Kanileah Anderson

Kanileah Anderson, born in Newark, is currently residing here with her husband and daughter.

A Master’s level social worker, Kanileah earned her degrees at Rutgers University Livingston College and the Graduate School of Social Work.

A consummate advocate for children and families, Kanileah has always worked directly with youth and families starting in the early nineties with the Youth Advocate Program (YAP) of Middlesex County.

Kanileah then pivoted and worked for a brief time at the Lennard Clinic as a substance abuse counselor and ultimately as the Clinic’s Supervising HIV Counselor in 1997 at the height of the epidemic.

In August 1997, Kanileah began her 26-year career with the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, formerly DYFS. Serving in many capacities including investigator, Litigation Specialist and adoption supervisor. Kanileah has accomplished much including finalizing forever homes of at least forty children in 2006-2007.

Beyond graduation from Rutgers, Kanileah also has a Post-Bacculareate Certificate in Child Advocacy from Montclair University, a certificate in Violence Against Women and Children from Rutgers University and is a Department of Children and Family’s Data Fellow and a DCF Substance Use Disorder Fellow.

Kanileah has served on the Board of Trustees at the Lennard Clinic and served as the Board’s President from 2005 to 2015. A founding board member of Newark GALS (Girls Acquiring Life Skills) Inc., Kanileah serves as the treasurer of this Newark based non-profit organization to date.

As a mother of a young adult with autism, Kanileah has been engaged and active in ensuring that her daughter and all of her peers have the most equitable and fulfilling school experience academically and socially. Kanileah remained active in Newark SEPAC (Special Education Advisory Council) for many years and had been a parent leader and advisor to parents district wide.

Since 1998, Kanileah has volunteered countless hours with local grassroots organizations doing activities such as voter registration and community outreach. Kanileah’s other community activities include graduation from LISC’S Newark Resident Leadership Academy in 2017 and then serving as a member on the Neighborhood Grant’s selection committee.

Also active in the Muslim community, Kanileah and Newark GALS, Inc. have held an annual iftar (Ramadan break fast) for the past 10 years and she proudly led the salat for about 100 sisters at the inaugural iftar in 2013.

Continuing the legacy of her grandparents Leonard and Wilnora Holman and her mother Kathleen Witcher, Kanileah will join the school board with every intention of moving the district’s mission forward with the utmost integrity as an education advocate and change agent.

  • Born and raised in Newark
  • Married mother of one daughter who attends American History High School Transition Program
  • Legacy member of the Newark Board of Education following her grandmother Wilnora Holman who served in 1989
  • Serving in her 26th year at the Division of Child Protection and Permanency, presently as a supervisor at the State Central Registry/Child Abuse Hotline
  • Founding member and Trustee of non-profit Newark G.A.L.S.
  • Former trustee and Board President at The Lennard Clinic
  • Master’s degree in social work, Rutgers University Graduate School of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Rutgers University, Livingston College
  • Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Child Advocacy, Montclair University
  • Certificate in Violence Against Women and Children, Rutgers University
  • Graduate of LISC Neighborhood Resident Leadership Academy

Learn About Our Other 2024 Candidates for Newark Board of Education

Vereliz Santana
Helena Vinhas
Dawn Haynes

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