Founding Principal, Mozaic Strategies
Susan Taylor Batten
President & CEO, Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE)
Chief Program Officer & Assistant Executive Director, William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust
Valeria Do Vale
Lead Coordinator, Student Immigrant Movement
Director of Administration & Finance, Hyams Foundation
Eileen de los Reyes
Former Deputy Superintendent for Academics, Boston Public Schools
Carlos Rojas Álvarez
Director of Special Projects, Youth on Board
Senior Policy Analyst, National Education Association
Julian Vasquez Heilig
Dean, University of Kentucky College of Education
Vice President for Transformation and Organizational Effectiveness, W.K. Kellogg Foundation
Grammy Award Winning Record & Entertainment Executive, Film Producer & Film/TV Music Supervisor
Michael S. Wotorson
Senior Community Investments Officer, Hartford Foundation for Public Giving
Carolina Espinal is a seasoned strategist with expertise in public affairs, issues management, and inclusion & diversity. Most recently, she served as a senior advisor with Brunswick Group, a global strategic communications firm supporting Fortune 500 companies in a range of sectors including education. As a lead architect of an inclusion & diversity specialist offer, she supported the launch of CEO Action on Diversity & Inclusion™ - the largest CEO-driven initiative focused on D&I in the workplace. In the public sector, she has worked closely with leading nonprofit organizations in the U.S. including the NAACP, Unidos US, the Children’s Defense Fund and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Susan Taylor Batten has over 25 years of experience directing, evaluating and advising public and philanthropic efforts to improve outcomes for children and families. She joined the Association of Black Foundation Executives (ABFE) as President and CEO in January 2009. In this role, she leads the organization’ s philanthropic advising and programming on responsive philanthropy in Black communities for foundation leaders, donors and aligned partners. Prior to joining ABFE, Ms. Batten was a Senior Associate with the Annie E. Casey Foundation where she served as staff in the Community Change Initiatives Unit and coordinated a portfolio on equity, diversity and inclusion. In the public sector, Ms. Batten worked as a Senior Analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture where she directed research and evaluation on food assistance programs. In 2008, she was named Change Agent of the Year by The Schott Foundation for Public Education. She is a co-founder of the Race and Equity in Philanthropy Group and also serves on the Board of the United Philanthropy Forum.
Dr. Dorian Burton, Ed.L.D., is currently the Chief Program Officer and Assistant Executive Director at the William R. Kenan, Jr. Charitable Trust in Chapel Hill, NC, a foundation that supports building healthy and whole communities. He was formerly the Co-Director of The TandemED Initiative for Black Male Achievement and Community Improvement at Harvard University Law School's Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. Prior to Harvard, Dr. Burton worked as an independent consultant with various non-profits and school districts between Harlem, NY; Houston, TX; and Newark, NJ.
Dr. Burton started his professional career working for the National Football League and also served as the founding Program Director of the Education Pioneers Houston Office, the Houston Director of Stand for Children, and the Chief Strategy Officer for TandemED. In addition to his doctorate degree from Harvard, Burton holds a Master’s degree in higher education from the Steinhardt School of Education at New York University.
During Dr. Burton’s tenure at Harvard as a Wasserman Family Fellow, he was selected to the Dean's Committee on equity and diversity, and served as a Teaching Fellow for Lani Guinier at Harvard Law School. Additionally, Dr. Burton was a Gordon Ambach Fellow with the National Governors Association Education Division and The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, as well as a non-Resident Fellow at the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University.
In 2019 Dr. Burton was selected as one of the 2019 Black Enterprise Modern Man of Distinction, and honored by The Root 100 as one of the 100 most influential African Americans in the country. He has his own blog on Huffington Post and tweets frequently @Dorian_Burton.
Valeria Do Vale is the Lead Coordinator of the Student Immigrant Movement. She is a John D. O’Bryant School of Math and Science graduate, and currently double majoring in Sociology and Political Science Northeastern University. Originally from a small under-resourced village in Northern Brazil, Valeria is a passionate advocate of immigrant rights and economic justice.
Mark Paley joined the Hyams Foundation in 2001. Before coming to Hyams, he was the CFO at YouthBuild USA where he helped to build the national youth servicing non-profit to a nationally recognized network of groups working with out of school youth. His first position in Boston was with Boston Neighborhood Housing, which financed affordable housing rehab projects in three Boston neighborhoods. Mark was part of the initial steering committee of the Non-Profit Financial Managers Group, which continues to meet monthly. Mark earned his B.A. at the University of California, Santa Cruz, and a Masters of Management at the University of California, Davis.
