Our Team


Deena Hayes-Greene

Deena A. Hayes-Greene is a racial equity consultant, trainer, and community/institutional organizer whose work focuses on the impacts of race and racism on systems, institutions, organizations and individuals. In her training and consulting she brings examination of the impact of race in systemic outcomes to include the broader environmental and social determinants of well-being and opportunity. She also brings a power analysis that guides institutions and organizations in a change process designed to dismantle racism. 

Deena is the co-founder and managing director of the Racial Equity Institute LLC, a minority-owned business that brings racial equity training and consultation to communities, organizations, and institutions across the United States. She is frequently requested as a speaker and commentator on issues related to structural racism and its impacts.

Deena is also a leader in her community of Greensboro, North Carolina. She has been re-elected to the Guilford County Board of Education since 2002 and has served as its chair since 2018.  As a school board member, her advocacy has challenged the district to investigate the structural causes of the disparate outcomes of African-American students and other students of color. She has chaired the Achievement Gap Committee, the Historically Underutilized Business Advisory (HUB) Committee, and the School Safety/Gang Education Committee. As chair of the HUB Advisory Committee, she has illuminated the disparities in school construction and goods and services data and initiated efforts to examine institutional practices and systemic barriers.

Deena is also the chair of the board of directors for the International Civil Rights Center and Museum and a judge for the Roddenbury Foundation. She is a member of the NC State DMC-RED Subcommittee (Disproportionate Minority Contact – Racial and Ethnic Disparities), Guilford Anti-Racism Alliance, and the Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association. She has also served on the Human Relations Commission for the City of Greensboro and the Guilford Gang Commission. Deena has received numerous awards and citations for her leadership.


Suzanne Plihcik

Suzanne Plihcik is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. She is also REI’s co-founder and Associate Director.  She works locally and across the nation to assist communities and organizations working to strengthen grass root and institutional relationships through an increased understanding of systemic racism. In Greensboro, she and her colleagues organize to address social justice issues.

Suzanne has a long history as an anti-racism trainer, having worked with Dismantling Racism and the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond.She was executive director of the National Alliance for Non-Violent Programming, a coalition of national organizations seeking to reduce violence in entertainment through media-literacy. Her community experience includes extensive work organizing for changes in public schools and city government, as well as service on the Commission on the Needs of Children. She is a founding member of the Greensboro Public School Fund, rewarding innovation in teaching and Dance on Tour, a professional dance experience for children.

She has served on the national boards of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, the National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations and the Association of Junior Leagues International, where she served as President. Locally, she has served as a member of many boards of directors, including the Community Foundation of Greater Greensboro, the Greensboro Children’s Museum, the Greensboro Community Initiative, the YWCA, the Greensboro Civic Entrepreneur Initiative, and Uplift Inc. Suzanne is the recipient of the Kathleen Price Bryan Award for community service, the YWCA Women of Color Committee Community Service Award, and was the Greensboro Woman of the Year in 1994. She is the co-recipient of the Nancy Susan Reynolds Award for race relations and received the Mary Harriman Award for Community Leadership from Association of Junior Leagues International.


Raúl  Quiñones-Rosado

Dr. Raúl Quiñones-Rosado is an organizer and trainer with REI. He is a social justice educator, racial equity organizer and trainer, and integral change consultant. A social psychologist, he is author of Consciousness-in-Action: Toward an Integral Psychology of Liberation & Transformation. Raúl is founder of  c-Integral through which he teaches the consciousness-in-action approach. He established the Institute for Latino Empowerment (ILE) in Northampton, MA, and was a founding member of Ilé: Organizers for Consciousness-in-Action in Puerto Rico. He has developed and conducted numerous Latino empowerment, leadership development and organizational transformation efforts with low-income community members, college students and educators, government workers and administrators, as well as in corporate settings.

