©2019 by Hate-Free Schools Coalition

The Core Team

Hate-Free Schools Coalition is directed by a group of Core Team members who have made a strong commitment to serve our Orange County community and pursue racial equity everywhere. 

La Tarndra Strong


La Tarndra, founder and co-leader, has held many titles: financial analyst, entrepreneur, and organizer, to name a few. However, her two favored titles, activist and mom, collided in 2015 culminating in the birth of the Hate Free Schools Coalition. Her passion for racial justice in education along with her desire to nurture a spirit of endless possibilities in the minds of young black and brown students guided Orange County Schools to ban symbols of hate and prioritize equity. She is relentless in her pursuit to raise the racial consciousness of enough everyday citizens to drive change, and to challenge institutions beyond the norm of unfair educational opportunities. Through this work, her desire is that black communities mobilize and renew the legacy of compassion for each other while fostering collective advancement.

Ali Braswell

Hate-Free Actions

Ali is an activist, empowerment speaker, entrepreneur, stock market trader, and mother of four children, three of whom graduated from the Orange County School District. She is dedicated to the mental, physical, and financial liberation of Black people throughout the country, more specifically, all American descendants of slaves. She leads the justice-driven, anti-racism activities for the Hate Free Schools Coalition.

Nedra Johnson

Equity Work

Nedra co-leads the Equity focus area for HFSC. As a North Carolina native and through her own personal educational journey, Nedra has experienced directly the inequities that exist within the school system. Those experiences were drivers for the direction of her professional career, which includes executive positions in leadership and educational roles as well as extensive work in diversity, equity and inclusion. In addition, Nedra has school-aged children and is committed to ensuring they have, along with every child, equitable opportunities for academic achievement.

Marc Xavier

Core Team Member

"The only solution to dismantle injustices is through the process of 'Justice.’'’ In order to accomplish ‘’Justice,’’ constructive and productive actions must be taken. As we embark on our quest for Justice; we cannot do it alone. Marc’s passion and dedication lie in in finding ways to remove injustices in our schools. He feels Hate-Free Schools Coalition has been working in and outside of Orange County to eradicate injustices within the school systems.

Jessica Patrick Taylor

HFSC Bedford County Founder

Jessica sees inspiration, not motivation, as what keeps her going every day. As a wife and mother of four, she is inspired to do her part to make and keep all schools safe for black children and families. She’s inspired to show her children that it is important to answer the call to action. Most importantly, it is her view that it is this generation that will move this change forward. Hate Free Schools Coalition is the inspiration behind her light and as a leader in the community she is committed to balance, equity and productivity.

Chuck Willingham

Core Team Member

Chuck retired from a career in corporate finance and began coordinating racial equity workshops with Orange OAR in 2013. He raised his children in CHCCS and witnessed eleven years of entrenched racial disparities in the school system. The structural and systemic nature of these disparities became clear from his racial equity work. It’s from this place that he was drawn to organizing with HFSC.

Ivy Barger

Core Team Member

Ivy is an educational editor and mother of two who has both a professional and a personal passion for equity in schools. Her professional passions include repurposing sources of data that have historically been weaponized against communities of color to instead identify and eradicate opportunity gaps and educational debts. Her personal passions include the role she is honored to play in working with and learning from the students and families empowered by HFSC.

Caity McArthur

Core Team Member

Caity is a nurse working in public health. She is passionate about racial equity in our schools and believes that quality, accessible education drives the health of a community. When students experience hate and intolerance in their classrooms, they cannot learn or thrive.  As a mother of two, she envisions a world where children are valued and protected by their community, especially in their places of learning.

Let us know if you want information on actions in Orange County, NC or how we can help you work toward racial equity in your area.