A Note on PIE Leadership

A week ago, we announced that PIE is seeking a Director.

We’re excited about new developments in leadership here at PIE and after thinking over the past few days, we want to share the context for this important transition. Here’s a note from our current director, Nate Mullen:

Nate Mullen, photo by  Julianne Lindsey

Nate Mullen, photo by Julianne Lindsey

Hello Loves!

As you may have gathered, I am planning to transition out of my role as director. I’m hoping that by August 2019 I can fully leave this role to a new leader who is just as passionate about advancing our work.

I've been working towards this goal for the past two years. In that process we've made some big changes at PIE to make it stronger and become a great place to start a new chapter. I believe PIE is now at that place.

We have an amazing group of people supporting this work -- our team, our advisory board and all of you! PIE has worked hard to ensure we can sustain our projects, and we have a new suite of programing that will allow the work to of humanizing schooling to continue.

As for me, I am hoping to return to what I love: making art and facilitating space. I am stepping down, not stepping away; my intention is to keep supporting PIE, just not as the director. I hope to continue leading trainings, making art, maybe transition to the Advisory Board and/or help in other capacities.

I can’t begin to tell you how much this work means to me. I have never given more than I have given to our vision, mission and goals at PIE. In many ways, it has been a dream come true. And now it’s time we dream anew.

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Thanks and Love,


PS. If you know who our next director is please forward them the call or let us know and we'll reach out!

You might also want to check out.

People In Education is seeking a Director!


People in Education is hiring a new Director to lead our work toward humanizing schooling.  

Who we’re looking for

PIE's ideal Director is committed to transforming the practice of schooling. Grounded in strategic thinking and able to manage programs, they are a proven leader who can coach and facilitate teams to actualize programmatic visions. Finally, they are able to ensure that an organization has the resources it needs to operate healthily and sustainably.

The ideal candidate is a motivator, thrives in a collaborative environment with a broad range of partners and yet is self directed.

Interest and experience in art, music, design and/or visual culture is a plus.


  • Two to three years of management experience

  • Background in facilitation

  • Background in education, youth development and/or arts education

  • Excellent written communications skills

  • An enthusiasm for People In Education and education in general

  • Confident verbal communication – an ability to speak on behalf of, and help develop PIE’s voice

  • Well organized with the ability to meet deadlines

  • Ability to work collaboratively and strategically

  • Ability to evaluate, learn from successes and missteps, and adapt

  • Ability to give clear direction and take feedback

About the position

The Director will manage PIE’s full time staff while supporting our network of artists, interns and educators to explore ideas and practices around humanizing schooling.


  1. Organizational Strategy PIE's Director oversees all of our program areas and cultivates plans to sustainably move the work forward. This includes:

    1. Internal Strategy- oversee PIE’s teams and programs to ensure alignment towards PIE’s mission and vision.

    2. Communications strategy- make PIE’s work visible, accessible and compelling.

    3. Fundraising Strategy- lead efforts that ensure the long-term health and sustainability of PIE.

  2. Team Management Maintain a healthy, productive work culture within the organization.

    1. Manage and coach PIE’s staff (i.e. weekly meetings, 1 on 1 meetings, etc.).

    2. Further develop strong systems for human resources.  

    3. Further develop strong systems for financial management.

    4. Lead and develop PIE’s Advisory Board.

    5. Host and manage check ins with AMP staff regarding fiscal sponsorship.

  3. Holistic System Change Develop a strategy to further PIE’s mission.

    1. Stay abreast of trends and developments in education justice locally and nationally.

    2. Foster strong relationships with other local organizations working to make education systems more accountable, just and humanizing.

    3. Research and disseminate to key stakeholders best practices within the fields of arts and education.

This position is full time and based in Detroit, Michigan.


Salary range: $50,000 - $58,000 (commensurate with skills and experience).

Competitive benefits package, including comprehensive health insurance, to be detailed during selection process.

How to apply

The deadline to apply is May 28 at midnight EST. The target start date for the PIE Director is July 8, 2019.

To apply, please send the following to work@alliedmedia.org with your name and “PIE DIRECTOR” in the subject line by May 28 at midnight EST:

  • Cover letter telling us about your commitment to leadership and education

  • Résumé

  • Three professional references including names, emails and telephone numbers.

Download a PDF of the Call for PIE Director here.

We strongly encourage people of color, women, LGBTQ people and people with disabilities to apply.

Allied Media Projects is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, creed, color, gender, gender identity, gender expression, age, ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, sexual orientation, religion, HIV serostatus, disability, height, weight, veteran status or marital status.

Meet our 2018-2019 Media Interns!

Tulani Pryor and Mari Sanchez bring fresh visuals to PIE, and we’re so here for it.

Since its inception, PIE has worked with school-aged youth and young adults alike to create media as a showcase for the issues facing our communities, our city and our world. In winter 2018, we launched our very first internship program to expand this work to encompass the professional and artistic development of two talented media artists. They’re putting their #skillz to work, integrating new techniques, and what’s been clutch for all of us is that they’re making some dope art in the process.

