Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education
Center for Youth & Community Leadership in Education





keith catone, executive director

Before CYCLE, Keith served as Associate Director for Community Organizing and Engagement at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Education at Brown University. He was the project director for the Youth 4 Change Alliance in Providence, RI and co-founded the New York Collective of Radical Educators, a citywide grassroots teacher activist group, while teaching high school social studies in the Bronx. Keith has served on the board of directors for the Education for Liberation Network and College Visions. Author of numerous research and opinion pieces, his first book, The Pedagogy of Teacher Activism: Portraits of Four Teachers for Justice, explores connections between pedagogical purpose, power, and possibility in the context of working with teachers, youth, families, and communities to change the world. Keith is a member of the Catalyst:Ed DEI Expert Hub and holds degrees in public policy (AB; Brown University) and education (EdM, EdD; Harvard University). Aside from educational justice, the things he loves most in life are his son, partner, kitchens, and karaoke.


jon Martinez, Senior program manager

Jon began his career in organizing, activism, and public policy in 1991, partnering with students and community activists to advance educational equity and defend against right-wing ballot initiatives in California, including Props 187, 209, and 227. After earning a BA in history from Occidental College, Jon was a community organizer at AGENDA/SCOPE, where he and colleagues organized residents in South LA, West LA, and the Hollywood area to win equitable economic development policies and programs. In 2001, Jon joined the City of Los Angeles’ recently-formed Department of Neighborhood Empowerment, where he served as project coordinator, senior project coordinator, and director of field operations. In 2015, Jon moved to Rhode Island to serve as senior program associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, where he provided community organizing skills training and issues education to parent organizing efforts in Pittsburgh, PA, Hartford, CT, and Burlington & Winooski, VT. At CYCLE, Jon continues his work with efforts in CT and VT, in addition to a project with the Central Falls School District in RI to organize parents and seek solutions to educational inequity.

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Catalina Perez, Program Associate

Catalina’s current work supports the development, coordination, and implementation of key technical assistance and training opportunities for youth and parent organizing groups all over New England. Previously, she worked with young people and parents in Rhode Island supporting college access for middle and high school students in Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket. Catalina received a BA from Rhode Island College and a Community Interpreting Certificate from Boston University’s Center for Professional Education.


Tracie potochnik, Senior Research Manager

Prior to CYCLE’s launch, Tracie was a senior research associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University, working across the Institute’s District and Systems Transformation and Community Organizing and Engagement groups. Her work includes research and evaluation, policy analysis, facilitation, and technical assistance and support with school district and community partners in areas such as community organizing, youth and family engagement in education, and addressing the overuse and disproportionate use of school discipline. Tracie received a BA from Vassar College.


nichole smith, administrative assistant

Nichole supports CYCLE by providing technical and logistical project support, managing marketing and finance workflows, and serving as contact for external offices. Nichole’s interest in social change, and youth leadership development lead her to CYCLE. Nichole began her experience with justice work in higher education, coordinating student leadership and development programs, facilitating social justice and diversity trainings, and supporting university communities to develop deeper understanding of the role of social identities play in learning and working environments. Nichole received a BS from Ohio University, and an MEd from Loyola University Chicago.

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Joanne Thompson, Research Associate

Joanne works with colleagues to conduct qualitative research studies and evaluations of reform efforts both locally and nationally. She also provides technical assistance support to districts and community-based organizations and helps plan and prepare various meetings and site work. Previously, Joanne was a research associate at the Annenberg Institute for School Reform at Brown University. Prior to her time at Annenberg, she was a teaching assistant in the Classics Department at Brown University. Joanne received a BA in classics and Spanish from the University of Missouri and has completed the coursework for a master's degree in classics at Brown University.