Aaron (he/him/his) is a community mediator and restorative justice practitioner committed to relational peacebuilding and community-driven efforts to promote justice and repair harms.
With a Master of Arts in Conflict Transformation from the Center for Justice & Peacebuilding in
Harrisonburg, VA, Aaron has nurtured a range of partnerships with community organizations,
non-profits, legal system stakeholders, and educational entities. Aaron came to Pittsburgh in
2016 to practice restorative justice, first with the Center for Victims’ Victim Offender Dialogue
program and then with the Center on Race and Social Problems’ Just Discipline Project at the
University of Pittsburgh. In Spring of 2020 Aaron joined the founding efforts for Just Mediation
Pittsburgh, an organization that harnesses community mediation as a tool to prevent evictions
by mediating landlord-tenant disputes
Aaron lives in Wilkinsburg and enjoys soccer, porch sits, and massive portions of ice cream.
María Núñez-Varela (she/her/hers) is originally from Mexico. She has a master’s degree in Project Management, a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Design, and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion certification from Cornell University. She developed an early passion for community and economic development, participating as a Project Leader in a program focused on promoting sustainable product development to increase revenues in indigenous regions of Mexico, analyzing demographic, geographic, economic, and cultural characteristics of the region.
Before joining JMP, Maria worked as a Community Manager at the Pittsburgh Hispanic Development Corporation, overseeing the Housing Initiative, Employment Program, and Community Program. One of the things she valued most about working for PHDC was being able to provide stability to families from diverse backgrounds through affordable housing in quality neighborhoods. In addition, she was also able to connect employees with employers.
Just Mediation Pittsburgh's commitment to preventing housing eviction using mediation as a compassionate and self-determination tool resonates with her personally and professionally.
This commitment makes her proud to be part of JMP as the Program Manager and a Community Mediator.
Maria is a Flamenco instructor and performer, and she enjoys long walks, nature, and traveling
Director of Operations
Anna (she/her/hers) moved to Pittsburgh in 2015 and began her social work career while working with women who were experiencing homelessness. She then obtained her Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Communities, Organizations, and Social Action (COSA) from the University of Pittsburgh. She has worked with nonprofits in the areas of homelessness, career development, and immigration and is passionate about making the world a better place for all.
Before joining Just Mediation Pittsburgh as the Intake Specialist, Anna worked as a service coordinator for the ISAC program at Casa San Jose. Her work included providing referrals for housing, rental assistance, healthcare, and education, as well as advocating for clients to receive better services. She enjoys working with people from all backgrounds and is excited to work with JMP to provide mediation services to the community.
Anna enjoys playing with her cats Mia and Snuggles, taking long walks, and spending time with her family.
Lead Intake Specialist
Amethy (she/her/hers) is a Pittsburgh native who spent nearly a decade traveling and living in various communities around the country. While completing two years of service with AmeriCorps, Amethy found her passion for public service in the form of housing stability. She spent several years on the Women Build Committee through Habitat for Humanity - Portland/Metro East, teaching other womxn how to build their homes and the homes of their neighbors. While she worked as the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the City of Portland, she educated community members and provided them resources to prepare their homes and families for natural disasters.
Before joining the Just Mediation team, Amethy worked as the Housing Stabilization Coordinator for YWCA for Greater Pittsburgh, where she worked closely with tenants and property owners to find common ground and prevent evictions. Her passion for community and housing is evident in the time and care she puts into her work. She believes that decent, affordable housing is a human right and oftentimes resolvable conflicts can create unnecessary obstacles for tenants and landlords alike. Amethy serves as the Secretary for her Community Development Corporation with a focus on building a thriving, diverse community through equitable engagement.
Amethy enjoys traveling with her husband, party planning, playing in the garden, and snuggling her fur babies.
Sabrina Richie (she/her/hers) graduated from California University of Pennsylvania with a
Bachelors in Science, General Education, with a focus on Social Work. During her college
years she worked primarily in the food service industry before working in the mental health field.
She worked as a mental health technician with the Mental Health Association of Washington
County for about three years before entering the realm of Housing Stabilization.