Photo by Tulani Pryor

Photo by Tulani Pryor

mari sanchez

Marisol Sanchez is a photographer and videographer based in her hometown, Southwest Detroit. She specializes in documenting artists and cultural content in the community. Mari graduated from the Detroit School of Digital Technology for photography, film & audio production. In addition to her time at PIE, she also works with multimedia group, The Aadizookaan, which produces cultural product through media, music, film and design. In her free time, time Mari works with a youth after school program through Latino Family Services.

We asked Mari to reflect on her days creating media at PIE:

I’ve learned things I never thought I’d be able to do… I love that we got to create things and work with paper… and bring it to life through animation for the world to see. This is honestly an anxiety killer for me. This opportunity makes me have hope in doing something I have a passion for and I can’t wait for the next weeks to come.” - Mari Sanchez

Photo by Mari Visualz

Photo by Mari Visualz

Tulani pryor

Tulani Pryor is an artist, writer, storyteller and lover of history. Her creative work is dedicated to humanizing and representing historically marginalized identities.  Tulani is a recent graduate of Kalamazoo College with a B.A. in Visual Arts and English. In her free time, she likes to draw fan art of her favorite television show, “Pose.”

We asked Tulani to speak on the question, “What does it mean to be human?”

“I view humanness in terms of being able to have emotions and being able to recognize your faults, but also recognizing your feats. And being able to have compassion and sympathy and empathy. Being able to recognize that’s wrong or that’s right… it’s like having a sense of self awareness… and I feel like the most human thing to do is to love unconditionally… To me, being human is to say, ‘I acknowledge your humanity. I will treat you like a human being and not a body that is disposable.’” - Tulani Pryor

Mari & Tulani culminated and activated PIE media, showcasing the fun in our work.

Mari and Tulani have worked on three main projects: PIE Lab Portraits; Facebook and Twitter banners; and the PIE’s 2018 year-end gif. Take a(nother) look at some their work below:

help make our work possible

PIE’s work relies on support from individual donors -- people in the community just like you. In fact, our internship program was made possible by the Aaron Family Fund, a family of generous individuals. Support our vision for a more connected, curious, reflective and humane world.

PIE 2018: A Year in Review


The glow up is real.

A year ago, we were at the very start of a new journey. We had a new name and a refined mission, and we were excited about the work we were doing.  

We also came up against some real challenges of not having a team, funding or the support we needed to build on that work. We were understaffed and overwhelmed, so much so that we had to postpone one of our key programs. We moved out of our long-term home at Allied Media Projects, into a new space where we had few connections. So much was new and unclear, but I am proud to say that we have grown from many of those challenges and now we are doing our best work ever.

I want to take a moment to highlight some of our achievements from this year.

We put the people in PIE.

After many years of work, we’ve finally built a team of people here to support our mission. Our new Fundraising and Communications Assistant is making waves in our grant, social media and email communications channels. And our artist-in-residence (AIR) work has been expanded and streamlined thanks to our new AIR Coordinator. Growing our administrative capacity has allowed us to launch new and improved programming.

Trash life: We produced riveting, zaney media

Trash Life has been our biggest media release ever! The film was created during the 2016/2017 school year by The Painted Turtles, a classroom of first and second graders at the James and Grace Lee Boggs School. Their teacher Kelly Rickert and PIE teaching artist Matt Daher facilitated the filming process along with PIE Arts Assistant, Ever Bussey. This past spring PIE showcased Trash Life at Cinema Detroit, and over 100 people — family and friends — came out to see their work and hear their experiences during a panel after the screening. This was an outpouring of love, and we’ve never been able to screen a media project at this scale! The film has gone on to be screened at Allied Media Conference and the Place-Based Education Conference at Eastern Michigan University, and it’s just shy of 500 views on YouTube. Our work with Trash Life has set a new standard for how we put media into the world!

pie lab: We started something new

This fall, we launched our very first PIE Lab, a training for Artist Educators to cultivate skills for facilitating collaborative art projects. Training artists to be facilitators has been a profound need at PIE and at other arts education projects. At PIE, we are uniquely suited to provide that training, between our eight years of hosting artists residencies and our experience of facilitating trainings for educators. PIE Lab yielded even more learning and some amazing, collaborative media — check it out here! We’re excited about this beautiful community we’ve created and we look forward to offer it again in years to come.

To meet and plan with like minded teachers offers various perspectives in a safe and welcoming environment while allowing participants to truly flourish.
— Kiarra Ambrose

We renewed and refined what we know and love

OMG! I mean have you seen our 2018 programing!? It’s fire! This year we’ve refined both our teacher training -- the Rida Institute -- and our artist residency, allowing us to train the largest Rida cohort since the first year we launched it. With our AIR program, we are exploring one theme across all three projects: school lunch. We launched the artist residency this fall with our first community partnership at Alternatives For Girls and we’re excited get to work.

