Amplifying underrepresented voices

Our Voice Alliance is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to elevating marginalized voices and perspectives to improve equity & empathy in education.

One way we do this is through our flagship program, Our Voice Academy, a multi-day event and community aimed at empowering educators of color to gain greater visible leadership and recognized expertise.

"When I think about OVA, one word comes to mind: Empowered. I've been revived. I am enough. I am unapologetic."

- Dr. Quentin J. Lee, Principal, Childersburg High School

Board of Directors

Jennie Magiera, Founder

Jennie Magiera is the author of the Corwin bestselling book, Courageous Edventures. Previously, she was the Chief Innovation Officer for CCSD62, the Digital Learning Coordinator for the Academy for Urban School Leadership and a Chicago Public Schools teacher. A White House Champion for Change, Apple Distinguished Educator, Google Certified Innovator and TEDx Speaker, Jennie works to improve education globally. Jennie is also passionate about transforming professional learning, having served on the Technical Working Group for the US Department of Education’s National Educational Technology Plan, co-founding PLAYDATE and other conferences. You can follow Jennie on Twitter at @MsMagiera and learn more about her work and her book at

Cheyenne E. Batista

Cheyenne E. Batista, is the Founder & CEO of Firefly Worldwide Inc., a global education and nonprofit consulting practice. She previously served as Founding Superintendent, Managing Director of a Pre-K to 12th grade community-based school network in her hometown of New York City where she started out as the Founding Principal and then oversaw the network expansion. She was previously a classroom teacher in the U.S. and in Brazil, then led in various program roles in the nonprofit and corporate sectors. Cheyenne was a featured TED Masterclass ISTE 2019 conference keynote and frequently speaks and writes on various domestic and international platforms. She is a tri-lingual foodie and worldwide sunset-chaser currently pursuing an EdD in Education Policy and Leadership at American University.

You can find her online at: Twitter | Instagram |

Jody Citizen

Jody Citizen is in his 21st year with Verizon, now a Senior Manager over Mobile Executive Relations - Court Team & Hum/ECE, leading this team responsible for consumer litigation support, corporate responsibility, and IoT automobile devices. He worked in Verizon's Legal department the previous 15 years, serving in various capacities such as Litigation, Public Policy, Risk Management and Law Enforcement/Corporate Security support. As a new, non-educator board member, Jody is looking to amplify OVA's reach, augmenting how the voices touch their respective communities, and broadening the impact of these powerful voices.

Dr. Sarah Thomas

Sarah Thomas, PhD is a Regional Technology Coordinator in a large district in Maryland, and the founder of EduMatch, a project that empowers educators to make global connections across common areas of interest. She has spoken and presented internationally, participated in the Technical Working Group to refresh the 2017 ISTE Standards for Educators, and is a recipient of the 2017 ISTE Making IT Happen award. She is also a national advisor for the Future Ready Instructional Coaches Strand, and an Affiliate Professor at Loyola University in Maryland. Sarah is a co-author of the ISTE Digital equity series, Closing the Gap.

Sawsan Jaber

Sawsan Jaber, a member of OVA's third cohort, just completed her PhD from Concordia University with a focus on inclusion and belonging of students from marginalized communities. She is a National Board Certificate candidate. Additionally, Sawsan is a founder of Project Pedagogy Consulting and offers professional development to support schools that lack funding for such initiatives. She is an educational leader of twenty years with experience in a variety of settings in the US and abroad. Sawsan offers the experience of being a member of a minority group as a daughter of refugees.

Dr. Toutoule Ntoya

Dr. Toutoule Ntoya is an educator dedicated to helping students achieve by 1) working with teachers in professional development and coaching to implement curricula and 2) working with students directly using learning and motivation strategies. Dr. Ntoya possesses a doctoral degree from University of Southern California in Urban Education Leadership. He taught physical science, chemistry, physics, and environmental science in diverse, k-12 learning environments. His interests span from supporting students in and out of school settings. This is done through mentoring, writing, creating content that uplifts others, and being an advocate for students. Dr. Ntoya is also committed to supporting all educators so that their voices can be heard in a variety of ways.