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9:30 AM - 10:30 AM EST

Leadership in Uncertain Times

As we explore the dynamics within mentoring relationships, it is essential to recognize how power dynamics, perceptions, and societal issues can influence relationships. This discussion will explore the importance of a healthy balance for creating inclusive communities through a diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism lens. We will think critically about ways to foster inclusive spaces and help mentors build trust using sustainable strategies.

About the panelist: 

Unique Brathwaite has about twenty years of experience within the nonprofit sector. At CRE, she is responsible for fundraising and development, and the thought leadership, marketing, media, and digital media efforts of CRE. She is also responsible for and helping to shape the strategic direction of CRE through her role on the management team, as well as board development. Prior to joining the CRE team, she served as the Executive Director at LIFT-New York, a national nonprofit that supports parents in improving long-term economic security through financial and career coaching. Prior to LIFT, she was the Director of Staff and Program Development at the GO Project, an early academic intervention program, where she focused on program development and evaluation. Before GO, Unique served as the Director of Curricula at iMentor where she designed college and career-focused curricula. She was featured in 2016 New York Nonprofit Media, 40 under 40. Proudly Brooklyn born and raised, Unique is a graduate of public schools and an alumna of Prep for Prep. She graduated from Barnard College and earned her M.A. degree at Rutgers University. Unique continues to evolve in her life’s journey, which includes raising two beautiful sons, a joy she shares with her husband. Also known as a Karaoke Queen, Unique loves karaoke and is always ready for a sing-along or a sing-off!"

Sara Wingerath-Schlanger rejoined Tuesday's Children as the Senior Program Director in September 2017, S.  Sara has worked her entire career in the nonprofit sector focusing on post-loss growth, having been with Tuesday's Children from 2006-2013 as well as previously working for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Massachusetts Bay, Program Director with ArtWorks, the Naomi Cohain Foundation and Executive Director for Special Ops Survivors. Sara earned her B.A. from Hobart and William Smith Colleges, her MPA from Suffolk University, with a concentration in non-profit administration, and her Certificate in Volunteer Administration.  Sara was a founding board member, and past President of, Companion Animal Advocates and is active in her Parent Teacher Organization, the Girl Scouts organization as well as the ENKA Society. She brings a balance of program administration, constituent outreach, strategic partnership and long term growth planning to Tuesday's Children.  Sara is humbled to be working with the families and loved ones of America’s heroes and ensuring that volunteers can become the agents of change in the lives of families of the fallen.  Sara currently lives in Snoqualmie, WA, with her husband, two children, and dog.

Catalina Spinel is responsible for elevating and expanding Candid’s reach across the northeast region by building partnerships and strategies that strengthen the social sector through comprehensive data, training, and insights on philanthropy. Catalina has dedicated her career to creating innovative solutions to social challenges alongside diverse groups of stakeholders. Previously she was Program Manager of Candid’s New York Learning Center. There she connected social sector professionals to the resources they need to thrive. Before joining Candid, she supported the expansion of the District-Charter Collaborative, a program of the New York City Department of Education that facilitates collaboration to improve instructional practices, student outcomes, and eliminate disparities along racial lines. She also led the creation of the United Nations Victims of Terrorism Support Portal, a global resource hub for information on issues pertaining to victims of terrorism. Catalina has consulted for various organizations on their fundraising strategy, including UN Women. Since 2014, she has volunteered as a mentor for iMentor. Catalina holds a Master in Public Administration from Columbia University and a Business bachelor from Universidad de los Andes. She practices Kung Fu and loves riding her bike.

Dudney Sylla serves as Program Director overseeing and supporting special projects including MENTOR’s work on informal mentoring, education, and guide on the intersections of mentoring and masculinity. Previously Dudney worked as a Design Consultant for the Office of Human Capital – Diversity Programs at Boston Public Schools and as a Program Manager at Jobs for the Future. Dudney holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Education from the University of Washington.

Brathwaite - panel
Spinel - Morning
Schlanger - Morning

10:40 AM - 11:50 AM EST

Creating Spaces of Belonging for Disabled Young People

This workshop aims to be a brave space for questions, curiosities, and learning about the disabled community. Join me as we use a number of different resources to have open discussion as well as share some takeaways on how to bring disability equity and understanding into the classroom and society as a whole.