For close to twenty-five years, Raúl has designed and organized anti-oppression strategies, and provided Latino leadership development opportunities in the US and in Puerto Rico. During this time, he has been part of a large network of anti-oppression educators and organizers in struggles against racism, sexism, colonialism, militarism and other forms of oppression. As someone deeply committed to social justice, racial equity and cultural transformation, Raúl is also a part of liberation spirituality, transpersonal psychology and integral development movements, seeking to create greater awareness and effective praxis that integrates self-development and contemplative practice with social, economic, political and cultural transformation.Raúl is currently working to organize Latinos and people working within Latino communities around the country through leading REI workshops including Latino Challenges in Racial Equity workshops.


Matthew Bell

Matt Bell is an organizer and trainer with REI. He is a resident of Greensboro, NC and began attending and coordinating racial equity trainings as a middle school student.  Over the past few years he has worked with other younger anti-racist advocates to raise awareness of the role of young people in a movement for systems transformation and social justice. His experience working and volunteering locally gave Matthew experience in challenging young adults to examine how racism impacts their lives, personally and systemically. Matt joined REI in 2012 as a trainer and is helping to coordinate youth organizing efforts that can empower young adults to create lasting change through racial equity and collective redress. He is a graduate of Fayetteville State University and attended the Young Adult Leadership Training through the Children’s Defense Fun and Movement Activist Apprenticeship Program (MAAP) with Center for Third World Organizing.


Bayard Love


Bayard “Bay” Love is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. He is based in Portland, Maine. Bay holds a BA in Latin American Studies from Wesleyan University, an MBA from University of North Carolina, and a Master’s in Public Policy from Duke University. Bay spent the first part of his career founding and building a health clinic in post-Katrina New Orleans, where he was part of a three-person leadership team and involved in a number of rebuilding and community development initiatives. He left New Orleans to complete his graduate studies in North Carolina and then began the second stage of his career as a consultant at a premier corporate strategy firm from 2014 – 2015. Bay moved to Greensboro, NC to invest more fully in racial equity work and to serve as COO / Director of Development at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum, where he worked closely with the CEO and board until February of 2016. Since 2006, Bay has provided training and consulting services to organizations working to incorporate racial equity principles.


Craig S. "Pete" Davis

Captain Craig S. “Pete” Davis is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute where he began working after a 27-year year career in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department (CMPD). He retired from the department in May 2014 at the rank of captain and is currently working part-time as the Equity Liaison Captain in the Community Engagement Bureau. Pete serves on the Race Matters for Juvenile Justice (RMJJ) leadership team in Mecklenburg County. RMJJ is a collaborative leadership group which brings together community stakeholders who partner with the Juvenile Court’s effort to reduce disproportionality and disparities. Pete attended his first REI anti-racism workshop in 2011 in Greensboro with RMJJ members. The workshop profoundly affected him. As a result, Pete encouraged the police chief to attend the workshop along with his command staff. He became the CMPD’s liaison with RMJJ and REI which entailed coordinating workshop registrations of CMPD personnel. Pete attended portions of over 20 workshops prior to retiring, and his involvement afforded him the opportunity to obtain a good understanding of the analysis. Pete joined REI in June 2015. Pete obtained a Bachelors of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Pfeiffer University, and Master’s degrees in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, and Theological Studies from Liberty University.


Wanda Hunter

Wanda Hunter is a trainer and lead organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. Her 30-year career at the University of North Carolina (Department of Social Medicine) was in public health research with a focus on vulnerable families, racial disparities in health and community-based participatory research. She has presented at multiple scientific meetings in the United States and around the world, including an expert panel for the World Wealth Organization in Geneva. She has authored or co-authored dozens of peer-reviewed research articles. Wanda retired as the Deputy Director for the UNC Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention in 2010. Since that time she has organized with the Racial Equity Institute. In her community of Chapel Hill, NC she was a founder of the Organizing Against Racism network that has expanded across the state sponsoring more than 50 racial equity workshops per year. She also helped found and continues to lead the Campaign for Racial Equity in Our Schools. The Campaign published a report in 2015, Excellence With Equity: The Schools Our Children Deserve. She is also a co-chair for her local NAACP Education Committee. She was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2010 for service to the State of North Carolina and received the NAACP President's Award for Community Service in 2013.


