Dr. Arlene Garcia is a lifelong resident of Waterbury, CT and a staunch advocate for social justice and racial equality. She is a program director for the CT State Department of Mental Health and Addictions Services. Arlene is also an adjunct professor of sociology at Housatonic Community College in Bridgeport and social work at University of Saint Joseph’s MSW program.
Arlene received a B.S. in human services from Post University and a Master of Social Work degree from Fordham University. In 2012, she earned her doctoral degree in educational leadership from the University of Hartford. Her dissertation research examined influence, leadership, and culturally competent service delivery. She has presented on subjects related to cultural competency and diversity in conferences across the country including Connecticut, New York, Utah, Georgia, Minnesota, Oklahoma, Philadelphia, and Toronto, Canada.
Robert M. Goodrich is a Waterbury native who was educated by the Waterbury Public School district through the 8th grade and graduated from Sacred Heart High School in 1993. He then attended Western Connecticut State University (W.C.S.U.) before embarking on a career in sales and marketing. He worked for several Fortune 500 companies and eventually decided to pursue a career in education. In 2009 he finished his undergrad work at W.C.S.U. by earning his equivalency in W.C.S.U.’s B.A. of history program with a minor in justice and law. Afterward, Mr. Goodrich dedicated himself to several east coast collegiate debate and argumentation programs at W.C.S.U., Rutgers, and the University of Vermont. Through his independent research within the fields of philosophy, critical pedagogy, critical race and legal theory, as well as critical cultural studies, he has become knowledgeable and keenly aware of institutional barriers to equality. He believes solutions for our educational dilemmas must be guided by what best solve systemic inequality found throughout our society.
Chantae K. Campbell was raised in Waterbury and graduated from Wilby High School in 2008. She has a BA in Public Policy Studies & Asian and Middle Eastern Studies from Duke University and is certified to teach Pre-K to Grade 8. She has taught English in China, SAT prep courses in Palestine, and has served as a Teach for America Corps member teaching middle school students at KIPP Reach in Oklahoma City. She served as Program Manager at the Connecticut Council for Education Reform (CCER) where she conducted policy research, supported state-level advocacy, and worked with school districts on projects related to school finance, human capital, and academic enrichment. As an operations professional she organized conferences for education and community leaders and provided an array of administrative support to CCER’s Executive Director and COO. Additionally, Chantae has attained a number of fellowships, including a Visiting Fellowship with Education Pioneers and a Public Policy Fellowship with the Connecticut State Department of Education (SDE), where she worked in the Office of the Commissioner. During her time at SDE she worked closely with senior leaders on a number of communications and policy projects, including writing portions of Connecticut’s Every Student Succeeds Act Consolidated State Plan.