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Executive director

Brittany Merritt Steadley (she/her)

Brittany joined the Steve Fund in August 2021 as the Executive Director. Brittany oversees all aspects of the Steve Fund’s national operations, strategy, governance, programs, partnerships, and financial management. 

Prior to joining the Steve Fund, she spent eight years at Peer Health Exchange (PHE) in leadership roles, culminating in the position of Chicago Executive Director. As the Chicago Executive Director, she was responsible for cultivating new and existing funding sources to support the growth of the program in the Midwest, managing and growing the Chicago Board of Directors and providing fiscal and organizational oversight for Midwest programming. Brittany held other positions at PHE as the Chicago Director of Program & Partnerships and as the Chicago Program Director. In those roles, she focused on the active pursuit of alternative funding strategies complementary to traditional philanthropic revenue streams, deepening of community partnerships, and oversight of the development, implementation, growth and evaluation of the local program.

Brittany also served as the Chief Program Officer at Umoja Student Development Corporation where she was responsible for the oversight, vision, and strategy of Umoja’s program portfolio across Umoja’s core areas of college and career readiness, restorative justice, social and emotional learning, and professional development within Chicago Public Schools, the state of Illinois and nationally.

Motivated by her personal and professional life experiences, Brittany is passionate about increased mental health, self-esteem, academic performance, responsible social behaviors, and leadership skills for young people of color.

Brittany earned a Master of Arts in Sports Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Howard University. 

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Senior Medical Director

Annelle B. Primm, M. D., MPH, is the Steve Fund’s Senior Medical Director. During her career, Dr. Primm has been a physician executive at the American Psychiatric Association; a Senior Psychiatrist Adviser to Urban Behavioral Associates; a medical educator, administrator and clinician at Johns Hopkins Hospital Community Psychiatry Program; an editor of the books, Disparities in Psychiatric Care and Women in Psychiatry: Personal Perspectives; and a lecturer and video producer on the mental health of diverse and underserved populations. Well known for her leadership of community collaborations, Dr. Primm is the Convener and Chair of the All Healers Mental Health Alliance, a national network of mental health professionals, health advocates and faith community leaders that facilitates culturally tailored responses to the mental health needs of people affected by disasters.

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Program Lead

Arissa Koines is the Program Lead, she manages and provides administrative oversight to programs and services for high schools, higher education institutions, and nonprofit organizations.

Previously, she worked at the University of Michigan at the Rackham Graduate School on their Summer Research Opportunity Program. In this role, she identified recruitment and engagement opportunities for students who are underrepresented in graduate school. She also conducted research at the National Center of Institutional Diversity to better understand the experiences of scholars of color who study their own communities. In particular, their views on the social utility of scholarship and public engagement through the production and dissemination of scholarship.

Prior to her work at the University of Michigan, Arissa served at College Possible where she had the opportunity to work with students from low-income backgrounds. Later she transitioned to the program team where she evaluated and developed the curriculum, training plan, and resources of the college program.

Motivated by her own life experiences, Arissa is passionate about supporting and celebrating the unique skills and experiences students of color bring to institutions and communities.

Arissa earned a Master’s in Higher Education from the University of Michigan and holds a dual degree in Sociology and Advocacy & Social Change from Loyola University Chicago.

Development Coordinator

Haddiyyah Ali is the Development Coordinator at The Steve Fund. She previously served as development coordinator at The Governor’s Prevention Partnership where she managed daily operations for fund development and external affairs. Haddiyyah served in AmeriCorps as an EdCorpCT mentor, providing daily academic and socioemotional support to chronically absent sixth graders and increasing family engagement to improve academic outcomes for at-risk youth. She is a published opinion columnist who writes and engages other writers on issues of race, religion, and gender and has lectured on her experiences as a Black woman writing in the digital age. Haddiyyah is a racial justice organizer and was awarded by the Connecticut Women’s Education and Legal fund for her work advancing the rights of women and girls of color.

Haddiyyah earned a dual Bachelors in political science and africana studies from the University of Connecticut. She has lectured across the state on Black Muslims in America and other issues related to policy and equity.