Who we are
The Uni Project is run by husband-and-wife, Sam Davol (Program and Creative Director) and Leslie Davol (Executive Director). The project grew out of their work activating space in downtown Boston during a time they lived there (2006-2011). In Boston, they created Street Lab, a 501c3 nonprofit that launched community-focused and partnership-driven projects, including the now-annual Films at the Gate and Chinatown Storefront Library. Prior, Leslie worked at the New York Historical Society and the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation on memorial, cultural and civic programs following September 11. Sam served as an attorney at the Legal Aid Society and is an original member of the band The Magnetic Fields. They live in Lower Manhattan with their two children. (Leslie via LinkedIn) (Sam via LinkedIn)
Program and Operations Manager
Wei Du believes the public realm to be a community’s living room, and as such, deserves to be vibrant, welcoming, and convivial. He has over a decade’s experience working for various non-profits in the East End of London, with a particular focus on community development and tactical urbanism. He holds a Master’s degree in Global Citizenship, Migration and Human Rights from the University of Nottingham. Wei is a Capoeira teacher, follows New York Cosmos, and has an unironic love of jellied eels. Wei speaks Cantonese, Mandarin, and Portuguese. He lives in Bed-Stuy in Brooklyn.
Joeyee Yan is a student at NYU who has worked at several community learning centers, teaching and tutoring children in grades 1-8. She began working with the Uni Project while finishing up her senior year at Brooklyn Technical High School. While in high school, Joeyee was active in Brooklyn Tech’s community service club with over 1,000 members, serving as Treasurer. She also participated in the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development’s In-School Youth Program, which provides year-round workshops on financial literacy and leadership skills to low-income high school students. Joeyee is fluent in Cantonese and Mandarin, and she lives in Brooklyn.
Arli Cornejal is a youth educator and Sociology major at Hunter College. Arli has previously worked at the Ya-Ya Network as the Youth Program Coordinator where she developed political education curriculum for NYC based youth. Currently Arli also works as the Associate Youth Program Coordinator in the South Bronx where she works with Latin@ youth. Arli is passionate about access to higher education and believes in the power of an organized community. Arli is fluent in Spanish and resides in Queens.
Elizabeth Reyes is a high school student at City-As High School. She has a passion for early childhood education and the influence art can have on youth. She has served as a teacher’s assistant at Goddard-Riverside Preschool, and interned at the Children’s Museum of the Arts New York where she was responsible for leading art demonstrations, where children and families create art side by side with working artist. She has volunteered for the Uni Project and currently works as a Program Coordinator.
Yifan Wu is an award-winning illustrator and animator from Nanjing. She received a MFA degree in Illustration Practice from Maryland Institute College of Art in 2018. Now she works as a freelance artist in Brooklyn, NY. Yifan is an artist who vents her anger about the idiot, morbid, mordant world in artwork; a creative thinker who deal with her nihilism through storytelling; a non-sayer to pollyannas. She aims to be inspiring and loves helping people visualize their inner creativity through commissions or public drawing events. She loves dancing, animals and nature.
Sharieff White is a student at Laguardia Community College and has worked with the Uni Project since 2018. He lives in East New York.
Artist in Residence
Hui Ma is a freelance graphic designer and illustrator living in Brooklyn. She is a recent graduate student from MFA Communication Design program at Pratt Institute, and will begin her MFA in Illustration as Visual Essay at the School of Visual Art in Fall 2018. She has been a creative drawing tutor at Sphinx International Art Education, and has published four books in China. In her free time, she likes to sketch New Yorkers on the subway.
Artist in Residence
Courtney Menard is an illustrator and printmaker originally from Buffalo, NY. She will receive a graduate degree in Illustration as Visual Essay from the School of Visual Arts in 2019. Currently, she works at the School of Visual Arts printshop as a technician, where she assists with classes in silkscreen, etching, woodcut, and lithography. She aims to utilize her experience as a printmaker to advance the awareness of social causes in her community, and she has created posters and graphics to support local social justice groups in their efforts towards affordable housing, clean water, and immigration justice. Most recently she led a t-shirt silkscreen workshop with Transportation Alternatives, a group advocating for improved public transit and safer bike lanes in advance of next year’s L train shutdown. Courtney lives in Bushwick.
Artist in Residence
Sarah Shahata is an interdisciplinary artist from The Bronx. She is a student at SUNY Purchase pursuing a BSVA. She has worked with several organizations such as Groundswell community murals and Joan Mitchell Foundation. Since 2015 Sarah has been developing murals with New York City youth on topics of social change and community. Recently she has worked with the Joan Mitchell Foundation, Community Works, and the Brooklyn Museum to plan NYC’s first Creativity Summit, where NYC youth got a chance to experience creativity in innovative ways. Sarah is passionate about creating spaces in which young people of color can thrive. She is fluent in Spanish.
Christian Guinanzaca is a filmmaker, dancer, and community organizer who values creating public spaces for communities that are under-resourced. He has worked with the Queens Museum producing events in Corona Plaza, and for Immigrant Movement International coordinating their community space, teaching dance workshops, and surveying community members about various issues of concern to the community. Chris is currently a student at CUNY City College, getting a BFA in film and video production. Chris is fluent in Spanish, and he lives in Elmhurst, Queens.
Egypt Calier is a graduate of SUNY College and is pursuing a Masters in Sociology at Brooklyn College. She has worked as a Teachers Assistant for the Department of Education, providing support to children with math, reading and writing, and to children with special needs and those for whom English is a second language. During the summers she has worked as a Playground Associate for NYC Parks while coaching girls’ basketball. She was an award-winning high school basketball player and then captain of her college basketball team. She is passionate about education and grew up in the Elliott Chelsea Houses in Chelsea. Egypt lives in the Bronx.