Megan Hayes-Bell

Megan Hayes-Bell is an organizer and logistics manager with the Racial Equity Institute. Trained as a health equity researcher, she has worked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, GA, the Institute for Global Health and Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina, and Community Connections, a nonprofit mental health agency in DC. She currently resides in Washington, DC where she also works as a mental health clinician and wellness expert, focusing on racial and social justice.  Megan brings over 10 year of experience working with youth, young adults and community leaders around racial justice issues. She served as one of the youngest members on the NC Governors Crime Commission on Disproportionate Minority Contact, which examines the impact of race and juvenile contact with the criminal justice system. Megan is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill majoring in African & African-American studies and biomedical sciences. She is now enrolled at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition and will soon complete her joint MS/MD program in integrative health. Her commitment and work to bring about meaningful change in health and justice extends beyond the United States. For over five years, Megan has been involved with the Cuban solidarity movement as a member of the Venceremos Brigade. She is also a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. where she served as the local Social Action chair for her chapter and is a lifetime member of the NAACP.


Amy Burtaine


Reiney Lin


Deborah Stroman

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Jennifer Schaal

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Blaise Amendolce

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Monica Walker


Jean Willoughby


Terrence Young


Rob Stephens

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Barbara Cheives

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George Clopton

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Amy Burtaine an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. She is based in Seattle, Washington. Amy is trained as a social justice educator, specializing in theatre for social change. She has worked nationally and internationally in theatre and education for over 20 years, including training with Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in Brazil. She currently works as the director of Interactive Theatre Carolina at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill – a program which uses theatre to address health, wellness, and social justice issues. She received an MFA in Theatre from the University of Texas at Austin. Amy believes that the arts can help us envision a world that is socially just, equitable, and free of oppression. Amy was recognized with the 2015 UNC Staff Diversity Award, which recognizes significant contribution to the enhancement, support and/or furtherance of diversity on the campus and in the community.

Reiney Lin is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. Based in Los Angeles, California, she works with all types of organizations to deepen a collective understanding of historical and institutional racism to achieve equity and justice in our systems through training, analysis, and strategy. Reiney joined REI in early 2016 during her graduate studies in public health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill after working for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the state of Florida. She also brings institutional organizing experience in higher education during her role as the Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education at Elon University. Reiney currently trains with REI across the nation, develops Asian American specific content, and serves as an organizer for the Los Angeles area, California, and the West Coast.

Dr. Deborah Stroman is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. Serving on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill since 2007, she had taught, mentored, and counseled thousands of undergraduates and graduate students. Her background and doctoral studies are in Leadership/Organizational Behavior and its application in the sport industry and racial equity education. She was introduced to the REI Phase 1 in January 2013 and immediately began a racial analysis journey through the exploration of racism, labor, and religion. In addition to her advocacy work as faculty member, Deborah is a chairperson emeritus of the Black Faculty and Staff Caucus at the university whereby she has been instrumental in creating awareness, understanding, and organizing strategies to address inequity across campus and beyond. She is the co-designer and instructor for the Gillings School of Global Public Health graduate course, “Leading for Racial Equity.” Deborah has also fostered the implementation of the REI curriculum across various academic departments, schools, and units and is a guest lecturer on issues of race and racism at UNC and other colleges and organizations across the country. A recipient of numerous awards for community service and engagement, Deborah is a member of the NAACP, the board of directors for NC Correctional Education, and the chairperson of the Orange County (NC) Human Relations Commission.

Jennifer Schaal, M.D., is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. She retired in 2006 from Greensboro Women’s Healthcare, after practicing gynecology in Greensboro for two decades. While in practice, Dr. Schaal was a clinical investigator for several national studies, was on the Community Advisory Board of the Women’s Health Initiative, and was an active participant in multiple hospital and community-based committees. Dr. Schaal is a founding member of the Greensboro Health Disparities Collaborative (GHDC), a community-based participatory research (CBPR) group based on antiracism principles that was organized in 2002. She is a member of the board of directors for The Partnership Project, an antiracism organization and the fiscal agent for the GHDC. As a medical-community member of the GHDC, she has actively participated in multiple research projects in various capacities, including the NCI-funded CCARES (Cancer Care and Racial Equity Study) and Accountability for Cancer Care through Undoing Racism and Equity (ACCURE), the “Respectful Prescribing” study, a pilot study for the Community Translational Science Award Grant Application by the UNC Center for Community and Clinical Research. She has been an active participant in the development and implementation of the GHDC’s Health Equity Training. With academic and community partners she has served on multiple advisory boards, delivered multiple keynote addresses and scientific presentations and co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She is an active member of the Guilford Anti-Racism Alliance and has been a trainer for the Racial Equity Institute since the fall of 2016.