About the presenter: 

Sofiya Cheyenne is a Teaching Artist, Performer, and Disability Advocate/Consultant. She is the Inclusion Director of Little People of America, Co-Chair of The DwarfArtist Coalition, and part of the Disability Advisory Council for ART NY, where she continually advocates for people of short stature on and off the stage. She has appeared on TV shows such as “At Home With Amy Sedaris”, “StartUP” and AUDIENCE Networks “Loudermilk.” Her favorite theatre credits include The BrieflyDead at 59E59, Other World at Bucks County Playhouse, and Guys and Dolls at Theater Under The Stars. Sofiya is a passionate educator and public speaker, she has been teaching throughout New York City for over 10 years. Through sharing her artistry, her story, and educating others, she encourages the power of community, storytelling, and social change. 

Youth Inclusive Board Culture

Nothing about us, without us. How do we include our youth in positions on your board that allow them to lead and guide the building of your work? During this fireside chat, we will spend time lifting up our latest work around inclusion of youth on the board of MENTOR California. Come ready to discuss why it's important, how much it cost and who can support this work!

About the presenter: 

Marcus Strother Marcus Strother is the President and CEO of MENTOR California, the California affiliate of MENTOR: The National Partnership, the unifying national champion for expanding quality mentoring relationships for young people. A father, husband, career educator, youth, and community advocate, he is a 24-year veteran in public education. Marcus spent eight years in the classroom and nine as a high school administrator, most recently as Director of Youth Development at Sacramento City Unified School District (SCUSD). At SCUSD he oversaw the district’s Expanded Learning Programs, Summer Programming, and Boys and Girls of Color initiatives, which included the coordination of the Men’s Leadership Academy (MLA) and Women’s Leadership Academy (WLA). The program focused on supporting youth in the development of their personal social justice framework through civic engagement and community building.

Invitation to Expression: How We Hold Space and Build Relationships from a Teaching Artist Perspective

Creating connections and building relationships are essential in the work that we do. We want to create spaces where young people can flourish and be true in their full expressive selves. Through readily accessible movement activities and an art-making lens, we will share tools to learn about one another, to check-in, radical self-care, and the joy (and risk) of play. Specifically, we will look at the power of choice-making and its connection to finding one’s voice and agency. As we create together using our values as individuals and/or from our organization as content, we will strengthen our intentions behind our future actions and interactions.

About the presenter: 

Donna Costello is a multi-faceted dance artist, continually growing and learning in the vibrant exchange of performing, choreographing and teaching dance. She is committed to fostering joy, investigation, and relationships within the community. She works with an inspiring array of artists performing in apartments, public parks, historic landmark buildings, pools, fields, and stages in the U.S. and abroad. Recent projects include works by choreographers Nicole Mannarino, Jill Sigman/think dance, Carrie Ahern, Kelly Bartnik, Vicky Shick, filmmaker Darryl Hell, visual artist Nick Cave, and theater artist Jennifer Sargent.

She champions the authentic voice of young people and works for leading cultural institutions in New York; currently facilitating in public schools for Brooklyn Arts eXchange (BAX) and the Park Avenue Armory, while working as a dance curriculum specialist for Juilliard’s Global K-12 program. She has deepened and developed programs during her tenure at BAX that include YouthWorks, Dance Performance Workshop, and the Professional Development Initiative for faculty and summer program staff. With BAX she has presented at NYC Arts in Education Roundtable’s Face to Face conference on Redefining Power and Creating Space for Expression. Her choreographic collaborations have been presented by Dixon Place, Chashama, Triskelion, Movement Research at Judson Church, the Flea Theater, Roulette, Estrogenius Festival, Women- in-Motion, Definitive Figures Festival (Co-Producer), and Performatica in Mexico.

