Equity Leadership Initiative

Equity Leadership Initiative cohort members

We are pleased to present the 31 individuals selected to participate in the inaugural class of our Equity Leadership Initiative (ELI). The program will help build a pipeline of future leaders in established positions of influence throughout the state.

Adetola Abiade

Adetola Abiade

A resident of Providence, Adetola is Executive Director of Organizational Effectiveness with JPMorgan Chase in Providence. To read more about Adetola, click here.

“I am looking forward to networking, building new connections and learning and sharing with colleagues through the program.”



Adewole T. Akinbi

Adewole Akinbi

A resident of Providence, Adewole is a facilitator with half full llc. To read more about Adewole, click here.

“I am beyond grateful to be a member of the inaugural cohort for the Equity Leadership Initiative. This a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to learn and grow with like-minded individuals from across the state. I’m looking forward to engaging in proactive conversations on how to move our state into the future with new and creative ideas on how to solve old challenges. This will be a year of learning, growth and personal development for all members selected to the ELI. I am eager to start the process."



Rose Albert

Rose Albert

A resident of Lincoln, Rose is the Youth Programs Director at Rhode Island for Community and Justice and the Associate Director of Salve Regina University’s Multicultural Programs and Retention Office. To read more about Rose, click here.

“I look forward to discovering innovative ways to empower and support my community.”



Janelle Amoako

Janelle Amoako

A resident of Cranston, Janelle is a nurse at The Miriam Hospital. To read more about Janelle, click here.

“As a first generation Ghanaian-American, I feel empowered to be part of the solution in aiding underserved communities. This will be instrumental because of both the mentorship and networking opportunities I will gain. I want to meet more like-minded individuals and also form relationships with people with experiences and knowledge beyond my own. I have a lot to learn, and I am not afraid to say I do not know. This experience will further solidify my path, and I am here for the long-haul.”



Ana Barraza

Ana Barraza

A resident of Providence, Ana is Assistant Director of the Stephen Robert '62 Campus Center & Student Activities at Brown University. To read more about Ana, click here.

"I am always excited when I have the opportunity to engage with people who are making an impact. I am looking forward to the engagement with this cohort and the knowledge that each one of us brings and will share in the inaugural Equity Leadership Initiative.”



Doris Blanchard

Doris Blanchard

A resident of Cranston, Doris is Director of Small Business Programs at Rhode Island Commerce, where she manages the Supply RI program as well as the Small Business Assistance Program. She also serves a a Commerce liaison for several state agencies, including the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency, the Rhode Island Alliance for Business Resilience and the Rhode Island Department of Transportation. To read more about Doris, click here.

“I feel very honored to have been selected among an incredible pool of nearly 100 applicants to join the inaugural cohort of the Foundation’s Equity Leadership Initiative. I’m looking forward to learning from each other, contributing to the cohort, and being part of a group of amazing diverse leaders to make a difference and create a positive impact towards equity, diversity and inclusion."



Madeline Burke

Madeline Burke

A resident of East Greenwich, Madeline is Interim Director of Special Projects at the Community College of Rhode Island. To read more about Madeline, click here.

“I’m looking forward to working as a group to examine root causes of some of the systemic inequalities we are hoping to reverse, and that my Equity Leadership cohort would be a group that is dedicated to actively supporting each other in problem-solving and developing creative solutions to help us all better serve our communities."



Michael Cancilliere

Michael Cancilliere

A resident of Barrington, Michael is Executive Director of Massachusetts Programs at Meeting Street School. To read more about Michael, click here.

“One of the things I am most looking forward to the opportunity to meet other leaders in the community and be able to share my experiences and collaborate on ways to increase diversity and equity in workforce in RI.”



Krystal Carvalho

Krystal Carvalho

A resident of Warwick, Krystal serves as a Trooper with the Rhode Island State Police’s Community, Diversity & Equity Unit. To read more about Krystal, click here.

"I'm looking forward to engaging with like-minded individuals. The idea of inclusivity and the ability to not go it alone as a result of ELI, offers a mental support that presents as confidence.”



