News and Speeches

Chancellor Klein Appoints New Director for Family Engagement and Advocacy

07/06/2010


Ojeda Hall, Community Organizer and Youth Worker, Will Manage Department’s Outreach to Parents and Families

Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein today announced the appointment of Ojeda Hall as the Department of Education’s new Director for Family Engagement and Advocacy. Currently, Ms. Hall serves as Citizens’ Organizer for East Brooklyn Congregations (EBC) and Empowered Queens United in Action and Leadership (EQUAL) – two affiliates of the Metro NY Industrial Areas Foundation – where she recently organized community leaders to win support for a new school in Southeast Queens. In her new role, Ms. Hall will oversee all of the Department’s family engagement efforts, including working with Parent Teacher Associations and Community Education Councils, and administering the new Citywide Councils on English Language Learners and Students with Disabilities. Ms. Hall’s appointment will become effective August 2nd.

“The transition from supporting families in the community, to serving as an advocate for families at the Department of Education, will be seamless for Ojeda,” said Schools Chancellor Klein. “With her experience working with troubled students and their families, Ojeda will bring an important perspective to debates over school policy. I’m thrilled to have Ojeda on board.”

Since 1999, Ms. Hall, a graduate of Harvard College, has worked on behalf of local communities in New York City. As a deputy director for the Local Development Corporation of East New York, she managed financial literacy trainings for minorities and helped local residents build and expand their start-up businesses. In 2004, Ms. Hall joined the Metro Industrial Areas Foundation as Lead Power Organizer for EBC and EQUAL, a job she holds today; her most recent work has focused on parent and safety issues at large-scale traditional public schools, small schools founded by EBC, and charter schools. Ms. Hall has met with over a thousand local families to discuss issues facing the community; fought for improvements to a nearly-6000 unit affordable housing development; founded the current version Empowered Queens United for Action for Leadership organization formerly Queens Citizens’ Organization; and organized leaders from African American congregations to gain authorization for a new school in Southeast Queens. A graduate of Drew Theological Seminary, Ms. Hall has also taught, directed programs, and served youth and lay leaders at several different congregations throughout Brooklyn and Queens.  Today, Ms. Hall is a Youth Pastor at Bethany Baptist Church in Jamaica, Queens, where she manages a series of programs for 50 youth to whom she is a mentor and teacher.