Dr. Amendolace is a trainer and organizer with the Racial Equity Institute. He is also a licensed clinical psychologist, and is currently the Associate Director / Clinical Director at Florida Atlantic University’s Counseling & Psychological Services. Blaise’s passion is connecting with others on a deeper, more meaningful level, and using that connection to foster desired change in one’s life. His areas of specialty include trauma/abuse survivors, therapeutic personality assessment, relationship difficulties, and group counseling. In addition, Blaise currently provides trainings to local youth sports organizations on child abuse prevention. As a counselor and educator, Blaise strives to integrate social justice and equity issues into his work to aid individuals in becoming more compassionate and supportive of one another. Blaise has devoted much of his life to working with marginalized populations. During his time as an undergraduate student at Florida State University, he worked at Capital City Youth Services’s Someplace Else shelter program which provided short-term housing and guidance for at-risk youth. Blaise then joined Dr. John C. Brigham's research lab, and completed an undergraduate thesis exploring the Own-Race Bias. As a graduate student at Florida Institute of Technology, Blaise worked for three years at The Family Learning Program, one of 14 state funded sexual abuse treatment programs in Florida. As both a student, and now faculty advisor, Blaise has attended several Alternative Spring Break volunteer mission trips, focusing on issues such as homelessness, poverty, food insecurities, and veteran’s services. Blaise is excited to be a member of the REI team and looks forward to continued learning and growth in the area of racial equity and social justice issues.

Monica F. Walker is a veteran organizer, artist, trainer, speaker and social activist who has spent the better part of her career addressing issues of race, equity, and inclusion while organizing for social justice on every front. She currently resides in Greensboro, North Carolina, where she recently retired from her position of Executive Director of the Office for Diversity, Equity & Inclusion for Guilford County Schools. She led the district’s efforts to eliminate racially disparate outcomes and all other forms of bias and discrimination for Guilford County Schools, which is the third largest school district in the state of North Carolina and serves approximately 72,000 students and families. In this capacity, she led a small staff of equity directors, specialists and coaches who provided professional development and equity coaching to the district's 11,000 employees. Monica is a highly regarded trainer who leads and facilitates Racial Equity and Undoing Racism trainings across the United States. Retirement now allows Monica to fully invest in the work of racial justice. She is particularly interested in helping to support systems and institutions to interrogate the root causes of racial inequity and seek effective means for addressing and eliminating systemic and institutionalized racism. She is actively involved as an organizer in her community and serves on several boards, advisories and organizational committees. 

Jean Willoughby is a trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. She earned a BA in Sociology from Wesleyan University and studies Biology at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro. Her career has focused on the intersections of public health, the food system, and social justice. Drawing on a decade of experience in agriculture and local economic development, she currently serves as the Organizational Development Director at Agrarian Trust, a national land trust that supports equitable land access for the next generation of farmers through innovative partnerships and legal tools. Jean is also a writer and film/video producer. She co-wrote and produced the documentary film Under Contract: Farmers and the Fine Print (2017). Her articles and essays have been published in YES! MagazineFood TankThe New Farmer’s Almanac, and MAKE: Magazine. She grew up in Little Rock, Arkansas and Los Angeles, California and has lived in North Carolina since 2010.  

Dr. Terrence Young is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. His career has been devoted to education, especially to reducing racial gaps that exist between students of color and their white peers. Originally from Jamaica Queens, NY, he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education from the City College of New York.  He completed doctoral work at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the area of Educational Leadership. Since that time he has served in multiple administrative positions including principal and associate superintendent in North Carolina Schools. Most recently he was the Chief Information Officer for the Guilford County Schools and also the Co-Interim Superintendent during a nationwide search for a new superintendent.  As Chief Information Officer, he elevated the use of data to inform decision-making processes, removing the subjectivity that is prone to implicit bias, and structural racism observed in school climate, discipline disproportionality and the achievement gap.

