Alisa’s Bio

Let me introduce myself . . .

My name is Alisa. I am the daughter of Dora and granddaughter of Florence and Aliese (my namesake). I come from a long line of educators, organizers, and community healers.

I am a practitioner, policy analyst, qualitative researcher and thought leader in the urban community development field. I have been working on the cutting edge of policy formation and change management in neighborhood development and homelessness services in Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Santa Monica, CA for the past 25 years in the nonprofit and public sectors.

It is my life mission to re-imagine neighborhoods as ‘beloved communities’ where residents of all diversity have a sense of belonging and resources to thrive. My praxis integrates African spirituality and the Black Literary Arts epistemologies to contradict narratives of racial inferiority to allow participants to rediscover who they are when no one is watching.

Recently I launched Florence Aliese Advancement Network LLC (FAAN), to support leaders of color in the community development field. For far too often, people from impacted communities have been marginalized from decision-making spaces and economic opportunities. FAAN seeks to adjust this power dynamic by privileging indigenous knowledge and cultural ways of knowing to amplify voices too often silenced by historic practices of racism and other forms of discrimination.

In Los Angles, I have worked for United Way of Greater Los Angeles, the Office of Mayor Eric Garcetti, and most recently the City Manager’s Office in the City of Santa Monica. While in these positions I had the pleasure serving on both the Ad Hoc Committee on Women Experiencing Homelessness and Black People Experiencing Homelessness. Personally, I also found the Callie Rose Literary Arts Center, a gathering space for artists in the Black Literary Arts tradition.

I am a graduate of Xavier University of Louisiana and the University of Pittsburgh. A lover of learning and deepening praxis, I earned a second Master Degree and doctorate degree in Depth-Psychology with a specialization in Community, Liberation, Eco-Psychology from Pacifica Graduate Institute. A summary of my dissertation thesis: Osun Consciousness: Unearthing Anti-Black Biases in the Los Angeles Homeless System Soul as reflected in the Sacred Histories of the African American Experience can be found here

I am a native of Los Angeles, CA however, I identify as a global citizen of the world.


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