Dr. Molly Ness
Molly Ness is an associate professor of childhood education at Fordham University. She is the author of four books and multiple articles in peer-reviewed journals. She serves on the advisory boards for Penguin Random House and Freadom, Inc. In 2019, Molly began the End Book Deserts podcast to bring attention to the issue of book access and equity. When she's not teaching or reading, she is wandering the aisles at farmers market, listening to Bruce Springsteen, or hiking on the coast of Maine with her dog and ten-year old daughter.
Alison Cupp Relyea
Alison Cupp Relyea is an educator and freelance writer. She works as the Director of Education for the Rye Historical Society and serves on other community committees, including Heard in Rye, where she is a former co-chair. Alison holds a Masters in Museum Education from Bank Street College and taught elementary school for ten years in Manhattan. Writing is Alison's passion, and she explores humor, parenting and small life moments as well as gender equity, learning differences and current events in her work. Through pRYEde, she sees an opportunity to use her educational background in gender equity, classroom community, and storytelling to support families in Rye. After sixteen years in New York City, Alison moved to Rye with her husband and three children in 2014 and loves being part of this community.
Danielle Tagger-Epstein was born in New York City. She spent several of her childhood years overseas in London and Israel. At 18 she served two years in the Israel Defense Forces as a Liaison to Foreign Forces in Gaza, before returning to the US to study theatre at Emerson College and ASU.
After spending a few years as a struggling actor in New York and Los Angeles, Danielle jumped into corporate America, eventually starting her own consulting business focused on talent recruitment. Danielle has always been passionate and active in support of social issues. And so in November 2015 Danielle ran for and was elected to the Rye City Council where she served for four years.
In 2017, Danielle resurrected the Human Rights Commission in the City of Rye, which was founded 1964 but had been dormant for over a decade. She currently serves as the Commission’s Chairperson.
Amanda is a Rye mom of four who is passionate about equity and inclusion. She has a finance background and worked for many years at a big corporate bank before choosing to spend time at home while her kids are young. For the last decade she has volunteered her time with various community-focused groups and non-profit organizations. Amanda is thankful for the opportunity to engage with the Rye community to promote kindness and respect towards all. In her personal time Amanda loves reading, gardening, hiking in nature, cheering on her kids sports teams, her 2 rescue cats and really messy crafting.
Dr. Genevieve Weber
Genevieve Weber, Ph.D., LMHC, is Program Director and Associate Professor in the Department of Counseling and Mental Health Professions, School of Health and Human Services at Hofstra University. She is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor in the State of New York with a specialization in Substance Use Disorder Counseling.
An equal passion for Dr. Weber is working with the LGBTQ+ community to reduce the impact of homophobia and heterosexism on their lives. Dr. Weber’s first opportunity to work with the LGBTQ+ community was in 2001 at a substance use agency in New York City. By working hands-on with LGBTQ+ clients with substance use and mental health concerns, she learned a lack of support by family, institutions, and society was a main contributing factor to distress while self-acceptance, encouragement, and experiences with inclusion were factors that helped LGBTQ+ people become well. It was this time that Dr. Weber found her life calling; she has spent the last twenty years as an activist for the LGBTQ+ community.
Her work with the LGBTQ+ continued in substance use agencies, college campuses, the classroom, and the community. Dr. Weber published a national report in 2010 titled “The State of Higher Education for LGBT People” which earned national recognition and media attention. She has published journal articles and books chapters, and has presented nationally on topics related to the health and well-being of LGBTQ+ people.