Leadership

Executive Director

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Chanda Womack, MPA: chanda@ariseducation.org

Chanda Womack is the Founding Executive Director of the Alliance of Rhode Island Southeast Asians for Education (ARISE.) Chanda is a fearless and tireless advocate for equity and social justice. Chanda provided the inspiration and vision for the creation of ARISE as a non-profit devoted to educational access, equity and success. She is unapologetic for what she stands and how she carries out her work. Her passionate, positive and proven leadership in the various organizations she serves is universally evident. Chanda has over a decade of experience in grassroots community advocacy and educational justice work. Her leadership and movement building has garnered local and national recognition for ARISE and Rhode Island. In 2017, Chanda was the recipient of NAACP Thurgood Marshall, the YWCA's Women in Achievement Award and the Providence Youth Student Movement POWER Award.

Chanda was conceived and born in a refugee camp in Thailand, immigrating to the United States in January of 1981 with her family. Chanda is married to Tiger Womack her husband of over 10 years and has a daughter Amaya. She is a product of the Providence Public Schools and earned a B.A. degree from the University of Rhode Island in 2004. She has a Masters of Public Administration also from the University of Rhode Island as well as a graduate certificate in Non-Profit Leadership from Rhode Island College.

Educational Justice Coordinator 

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Anusha Alles, MA, MPhil: anusha@ariseducation.org

Anusha is the daughter of Dharshani and Ajit, who emigrated from Sri Lanka to the U.S. in 1983. Anusha grew up in Texas and moved to Providence in 2015. She has worked in education for several years as an instructor with Breakthrough Collaborative Fort Worth, University of Sri Jayewardenepura, and Yale University, where she taught courses on race, gender, sexuality, capitalism and empire. In Providence she serves as a board member for Direct Action for Rights and Equality. She is also a member of The FANG Collective and Queer & Trans Justice at Providence Youth Student Movement. 

Director of Development, Evaluation, and Communications

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Annajane Yolken, MPH: aj@ariseducation.org 

Annajane supports grant writing and evaluation work for ARISE. In this role, Annajane writes grants, creates and analyzes program evaluation tools, and supports the vision and growth of Annajane brings an interdisciplinary background of public health, education, data and evaluation, and social justice to ARISE. Annajane cares about building a just world where everyone can live well; she aims to use her skills and time to work with others to support that vision. 

In addition to working with ARISE, Annajane is the Executive Director of Protect Families First, an organization that aims to raise awareness about the harms caused by the war on drugs and advocate for practices that are more compassionate than mass incarceration. She also volunteers with several local organizations focused on racial justice and prison abolition. She is a lover of strong coffee, free art and music events, and bike riding in the sunshine.  

Program Coordinator 

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Rosey Ok: rosey@ariseducation.org

Rosey Ok graduated from College Unbound with a degree in Organizational Leadership and Change. After her work as the Workforce Readiness & Leadership Apprentice, she became ARISE's Program Coordinator. The daughter of Hak Ok and Jennifer Prak, two refugees of the Khmer Rouge Regime, a sister to five other siblings and a mother to Ra'Jhon Savann Errol Jones.  Born at Fatima Hospital, she grew up in the Southside of Providence. She is a product of the Providence Public School System. She became involved in advocacy of young girls, including herself to begin to heal from the impacts of intergenerational trauma. She is currently writing a memoir through the art of poetry to share her experience. As a final deliverable for her degree she is designing a program with a mission to help young women to recreate, become inspired and strive to be healthy and confident. Understanding the importance of a holistic approach, she is developing an experience-based curriculum, which creatively integrates the arts of storytelling, creative writing, and exercising. Rosey loves her family, believes in the power of young people and will continue to love and believe in herself. She believes life is about the journey not the destination.