Meet the Team
Akilah Stewart began her career with the Arizona Department of Child Safety in 2006, starting as a direct case manager and eventually rising to In-Home Program Manager. In her role as Program Supervisor, she expertly evaluated the performance of specialists and ensured the safety of families and children during investigations. As In-Home Program Manager, she provided direct oversight to 7 program supervisors and their staff of 76 employees. Mrs. Stewart also co-chaired the African American Kids in Care Disparity group and consulted on numerous cases to promote child safety through the least restrictive means.
She has a Certified Public Manager Program certification from Arizona State University and a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion certificate from Cornell University. Mrs. Stewart served as Program Director for Our Sister Our Brother since March 2021 and has been instrumental in program development and establishing the Lived Experience Experts group, providing professional development and coaching to its members. As Director and CEO, Mrs. Stewart aims to continue Our Sister Our Brother’s mission to empower and support families involved in the foster care system, by educating the community on policy and procedures and providing preventative services to help families thrive. Her goal is to create a more just and equitable child welfare system for all.
Akilah Stewart (She/Her)
With a dual Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish Literature and Culture from Arizona State University, Julia Erasun brings over 9 years of child welfare expertise to OSB. Starting her career with the Arizona Department of Child Safety in 2013 as an In-Home and Ongoing Specialist, she provided direct case management to families and children. As a mentor for an In-Home unit, she demonstrated her dedication and leadership qualities, eventually becoming a Program Supervisor, overseeing and evaluating the performance of specialists who focused on preventative services for families and children. Ms. Erasun continued her career in child welfare, serving as an Ongoing Manager for a tribe in Arizona for almost 2 years.
Her expertise includes advocating for marginalized families, and creating positive change by securing funding to support community-based initiatives aimed at improving the lives of families and children. Ms. Erasun’s goal is to raise awareness, promote positive outcomes for children and families, and secure resources to address racial disparities creating a more equitable future for all.
Julia Erasun (She/Her)
Samantha Aiello graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Psychology and received a certificate in Anti-Racism from the University of Colorado Boulder. Starting her career with the Arizona Department of Child Safety in 2016, she held various roles including Ongoing Specialist, In-home Specialist, and Program Specialist. Her work has involved direct case management, investigating reports of abuse or neglect, and preventative services. As a Program Specialist for the Maricopa East In-Home Section, Ms. Aiello compiled case-related data, completed case reviews, and analyzed data trends to support the Department goals and objectives.
Ms. Aiello is passionate about promoting social justice and empowering communities to address the racial disparities that exist in the child welfare system. Her expertise includes educating the community on child welfare policies and procedures, advocating for marginalized families, creating educational curriculum that promotes equity, and collaborating with community members and organizations to address systemic issues. Ms. Aiello's goal is to empower communities to advocate for themselves and promote positive outcomes for children and families.
Samantha Aiello (She/Her)
Camille Sledge is a mother of 3 and co-developer of the 501c3 School of Hip-hop PHX (SOHH). SOHH is a mentoring and music program which uses hip-hop influence to reach underrepresented intercity youth.
She is also the lead vocalist for The Phoenix Afrobeat Orchestra, a vocally assertive community advocate outreach and protest music project, and sings lead vocals for Sister Sledge with her mom and aunts (We Are Family mantra for the world).
Camille states, "Our Sister Our Brother has shown me that my lived experience with the DCS and CPS system should not be a commonality. I know that as a community activist, I can have a voice in this matter. I am hoping we can make a change in our community."
Lived Experience Expert
Tyra Smith is certified Protective Factors Trainer, mother of four boys and fierce advocate for parental rights. She is currently training with Prevent Child Abuse Arizona and using her experience and voice to amplify the need for change.
Lived Experience Expert
Bio coming soon!