Erika Bernabei is a leader in the strategic design and implementation of whole organization and collaborative work to achieve equitable results in low-income communities and communities of color. Through Equity and Results, she works with small and large non-profit, philanthropic and public organizations nationally and internationally to use a racial equity results driven process to build the capacity of leaders and communities.

Erika uses an antiracist lens, developed by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond, and Results Based Accountability (RBA) developed by Mark Friedman to look at how organizations and collaboratives can work differently to do systems change work and strategically disrupt 'business as usual'. Erika’s deep knowledge of community-based participatory processes encourages accountability with formal, informal and community leaders so that there is buy-in at all points in the work.



Equity and Results, LLC, Founder [2016 - present]

  • Expert in building citywide and national, multipartner infrastructure to develop and implement a results framework to get equitable outcomes for communities

  • Leader in applying a structural and institutional racism lens and analysis to build a results framework and maintaining focus and urgency amongst stakeholders

  • Long-term planning and short-term coaching for foundations, agencies, communities and large collaboratives to ensure consistent follow-through and collective impact

  • Current clients include: Living Cities, Race Forward/The Government Alliance on Race and Equity, City of Seattle, City of Portland, Legal Services NYC, Third Sector Capital Partners, Michigan Department of Civil Rights

NonProfit and Public Sector

NYC Department of Homeless Services, Assistant Commissioner [2015 - 2016]

  • Leadership in developing sustainable housing strategies for the 12,500 homeless families with children (40,000 individuals)

  • Structuring the work of the Unit to be results-driven and focused on quality assurance and successful housing market strategies to ensure permanency for families

  • Developing capacity of 170+ shelter through holistic training and conferencing and with clients to address educational, legal, mental health and other systems level challenges.

PolicyLink — New York, NY / Oakland, CA [2007 - 2015]

Senior Associate, Promise Neighborhoods Institute at PolicyLink [2010 - 2015]

Led and managed results-driven system of infrastructure and support to 50+ Promise Neighborhoods grantees and communities to advance equitable opportunity and results for low-income children and children of color, their families and communities. Aligned body of work included:

  • Leadership of multi-sectoral, collaborative work with school superintendents, principals, teachers, nonprofit leaders, private sector, community members and youth to ensure alignment across roles, capacities and culture

  • Development and management of common data infrastructure and training on data use to improve cradle to career solutions

  • Co-design and development of Leadership development program for community leaders

Research Associate [2007 - 2010]

  • Research, writing, interviewing, editing under the direction of Vice President for Research on topics including community-university partnerships, infrastructure/built environment, health disparities

Bay Area Legal Aid — Oakland, CA [2005 – 2006]

  • Housing Unit Clerk focused on fair housing, landlord-tenant issues, and advocacy for elderly, low-income disabled tenants

  • Prepared legal memos and research; provided case management for Legal Aid clients

Vera Institute of Justice, Youth Justice Program — New York, NY [2002 – 2004]

  • Program Coordinator for national program that aided state government officials in better serving youth in the juvenile justice system


Steinhardt School of Education, New York University — New York, NY [2010 - 2018]

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD), Education Leadership, Steinhardt Fellow, Clark Seminar recipient

Dissertation Title: The Promise of Change: Racial Equity and Institutional Accountability in Promise Neighborhoods

Teachers College, Columbia University — New York, NY [2008 - 2010]

Master of Arts (MA), Politics and Education

Focus on racial and social disparities in education policy and comprehensive educational assessment; Thesis Title: , Interdisciplinary Assessment of Educational Opportunity: Using Public Health Assessment to Explore the Impacts of Decision-Making on Education

Barnard College, Columbia University — New York, NY [1999- 2002]

Bachelor of Arts (BA), Double Major: Political Science/Pan African Studies


  • Expert in Results Based Accountability, Leadership Development and Collective Impact, Antiracist Systems Change, Partnership Management and Collaboration, Community Organizing

  • Languages: Fluency in French



Bernabei, E. Racial Equity: Getting to Results. Tool Developed for the Center for Social Inclusion, New York, NY.  Available here


Bernabei, E. Getting Equitable Results for Children and Their Families Through Promise Neighborhoods, Paper for panel at American Education Research Association, Chicago, IL.


Anderson G.L., and Bernabei Middleton, E. “LeaderPAR: A Participatory Action Research Framework for School and Community Leadership,” in Bogotch, I., Shields, C.M. (Eds.) International Handbook of Educational Leadership and Social (In)Justice 29, Springer International Handbooks of Education, New York.