Equity in Mentoring Relationships: Program Practitioner Strategies for Building Inclusive Communities 

As we explore the dynamics within mentoring relationships, it is essential to recognize how power dynamics, perceptions, and societal issues can influence relationships. This discussion will explore the importance of a healthy balance for creating inclusive communities through a diversity, equity, inclusion, and antiracism lens. We will think critically about ways to foster inclusive spaces and help mentors build trust using sustainable strategies.

About the presenter: 

Chotsani Williams West serves as the Executive Director of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion for Adelphi University, also leading the Mentoring Program as the inaugural Director. She teaches as an Adjunct Professor within the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Education and Health Sciences. In pursuit of her life’s work within education and social services, she made a purposeful career change from a thriving career in broadcast journalism and the television industry with Children’s Television Workshop – Sesame Street, Home Box Office (HBO), and Showtime Networks, to name a few. Through volunteerism for community-based organizations, she found her passion as a youth and social justice advocate. Chotsani obtained a Master’s degree from Adelphi in Educational Leadership & Technology in 2007 and holds professional certifications from Big Brothers Big Sisters of New York City Center for Training & Fordham University Graduate School of Social Service: Skills to Mentor Youth and Mentoring Supervision. She has a fulfilling career spanning over 20 years in youth and professional development, mentoring leadership, school reform, and social services through a diversity, equity, and inclusion lens. As an equity minded professional, with a flair and natural affinity as a skilled public speaker, she serves as both a facilitator and coach to advance diversity work, with an emphasis in the areas of Implicit Bias, Microagressions, and antiracism practices. Lending expertise to panel discussions and radio programs such as 1240AM WGBB, she is a sought after presenter and consultant. Not for profit organizations including MENTOR New York, Big Brothers, Big Sisters of New York City, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc.’s Leadership Development Institute (LDI) and Successful and Victorious Youth (S.A.V.Y), as well as the Office of Mental Health (OMH) are part of her portfolio. Chotsani continues to coach and guide youth and adults on evidence-based best practices for mentoring and youth development programs with a holistic and bold approach. Chotsani serves on the Board of Directors for the Southern Scholars Initiative, which ensures that college students in the rural south have a successful and rewarding collegiate experience. She proudly leads their mentorship program; training participants, guiding program implementation and offering direct service support for Scholars. Chotsani is a Doctoral Candidate, in Molloy College's Educational Leadership for Diverse Learning Communities Program, which focuses on the importance of diverse curricula, diversity, social justice, and equity in educational spaces. Her research explores leveraging the power of mentoring relationships, equity, access, and opportunity.

Costello - Workshop
Strother - Workshop
Cheyenne - Workshop
WilliamsWest - workshop

12:00 PM - 12:45 PM EST

Clarke - lunch keynot

All-star Exclusive: Championing Self-Care and Self-Advocacy for Young People

Self-care is the best care! In today’s keynote panel we discuss and take a deeper dive into what it means to practice self-care and advocacy, and how this will look for our young people, and how we can help them incorporate this mindset in the various of landscapes they will have to navigate.

About the panelists: 

Keia Clarke is Chief Executive Officer of the New York Liberty, where she leads and manages all business aspects of the Liberty organization, including strategic planning, revenue, P&L, and operations. Additionally, Clarke works with stakeholders on key elements of team business, including growing the fan base, maximizing sales and fan engagement, and improving business performance. Prior to being promoted to CEO in 2020, Clarke was Chief Operating Officer of the team for two seasons where she managed the business and P&L, including strategic planning, budgeting, and day-to-day team business operations. As CEO, Clarke oversees all business-related operations for the Liberty, including the management of the team’s partnership deal with its official regional TV partner, YES Network. In 2019, Clarke led negotiations to ink a first-of-a-kind deal with YES, as there had never been a WNBA game on the network prior to the 2019 season. Clarke is entering her 12th season with the Liberty, previously serving as the Liberty’s Manager of Marketing for four seasons, prior to her promotion to Director in 2015, and Vice President for Team Business Development in 2017. In her marketing roles, she collaborated with Marketing Partnerships, Ticket Sales, Event Presentation, and Community Relations to deliver first class experiences for Liberty fans each summer. Prior to joining the Liberty, Clarke worked on all areas of WNBA business as a member of Team Marketing & Business Operations (TMBO) at the NBA/WNBA league office. She also worked as a Marketing Analyst for Golf Digest Magazine and began her career as an Account Executive for the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Mass. Among her many awards, Clarke was recognized by Crain’s New York Business as a2019 “Notable Woman in the Business of Sports”. In 2020, Clarke was also named to INvolve’s 2020 list of Top 100 Ethnic Minority Executives and Sports Illustrated's The Unrelenting list. Additionally, she serves on the Sports Innovation Lab Women’s Leadership Board. Clarke attended Canisius College where she was a four-year member of the women’s basketball team, graduating in 2003 with a degree in Marketing. She went on to earn a Master’s in Sports Business from New York University in 2006. Clarke resides in New Jersey with her husband, Brian, and their two children, daughter Avery and son Gavin.

