From our Equity Council Co-Chair

“Equity in literacy is ensuring that each child receives evidence-based reading instruction to reach the level of literacy where they are thriving by the third grade. While ensuring that every student and family has access to eliminate barriers, we must also hold our educational institutions accountable for adequately preparing educators to teach reading and providing culturally specific resources rather than feeding students of color and those with learning disabilities into the school to prison pipeline. Equity in literacy is all students exceeding the threshold, not just meeting the standard.” ~Paula Byrd

Equity Council Members

Cézanne Tyner is a former classroom teacher with a passion towards education success – especially with dyslexia. Her experience in teaching spans countries such as Kenya, Nicaragua, Romania and Japan. Cézanne has an undergraduate degree in Family and Human Services and a Masters in Teaching with an emphasis in English language arts and English as a Second Language.

She has been able to assume roles with public, charter, alternative, and catholic schools in Oregon and abroad. Cézanne’s love for education includes her learning and growing as well. She is a product of a Portland Public Schools education and determined to give back.
Read more

Iyabo Bello is currently a graduate student in the Masters of Special Education program at Portland State University. Iyabo is excited to finish school and to use her education to empower younger generations. Iyabo believes that education is a powerful tool to build and grow individually and as a community. “Being able to read is empowering and makes you resourceful.

Kamala Arumugam currently works for the Beaverton School District and is pursuing her Masters in Special education at Portland State University. Kamala is passionate about literacy, improving education and wants to have a positive influence on students. She is also the founder of a non-profit organization “Tamil Arambap Palli” that was founded to teach Tamil language and Tamil culture to diaspora Tamil children in and around Portland.

Liz Dominguez-Jackson grew up on the West Coast and moved to Portland in the autumn of 2012. Since moving to Portland, she has been involved in various community outreach efforts, mostly involving youth and education. Currently, she works on the marketing team at a technology education company. Liz is passionate about accessible education for all learners, regardless of learning style or ability.

Natalia Uribe Menendez is a board certified music therapist from Colombia with a special interest in working with families. Since the beginning of her schooling as a therapist, Natalia has seen how music can be used as a vehicle for healing and connection. She is very excited to join Decoding Dyslexia and to learn more about how music therapy can help folks with dyslexia reach their goals.

Dr. Shaheen Munir-McHill is an assistant professor of practice at Portland State University and the coordinator of the PSU Special Education K-12 license and endorsement programs. Shaheen has served in a wide range of roles in the education system, including an elementary resource room teacher, a school psychologist, a DIBELS mentor, a reading interventionist, a student teaching coach, and the coordinator of a reading intervention clinic.

Shaheen is passionate about supporting all learners to become successful readers.  Her interests include the use of formative and diagnostic assessment tools to drive reading instructional practices, early screening for potential reading challenges, multi-tiered systems of instructional support, and working with families to navigate special education systems and reinforcing evidenced-based instructional practices at home.
Read more

Paula Byrd is a native of Chicago, Illinois. She graduated at Portland State University with a Bachelors of Arts and completed her Masters in Public Administration with a concentration in Nonprofit Management at the University of Illinois. She joined the Board of Y.O.U.th in 2013 and recently became the Executive Director in 2019. She is committed to the educational literacy of youth and adults. She desires to change the lives of all young people she works with and drives them to be their best. Paul serves as the Equity Council Co-Chair.