Meet the Staff
Chari Davenport – Vice President of Equity and Inclusion
Chari Davenport holds a Master of Science in Journalism and Technical Communication and a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Communication. Chari’s background in equity and inclusion began in college, and over the years she has demonstrated her commitment to social justice both personally and professionally. "I trace my current commitment to, competence in, and validation of issues of equity to my youth." Throughout her journey she worked in Public Information for PBS, served as the Writing Coach for the Ronald McNair Scholars Program, and Public Relations Coordinator for the Jacob Lawrence Exhibit at the Denver Museum of Art before entering academia.
Beginning in 2003, Chari served as humanities faculty, earning several awards for teaching excellence and serving as advisor to the student newspaper prior to joining Cascadia’s executive leadership team. Chari has shown her strong commitment to equity and inclusion through her many service opportunities at Cascadia. This service includes coordinating and facilitating the Foundations of E&I course, which reaches faculty and staff within the Cascadia community. The course covers the elements of equity and inclusion and lays the foundation for further learning.
Chari will represent Cascadia as a member of Eastside Leadership, a premier personal and professional community leadership development experience. As the Executive Director, she works with students, faculty, and staff, area school districts, and various community partners to support Cascadia’s mission to equity and inclusion. Chari is the Chair of the E&I Council and serves on several committees that support the goals and mission of Cascadia College.
Alia Mahdi – Executive Assistant
Alia Mahdi graduated from the University of Washington, Bothell with a Master of Arts in Cultural Studies in 2021. She also completed a graduate degree in Folklore Studies from the University of Khartoum 2013. She was an educator for six years; a teacher and a librarian and taught French and Social Studies both in Sudan and in the US.
"My studies and my work experience have been centered around communicating and interacting with people from different backgrounds and different age groups. This led to my interest in the Equity and Inclusion field. I have always questioned the status quo and tried to find answers and solutions. I am very happy to join the Equity and Inclusion team and I am confident that it will be a great opportunity for growth and learning." – Alia Mahdi
Ana Nina – Director of Equity and Inclusion Programs
Ana is originally from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, but has made Seattle her home. Ana’s commitment to equity and social justice began with her law studies in Rio, assisting communities impacted by environmental pollution. She has taught and practiced public interest law in the United States and Brazil, working with clients facing multiple barriers to accessing justice. Ana holds a PhD from the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro and a LLM from Harvard Law School.
In her trajectory, Ana has combined a passion for education and learning with advocating for the most vulnerable. Her experience as an immigrant mother of children who did not speak English taught her the value of cultivating safe spaces where her family could feel included and valued. Ana is very excited to work with the Cascadia community to nurture environments where all belong.