K-12 Advocacy: Meet the Team
Sekou Biddle leads UNCF’s advocacy efforts to ensure more African American students will be college-ready and better prepared to enroll in and complete college by driving sustainable education reforms that benefit students and empower parents and communities to demand improvement. He manages UNCF’s advocacy platform, which includes three major components: grasstops partnerships, grassroots engagement and messaging and research. In addition, Sekou also leads UNCF’s Student Professional Development Programs, preparing students to navigate from college to early-stage careers by exposing students to industry-sector career opportunities through summer and semester training.
He has more than 20 years of experience in urban public education reform and is a former at-large member of the District of Columbia City Council. He represented Wards 3 and 4 on the District of Columbia State Board of Education. As executive director of the southern region of Jumpstart for Young Children, he partnered trained adults in year-long relationships with pre-school-aged children to prepare them for success in school.
Sekou previously was director of community outreach for KIPP DC, which operates 16 schools in the District of Columbia. Prior to this, he trained and supported first- and second-year teachers as a program director with Teach For America, the national teacher corps. He has hands-on experience in the classroom working as a teacher in New York City, Atlanta and Washington, DC. While in the Atlanta Public School System, he provided professional development for elementary school teachers through the Elementary Science Education Partnership, sponsored by the National Science Foundation.
Sekou has a bachelor’s degree in business from Morehouse College and a master of education degree in early childhood education from Georgia State University with a focus on urban education. He also completed advanced studies in education policy at Georgia State.
Meredith Anderson, Ph.D.
Meredith Anderson, Ph.D., is a director of K-12 Research at the Frederick D. Patterson Research Institute (FDPRI). She supports the K-12 research endeavors of the advocacy team and FDPRI through design and management of empirical research projects related to K-12 education reform for African American students.
Anderson has extensive quantitative experience, including survey design and management, program evaluation and data analysis. Her research and publications have focused on public administration and policy, race, educational inequities, representative bureaucracy, intersectionality and the influence of representation on tracking outcomes for African American male students.
Prior to her work at UNCF, Anderson was program evaluator for Baltimore City Public Schools, where she contributed to the development and management of the teacher and principal evaluation system, conducted statistical analyses to inform decision-making and led the evaluation survey for principals. Anderson also contributed to the Maryland Longitudinal Data System development at the Maryland State Department of Education. Additionally, Anderson was a postdoctoral fellow and lecturer in the School of Public Affairs at American University. Prior to that, she was a research associate for the Project for Equity, Representation and Governance. Anderson earned doctorate in political science from Texas A&M University, where she also received a bachelor’s degree.
Askale Davis is the community engagement manager for the K-12 Advocacy team. She is primarily responsible for implementing UNCF’s K-12 strategy by building and managing strong community relationships and impacting the local education environment in the Washington, DC, area and Indianapolis, IN. For the last 12 years, Davis has devoted her career to urban education and workforce readiness in the Washington, DC, area. Prior to joining UNCF, she managed a program that focused on school-wide restorative justice and community restitution practices, as well as provided wrap-around student support services for at-risk youth. Davis’s passion for urban education and advocacy began when she started her career as a secondary school tutor for DC Public Charter Schools during her senior year of college.
Davis is a proud graduate of Howard University. She has a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry.
William “Bill” Brown
William Brown, or Bill as he prefers, joined UNCF’s K-12 Advocacy team in the fall of 2019.
Brown serves as the senior community outreach manager and has responsibilities for overseeing UNCF’s community engagement activities, both here in the Washington, DC, region, as well as UNCF activities in Indianapolis, IN. Brown comes equipped with vast knowledge and experience having worked on K-12 issues for nearly a decade. Prior to joining UNCF, Brown worked on education policy and oversight at the Council of the District of Columbia, serving in the offices of the Council Chairman and two At-Large Council offices; including former At-Large Council Member Sekou Biddle who now serves as UNCF’s vice president for K-12 advocacy.
Brown is a native Washingtonian and graduate of DC Public School System. He has served as an elected Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner and Chair of ANC 1A, in addition to his appointment to several commissions, boards and councils.
Allissa Impink is the Development Director in the Indianapolis Area Development office. Allissa is not new to UNCF and has served as the Manager, Community Engagement, K12 Advocacy in Indianapolis.
Before joining UNCF, Allissa held several positions within the education policy space in Indianapolis and served as a teacher in the Indianapolis Public School District. In addition, Allissa is a Teach Plus Teacher Policy Fellow and Teach For America (TFA) Corps Member and serves on several Indianapolis educational boards. Allissa received her M.S. in Special Education and M.S. in Community Psychology from Marian University (Indianapolis IN), and her B.A., Pan African Studies and English from the University of Louisville (Louisville, KY).