Following Margaret's twenty-six year leadership of Coleman, NTanya engaged Coleman's Board, parents and youth leaders, and supporters, in launching a Five Year Strategic Plan that shifts the organization to a deeper commitment to grassroots organizing of low to moderate income families, a new focus on education equity and affordable housing, and racial and economic equity for all San Francisco families. Since this successful leadership transition, Coleman has developed a membership base of four hundred families based primarily in the city's Southeast, won a $10 million grassroots city budget campaign for rental assistance, childcare, violence prevention and job training services, won a historic city commitment to double the city's plans for affordable family housing by 2011, and created a new public dialogue about the impact of gentrification on low to moderate income families and children of color.
Background: NTanya began her lifelong commitment to social justice as a Black 13 year old free lunch kid fighting against Ronald Reagan's "ketchup is a vegetable" policy. Since that time, she has been a student activist, youth worker, community historian, policy advocate and organizer in the Midwest, East Coast and for the last eight years in San Francisco, California. She served as the Education Policy Advocate for the Community Service Society of New York City, an organizer with People About Changing Education (also in NYC), Street Outreach Director for Ozone House Youth Services in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Youth Empowerment Coordinator for the San Francisco Youth Commission. In addition to her professional organizing and advocacy roles, NTanya's volunteer organizing efforts have included student organizing for racial justice in higher education, community organizing around HIV/AIDS in New York's Black community, a people of color–led campaign to beat back an anti-gay right-wing takeover of New York City school boards, and a successful campaign by a multi-racial civil rights coalition in Ypsilanti, Michigan to defeat an anti-gay ballot measure there. NTanya is also a trained oral historian, and has a number of publications about the importance of alliance building to building strong social justice movements.
Prior to becoming Executive Director, NTanya was the Project Director of Coleman Advocates' youth organizing project, Youth Making a Change, for four years. She was also Coleman's lead staff person on youth and juvenile justice policy advocacy.
Education: NTanya received her undergraduate degree at Brown University in American Studies & Public Policy, and did doctoral work in American Studies/African American History at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She attended public schools in Iowa, Michigan, Delaware and Connecticut.
NTanya is the daughter of Deborah Gibson, a photographer, public housing resident organizer and mental health advocate in Michigan, and Forrester Lee, a cardiologist and Asst Dean of Multicultural Affairs at the Yale University School of Medicine. NTanya lives with her partner Ayoka and son Khalil in San Francisco's Portola neighborhood, on the city's southeast side.