Meet the Board


Marita Garrett

Founder, President
  • Mayor – Borough of Wilkinsburg
  • Co-Host - Shattered Glass Podcast
    Co-Founder – Women for the Future PAC 
  • ​B.A., Psychology - University of Pittsburgh
    M.A. Psychology - Chatham University

Bhavini Patel

  • Founder, Alliance for South Asians - Pittsburgh
  • B.A. Philosophy, International Area Studies  and Sociology, University of Pittsburgh,
  • Summa Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa / MPhil, International Relations - University of Oxford, London, UK

Jose Diaz


Jose Diaz has over ten years' experience in Pittsburgh's nonprofit sector. Since his days as a community organizer in the Hill District, Jose has been intimately aware of the issues facing the region's most vulnerable. His community-minded perspective serves him well in his current role as director of the Hope For All and Y Achievers programs at the YMCA of Greater Pittsburgh. 


Hope For All aims to connect households to appropriate resources, ranging from SNAP benefits and housing support to utility assistance; Y Achievers is a college- and career-readiness program for middle- and high-school students. Jose also sits on the boards of two other local nonprofits. 


Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Jose earned his master and bachelor degrees in social work from the University of Pittsburgh.


Christa Ross

  • Real Estate Agent - RE/MAX Select Realty 
  • Specializes servicing real estate needs for community development organizations,
  • Marketing Expert - Green and Energy efficient homes for home sellers. 
  • Member of ReEnergize Pittsburgh,
    working to improve energy efficiency of homes in the Pittsburgh area
  • Degree Communications & Graphic Design, Ohio University

Itha Cao

  • Policy Analyst- Financial & Digital Inclusion
  • City of Pittsburgh, Office of Mayor William Peduto
  • Owner, Chef - The Hungry Cao, LLC
    Provides authentic, gourmet Chinese & globally-inspired night markets, cook-a-longs, and unique food tastings for small events and private dinner experiences
  • GSPIA, University of Pittsburgh

Miranda Micire

Secretary / Treasurer

Miranda Micire graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with a dual Master's in Social Work focused on Community Organizing and Social Action and Master's in Public Administration with a focus on Public Administration in 2019. She graduated from the University of Dayton with a Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2016.

She currently works at the City of Pittsburgh in the Office of Councilperson Erika Strassburger as the Community Engagement Coordinator. In her role at the city, Miranda is responsible for communications and outreach, legislative research and writing, and constituent relations. Miranda is passionate about bringing a social work lens to local government work.

Recently, Miranda started a small-scale, community-focused real estate development company, HeyDay Development, LLC. HeyDay is focused on real estate for the greater good and incorporates sustainability, affordability, and community in all of its work. In her free time, Miranda enjoys spending time with her two rescue dogs, Bandit and Lulu, and exploring different neighborhoods of Pittsburgh.


Alexis T. Russell

Vice Chair
  • Project Manager, 
    Kadesh Construction Group, LLC,Pittsburgh
  • Owner, Director of Business Development Russell General Contracting, LLC.
    Focus on renovation and rehabilitation of both residential and commercial spaces
  • B.S.  Science in Architecture, Temple University
  • Masters, Organizational Leadership & Development South University, Savannah, GA

Anna Archer

Anna currently serves as the Policy Manager at Grounded Strategies, a local nonprofit working to improve the social, economic, and environmental health of distressed and transitional communities by building capacity to reclaim vacant and underutilized land. Anna's work focuses on preventative maintenance and community stewardship to help turn land use liabilities into assets.

Anna has a Master's in Public Administration (MPA) from Indiana University's School of Public and Environmental Affairs. In graduate school, Anna's studies focused on nonprofit management and civic engagement. Anna is passionate about addressing environmental and social justice issues at both a grassroots and systems level. Locally, Anna serves on the Clean Pittsburgh Commission and Vacant Property Working Group.

Lindsay Powell Photo

Lindsay Powell

  • Passionate about social justice initiatives and addressing inequality, Lindsay Powell is a dedicated advocate and community servant who has worked both domestically and abroad in government and politics.
  • Lindsay received her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College (MA) in Sociology. She spent several summers abroad working and researching in South Africa, Vietnam and Nicaragua and served as the Student Government Association President her senior year. Upon graduation Lindsay went on to work in New York City local politics with their City Council. 
  • In 2014 she was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship to Pantai Remis, Malaysia to teach English classes within some of the local secondary schools. One program she ran for girls interested in environmental justice received national recognition through the Malaysian Department of Education.
  • Upon returning to the United States, Lindsay worked for numerous progressive leaders such as Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY), Representative Hakeem Jeffries (D-NY-08) and former President Barack Obama in the White House Office of Legislative Affairs. 
  • In 2017, she completed her Masters in Science in Public Policy and Management at Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon University, and is a proud recipient of the CMU Otto A. Davis Award, given to the student that exemplifies the College’s commitment to social justice and racial equality.
  • Lindsay is currently serves as the Assistant Chief of Staff to Mayor Peduto and work largely on issues of equity and inclusion.
  • She is a proud alumna and member of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the New Leaders Council, a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Greater Pittsburgh and a Board Member of NeighborWorksSWPA, the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh and the Urban Redevelopment Authority.