Introducing the AAETF Wisdom Team Members

The work of the African-American Equity Task Force (AAETF) continues to progress with the selection of the Wisdom Team (WT) members. As part of the overarching recommendation, the Wisdom Team will advise and work side-by-side with the AAETF implementation teams to ensure the recommendations are effectively implemented and evaluated on an ongoing basis. The WT will also collaborate with the Implementation Team Leads (ITL) to update the community on progress throughout the next year.

The Wisdom Team members are comprised of community members and DPS staff who previously participated in the AAETF working groups and/or have experience in related work. These members were selected based on a rigorous process which included a formal application and a scenario-based group interview. The WT also includes two spaces for student leaders to ensure their voices are included in the design and decision-making process.

The Wisdom Team will begin meeting this summer. As the task force continues to progress, the Wisdom Team will support the work around the recommendations, provide updates and elevate diverse voices throughout the community. We are pleased to announce the following individuals who have officially accepted their position on the AAETF Wisdom Team.

Wisdom Team Members from left to right: Trevon Brandhorst, Sharikia Towers­­–Fulcher, Kimberly Desmond, Trena Marsal (Deane), Michael Atkins, William Anderson, Unsuk Zucker, Kinyata Jackson

Kimberly Desmond

Director, Denver Office on Women & Families

Born in Denver, Kim was raised in the Five Points neighborhood where she attended Manual High School.  She has committed her life to eliminating oppression for marginalized communities by dismantling systemic inequity and structural racism to promote inclusion. She works under the umbrella of the Agency for Human Rights and Community Partnerships (City and County of Denver) as the Director to the Denver Office on Women & Families, in addition to serving as the Staff Liaison to two Mayoral appointed commissions (Denver Women’s Commission and African American Commission). Read extended bio here.


William Anderson

Teacher Leader at The Manual High School

William Anderson is a Teacher Leader and AVID Site Coordinator at The Manual High School, a doctoral student at UCD, with a Master’s degree from the University of Phoenix, and an undergraduate degree in history from Metropolitan State University of Denver. William has been teaching for 10 years, is a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Teacher Advisory Council 2014-2016, is currently an EDLOC member, and conducts professional development on culturally responsive education and emancipatory practices throughout the state nationally. William’s favorite quote is, “Of all of our studies, history is best qualified for our research.” Malcolm X.


Trevon Brandhorst

Regional Coordinator of Academic Training, Office of Family and Community Engagement (FACE)

Trevon Brandhorst, proud alumni of the University of Iowa, moved to Denver to serve as an AmeriCorps member in the Denver community. As a former foster youth, Trevon has used his unique experiences and background to remain an engaged and active voice for ensuring equity for our students and families. As a member of the Office of Family and Community Engagement, Trevon has had the opportunity to work with students, families and community members across Denver over the past 5 years. Read extended bio here.


Trena A. Marsal (Deane)

Executive Director of Facility Management for Denver Public Schools

Mrs. Marsal’s career has spanned over 18 years with DPS. During this time she has served as the Chief of Maintenance Engineering, Director of Operations and Maintenance and is currently the Executive Director of Facility Management. She serves on the Mayor’s Developers Advisory Council, served as co-chair on the African American Equity Task Force Family and Community Engagement Committee and has served on various committees across the District to support student achievement and the mission of the DPS. Trena is a mom, a wife and a dedicated servant to her family and community. Read extended bio here.


Michael Atkins

Principal Resident at Stedman Elementary

Michael Atkins has been a part of DPS since he was 4 years old. The halls our current students walk are the same halls that carved the path which allows him to lead in Denver Public Schools today. Along Michael’s journey, he has worn many different hats, including student, custodian, paraprofessional, teacher and now a leader. Each hat offers a unique lens within our district. “I am my experiences and all of these experiences have given me the expertise and assurance that I am ready to apply all of my exposures to the efforts of closing the equity gaps for our current students of color.” Read extended bio here.


Kinyata Jackson

Owner of Remembrance Wellness and Yoga LLC

Kinyata Jackson has maintained a passion for people, particularly children throughout her childhood and adulthood. Kinyata has filled both formal and informal roles in the education world for over a decade. As a mother, the fight for justice and equity in education and opportunity for black children and families is one that is close to home. Mrs. Jackson is an active member on the NLC Denver board and serves on the Prenatal, Infant and Toddler Coalition. Kinyata Jackson is the owner of Remembrance Wellness and Yoga LLC, and is a certified 200+Hr Yoga Instructor, Energy Healer, & Yoni Breath Instructor. Read extended bio here.


Sharikia Towers­­–Fulcher

Diversion Officer and Community Liaison, City and County of Denver

Sharikia has approximately 15 years of experience working in Juvenile Justice with the City and County of Denver. As a Diversion Officer / Community Liaison, Sharikia works closely with community and faith-based organizations, schools, and community-based nonprofit organizations to help build stronger communities and strengthen families. Sharikia is currently a board member of the Steps to Success nonprofit and serves as a key leader and community board member for the Steps to Success initiative, which is currently operating in the Montebello and Park Hill Communities. Read extended bio here.


Unsuk Zucker

Director of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at TNTP

UnSuk Zucker is a knowledgeable and experienced diversity, equity, and inclusion leader with demonstrated ability in developing programs and organizational best practices in linguistically and culturally diverse settings. Her extensive experience as a classroom teacher, as well as an equity leader, has led her to become passionate in challenging the established systemic structures to raise the achievement of all while tackling the predictability and disproportion of students and staff of color in the highest and lowest achievement categories.  Through the years, she has developed her mission “To instill, to empower, and inspire” all. Read extended bio here.