Angelyne E. Cooper

Angelyne E. Cooper

A resident of Cranston, Angelyne is Legal Counsel for the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, an Associate Judge of the Cranston Municipal Court, and an Adjunct Professor at Roger Williams University School of Law. To read more about Angelyne, click here.

“I’m looking forward to being in a room with 30 other highly credentialed change agents who look like me."



Steve Craddock

Steve Craddock

A resident of Cranston, Steve is the Principal and Managing Partner of TruRay 44 LLC. To read more about Steve, click here.

“I am elated by the opportunity to be a part of this vibrant leadership experience, to exchange perspectives, nurture personal growth and join colleagues to cultivate a community of change agents for social justice, equity and inclusion.”



David Dankwah

David Dankwah

A resident of Pawtucket, David is an associate pastor at the Empowerment Temple Assembly of the International Central Gospel Church in Pawtucket and a co-founder and Director of Faith and Religious Community Engagement for the World Day for Child Sexual Abuse Prevention, Healing and Justice. To read more about David, click here.

“I want to grow in my capacity to have a broader impact as a pastor and as a transformational leader and advocate for equitable policies,” he said.



Rupa Datta

Rupa Datta

A resident of West Warwick, Rupa is Manager, State Director Office and Human Resources Operations at the Nature Conservancy of Rhode Island. To read more about Rupa, click here.

“This experience will help me navigate my leadership goals to create inclusive workplaces and connected communities that foster cross-cultural consciousness. Building a network to collaborate with a cohort of BIPOC leaders is highly motivating and a promise to my growth through interpersonal learning."



Nwando Egbuche Ofokansi

Nwando Egbuche Ofokansi

A resident of Woonsocket, Nwando is a Project Officer with the Rhode Island Department of Health’s Health Equity Zones Initiative. To read more about Nwando, click here.

"I am looking forward to learning from the mentors how to enhance my capacity for positive social impact. I can't wait to get to know my fellow cohort members who are some of Rhode Island's most promising leaders of color and who share my commitment to racial justice."



Yvonne Heredia

Yvonne Heredia

A resident of Providence, Yvonne is a senior manager of Care Management at Neighborhood Health Plan of RI. To read more about Yvonne, click here.

“Change happens when enough people speak up in the same voice. ‘A voice with action’ is what I hope to glean from this experience."



Teddi Jallow

Teddi Jallow

A resident of Providence, Teddi is co-founder of the Refugee Dream Center and is a Certified Nursing Assistant, certified Medical Technician and certified Community Health Worker. To read more about Teddi, click here.

“Being part of the ELI program is particularly meaningful to me because it will avail me with networking opportunities, training, and boost the resources and skills I need to engage in my area of work. I am confident that the program will make me become a more effective leader who can adapt to changes even if it means getting out of my comfort zone, build my confidence and turn big opportunities into big wins."



Stacy Jones

Stacy Jones

A resident of Westerly, Stacy teaches English at W. M. Davies Career and Technical High School in Lincoln. To read more about Stacy, click here.

“It is time to stop marketing diversity and start implementing it."



Silvermoon Mars LaRose

Silvermoon Mars LaRose

A resident of Charlestown, Silvermoon is the Assistant Director of the Tomaquag Museum. To read more about Silvermoon, click here.

"It is imperative that we have Indigenous representation in all spaces to insure visibility and advocacy of the needs dearest to our communities. If I am to be of service to others, I need to learn how to use my voice with authority and a vision towards unity. I look forward to working with other like-minded individuals as we strive to be a support to our communities."



Francisco Lovera

Francisco Lovera

A resident of Barrington, Francisco is a project manager with McMahon Associates in Lincoln. To read more about Francisco, click here.

"I'm excited and humbled to be part of the first cohort of the Rhode Island Foundation's Equity Leadership Initiative. I look forward to meeting some of the future leaders of Rhode Island as our voices gain space and are able to better represent the diversity of our state.”



Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies

Weayonnoh Nelson-Davies

A resident of North Providence, Weayonnoh is the managing attorney of Community Legal Aid’s (CLA) Worcester County offices. To read more about Weayonnoh, click here.

“I am looking forward to sharing this transformational space with other leaders of color as we learn together and from each other’s stories of challenges, struggles, successes and hope.”



