Meet the EDLI Leadership Team

Kevin Pajaro-MarinezKevin Pajaro-Mariñez, Institute Director
Phillips Exeter Academy

Mr. Kevin Pajaro-Mariñez (Pah-ha-row | Mah-ree-nies) is a first-generation, Black Latino with Colombian and Dominican roots. He was raised in the wonderful city of Providence, Rhode Island. He joined the Phillips Exeter Academy community as assistant director of Equity and Inclusion in 2021 from the University of Michigan, where he served as a hall director for first and second-year students. Kevin has facilitated various diversity, equity, and inclusion dialogues in K-12, higher education, and professional contexts. Additionally, he founded the Black Men's Reading and Reflection Group (BMRRG). BMRRG is a cohort-based, community-oriented group where Black men come together to think expansively about masculinity. He is committed to cultivating spaces that demand critical reflection, deep relationship-building, and develop capacity for difficult conversations around power, privilege, and oppression.

Rachael A. Blansett​, Leader
Oyster River Cooperative School District 

Rachael Blansett (she/her) is a bi-racial/Black queer femme that hails from the Mitten, right outside of Detroit, MI. Rachael has been honored with the opportunity to serve as the inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (DEIJ) Coordinator for the Oyster River Cooperative School District where she supports in designing professional development plans and resources for teachers, cultivating an inclusive learning environment for students, and institutionalizing efforts centered in educational equity. At the core of her work is relationship-building, community engagement, and cultivating educators' and professionals' capacities to engage in equity-based work and initiatives. Prior to her professional journey, she received her M. Ed in Student Affairs with a certificate in Social Justice Education from Iowa State University and a B.S. in Communications with an emphasis in Journalism from Grand Valley State University. Her research and academic passions include: student activism and agency, challenging anti-Blackness and colonization ideology in higher education, and cultivating spaces for QTPoC (Queer/Trans People of Color) sense of belonging and mental heath.

Toyin Augustus, MS Ed.
Across The Tracks Consulting

Toyin Augustus is an educator, DEI practitioner and former Olympian utilizing her skills and experience to invest in transformational social justice. In her 17 years of experience in private and public schools, Toyin has created equitable policies, encouraged inclusive practices, and facilitated educational opportunities for students, educators and adult caretakers. In addition, she has designed frameworks, training, workshops and student affinity leadership programs to facilitate equity and inclusion in organizations.

Toyin is the founder and CEO of Across The Tracks Consulting, using her engaging and empathetic style to guide adult learners through transformative processes. She is currently building a non-profit that integrates athletics and social justice work to inspire and empower youth athletes as change agents for social progress.

Safia Elhillo
Author and Poet

Sudanese by way of Washington, D.C., Safia Elhillo is the author of award-winning work including The January Children (the Sillerman First Book Prize for African Poets and an Arab American Book Award) and Home Is Not a Country (Coretta Scott King Book Award Author Honor), as well as the national bestseller Girls That Never Die. Elhillo’s work appears in Poetry Magazine, Callaloo, and The Academy of American Poets’ Poem-a-day series, and in anthologies including The BreakBeat Poets: New American Poetry in the Age of Hip-Hop and The Penguin Book of Migration Literature. Her fellowships include a Ruth Lilly and Dorothy Sargent Rosenberg Fellowship from the Poetry Foundation, Cave Canem, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University. Elhillo received the 2015 Brunel International African Poetry Prize, and was listed in Forbes Africa’s 2018 “30 Under 30.”

Moises "Mo" Nuñez
Education and Engagement Specialist, Carsey School, UNH

Moises “Mo” Nuñez has 20 years of experience in public education. He has taught across the northeast in public schools, private independent schools, and universities. He has also led and/or designed several successful alternative education and at-risk youth programs. Mo specializes in community and family engagement, reintegrating youth into the school community, and training educators on restorative practices. 

Mo was most recently the director of student services and special education at Baxter Academy for Technology and Science; he is also one of the founding partners. Mo’s professional focus is on issues of teen violence, restorative justice practices, the social-emotional education of teens, family engagement, and creating inclusive school environments for students. Mo's first language is Spanish. He graduated with a B.A. in sociology and creative writing from Hampshire College, and earned his MSEd in teaching and learning from the University of Maine. He lives in Portland, Maine, with his wife and dog.

Andres Mejia
NH Public K-12 District Director of DEIJ, Carsey Fellow

Andres identifies as black, latinx, bisexual, cisman and has been living in the New Hampshire Seacoast area for the past thirteen years. He comes from a family of ten siblings, a Dominican father, and powerful Puerto Rican mother out of Boston, Massachusetts. Andres currently serves as the inaugural Director of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice for the New Hampshire School Administrative Unit 16, which consists of seven school districts.  

Andres has spent his past thirteen years spearheading equity, diversity, inclusion, and social justice initiatives across the state of New Hampshire and Massachusetts. He spends his time advocating for people of color, LGBTQAI+ communities, and folks from other various historically marginalized identity groups. He leads efforts aimed at building cultural competence, anti-racist practices, and allyship across organizations, schools, and communities.  

Andres is the first person in his family to receive his undergraduate and graduate degrees. He received both his BS in Social Work as well as his Master’s Degree in Community Development and Policy from the University of New Hampshire. While at UNH, Andres held the position of Program Manager for NH Listens, Carsey School of Public Policy, facilitating courageous and difficult conversations across the state of New Hampshire between community members, police, politicians, farmers, students, teachers, and many other constituents.