United in the Fight


May 25, 2022 | 5pm - 7pm EST

The Fund for the City of New York

121 6th Ave 6th Floor, New York, NY 10013

Join The Education Trust for a gathering to hear from our organization’s fierce leaders Interim CEO Denise Forte and Ed Trust–NY Executive Director Dia Bryant about how we are centering students of color in education policy in New York and around the country.
The event will be co-hosted by Ed Trust Board Members Lisette Nieves, President of The Fund for the City of New York, and Jesse Jackson, Head of Product for Firmwide Employee Experience, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.

About the Education Trust

The Education Trust is a national nonprofit that works to close opportunity gaps that disproportionately affect students of color and students from low-income backgrounds. Through our research and advocacy, Ed Trust supports efforts that expand excellence and equity in education from preschool through college; increase college access and completion, particularly for historically underserved students; engage diverse communities dedicated to education equity; and increase political and public will to act on equity issues.


With a national office in Washington, D.C., and state offices in California (Ed Trust–West), Michigan (Ed Trust–Midwest), and New York (Ed Trust–NY), we work to build a movement to expand excellence and opportunity for the students for whom we advocate.

About the Education Trust-New York

The Education Trust–New York works to eliminate the gaps in equity and opportunity that hold back too many students from reaching their full potential, especially those from low-income backgrounds or students of color, in order to enable all students in New York State to achieve at high levels — from early childhood through college.

About Denise Forte

Denise Forte is the interim CEO at The Education Trust. With more than two decades of experience in the federal legislative and executive branches advancing progressive education and family policy, Denise brings strategic leadership to the organization’s efforts to engage policymakers and diverse coalitions of advocates in demanding and securing equity-advancing policy change at the national and state levels. She also leads Ed Trust’s legislative efforts and, as a member of the Senior Leadership Team, coordinates an organization-wide advocacy agenda and strategy.
Prior to Ed Trust, Denise was a senior fellow and director of public affairs for The Century Foundation, a progressive think tank. She also spent 20 years in progressively senior congressional staff roles, most recently as the staff director for the House Committee on Education and the Workforce (Minority), providing strategic advice and counsel to the Ranking Member, Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA), managing and directing the legislative and policy agenda for Committee Democrats and as Education Policy Director for Chairman George Miller. Denise also served in the Obama administration at the U.S. Department of Education, where she held the positions of Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary and Acting Assistant Secretary in the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development, providing direction and management of the office that oversees policy and budget development for the agency. Forte also has worked in the nonprofit leadership development space as the vice president for policy leadership at Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), an organization supporting current and former teachers in public leadership.
In each of these roles, Denise has worked to promote and advance policies that prioritize educational equity for those children who are historically underserved. Denise enjoys her role as a policy leader and welcomes the opportunity to mentor young and diverse professionals who wish to enter into public service.
Denise has a B.S. in Computer Science from Duke University, and a M.A. in Women’s Studies from the George Washington University. She resides in Washington, D.C. with her family.

About Dia Bryant

Dia Bryant is the executive director at The Education Trust–New York. In that role, she leads an ambitious policy and advocacy agenda focused on improving educational outcomes for children from early childhood through college.
Prior to joining Ed Trust–NY, Dia worked with the New York City Department of Education in multiple capacities for over sixteen years. She was a teacher, school founder, and most recently served as the special assistant to the first deputy chancellor. She has worked and supported system-level school leaders domestically and internationally advising on instructional approaches, school design, equitable school improvement, and change management.
Dia is a Detroit native. She holds a bachelors in Economics from Kalamazoo College and a Masters in Math Education from Brooklyn College. Dia most recently earned a Doctorate in Education Leadership from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her free time she enjoys following all things Beyoncé and playing with her young children.