Ray Nuñez

Ray Nuñez

A resident of East Providence, Ray is co-founder of Nuñez, The People's Agency. To read more about Ray, click here.

“I'm most looking forward to the meaningful shared experience and the opportunity to build collective power with the inaugural cohort of the Equity Leadership Initiative. I'm eager to hear the stories of this group and innovate new systems to tackle inequalities, create coalitions, and steward equitable change in Rhode Island.”



Monsurat Ottun

Monsurat Ottun

A resident of Pawucket, Monsurat is an Associate City Solicitor as well as the Chief Information Security, Data Privacy and Risk Management Strategist for the City of Providence. To read more about Monsurat, click here.

“As a visionary, advocate and entrepreneur, I’m looking forward to the expansive network of thought partners I will get to engage from a lens of equity, leadership and social justice.”



Alisha Pina

Alisha Pina

A resident of East Providence, Alisha is Chief Public Affairs Officer for the Rhode Island Department of Human Services. To read more about Alisha, click here.

"There are so many aspects of this program that I am looking forward to and all of it will take me to a new level of leader for Rhode Island and beyond. I am particularly excited about the energy and inspiration that will be exchanged between the 31 inaugural ELI members as well as the one-on-one coaching and long-lasting connections that will be made.”



Manuela Raposo

Manuela Raposo

A resident of Providence, Manuela is President of the RI Welcome Back Center, a not-for-profit agency that provides resources to internationally trained professionals in Rhode Island. To read more about Manuela, click here.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity of sharing experiences with like-minded individuals who are as eager as I am to grow, learn, and use this newfound knowledge to make positive changes in our communities.”



Victoria Rodriguez

Victoria Rodriguez

A resident of East Providence, Victoria is a Certified Community Health Worker and the Assistant Director of the Care Management Program at the Rhode Island Parent Information Network. To read more about Victoria, click here.

“I am excited about participating in the Equity Leadership Initiative and the opportunity to connect, share and learn from existing leaders of color.”



Juan Rodriguez

Juan Rodriguez

A resident of Providence, Juan is Executive Director at Winners Circle XR Academy. To read more about Juan, click here.

“I am looking forward to working alongside some of RI's best leaders to disrupt the status quo and provide fresh, new meaningful solutions for our communities."



Rosedelma Seraphin

Rosedelma Seraphin

A resident of North Providence, Rosedelma is the Assistant Director of the Office of Diversity and Multicultural Affairs at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. To read more about Rosedelma, click here.

“I am honored to be part of the inaugural class of the Equity Leadership Initiative, and excited to take advantage of all that this leadership journey has to offer. I am especially excited to collaborate and foster valuable relationships with other like-minded individuals in order to increase the visibility and influence of leaders of color within the state of Rhode Island and beyond.”



Kajette Solomon

Kajette Solomon

A resident of Providence, Kajette is the first Social Equity and Inclusion Program Specialist at the RISD Museum. To read more about Kajette, click here.

“I am most looking forward to being a part of this network of like-minded social justice equity partners to move Rhode Island forward in becoming a more inclusive place to live and work."



Edward Tavarez

Edward Tavarez

A resident of Cranston, Edward is a Performance Improvement Consultant at The Academy and leads a team that specializes in small business servicing. To read more about Edward, click here.

“I’m looking forwarding to participating in this inaugural program. I have aspirations to lead and influence in Rhode Island and this program will provide me with the tools I need to achieve this goal,” he said.



Carla Wahnon

Carla Wahnon

A resident of West Warwick, Carla is Manager of Integrated Health Care at East Bay Community Action Program. To read more about Carla, click here.

“I welcome the opportunity to challenge myself, strengthen my leadership style, and learn from peers, all with the goal for giving back to the community and supporting diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives.”



Kilah Walters-Clinton

Kilah Walters-Clinton

A resident of Providence, Kilah is Director of Race Equity for the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services. To read more about Kilah, click here.

“The more we share, the more we learn. The Equity Leadership Initiative’s ability to harness a unique collective of knowledge and experiences, makes it a visionary professional development program."