UD Collab Hero

The Collaborative

Affordable Housing. Next Generation Technology. Arts and Culture. Education. Solution Providers.

The Collaborative is a diverse collection of professionals who bring unique skills and perspectives to community development. With years of experience in their respective fields, they allow Urbane to not only offers a wider scope of services, but also ensure that we continue to utilize a holistic, systems approach to our community development work.

Amanda Alexander resizedAmanda Alexander | Legal, Social Advocacy, and Prisoner Reentry

Amanda is an Assistant Professor and Postdoctoral Scholar in Afro-American Studies and Law at the University of Michigan. As a lawyer and advocate, she works to reduce the impact of mass incarceration on families and build thriving communities.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


AmandaArnoldAmanda Arnold | Higher Education and Institutional Research

Amanda is an innovation policy professional with over a decade of experience in Washington, DC. Amanda’s day job means working to advance the research portfolios of America’s top universities.

LinkedIn Profile | Website


dominiqueDominique Aubry | Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship

Dominique is the Managing Director of Impact Hub Philadelphia, a social innovation campus focused on supporting entrepreneurs and intra-preneurs in creating social change.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Omar Blayton resizedOmar Blayton | Renewable Infrastructure and Technology

Omar provides strategic guidance on infrastructure and technology development and is currently VP of structured finance at Greenskies Renewable Energy LLC.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Peter_CharlesPeter-Charles Bright | Real Estate Analytics and Brokerage

Peter-Charles directs Brighter Broker Group, a team of seasoned real estate professionals, with a keen eye for market trends and the ability to deliver for his fast-growing client base.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


 Omowale croppedOmowale Crenshaw | International Real Estate Development and Finance

Omowale is managing principal of Geocentric Development Group International, a Miami and Washington, D.C. based boutique real estate development and investment advisory firm.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Meredith Freeman resizedMeredith Freeman | Community Development and Nonprofit Management

Meredith is a highly skilled practitioner with extensive experience in nonprofit management and community development, and a W.K. Kellogg Foundation Community Leadership Network Fellow.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Christyn Henson croppedChristyn Henson | Economic Development

Christyn is founder of Project Forward, a creative economic development firm that develops actionable strategies that assist clients in growth through business planning, operational support, marketing and sales.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Soenda Howell croppedSoenda Howell | K-12 Education and Leadership Development

As Instructional Support Director at the KIPP Foundation with over 14 years experience in education as a teacher and administrator; Soenda is committed to educational equity in underserved communities.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Ken Ikeda resizedKen Ikeda | Technologist and Social Enterprise Development

Ken is an award winning strategist focused on technology and social enterprise development in public media and is currently Principal and Founder at Civic IP LLC.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Leon, Vanessa_2015 headshotVanessa Leon | Urban Planning and Public Policy

Vanessa, a Haitian-American urban planner, is founder and CEO of Pinchina, an international urban planning firm established in the aftermath of the 2010 Haiti earthquake.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Erika Lesser | Food Systems and Non-Profit Management

Erika is one of the pioneers of the sustainable food movement; she is currently Development Director for the Sylvia Center, a nonprofit organization who mission is to inspire children to eat well. 

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Celia-San-Miguel croppedCelia San Miguel | Arts, Culture, and Lifestyle

A seasoned journalist and Harvard grad, Celia launched Sicka Than Average in 2008, appealing to women reared in hip-hop culture through its smart, edgy writing, content, and social engagement ethos.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Nikki Silvestri resizedNikki Silvestri | Environmental Sustainability & Communications

Recognized as one of the 100 most influential African-Americans in 2014, Nikki is CEO of Silvestri Strategies, working to support thriving communities, economies and natural environments.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


zoe whitley croppedZoe Whitley | Arts, Culture and Lifestyle

Zoe is an award winning curator, author, and academic based in London. Currently at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, respectively; Zoe is an international expert in contemporary and African diasporic art.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile


Kimberlelee resizedKimberlee S. Williams | Multicultural Communications

Kimberlee is the co-founder and CEO of FEMWORKS multicultural communication firm. She is a movement maker at the leading edge of business innovation, urban and emerging markets.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile | Website


Adnan resizedAdnan Zulfiqar | Legal and International Affairs

Adnan is a Sharwood Fellow at the University of Pennsylvania Law School and Senior Advisor to the Lodestone Advisory Group. He brings substantial academic, private and public sector experience to the team.

Link to Full Bio | LinkedIn Profile