Meet Our ELP Faculty

Ama Codjoe is the former director of the DreamYard Art Center in the South Bronx where she taught and directed arts and social justice programming for young people as well as professional development for educators and administrators. She co-created and -developed the Social Justice Pedagogy Team and Learning Community at DreamYard, two professional development series aimed at establishing important tenets of social justice education, creating shared language and values across programs, and examining the relationship between anti-oppression theory and practice. Currently, she is a consultant for DreamYard Project and continues to support teaching artists, administrators, and Executive Directors with new, organization-wide initiatives. Ama has conducted racial justice and social justice workshops for Groundswell Mural Arts Project, Cleveland Arts and Education Consortium, Pratt Institute, New York University, The Met Museum, Queen’s Museum, Community MusicWorks, Bard Graduate Center, and numerous other educator, arts, and parent groups. She is a core faculty member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education Leadership Institute (CAELI), was the Project Manager and Lead Facilitator for Equity in the Panel Process—a national collective of grantmakers and funders pursuing racial equity in grantmaking—and recently served as the Visiting Assistant Professor of Social Justice and Inclusion at The New School. She earned her BA from Brown University and MFA from NYU’s Creative Writing Program.

John McCann has more than 30 years of experience as an educator, facilitator, and consultant. His expertise is in leadership education, strategy development, and innovation. John has worked with more than 300 of the nation’s leading arts, cultural and community institutions including the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra, Boys and Girls Club of America, Contemporary Art Museum/St. Louis, Dance/USA, Farmer Foodshare, Maryland State Arts Council, National Endowment for the Arts, the Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival, and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. He has facilitated significant mergers in the arts and culture field including the Tribeca Film Institute and Renew Media; and the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Dance Company and Dance Theatre Workshop to form a new entity, New York Live Arts. He is co-author of the Board Excellence Handbook, published by the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations; Jomandi: People Gathered Together in Celebration (FEDAPT, 1995), and Beyond Survival, Devising Strategies in an Uncertain World and Leadership as Creativity, both published by the National Endowment for the Arts. McCann designed and now teaches Creating a Learning Organization, Team Learning, and The Leader as Facilitator for the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), and Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA). He is co-founder and currently a board member of EmcArts, a nonprofit social enterprise for learning and innovation in the arts, and also serves on the board of the Pauli Murray Center for History and Social Justice at Duke University.

Mary Parish has worked with over 200 different organizations in both the public and private sectors. She focuses on creating practical strategies for developing leadership and effectiveness at all levels within the organization. Mary’s work has three channels: coaching individuals and teams to reach their highest potential; training design and delivery on topics such as strengthening interpersonal communication skills, developing emotional intelligence, and managing different personality types; and facilitating groups to work together more effectively, successfully navigate organizational transitions, and move their mission forward. People who have worked with Mary say her deep listening and questioning skills open people to possibilities that may have seemed out of their reach. Mary approaches her work with depth, humor, and practicality that gives people specific steps to take to increase their effectiveness in their organization. At Michigan State University, Mary received a B.A. in television and radio—as one of only two women in her class—and later earned an M.A. in communication arts.

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