Bernabei, E. Choosing a Data System for your Promise Neighborhood Suggested Criteria and Functions. Tool created for PolicyLink. Available here 


Bernabei, E. Interdisciplinary Assessment of Educational Opportunity: Using Public Health Assessment to Explore the Impacts of Decision Making on Education. Master’s thesis, Teachers College Columbia University, unpublished.


Robinson, L., and Bernabei, E. “Forging Equity and Excellence in Education: Integrating Out of School Learning into National Education Policy,” Prepared by PolicyLink for the Policy, Evaluation and Research Center of ETS symposium, Washington D.C., October 5- 6, 2009.


Rubin, V., Chandler, A., Bernabei, E., and Lizardo, R. Unincorporated Communities in the San Joaquin Valley: New Responses to Poverty, Inequity, and a System of Unresponsive Governance. PolicyLink, Framing Paper. Oakland, CA. Available here 



Bernabei, E. Using Racial Equity Principles to Do Accountable Results-Driven Work. The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows Speakers Series, New York, NY. 

Bernabei, E., Miller, T., Davis, S. Beyond the Talk: Making Frameworks and Equity Real. Collective Impact Convening, Chicago, IL.  


Bernabei, E. Evaluation Diversity Panel.  New York Consortium of Evaluators, New York, NY. 

Bernabei, E. and Howard, A. Conversations on Race. Making the Difference: Civic Participation Series. Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY. 


Bernabei, E. Racial Equity Planning to Practice: Local Responses. American Planning Association’s New York Metro Chapter Conference, New York, NY. 

Bernabei, E. Still We Rise: A Panel of Barnard Activists. Barnard College, New York, NY.

Bernabei, E. From Performance Data to Systems Change (Panel Moderator). Living Cities Integration Initiative Convening, New Orleans, LA.

Bernabei, E. Implementation Challenges of Using a Results Framework for Racial Equity. Government Alliance on Race and Equity, National Convening, Oakland, CA.

Bernabei, E. and Miller, T. Between Results and Racial Equity: Anti-Racist Approaches to Performance Accountability. 2017 Collective Impact Convening, Boston, MA. 

Bernabei, E. and Brule, R. Change How You Collaborate: Tools and Strategies for Lasting Impact. 2017 Collective Impact Convening. Boston, MA.

Bernabei, E. Measuring Diversity and Inclusion Impact. Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Convention, Nashville, TN.


Bernabei, E. Where do we start? Linking healthy equity to action (Keynote). HealthlinkNY sessions 2016-2017, New York State.

Bernabei, E. and Brutschy, S. How to Establish a Culture of Accountability – Tools and Techniques That are Working to Transform Communities, Measurable Impact 2016 – A Results-Based Accountability (RBA) Summit, Baltimore, MD.


Bernabei Middleton, E., et al. Implementing School and Community Partnerships: Lessons from Community School and Promise Neighborhood Initiatives. Panel at American Education Research Association, Chicago, IL.     


Bernabei, E., and Queen, J. Turning Curves in Education. Presentation at Results-Based Accountability™ (RBA) Africa Summit 2014, Johannesburg, South Africa. 

Bernabei, E., and Queen, J. Drive with Data, Transform with Data: Using Data to Advance Equity, Presentation at Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, United Neighborhood Centers of America, Washington D.C.

Bernabei Middleton, E. and Anderson, G. LeaderPAR: A Participatory Action Research Framework for School and Community Leadership. Book chapter presented at the American Education Research Association, Philadelphia, PA.


Bernabei, E. Addressing Community Need Panel: Best Practices Toward Making Change. Invited panelist at Columbia University Community Impact Retreat, New York, NY.

 Bernabei, E., Cylar-Miller, L… Promise Neighborhoods: Update regarding the Effective/Promising Practices being implemented to Build a Cradle Through College and Career Continuum of Solutions. Presentation at Neighborhood Revitalization Conference, United Neighborhood Centers of America, Washington D.C.

Bernabei, E., and McAfee, M. “National Results and Equity Collaborative (NREC) Concept.” Presentation at Literacy Funders Network Annual Symposium, Louisville, KY.


Bernabei, E., Chao, A., and Queen, J. Data for Change: Collecting & Using Data for Comprehensive Community Change, Presentation at Coalition for Community Schools National Forum, San Francisco.


Bernabei Middleton, E. Interdisciplinary Assessment of Educational Opportunity: Using Public Health Assessment to Explore the Impacts of Decision Making on Education. Paper presented at the American Education Research Association, New Orleans, LA.



Organizer, People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond (PISAB)

Faculty and Mentor, The New York Community Trust Leadership Fellows