Kareem Weaver, Co-Founder and Executive Director

Kareem Weaver is a Co-Founder and Executive Director of FULCRUM and is also the Oakland NAACP's 2nd Vice President and Chair of its Education Committee. Kareem's advocacy is featured in the film The Right to Read

Mr. Weaver previously served as New Leaders’ Executive Director of the Western Region and was an award-winning teacher and administrator. He has undergraduate degrees from Morehouse College and a master’s in Clinical-Community Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Mr. Weaver believes in the potential of all students, the brotherhood of man, and the importance of service above self. His educational heroine, for literacy instruction, is the late Marva Collins.

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Liza Finkelstein, Co-Founder

Since she was a teen, Liza has recognized education as a powerful tool for leveling the playing field. Looking to dedicate her career to social justice, she became a public high school teacher and taught English in the Bayview and Mission districts for San Francisco Unified. When she was asked to pilot a reading intervention program (based in the Science of Reading) - and her students moved up four grade levels that year - she got her formative taste of the power of evidence based reading instruction and was hooked. She spent the next years training other middle and high school teachers in this program. 

She continued to work toward high quality education for all by serving for almost a decade on the advisory board of New Leaders - Bay Area, a national nonprofit that trains transformational leaders to turnaround schools, led by Kareem Weaver.

Liza is honored to be collaborating with Kareem in bringing reading instruction, the venture with the most potent potential for societal transformation, to the maximum number of children. While education is the great leveler, literacy is foundational.

Devika Sood, Director of Program

As Fulcrum’s Director of Program, Devika works to support implementation of structured literacy through building leadership and instructional capacity both at home in Oakland and nationally. 

She has spent the last 15 years in education as a teacher, teacher leader, school site leader, and systems leader. Most recently, she led an Oakland charter network's shift to the science of reading; She provided professional learning to teachers and leaders, rolled out a new universal screener and new Tier 1 and Tier 2 curricula, built capacity through side-by-side observations, and created a literacy committee representative of Tier 1, 2, and 3 academics centered on student data to drive continuous improvement of the literacy ecosystem.

Through her experience rooted in implementation science, she has developed key insights in effectively implementing structured literacy. She is relentlessly dedicated to promoting literacy as a fundamental civil right and ensuring educational equity and excellence for all.

#literacyandjusticeforall #allkidscan

Trinity Hansen, Partnerships and Engagement Manager

As Partnerships and Engagement Manager, Trinity manages all of the Executive Director’s public engagements and ensures alignment with FULCRUM’s national and local strategies. She works with organizers across the country to create meaningful events that produce the greatest impact for kids. In addition, Trinity provides administrative support to the leadership team on matters of finance, communications, and special projects. 

Prior to FULCRUM, Trinity worked in various programmatic and project management roles at non-profit organizations based in San Diego and Denver. Her passion lies at the nexus between social justice and sustainability, with an emphasis on underserved, underrepresented, and underestimated groups. She strongly believes championing early literacy as a civil right is critical to empowering all