Eileen de los Reyes is the former Deputy Superintendent for Academics for the Boston Public Schools; she retired summer 2017. Previously she served as the Assistant Superintendent for English Language Learners (ELLs). She also worked as a Research Associate at the Mauricio Gaston Institute at the University of Massachusetts Boston and from 1996 – 2002 was an assistant professor at the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Ms. de los Reyes was born in Puerto Rico and moved to the US in 1972. She is the co-author of Pockets of Hope: How Students and Teachers Change the World (Bergin & Garvey), which focuses on the creation of democratic classrooms where students are educated in the practice of social and political change.
Carlos Rojas Álvarez is the Director of Special Projects for Youth on Board where he is spearheading the ListeningWorks project to address the nation’s current political climate of hate and division. Prior to that, he served as the interim Director for the Boston Education Justice Alliance (BEJA), which he helped to establish while in high school. As a student, Carlos became a leader of the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) and Youth on Board’s Boston Student Advisory Council (BSAC) program, where he led major advocacy campaigns and sat on the Boston School Committee as the student representative in 2011-2012. When his status barred him from enrolling in college, he became an Education Policy Associate at Youth on Board and the New England representative to the National Coordinating Committee of the United We Dream (UWD) Network. He served as SIM’s Campaign Coordinator from 2013-2016 before becoming the Student Field Director for the successful Save our Public Schools campaign.
Kyle Serrette is a senior policy analyst at the National Education Association (NEA). He works with NEA affiliates and allies to form education coalitions, develop campaign strategies, deepen NEA affiliate and ally understanding of key school improvement policies, and helps coordinate national and regional campaigns that work to bolster our public education system. School districts across the country have adopted school improvement policies that he has helped craft.
Serrette is one of the founders of the Community School Institute and he led the creation of the NEA Community School Blended Learning course for school and community stakeholders to learn Community School best practices. He also is one of the founders of the Alliance to Reclaim Our Schools (AROS). He is a member of the Steering Committee for the Partnership for the Future of Learning. Kyle has 20 years of campaign experience and has received awards recognizing his role in organizing and policy victories. Previously, Kyle worked for the Center for Popular Democracy, Change to Win, SEIU, AFSCME, and as a high school as a chemistry teacher.
Julian Vasquez Heilig leads nearly 3,000 students, staff and faculty as the Dean of the University of Kentucky College of Education. While at UK, the College of Education achieved its highest ever U.S. News national ranking, implemented successful enrollment and diversity initiatives and co-created strategic planning for COVID-19.
His research and practice has been primarily focused on K-12 education curriculum, policy and leadership that impacts equity and innovation. A prolific scholar, in the last decade alone, he has authored nearly 50 publications. His background in K-12 education also includes working in the Houston Independent School District and serving as a 4th grade 21st Century Learning Program instructor in East Palo Alto, California.
Dr. Vasquez Heilig has conveyed invited testimony in state and national legislative bodies and volunteered expertise and provided empirically-based input focused on community-based education reform for non-profits, foundations, legislators, educators and other education stakeholders in many states and countries. He has also served as a volunteer education policy advisor and provided input for presidential and gubernatorial campaigns.
He has been honored with more than 30 teaching, research and service recognitions including Harvard’s Education Next top ten K-12 education policy voices in social media, Diversity in Education Magazine Multicultural Champion, and the passage of California Assembly Resolution 1459— which commended his state and national impact in the field of K-12 education.
Dr. Vasquez Heilig received his Ph.D. in educational administration and policy analysis and a master’s degree in sociology from Stanford University. He also earned a master’s in higher education from the University of Michigan.
Dr. Alandra Washington has over 25 years of experience leading both local and national initiatives to improve equitable outcomes for children, families and communities. She currently serves as Vice President for Transformation and Organizational Effectiveness at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she is responsible for overall functions of enterprise wide transformation, redesign and change management, and efficient operations to maximize overall organizational performance excellence.
Joining the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in 2002, Dr. Washington served as Program Director on the Philanthropy and Volunteerism team. She was responsible for the design and execution of national initiatives which fostered the adoption of racial equity grantmaking frameworks and strengthening identity-based philanthropic networks and donor engagement. In addition, she served as Director of Programs responsible for leading programmatic strategy development and execution across early childhood and K-3 systems, employment equity and entrepreneurship.
