Board Rep Election Results

Juliette Olejnik
Congratulations to Anna Kohn ’02
On behalf of The Roeper School Board of Trustees, we congratulate Anna Kohn '02 as the elected Alumni Representative to the Roeper Board of Trustees beginning July 1, 2023.

We extend our thanks for the notable participation of Roeper alumni in the election process and to Cheryl Blau '80 for her remarkable service as Alumni Representative for the past four years.
View Anna's statement of interest below:
From the inception of my own nonprofit organization at the age of nine to provide basic needs to the homeless population in Detroit’s Cass Corridor, I have been committed to the livelihood of my community for close to 30 years. After my graduation from Roeper in 2002, I was accepted at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA where I self-designed my major of “Detroitology”, examining the relationships between local mayoral politics and the state of poverty in Detroit. In 2010, I was selected as a National Urban Fellow, obtaining my MPA at CUNY Baruch where I focused on prisoner reentry. Since then, I have been enmeshed in all aspects of prisoner reentry and advocacy in Atlanta, New York, and most importantly, in Detroit.

My path towards criminal justice reform and prisoner reentry has so much to do with the educational opportunities I’ve been afforded, beginning with Roeper. I begrudgingly entered Roeper as a notably circumspect child who assumed that her social and educational insecurities were simply a way of life. Believing in my ability to ‘change the world’ diminished quickly as a child, but the guilt stemming from that inability never left my conscience.

And then came Roeper. Roeper encouraged me to exist in my own brain, in my own body, without feeling like something was inherently wrong with me. Instead of questioning why I was so sensitive, Roeper questioned what it was I could observe and accomplish BECAUSE of my sensitivity. Roeper became my foundation for radical acceptance in so many ways. Radical acceptance of who I truly was, where I belong in the world, and the small but critical ways that I could become a servant leader. Roeper ultimately encouraged radical acceptance of a sentiment I live by from the Talmud: “you are not required to complete the work, nor are you free to desist from it.”

Though I now serve as the Reentry and Parole Team Lead for the State Appellate Defender Office working with juvenile lifers without parole; the President of Safe and Just Michigan; and the former chair and current member of the Community Corrections Advisory Board as appointed by Governor Whitmer, I recall that Talmudic sentiment as I consider the ways in which I might honor the groundwork that has brought me here today. As a Trustee, I believe that my intolerance for injustice; my ability to convene and communicate with a wide range of stakeholders; and my experience in strategic planning and nonprofit management would serve Roeper as we continue to strengthen our community through empathy, intention, and compassion.
Educating and inspiring gifted students to think as individuals and to engage as a community with compassion for each other and this world.

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