Muhammad Abdul-Hadi

The Down North Foundation, was established by Muhammad Abdul-Hadi, the founder of Down North Pizza– a mission-led business aimed at reducing recidivism rates in urban communities.

Through his work at Down North Pizza, Abdul-Hadi saw a greater opportunity to positively impact revitalization efforts in underserved Philadelphia neighborhoods, like Strawberry Mansion.

Read Muhammad's Full Story
Talia LaSane
Director of Research

Talia LaSane is a research associate at the Down North Foundation and a second-year PhD student at Temple University's Criminal Justice Department.

Her research focuses on addressing systemic inequalities and implementing reconstruction efforts in marginalized communities in North Philadelphia. She utilizes both qualitative and quantitative approaches, including GIS and community/youth panels, to examine racial disparities and economic inequality.

Talia is dedicated to using her skills to contribute to a greater cause and is committed to continuing her work with DNF to improve the lives of individuals and communities in North Philadelphia, particularly those in Black and brown communities.
Celeste Winston
Research Partner

Celeste is an abolitionist geographer. She received a PhD in Earth and Environmental Sciences in 2019 from the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Her work is driven by her love and accountability for Black people and Black communities. She centers everyday Black life and placemaking practices as models for liberation.

Makayla Myers
Strategic Consultant, Outreach Specialist

Makayla is a passionate Research & Evaluation public health professional and social entrepreneur. She simultaneously works as a political strategist in the Keystone State, involving high-profile City and State campaigns. Makayla has a gift connecting with youth. While currently residing in Philadelphia, PA, she travels to accommodate the needs of programs/initiatives.

Ajima Olaghere
Strategic Partner

Ajima is UX Researcher in high tech and a social entrepreneur. She spent 5.5 years as an assistant professor of criminal justice at Temple University prior to her transition into tech. She is based in Seattle, Washington, but connects virtually around the world.

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