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Reinventing Education

strategically, collaboratively, and sustainably

Community Leaders and Organizations

IDEA helps community leaders, networks, and organizations to be strategic and collaborative partners in influencing public opinion and creating conditions that support young people and communities to reclaim education to meet their immediate and long-term needs.

Meet our organizers working with community leaders, networks, and organizations:

Noel Didla, Sr. Fellow - Jackson, MS

Noel Didla

Noel Didla is an Instructor of English at Jackson State University.Noel is from Guntur, India, is 39 and currently serves on the boards of Sundial Solar Systems, OCD Media Communications, Jackson 2000 and on the Advisory Council of Gallery 1. She is passionate about creating cultural and artistic possibilities for the glocal communities of Jackson. Noel believes that critical and creative interdisciplinary approaches can be developed to build transformative communities through the worlds of fashion, film, food, music, dance and art engagement. Noel believes that cultural and language immersion empowers, enriches and engages communities in progressive programmatic action. Noel is an advocate for cultural justice, social and cultural entrepreneurship and empowerment and democratic education.

Jonathon Atkinson - Baltimore, MD

Jonathon Atkinson

Jonathon teaches at the Baltimore Montessori Public Charter School, the only public Montessori school in Baltimore City. This year, he’s working to initiate school health and debate programs at public schools in Baltimore City. Before moving to Maryland, he studied at the University of California, Berkeley, and the Humboldt University of Berlin; he also worked as a journalist in radio, print, and documentary film. Jonathon is a member of the team focused on networks, organizations, and organizers. He fervently believes that the ends cannot justify the means.

Mike Beebe

Mike Beebe - Seattle, WA

Mike has over 20 years of experience managing youth and adult leadership programs and is passionate about partnering with young people to create positive social change. His experience includes managing JustServe AmeriCorps, a youth anti-violence program, TEEN LINK, a hotline for youth answered by youth, and serving on the Board of Directors for COLAGE (Children of Lesbians and Gays Everywhere), a national organization advocating for the rights of GLBT families. In addition to his professional experience, he is a dedicated community volunteer. He currently serves on the Board of Directors for Casa Verde, is a member of Social Justice Fund Northwest, and is a member of Homestead Community Land Trust.

Donna Mikkelsen

Donna Mikkelsen - Beacon, NY

Donna is an educational entrepreneur and has been working with children and families for over 20 years. Her passion for community led to the development of Community Supported Education (CSE) a project where parents become integral to the learning process. She is currently working on a documentary film about her work with The Garden Road School which she founded and directed. She is very excited to get working with her local community through IDEA!

Are you part of a group that is working toward community ownership of education, or do you know one that is?

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Is your classroom a place in which youth and adults learn from each other?