Director, Restorative Practices & Racial Equity Initiatives at Ramapo for Children
Yaniyah has 28 years of experience in the field of youth development and has held senior management positions in youth development organizations since 1996. She has worked with Episcopal Social Services, Educators for Social Responsibility, and Youth Build USA as director, trainer and technical assistance provider. She served on the first New York City Workforce Investment Act Board Youth Council. She has been a trainer since 1981 and has trained hundreds of educators, youth workers and youth across the United States in the areas of youth leadership development, diversity, conflict resolution, substance abuse prevention and stress management. Her direct work with older youth and young adults is heralded as transformational. She has worked with New York City school administrators and K-12 teachers in conflict resolution curriculum and classroom management. Most recently, she ran the Human Services Department in Newburgh, New York, overseeing eight 21st Century Community Learning Centers. She holds a master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lesley College Graduate School and an undergraduate degree in Political Science from Brandeis University. Yaniyah was influenced at an early age to take personal responsibility for making her community better and to confront oppression. She majored in political science and considered becoming a lawyer but mentoring high school students seemed to be her calling. Her graduate studies in Counseling Psychology and Adolescent Development introduced her to group facilitation which has remained her passion. She has crafted life changing learning experiences for youth and adults nationally and internationally, including Russia and Uzbekistan. She has also been an adjunct professor of developmental and addiction psychology. As a restorative justice coach, she works with school teams to help schools and other youth serving organizations identify core values, community standards, and culturally responsive practices. She manages the Ramapo Racial Equity workgroup and collaborates with other senior managers and staff to embed racial equity into organizational and programmatic frameworks. She works to deconstruct the conditioning of white supremacy and dismantle institutional racism with a vision towards the evolution of human and planetary consciousness. Yaniyah is also a published writer, performing artist, and healing practitioner.
Director, Restorative Practices & Racial Equity Initiatives