Alana Beard - As a philanthropist and entrepreneur, Alana’s mission is to create a cultural shift in how women and girls experience opportunities in school, sports, and business – especially women and people of color. She is Co-Founder of Transition Play, a talent development firm helping female athletes navigate life after sports; Founder and President of the 318 Foundation, a nonprofit focused on improving college, career, and life opportunities for young people in under-resourced areas through mentorship, education, and sport. She served on the Board of Directors for Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. I, where she advised company leaders as they navigated the completion of their IPO through a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) transaction in 2021. She holds Board positions at SmartRent (NYSE: SMRT) and Fifth Wall Acquisition Corp. III. Best known for her storied athletic career, Alana won Championships at every level from high school to the WNBA and internationally. She was the first woman basketball player to have her jersey number retired at Duke University, a four-time WNBA All-Star, an integral piece in leading the Los Angeles Sparks to a WNBA Championship in 2016. On the back end of her career, Alana won back-to-back Defensive Player of the Year Awards in 2017 and 2018. She retired in January 2020 after 15 years. During and after her time in the WNBA, Alana found success as a small business owner, mentor, and advocate for women leaders in technology. After her retirement in 2020, she served as a Senior Associate at Silicon Valley Bank.
Alana holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from Duke University. She completed Harvard Business School’s Crossover into Business program in 2017.

Beard - lunch keynote

1:40 PM - 2:15 PM EST

Dudney - Fireside
SNN - Fireside

Transformative SEL is a Journey

About the presenter: 

Alexandra Lotero is the Director, Research-Practice Partnership at Student Success Network. She is passionate about uplifting voices that often go unheeded by traditional research methods and practices. The research projects she supports position young people and practitioners as change agents and narrators of their own experiences. She is most proud of her work interviewing over 80 youth workers and young people to learn how they create supportive environments. She has shared her findings in tools for practitioners, case studies, reports, workshops, and conference presentations. She also serves on the Steering Committee of the National Network of Education Research-Practice Partnerships. Her parents, both Latin American immigrants, raised her in Queens. A home cook, yogi, and nature lover, you will find her trying out recipes, practicing her headstand, or excitedly pointing out flowers and birds.

Student Success Network (SSN) is a community of practitioners, youth, and researchers leveraging our collective power to transform programming, practice, and policy. SSN first formed when a group of 15 nonprofit leaders in NYC decided it was time to shift their focus beyond traditional academic skills to include social-emotional learning skills they knew were critically important for student success. Influenced by collective impact approaches, these leaders created an SEL measurement tool so they could compare results across all their programs and identify promising practices. For eight years, SSN has been creating a solid foundation for enacting change by sharing experiences, scaling solutions, and leveraging the power of a community.

Adopting a Mentoring Mindset

There are some critical attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors that serve as the foundation of being an effective mentor. It may be helpful to think of these as contributing to a “mentoring mindset”— a way of thinking and interacting that places young people at the center and allows those of us serving as mentors to be true partners in a young person’s journey. In this session, we will explore four components of a mentoring mindset and how these principles show up in our work with young people.

