Fifteen Tennesseans will comprise the second cohort of the Mosaic Fellowship, a year-long program of Conexión Américas and the Tennessee Educational Equity Coalition that seeks to invest in and connect leaders of color committed to equity and excellence in education.

“From a school district leader in Memphis to a science teacher in Nashville, the Mosaic Fellowship will bring together African American, Latinx and other men and women of color from across Tennessee to learn about each other’s histories, discover shared values, foster deep bonds, and cultivate a common vision for our communities’ future,” said Renata Soto, cofounder and executive director of Conexión Américas.

The 2018-2019 Mosaic Fellows are:

Janine Al-Aseer

New Hopewell Community School Site Coordinator

Great Schools Partnership, Knoxville

Karla Coleman García

Director of Strategic Alignment for Adult Learner Initiatives

Tennessee Higher Education Commission, Nashville

Indira Dammu

Education Policy Advisor

Office of Mayor David Briley, Nashville

Denise Dean

Project Director

East Knoxville Freedom School, Knoxville

Laura Delgado

Program Director

Pionero Scholars College of Education, Lipscomb University, Nashville

Brook Dennard Rosser

Talent Acquisition and Retention Liaison

Knox County Schools, Knoxville

Chris Echegaray

Community Achieves Site Manager

Whitsitt Elementary School, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville

Keilani Goggins


Tennessee State Teaching Fellows Program Hope Street Group, Nashville

Joseph Gutierrez

Program Associate

Dan and Margaret Maddox Charitable Fund, Nashville

Jacques Hamilton

Program Coordinator of School Quality and Partnerships

Tennessee Charter School Center, Memphis

LaKishia Harris

Director of Equity and Access

STEM Preparatory Academy, Nashville

Lin Johnson

Chief Financial Officer

Shelby County Schools, Memphis

DeVonté Payton

Advisor, School Development

Shelby County Schools Memphis

Joshua Perkins

Advisor, Academic Accountability and Quality

Shelby County Schools Office of Charter Schools, Memphis

Tomás Yan

STEAM Teacher

Antioch Middle School, Metro Nashville Public Schools, Nashville

The Mosaic Fellows will undertake an intensive experience that features text-based discussions and reflections about leadership, identity and social movements. Fellows will attend four immersive seminars, four days each, over 12 months to share and leverage their existing skills, knowledge and experiences.

Soto says that “for leaders of color, a space to connect with and learn from peers with similar struggles and experiences is paramount. The Mosaic Fellowship seeks to create a safe space, an extended team, a state-wide network that understands exactly where you come from and the leadership challenges you face, and that will support you and celebrate you.”

The 2018-2019 Mosaic Fellows join an impressive community of talented leaders from the inaugural 2017-2018 cohort who are creating innovative solutions to complex and entrenched educational challenges in Tennessee.

KC Curberson-Alvarado, career success coordinator at the Hamblen County School District in Morristown, Tennessee says, “The Mosaic Fellowship has allowed me to be at the table with those that look like me and empathize with my experiences as an educator, as a woman, as a person of color. This program has provided me a space to discuss topics that would otherwise seem uncouth to non-people of color. My fellows have empowered me to try new things, take greater steps in my leadership and develop me as a leader for equity in education. I no longer have fellows, they are now my family. This is a once in a lifetime opportunity that has changed me for the good.”

For more information about the Mosaic Fellowship, visit