Michael Gibson, Shamel Rountree
We proudly hire drivers from Red Hook on the Road.
Leah Kaplan (’16-’18), Joeyee Yan (’16-’18), Courtney Menard (’18), Sarah Shahata (’18), Stephanie Yee (’14-’17), Egypt Calier (’16-’17), Fay Ku (’17), Mira Etingof (’17), Luyi Wang (’17), Christian Guinanzaca (’16), Rossana Iturbide (’16), Ester Shmulyian (’16), Stephen Wrenn (’16), Daniyar Irgaliyev (’16), Mecca Norfleet (’16), Anthony Lopez (’16), Jean Li Spencer (’16), Michael Gibson (’13-’16), Shamel Rountree (’16), Adynah Irene Johnson (’15), Leigh Hurwitz (’13-’15), Emily Jacobson (’14-’15), Marco Cunqueiro (’15), Jorey Greenland (’15), Greig Roselli (’15), Susan Coyne (’15), Genevieve Irwin (’15), Rasheed Lucas (’14), Tiffany Lin (’14), Alyssa Pintar (’14), Amelia Carver (’13), Nelson DeJesus (’13), Peter Zweifel (’13)
Program Collaborators and Visiting Experts
HYPOTHEkids (’17-18), Washington Square Park Eco Projects (’16-18), Rica Takashima/Aliens in NY (’17), Robert Berkman/Better Living through Mathematics (’13), Andrew Collins (’13)
Emilia Andrade (’15), Lisa Archigian (’16), Chanyuan Bao (’17-’18), Kelly Marie Blanchat (’12-14), William Brockett (’13), Jane Bock (’17-’18), Michelle Bowen (’18), Jamie Burns (’14), Milani Chatterjilen (’18), Evan Chen (’16), Sofia Chelo (’16), Nathanael Cho (’16), Liana Chow (’17-’18), MD Choudhury (’17-’18), Lindsey Danis (’11), Eleanor Davol (’13), Malcolm Davol (’13), Andy Deck (’15), Fatou Diorme (’18), Meghan Dowell (’11-’13), Cathrine Fahmy (’18), Lisa Gomez (’15-16), Kenneth Gordon (’13), Magdalena Gordon (’13), Jorey Greenland (’16), Chelsea Gunn (’11), Nadine Hibbert (’14-’16), Leigh Hurwitz (’12-’16), Emily Jacobson (’12-’16), Allie Janvey (’12), Adynah Irene Johnson (’14), Gloria Lau (’15-18), Marilyn Kahn (’12), Amit Karan (’13), Madeline Kelly (’11), Grace Ko (’16), Victoria Kuhr (’14-’16), Angela Kyle (’13-’14), Kaijie Liao (’17-’18), Tiffany Lin (’14-’15), Natalia Lopez (’13), Steven Lowinger (’18), Dylan Levene (’18), Kelleen Maluski (’12-’16), Daniel Mascola (’15), Sara McCabe (’16), Alexandra McClure (’15-16), Molly McInerny (’11), Nicholas Modugno (’18), Luis Aguilar Moreno (’14), Sara Muche (’18), Diana Narvaez (’14), Pascale Nijhof (’13-’14), Jennifer Nix (’13-’14), Christine O’Heron (’12), Yukie Ohta (’11), Tiffany Minh Peterson (’15-’16), Jessica Pierce (’14), Katherine Plater (’13), Gabriella Radujko (’12), Anna Robinson (’12-’13), Liz Ropers (’14), Greig Roselli (’15-’18), Sitara Sawh (’17-’18), Lisa Savcak (’14-’15), Helen Schubert (’11), Juhi Singhal (’13), Phillíp Solér (’14), Michelle Solis (’16), May Tongnok (’15-’16), Antonio Upia (’18), Constance Vidor (’14), Albert Wang (’17-18), Xavier Williams (’13-14), Whitney Wong (’15), Stephanie Yee (’12-’18), Lauren Zavaglia (’18), Jie Zhao (’15), Patrick Zheng (’16-’18)
Teams from: Wolff Olins, George Jackson Academy, Avenues: The World School, Riley’s Way Foundation Youth Advisory Council, The Garden School
Max Dietshe (annual report ’15), Breauna Hagan (volunteer plan ’15), Stroock, Stroock & Lavan LLP (legal ’15), Angela Khermouch (photography ’15), Lawyers Alliance for New York (legal ’14), Maureen Naff (pitch deck creation ’13), Shannon Tomai, Apex Law (legal ’12)
Joana Torres (sign kiosk ’16), Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP, with Prof. J. Meejin Yoon of MIT (Uni carts, tower, benches ’11-16, with Eric Höweler, Meejin Yoon, Parker Lee, Ryan Murphy, Thena Tak, James Coleman, David Costanza, Jeremy Jih, and Alexander William Marshall)
Bill Bancroft Furniture, Jaywalk, Beartown, Höweler + Yoon Architecture, LLP (with Jeremy Jih, David Costanza, Alexander William Marshall, Kelly Shaw, Sung Woo Jang, Max Wong, Joanna Rodriguez-Noyola, James Coleman, Cyrus Dochow, Parker Lee, and Thena Tak)
Board of Directors
Tina Gonzalez Barton
Jane Sujen Bock
Past Advisory Panel Members