About the presenter: 

Dudney Sylla serves as Program Director overseeing and supporting MENTOR’s systems work including mentoring mindsets, Relationship-Centered Schools Strategy, Virtual Mentoring strategy and guide on the intersections of mentoring and masculinity. Previously Dudney worked as a Design Consultant for the Office of Human Capital – Diversity Programs at Boston Public Schools and as a Program Manager at Jobs for the Future. Dudney holds a Bachelor’s in Sociology and a Master’s in Education from the University of Washington.


2:20 PM - 2:55 PM EST

Candid - Fireside

Fundraising in Uncertain Times...

Nonprofit organizations will need to be prepared and creative about how they sustain the good work in the coming years. Join Candid to discover fundraising tips to help you navigate the philanthropy landscape during a crisis and identify key resources that will give your fundraising a competitive edge.

About the presenter:

Tracy Kaufman is a Network Engagement Manager at Candid, leading workshops related to nonprofit sustainability, management, fundraising, and other essential issues relevant to philanthropy and the social sector. Her trainings primarily serve nonprofit professionals, but also audiences comprised of funders, artists, students, and academics. Tracy is a lead instructor for Candid’s three-day Proposal Writing Boot Camp and teaches a popular workshop on outcomes and measurement. As one of Candid’s training experts, webinar instructors, and a frequent public speaker, she has spoken at conferences, most notably the United Nations, and has represented Candid on numerous panel discussions. In addition, Tracy provides training and support to Funding Information Network (FIN) partners – libraries, nonprofit resource centers, and other institutions – and provides philanthropy and fundraising information services to individuals and local organizations. Her relationship with Candid began in 2007, when she began working for Foundation Center, one of Candid’s two legacy organizations. Previously, Tracy held positions with the Association of American Publishers and New York Public Library.  Tracy earned her Bachelors of Arts in Writing Seminars from John Hopkins University, and studied Library and Information Science at the Pratt Institute.

Candid - Foundation Center and GuideStar joined forces in 2019 to become Candid, a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Every year, millions of nonprofits spend trillions of dollars around the world. Candid finds out where that money comes from, where it goes, and why it matters. Through research, collaboration, and training, Candid connects people who want to change the world to the resources they need to do it. Candid’s data tools on nonprofits, foundations, and grants are the most comprehensive in the world.

Planning for SuccessDescription...

CRE partners with organizations to drive real change in communities. Together, we work to reduce poverty, promote equity, and increase opportunity.

About the presenter: 

Elan Joseph is a Consultant for CRE and is insightful, strategic, and always looking for a path to enhance services offered to clients. At CRE, Elan partners with nonprofits, foundations, and city agencies across a number of focus areas such as strategic planning, board development, strategic alliances, and diversity, equity, inclusion, and access (DEIA). Internally he co-managed the organization’s COVID-19 crisis response effort and has contributed to thought leadership within the sector, publishing an article regarding the role of nonprofits in respect to civic engagement. Before joining CRE, Elan spent over three years in the private sector working for IBM as a management consultant. In this role, he gained experience in project management, current state assessments, gap analysis, and roadmap creation. During this time, he also served nonprofits through IBM’s pro bono consulting initiative, GIVE, where he worked to develop targeted marketing strategies for clients. While in college, he volunteered at the Universidad Externado in Bogotá, Colombia, for a summer, where he worked with an international team of consultants to provide targeted business assessments to small-medium enterprises in the metropolitan area. He has advanced proficiency in Spanish and intermediate proficiency in Turkish. Elan has a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from Columbia University.

Community Resource Exchange (CRE) is a nonprofit consulting firm that provides the strategies and tools needed to build sustainable, high-performing organizations that improve people’s lives and drive social change. We partner with nonprofits, foundations, and government agencies to set ambitious goals for success – and then we help them get there. Together, we work to reduce poverty, promote equity, and increase opportunity. As a nonprofit ourselves, we believe that social sector organizations deserve accessible solutions to the challenges they face. Our diverse team of expert consultants provide customized strategies that blend deep consulting experience and operational expertise to help leaders succeed in an environment of complexity and change. We tap the transformative power of assessment, data, strategy, leadership, and collaboration to help organizations plan smartly, operate effectively, and produce results.