Prior to joining the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, Dr. Washington was Chief Executive Officer of The Greater East St. Louis Community Fund where she provided leadership toward the organization’s mission to move residents up and out of poverty through equitable community development strategies. She also served as Executive Director of New Spirit Neighborhood Organizing Office of East St. Louis.
Dr. Washington has served on the board of Women’s Funding Network, Association for Black Foundation Executives, Living Cities, GenerationOn, Aspen Institute’s Ascend Program Advisory Board and Asset Funders Network Steering Committee. She currently serves on Monitor Institute’s What’s Next in Philanthropy Advisory Team.
Dr. Washington earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration and a Master of Public Administration, both from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville and a Doctorate in Education from Western Michigan University.
Amir Windom is regarded as one of the nation’s top young leaders and creative minds of his generation.
As an executive of A&R and Creative Services, Amir has been a key piece in the careers of some of today’s biggest stars, including Bruno Mars, Kanye West, Pharrell Williams, Lupe Fiasco and Trey Songz, to name just a few. Amir’s distinguished career has provided him opportunities to creatively contribute to numerous GRAMMY Award-winning songs, albums and film soundtracks that have sold millions of records and won many awards.
Amir is currently a television and film music supervisor, producing and placing music, as well as creating original scores and designing creative strategies for major film companies, such as Sony Pictures, Universal Pictures and Lionsgate Films. His projects include feature films like Little; Collateral Beauty; Act Like A Lady, Think Like A Man; Why Did I Get Married 2; Bad Dad Rehab; and Stomp The Yard 2. Amir’s projects also include highly-rated network and cable television series like Insecure(HBO), Being Mary Jane (BET), ALPHAS (SyFy),and Entourage (HBO).
Amir executive produced and music supervised the critically-acclaimed film Canal Street, starring lead actor Bryshere Grayof FOX’s Empire, that debuted in theaters across the nation.
Amir has also helped develop global marketing campaigns for major brands like The Coca-Cola Company (Summer Olympics 2016 & Respect Your Verse), Kodak (So Kodak feat Drake & Rihanna), ESPN, and more.
In February 2020, Amir made history as he was a part of a collective that launched Black News Channel, the first major tv network that airs 24 hour news and original programming specifically catered to the African American audience. The network launched to over 75 million homes and devices via DirecTV, Comcast, Dish and Charter/Spectrum to name a few.
Amir has been a featured speaker around the globe on numerous tours and conferences, as well as at various colleges and universities.
He has worked closely with numerous national organizations, such as 100 Black Men of America, Operation Smile, and the Grammy Foundation to create mentoring and leadership programs. Amir serves on the board of ZT Corporate/Altus Foundation, the Grammy Foundation, and the FAMU Board of Visitors for the School of Journalism.
Michael S. Wotorson is a Senior Community Investments Officer with the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving located in Hartford, Connecticut, where he manages and coordinates grant making and outreach activities in the areas of gun violence reduction, community safety, ex-offender re-entry supports, and student educational progress.
He started his career as a higher education professional at the Central Missouri State University, and then served the American Association of State Colleges & Universities and the National Association of State Universities & Land-Grant Colleges. Wotorson’s civil rights career includes leading and managing the NAACP’s national education policy strategy, managing the Anti-Defamation League’s federally-funded hate crimes prevention project, supporting school improvement efforts at the Mid-Atlantic Equity, and leading a coalition of ten civil rights organizations for the Campaign for High School Equity.
Wotorson previously worked as the founding President/CEO of Resource, Policy, and Strategy Solutions International (RPSI), a multi-service, management consulting practice focused on business growth, investment advisory services, management assistance, marketing, and strategic communications—in the US and West Africa.
Michael Wotorson is also the immediate past Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the National Investment Commission (NIC) of the Republic of Liberia, and he served on the Presidential Economic Management Team (EMT) of the Republic of Liberia, and the Hydro-Carbon Technical Committee of the National Oil Corporation of Liberia (NOCAL). He represented the government of Liberia on the board of Directors of ArcelorMittal, the world’s largest steel and mining corporation.
In the public education arena, Wotorson briefly co-taught 10th grade social studies in Columbia, Missouri and periodically served as a consultant with the Office of Bilingual Education in the District of Columbia public schools in Washington, DC.