Southern California Team
Nishat Alikhan is an experienced Lower School educator and administrator with over 15 years of experience. Currently, Nishat is a Science Specialist, teaching Science to second, third, fourth, and fifth graders. Additionally, she serves as the chair of the Lower School DEI Committee and a member of the Heads DEI Advisory. Further, she is also an active member of the Faculty Curriculum Committee and the Global Initiatives Program Committee. Outside of school, Nishat is also the President of the Los Angeles County Science & Engineering Fair and an active volunteer in the Homey Made Meals program, preparing meals for unhoused neighbors in Los Angeles.
Chris Chun (she/her) is the Director of Teaching and Learning at The Berkeley School in Berkeley, California on unceded Ohlone land. In her 20 years of teaching, she has taught everything from middle school English to ceramics and aerial arts, and has been an administrator since 2016. Chris is proud to have has been a part of the AsEA conference first in 2008 as an attendee, and then since 2016 as a member of the steering committee when the conference was re-booted. A lifelong learner, Chris is currently obsessed with rocks and minerals and the care and feeding of freshwater shrimp, and current obsessions will likely have changed by the time you read this bio.
Dr. Drew Ishii is chair of the mathematics department at Sage Hill School, where he has taught since 2008. He is a SoCal POCIS board member and he co-chaired the NAIS People of Color Conference in Anaheim. He has facilitated affinity groups for both adults and students. As both a mathematics educator and diversity practitioner, he has facilitated workshops and been a speaker at independent schools, colleges, and national and international conferences.
Kimberly Kim teaches upper school English and coaches debate at St. Margaret’s Episcopal School in San Juan Capistrano, CA. She has been teaching for 18 years in a diverse group of school settings from public to private, domestic and international, secular and religious, coed and single-sex, boarding and day. In addition to her passion for literature and DEI work, she loves her three Cs: cooking, her corgi, and coffee by the beach.
Twenty-five years at Brentwood has taught Asako to nurture, value, and protect her sense of "beginner's mind" in all things life brings. As such, one of the highlights of Asako's days is when she gets to spend unscripted time with her students, exploring concepts for their own sake and delving into life's mysteries. Student-centered work is primary for Asako, as she considers one of her highest accomplishments as having been selected by BIPOC students to serve as a co-advisor for a grass roots student anti-racist organization at her school. Asako earned her doctorate degree from UCLA in 2020 under the mentorship of Pedro Noguera. The focus of her study was independent school BIPOC student experiences, utilizing Bonilla-Silva's (2010) colorblind racism and Ladson-Billings' (1996) culturally relevant pedagogy frameworks. Asako currently serves as Brentwood School's Equity & Inclusion Specialist.
Tim is the English department chair and Student Diversity Coordinator at Pacific Ridge School in Carlsbad, California, where he has worked to build a majority-PoC department and to develop curricula that prioritize marginalized voices. He has presented at PoCC and AsEA several times on the topics of Asian representation in the literary canon, white supremacy and free speech, and the impact of white participants on the PoCC itself. In his spare time, Tim enjoys losing games of mahjong to his six-year-old.
Like many of us who work at independent schools, Reanne Young from The Roeper School in Birmingham, Michigan wears many hats. Formally, serving as the Middle and Upper School Psychological Consultant for the last 14 years, she also runs the Advisory Program, teaches Student SEED at the Upper School and is a SEED facilitator for the faculty. Reanne also maintains a private marriage and family therapy practice and has owned Young Counseling & Consulting, a DEIJ consulting practice for over 20+ years.