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MAEC Staff Members

Nyla Bell

Nyla Bell

Nyla Bell

Senior Education Equity Specialist

Nyla is a native Philadelphian and fourth generation Black educator with over 20 years of experience working at the intersections of equity, social justice, and public education. Nyla has devoted her life and career to educational justice as an adult educator, technical assistance provider, advocate, English teacher, scholar and youth organizer. Nyla’s more recent experiences working to advance equity and justice in education include teaching graduate courses on race and critical pedagogy to pre-service teachers; developing social justice curricula as a classroom teacher; and providing professional development on culturally responsive and sustaining pedagogy to in-service teachers. Nyla earliest experiences include testifying before Philadelphia’s superintendent on the poor condition of textbooks and serving as editor of a newsletter that covered topics like racial disproportionality in AP and honors classes. In response to systemic racial inequities and hate incidents, Nyla’s early experiences also include co-leading the work of establishing Penn State University’s first and only Africana Research Center and organizing a first of its kind Black Women Studies conference. With strong foundational knowledge on the intersections of racial, economic, and gender inequality, and on the culture and politics of public schooling, Nyla continues her ed justice work at MAEC by providing consultation, training, evaluation services, and technical assistance to educators and policy-makers in schools, districts, and state departments of education on a wide range of the most salient issues related to equity in schooling. Nyla is an alumna of, and board member with the Philadelphia Student Union, and is also longtime member of the Free Minds, Free People (FMFP) Leadership Committee. Nyla holds a Masters of Science in Education from the University of Pennsylvania, and a Bachelor of Philosophy degree with an interdisciplinary focus on social inequality, and with honors in African and African American Studies and Women’s Studies, from Pennsylvania State University, University Park.

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