Playworks leverages the power of safe, fun, and healthy play at school to create a place for every kid to feel included, be active, and build valuable social and emotional skills.
Qasim Davis, Brandi Freemen, Christine Saja, Trishana Williams
Qasim Davis (Director)
Born and raised in Harlem, NY, Qasim has directed his passions and devotion to non-profit program development in the interest of community political education, focusing on youth leadership development and organizing. His passions lead him to New Orleans six and a half years ago to work with youth and community members in the Lower Ninth Ward. Qasim worked with Our School at Blair Grocery, building and administering a social justice curriculum for high school aged youth who were pushed out of traditional school settings, while also managing service-learners from all over the country looking to address food scarcity in their community through urban gardening. As an AmeriCorps member, Qasim channelled his love for community building, change-making, and education into his service with Kids Rethink New Orleans Schools as the Campus Organizer. The utilization of his skills in community organizing, strategic planning, and popular education allowed for him to transition into the role of Program Manager with Rethink for the past four years. Qasim’s training and work with the Highlander Center for Research and Education, Alliance for Educational Justice, and Greater New Orleans Foundation Emerging Leaders Program have offered Qasim the ability to grow in his field. Qasim joins the Louisiana Playworks team because he believes in the power of play and its ability to create lifelong learners and build healthy communities. Moreover, he knows play is a crucial component in creating the world we wish to see.
Brandi Freemen (Site Coordinator)
Brandi is a born-and-raised Oregonian, and a University of Oregon Graduate who prides herself on being a Duck. In 2013, The University of Oregon Alumni Association awarded her as “One of 25 Ducks Who Will Change The World.” That award prompted her to leave the University of Oregon as Board of Directors Vice President and join Teach For America. She moved to New Orleans to join the fight for educational equity for all students. Since her time in New Orleans, she has been named Teacher of the Year two years in a row and was a finalist for Louisiana State Teacher of The Year. She obtained her Master’s degree at Louisiana College in Education and is pursuing her PhD in Educational Leadership. In her spare time, she likes to craft and even has her own business on the side.
Christine Saja (Program Manager)
Saja comes to Playworks Louisiana after starting her career in Jackson, MS, and then spending two and a half years playing in the snow at American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul, MN. She has been coaching youth soccer, tennis, and track for the past eight years and thoroughly enjoys seeing the pride and happiness that a child experiences as they develop new skills. She’s excited to bring her knowledge and experience to the beautiful city of New Orleans.
Trishana Williams (Program Associate)