by a Board with clear mission, vision, strategic pillars, and the identification of external partnerships, as well as comprehension of the policy and legislative issues that are critical to advancing safer and braver classrooms and schools.
  • Sustainable: The Prism Coalition is supported by a Board that has been sustained over multiple consecutive years

Regional Prism coalitions support LGBTQ+ students, educators, and community members through a variety of initiatives including:

  • Providing ongoing learning and professional development for corps members and alumni
  • Educating LGBTQ+ educators on local policies and protections for LGBTQ+ employees
  • Developing partnerships with local LGBTQ+ organizations and youth centers
  • Organizing fundraisers to support LGBTQ+ causes
  • Hosting regional Brave Education Summits where this capacity exists (e.g Valor del Valle in RGV).

Join Prism

Join a Regional Prism Coalition

View a list of regions with Prism coalitions and contact the staff point person for more info.

Many regions are in the process of forming a Prism coalition and may still offer opportunities to get involved with advocating for LGBTQ+ initiatives, even if their local coalition is still emerging. Contact Tim’m West to learn more about opportunities in each region.

Start a Regional Prism Coalition

Beyond the list of regions who have established Prism coalitions that are guided by a Board, many or most other regions are at stages of development with intention to launch them. If your region does not currently have a Prism coalition we invite you to ask staff in your region or contact Kezia Gilyard or Tim’m West.

Regional Prism Board Staff Liaison

Serves as the liaison between the broader TFA organization and the Prism Board. This role will not be voted on by the board, but appointed by the region. At all times, there should be a regional staff member in this position. Responsible for bringing to the board key, critical, or relevant issues and for communicating board recommendations out to relevant and appropriate parties. Also responsible for managing the board’s finances, submitting expenses through WorkDay and using a Team Card, when available, to cover Prism expenses. Staff liaison also manages relationships with the National Initiative Directors and National Prism Liaison and should leverage the staff-facing #prismliaisons slack channel to learn from best practices across other Prism regions.

Regional Alumni Point Person

This person is often chair or co-chair on their regional Prism Board. The inclusion of an alumni point person is critical to ensure information flows from regional prism boards to all alumni networks. TFA alumni often assist in expanding the impact of regional prism boards for students, families, and current and former staff.

Board Chair

Different prism board regions have varying organizational leadership styles. When the position of Board Chair is present, their role is to maintain order and communication amongst board members and report board activities to the regional prism board staff liaison. 

Resources and Community Partners

Resources

Community Partners

Partners in the purpose of creating brave spaces for LGBTQ+ teachers and ultimately students in every region.

Tim'm West

Tim'm West

Senior Managing Director, National Prism Alliances

Teach For America

Tim'm is a seasoned educator, scholar, activist, and performance artist who plays an integral role in Teach For America's ever-expanding organizational effort to eliminate educational inequity through developing strategic partnerships with key stakeholders in the LGBTQ+ community. The inaugural director of our National Prism Alliances, he has served in this role since its inception in 2014.

Kezia Gilyard

Kabir Amari

Miami-Dade '12

Director of Regional Engagement, National Prism Alliances

Teach For America

Kezia Gilyard, M. Ed. (they/them/theirs), is a 2012 Miami-Dade alum, and nonbinary educator, facilitator, and advocate for LGBTQ+ youth. Kezia supports the National Prism Alliances' efforts to support regions in establishing and sustaining Prism coalitions that are critical levers in support of our LGBTQ+ corps members, alumni, and the students and communities they serve.