CRE - Fireside

3:00 PM - 3:45 PM EST

Galicia - Youth Panel

Youth Voice Activated by Youth Boards

About the panelists: 

Anaya Bullard is 17 years old and a junior at Poly High School in Riverside, CA. She is in the AVID program and is a scholar student taking college preparatory and AP classes. She has played an active role in her high school career, serving as current Secretary for the Black Student Union and a former member of both the Bear Pals Club and Ceramics Club. Anaya is currently a Youth Board Member at MENTOR California, where she participates in youth building programs throughout the state. In addition, Anaya has actively been involved in her community since she was in elementary school giving back her time to the nonprofit organization, Music Changing Lives. Beyond high school, Anaya plans to graduate from a 4-year university and pursue her passion to help others.

Alejandro Galicia is a senior at the University of California – Davis double majoring in Political Science - Public Service and Economics. He is a community changemaker by craft, program developer by training, entrepreneurial scholar at heart: his mission is not only to curate a longitudinal study mapping legal status disparities but to build systems to support our most vulnerable communities. He is an alumnus of Donald A. Strauss Foundation Scholar Program, CLYLP Comcast Fellowship, and PPIA Junior Summer Institute at Carnegie Mellon University - Data Analytics Track. He has years of experience serving on statewide nonprofit and philanthropic foundation Boards of Advisors and Coordinating Committees. Currently, he is a Youth Board Member at MENTOR California providing thought leadership. Upon graduation, Alejandro hopes to continue a lifetime of civic service, academic scholarship, and changemaking.

Fiona Lu is a junior at Northwood High School in Irvine, California. She is involved in a variety of initiatives fighting for social justice, education reform, and student advocacy. She is this year’s State Council Communications Director for California Association of Student Councils, a student-led organization working to uplift student voices through leadership and student advocacy opportunities. She is also part of the State Superintendent of Public Instruction’s Youth Advisory Council, serving as one of 12 student representatives to advise the State Superintendent towards creating equitable education. Her fight for racial equity includes leading a local chapter of Dear Asian Youth, an organization that works to empower Asian youth through intersectional activism. In her free time, she loves painting, journalism, creative writing, and exploring new local cuisine with her friends.

Taryn Thomas is a senior at Beaumont High School in California with a passion for youth social justice movements and civic engagement. After being appointed as the Governmental Affairs and Policy Director of California Association of Student Councils overseeing Riverside and San Bernardino Counties, she led two overarching education reform campaigns: seating student board members in school districts without one and establishing city youth advisory councils. She was also selected to serve on the inaugural Youth Advisory Council for the State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, to create equitable change in California’s Education system, working alongside California’s policymakers and educational stakeholders. At a local level, she serves as Student Board Trustee of Beaumont Unified School District and founded the Mental Awareness Group. She has completed biomedical research at a graduate university on neuroscience health disparities and molecular medicine. After being recognized as a “community hero” by Riverside County Office of Education, she plans to continue her service at Stanford University Class of 2026, majoring in neuroscience with a career goal of reducing racial disparities in health care. Outside of her advocacy and research, Taryn loves playing video games, basketball, and participating in speech competitions.

Keturah Weeks is a high school senior attending the California Military Institute in Perris, California. She has active roles in several school and community-based organizations, all centered around youth development, community service, student advocacy, and education reform. One of which is the State Superintendent of Public Instruction's Youth Advisory Council, where she and 11 other youth representatives advise policymakers and educational leaders on ways to optimize opportunities for marginalized students. Apart from her ongoing advocacy, Keturah is constantly engaging with other young people in hopes of molding herself and her peers into intelligent, transformational, and passionate changemakers. Her interests in mentorship and youth development stem from her participation in the California Cadet Corps, a student-led applied leadership program that uses military framework to develop young leaders throughout California. In the Cadet Corps, she serves as the state Deputy Commander, where she facilitates and oversees the planning and execution of activities for the entire state program (87 schools, 7500 cadets). Outside of her schoolwork and activities, Keturah loves to binge anime, read, cook, play volleyball, and spend time with friends and family

Bullard - Youth Panel
Lu - Youth Panel
Thomas - Youth Panel
Weeks - Youth
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