Deena Hayes-Greene is Managing Director of the Racial Equity Institute (REI) and brings over 15 years of experience as a community and institutional organizer. She is currently training with several anti-racist organizations, where she provides in-depth analysis of systemic and historically constructed racism and its impact on contemporary systems and institutions across the United States. Deena has worked extensively across the country, including in Alaska.
Her institutional work has been primarily in the areas of Social Services / Health and Human Services, public and private education, Higher Education, Judicial / Disproportionate Minority Contact initiatives, public health and non-profits. She was initially elected to the Guilford County Board of Education in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006, 2010 2014 and 2016. She currently chairs the Achievement Gap, School Safety, and the Historically Underutilized Business Advisory Committees for Guilford County Schools. She also serves on the Ole Asheboro Street Neighborhood Association, the Guilford County Gang Commission, and as board chair at the International Civil Rights Center & Museum. Deena is a former Human Relations Commissioner for the City of Greensboro and has received numerous awards and citations for outstanding leadership. She lives with her family in Greensboro, N.C.
Suzanne Plihcik is Associate Director of REI. She is a community organizer, trainer and facilitator living in Greensboro, North Carolina. She works locally and across the nation with communities and organizations working to strengthen grass root and institutional relationships through an increased understanding of systemic racism. In Greensboro, she and her colleagues sponsor anti-racism workshops, teach the skills of anti-racist organizing and organize community members and activists to work for social justice issues.
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.
She 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.
Dr. Raúl Quiñones-Rosado
Dr. 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 in North Carolina through the Racial Equity and Latino Challenges in the Struggle Toward Racial Equity workshops.
Matt 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 “Bay” is an organizer, trainer and projects manager with REI. He 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. He currently resides in his hometown of Portland, Maine.
Craig S. "Pete" Davis
Craig S. “Pete” Davis is a 27-year veteran of 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 is a community organizer for the Organizing Against Racism Alliance in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, part of REI's core organizing team and a retired public health researcher.
Toward the end of her 30-year career as a research administrator at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Wanda attended her first REI workshop in Greensboro in 2010. Finding that the historical, structural and institutional power analysis presented in this workshop brings truth and clarity to the troubling and vexing issue of racial disparities, she committed to deepening her own understanding and to bringing this analysis to others.
Wanda’s academic career focused on family violence, vulnerable communities and bringing community-based approaches to research. She also has a long history of volunteering in the community and was inducted into the Order of the Long Leaf Pine in 2010 for service to the State of North Carolina and the NAACP President’s Award for Community Service in 2013.
Megan is an organizer with REI, specializing in health equity and wellness. Formally trained as a health equity researcher, she has experience working 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 at Community Connections, a nonprofit mental health agency in DC. She currently resides in Washington, DC 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 – 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.
Deborah L. Stroman, PhD
Jennifer Schaal, M.D.
Amy Burtaine an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute based in Carrboro, NC. 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. In early 2015, she took her first REI workshop and left with what she affectionately calls her “quarter-life crisis” as an Asian American. One year and several workshops later, she began to work with anti-racist organizers, emerged as a trainer with REI, and stepped into an institutional organizing role at Elon University as the Assistant Director of the Center for Race, Ethnicity & Diversity Education for a few years. Reiney currently lives in Southern California, trains with REI, and works on Asian American & Pacific Islander (AAPI) specific curriculum.
Starting in public health, Reiney worked for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Florida and completed a Master of Public Health in Health Behavior at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication at the University of California, Santa Barbara. In addition to her organizing work, Reiney is a minimalist traveler, an avid distance runner, a dedicated food queen, and a musing writer.
Deborah is an organizer and trainer with the Racial Equity Institute LLC based in Chapel Hill, NC. 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. In particular, 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.
A prior Peace Corps Volunteer, Drea Parker has been involved with local and national community efforts to increase tolerance and understanding in an interfaith setting. After the 2016 election, she realized that a deeper chord must be addressed to raise awareness that all people deserve kindness and respect. She is excited to join the team at Racial Equity Institute to help break down the barriers of race in our world. A graduate of Salem College with a Bachelors in Religion, Drea was taught that meeting people with open dialogue helps to reduce fear of the other.
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, she 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 delivered keynotes for University of New Mexico, University of Michigan, and Asia Institute in Cambodia; co-presented scientific presentations at APHA (American Public Health Association) in 2008, 2014, 2016, and 2017; co-authored multiple peer-reviewed publications and book chapters; served as Community Expert for CBPR Charrettes and co-trainer for multiple 2-day CBPR workshops. She has served on multiple research advisory boards and has been a community partner with other investigators on CBPR projects. 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-in-training with REI. He is 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.