Shelja Touri

     Shelja Touri is Australian born and now resides in Burlington County. She is an entrepreneur, community AND social activist, wife, and mother. Shelja has worked in human services for over 25 years, and, specifically, in social work specializing in youth-focused therapy, intervention, and support. As founder and chairperson of the 501c3 organization, D.E.O.N. (Diversity & Equal Opportunity Network), she has spearheaded intiatives that focus on improving equity and combatting racial disparities by improving school curriculum to include both local and national COMPLETE American History. This encompasses the proper execution of the Amistad Bill and the proposal of curriculum that addresses indigenous history. 

     DEON has developed working partnerships with schools, school boards, government officials, and like-minded organizations. With the intention of continuing to grow and embrace race, and inclusiveness thus propelling community-level participation and engagement.

    In DEON's inaugural year, it managed to make changes in the community of Evesham and Marlton by partnering with local council and bringing the first Juneteenth celebration, Cultural Day, and Diwali Events. In addition, DEON has donated vast amounts of diverse books to the Evesham Township School District and maintained local youth involvement with DEON initiatives. Shelja has worked with local legislatures to draft indigenous curriculum legislation and was recognized as South Jersey Magazine's October 2021 Issue as a "2021 Superwoman".

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