Sabrina was a customer service representative working on Allegheny County's Emergency Rental Assistance Program, which launched in March 2021, as a COVID rent relief program. Developing a strong passion for housing stabilization work, Sabrina is ecstatic to continue to learn and grow in the field with Just Mediation Pittsburgh.
Sabrina enjoys spending time with her animals, gardening, and being outdoors. Sabrina is also
an avid gamer and enjoys spending time during the cold months of the year playing her Xbox
with friends online.
Jaylon (he/him/his) is originally from Hattiesburg, Mississippi and has lived in Pittsburgh for 4 years. He attended William Carey University and received a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Mass Communication concentrating in Electronic Media and News Production. Most recently, Jaylon was the Talent Development Lead at Stitch Fix and collaborated on various Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) initiatives and oversaw the creation and launch of a DEI strategic plan that partnered with local Pittsburgh nonprofits to provide resources and career coaching to underrepresented communities. Additionally, he collaborated with other regional leads to reframe our work through a lens of equity and inclusion. This spanned from the hiring process, daily communications, to operational approaches.
Jaylon loves to be outside and enjoys movies, and live music. He love to travel as well, and tries to take a few trips a year. Hawaii is his favorite spot.
Shay Park (they/them/theirs) is a part-time graduate student in an online Master of Library and Information Science program at Valdosta State University. They are also a current board member of Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid (PRWA) and a research assistant for the Sounding Spirit Collaborative, a digital archive of gospel music held at Emory University.
Before joining JMP, Shay worked as database coordinator at Winchester Thurston School and a customer service representative at the Pennsylvania Association of Notaries, as well as a barista at several cafes in Pittsburgh and in Boston. Their various interests and experiences are united by the desire to connect people to what they are looking for, be it information, housing, a cup of coffee, etc.
Shay enjoys reading magazines, playing video games, grocery shopping, and making music.
Allison (she/her/hers) is a dedicated social service professional, committed to promoting justice, equity, and inclusion.
Equipped with a Bachelor's Degree in Political Science, specializing in Political Theory and American Politics, complemented by a Minor in Gender, Sexuality and Women Studies, from The University of Pittsburgh, Allison has worked to refine her communication, interpersonal, and collaborative skills, while always emphasizing the intersectional and equitable utilization of resources and the creation of inclusive programs.
Her experience includes her position as Community Resource Coordinator at the supportive housing nonprofit, Sisters Place, where she created partnerships and collaborated with community organizations, worked closely with community members seeking support and resources, and orchestrated successful events and projects benefiting clients. Prior to that, Allison fostered her passion for community-based social service in other fields such as childcare and customer service.
Allison’s hobbies include reading, tending to her many plants, hanging out with her cats, trying new restaurants, and taking long walks around her neighborhood.
Lyss moved to Pittsburgh in July 2021 to pursue a Master’s degree in Social Work. As Lyss
began this journey, they realized that transformative and restorative justice work in the social
work sphere was severely lacking and underdeveloped. Lyss began their mediation journey as a
Community Mediator at Just Mediation Pittsburgh, hoping to hone skills that relied less on the
carceral judicial system and more on the power of community care and intervention. By
developing these mediation skills, she hoped to take this knowledge surrounding conflict and
community and further develop that in domestic violence advocacy.
Before working with the Just Mediation team, Lyss worked as a case manager and domestic
violence advocate for the Domestic Violence Center of Chester County. Domestic violence
advocacy has been a long, winding path for her that began back during her undergraduate years
in 2015 as a 24-hour hotline advocate at Centre Safe. Within these roles, Lyss’s responsibilities
included case management, weekly counseling, information and referral services, legal advocacy,
and emergency and transitional housing assistance.
Lyss’s major life goals are to continue expanding restorative justice practices, including
mediation, throughout their community and beyond. As Lead Mediator at JMP, Lyss hopes to
further develop programs that can meet members of communities where they are, especially as
these programs relate to intimate partner violence.
On her off time, Lyss enjoys film photography, reading, cooking, and watching their cats engage
in upmost shenanigans. Lyss has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and a minor in Spanish from
Penn State University.
Just Mediation Pittsburgh has over sixty-five community mediators trained to respond to the specific needs of landlords and tenants in housing disputes.