It Ain’t Over

This is still the beginning of our journey, but we have made significant strides and we’re more clear about how we want this work to grow. At the start of 2018, we set out to grow through relationships with operation PIE Pals, and this is just what we’ve done. In 2019, we will make media that creates a platform for our young people to tell their stories about schooling. We will continue to facilitate spaces for artists and educators to connect to their personal purpose and develop relationships that celebrate and support them through questions or burnout. Our work to humanize schooling is a commitment to change that happens through people, and we want to make media and spaces that honor people-centered transformation.

Our work wouldn’t be so dope without our community -- our woes -- showing up, coming through, liking, reposting and just sending good vibes. Thank you.

We’re excited to do more and we hope you are too! Give to PIE, and help us continue to create humanizing classrooms.

Thank you for your support, in thought and in deed.


Director, People in Education

Experiencing More of Ourselves: Reflections on Rida 2018

Photo by  Justin Milhouse

In August, 16 compassionate educators from across Metro Detroit convened for our 2018 Rida Institute Summer Intensive.

In the five years we have lead this training, every year we’re surprised by how it unfolds.  With each iteration, we work to refine the training and to weave in our new learnings.

Our purpose with the Rida Institute is to facilitate a transformative space for educators to create more humane lives and more humanizing educational spaces. This year, we centered connection between people in the classroom, brought amazing guests to enrich the space and explored to reaffirm commitments to our purpose as educators.

Practicing Connection

When you are connected to yourself and to others you are much more able to show up, and how we show up as educators sets the tone of all the work we do. Connection can invoke joy, create space for collaboration and help turn strangers into co-creators and idea collaborators, into project partners and friends. What happens if we begin from this frame of reference in our classrooms everyday? At Rida, we return to this practice several times; over the three days it is always our starting point.

Photo by Erin Allen

Photo by Erin Allen

At the Rida we practice  connection by inviting educators to use simple questions as tools for building relationship, and what usually starts as a quiet space of relative strangers explodes with voices speaking about their values, their lives and their work. So often as educators we want our students to build relationships, but we rarely have the opportunity to practice doing that ourselves. It turns out making connections can be simple but we rarely make room for it, blaming busy schedules and urgent content. But starting with relationships between people learning together is just as important.

Amazing Guests

One of our favorite components of the summer intensive is highlighting the voices of people representing disparate intersections of education. Guest presenters activate the space and provide necessary dynamism to our ideas about humanizing schooling.

It’s about the learning; it’s not about the grade. I want to make the grade irrelevant. For a lot of students, that F has followed them their whole lives. It takes a lot for a student to disconnect that grade from their identity.
— Ammerah Saidi

Four guest presenters -- more than we’ve ever had -- shared their expertise on what it means to create humanizing educational spaces. Five young people from 482Forward Youth shared the motivations, learnings, successes and hopes of their work in education policy across Michigan.

Activist, healer and author adrienne maree brown spoke about employing emergent strategy to transform a classroom into a collective creation between educators and students. Author and educator Carla Shalaby illuminated the impact of punitive practices in schools and reintroduced us to the troublemaker as a resistor to dehumanizing classroom management. Educator and former PIE Director Ameerah Saidi gave us a glimpse into her classroom, demonstrating how content becomes a tool to explore and challenge the status quo.

Defining Purpose

My purpose as a teacher is to fan the flame so that students can know in themselves and in one another the gifts that lie within them and help them unbury them, unwrap them, find delight in them, and build skills to empower them.
— Rose Crowley, Rida participant

Our purpose is our reason for being and doing, and it’s an incredible source of power. In a system where teachers often feel unsupported, overstretched and disempowered, returning to their purpose becomes a vital for their resilience and ability to create relevant and compassionate classrooms.

If we aren’t clear on why we’re in a classroom, we are beholden to the multitude of tasks that appear day to day. When we are present on purpose, we are clear about what our job is as educators. From this point of clarity, teachers can cast out the distractions that often lead to burnout and focus on the work that gives us life.

This is the sentiment we aim to awaken in educators when we ask them to explore and refine their purpose for doing this work.

Photos by Justin Milhouse


Have you ever fallen in love with a room full of people? You look around the room and feel deeply connected to every single person in that room. You are bursting with benevolence and hopeful wishes for every person. And you just want to see each of them blossom into the biggest, baddest flower you ever seen. That is how we left this year’s Rida summer intensive -- connected, inspired and ready.   

We are so excited to continue working with these teachers throughout this current school year, as we meet monthly to support each other in bringing our purpose to fruition in our classrooms. You can learn more about PIE’s practices and the Rida Framework in our Guide to Humanizing Schooling. Read the guide online or purchase a copy at the AMP Store.

support our work in training teachers to create humanizing classrooms.