The Rev. Rob Stephens is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute and an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. He is the former Minister for Congregational Life at Middle Collegiate Church, a multicultural, multiracial, progressive church in New York City's Lower East Side. He continues to serve Middle Church as Minister for Organizing with a focus on national justice campaigns. Rob joined the pastoral team at Middle in the spring of 2016 after graduating from Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York with a Masters of Divinity. Before coming to New York City for seminary, Rob served for three years as a Field Secretary for the North Carolina NAACP under the leadership of the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II and was one of the organizers of North Carolina’s Forward Together-Moral Monday Movement. He continues to participate in organizing for the Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival and Repairers of the Breach. Rob serves on the Advisory Board for the Marian Cheek Jackson Center for Saving and Making History in Chapel Hill, NC, an organization he helped co-found in 2008 that focuses on combating gentrification through oral history, community organizing and housing justice.

Barbara Cheives is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. She also serves as CEO of Converge & Associates Consulting with a training niche in Cultural Competency, Implicit Bias, Respectful Communication in the Workplace and Workplace Bullying and Harassment. Prior to that, she was the first Executive Director of Toward a More Perfect Union, an organization committed to creating equity among the myriad races and ethnicities that make up Palm Beach County. Barbara has led community dialogue projects with marginalized communities for the YWCA, Children’s Home Society, Community Partners of Palm Beach County and the Florida Network of Youth and Family Services and the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She has presented at state and national conferences for the National Council on Crime and Delinquency; HR Florida; Florida Network of Youth and Family Services; YWCA; and the National Leukemia Lymphoma Society. She has designed and delivered workshops around youth violence prevention; Disproportionate Minority Contact (DMC), and the portrayal of people of color in the media. Barbara is a trained mediator; a certified ethics trainer with the Palm Beach State College Center for Applied Ethics; and a national trainer for NeighborWorks America and a Senior Associate for Everyday Democracy in Hartford, CT. Barbara’s community appointments include Past Chair of the Palm Beach County Criminal Justice Commission and is current Co-Chair of their Police & Community Engagement Task Force. She was appointed as a Commissioner to the statewide 2007 Blueprint Commission for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice. She served as co-chair of West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel’s Diversity Advisory Council (2003 – 2006) and West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio’s Transition Team (2011), where she chaired Neighborhood Improvement and Community Outreach. She serves on the National Board of the Institute of Community Peace in Washington, DC. and on the board of The Lord’s Place in Palm Beach County, an agency dedicated to breaking the cycle of homelessness. She is a member and Past President of National Coalition of 100 Black Women, Inc. West Palm Beach Chapter and the Co-Chair of the Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Social Justice Ministry. Barbara is an alumna of Leadership Palm Beach County (2002).

George W. Clopton is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute. He has spent more than 40 years in industry using leadership and interpersonal skills to blend competing interests and gain the support of diverse groups. Presently, George is the CEO and Founder of Clopton & Associates LLC, a facilitator for the Racial Equity Institute and is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Industrial Engineering. Clopton’s versatility and wealth of knowledge in supply chain design, process measurement and operations leadership were from the training he received at companies such as Ralph Lauren, Nike Inc., Johnson & Johnson, and Frito Lay. Throughout his career, George continually progressed in leadership positions and retired from Ralph Lauren Inc. as the Corporate Vice President of Distribution and Supply Chain Operations.

George was the 2012 Chairman of the High Point Chamber of Commerce. He also served on The Board of Visitors for North Carolina A&T, High Point University, Past Chair and Board Member for the International Civil Right Center and Museum. George was awarded the 2013 Change Agent Award by the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, the 2014 Distinguish Citizen of the year award from the High Point Chamber of Commerce and the 2015 Rhythm’s of Triumph Unsung Hero Award. George Clopton deeply believes that service to the community is imperative and should be a priority.