MDA Conference Workshop Presenter Bios



Dr. Stefani Harvey
Dr. Stefani Harvey is a community activist and educator who specializes in social justice and equity in education, particularly in addressing disparities for youth of color. As Roxbury native, Stefani has been a leader and a firm believer in the advocacy of positive growth and development in youth for over 15 years. As a former Dean of Students, Stefani has found that proactive measures are more productive to support student’s social emotional development than punitive measures. She has promoted Restorative Practices as a means to dismantle the school to prison pipeline in several schools. Through professional development for teachers, school leaders, and community members she has worked tirelessly to implement plans for school communities to bring a unified and collective approach to educating children. Dr. Harvey’s philosophy in educating children spans farther than the educational components which students receive during “school hours”. Holding positions such as, Teacher, Program Director, Director of Family and Community Engagement, Safe and Welcoming Schools Specialist, Director of Restorative Culture and currently Assistant Principal. Dr. Harvey has been able to connect with the youth through motivational speaking, youth conferences, and her relentless work and support with LGBTQ self-identified youth. Stefani holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Masters Degree in Urban Education and Leadership, a K-6 Principal License and a Doctorate degree in Curriculum, Teaching, Learning and Leading. Stefani encourages children to BE the change they would like to see in this world.



Hayden Frederick Clarke
Mr. Frederick-Clarke is the Director of Strategy in the Office of Opportunity Gaps and the founder of BlackPrint Education Consulting. He is also the editor of the Culturally and Linguistically Sustaining Practices (CLSP) Continuum. His work in Boston Public Schools focuses on removing barriers to student success, identifying opportunity gaps and recommending practice and policy shifts for the district. Previously, Mr. Frederick-Clarke served as the Director of Cultural Proficiency for BPS, adjunct professor at the University of Massachusetts Boston, and as a guest lecturer at Tufts University. Before joining district administration, he was a Math instructor at Charlestown High School in the DiplomaPlus program, of which he was a founding member and the principal designer.

He is presently a doctoral candidate in education leadership at the University of Pennsylvania. In 2014, he won the Facing History and Ourselves International Teacher Recognition Award.  Born to Trinidadian immigrants and raised by an incredible mother, Hayden is a son of Roxbury, a proud graduate of Boston Public Schools and refers to himself as a “Pan-Africanist super nerd.”



Kimberly Thomas
Kimberly is deeply committed to educational access, equity and transformation and to the challenging, but critical work of ensuring that marginalized students have access to rigorous, transformative educational experiences.

Before joining Equal Opportunity Schools, Kim served as Managing Director of Kitebridge, Inc. Tacoma, an international boarding school program that provided acculturation support, college advising and housing for students from China and South Korea. Previously, Kim was the Director of the Premajor Studies Program at Seattle University, where she worked with hundreds of students to discover who they are, what drives them, their values and their joy. During her tenure, Kim was twice nominated for Advisor of the Year and nominated by the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) to serve as the chair of their Undecided & Exploratory Students Commission. Kim is also the Founder and Owner of empower! College Advising Services, serving high school students in Tacoma and Pierce County, Washington.

Kim received her Master of Education in Multicultural Education from the University of Washington and her Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Puget Sound. She serves on the boards for The Amandla Project and Friends of the Children – Tacoma and as a mentor for Palmer Scholars.



Gary Bailey
Gary Bailey, DHL, MSW, ACSW is the Assistant Dean for Community Engagement and Social Justice at Simmons University College of Social Science, Public Policy and Practice(CSSPP). He is a Professor of Practice at Simmons School of Social Work where he directs the Urban Leadership Certificate Program. He has a secondary appointment at the   Simmons College School of Nursing and Health Sciences where his area of focus is Inter-Professional Education.

Professor Bailey has a Faculty Affiliate appointment at Harvard Medical Schools Center for Primary Care; he is a Scholarly Stakeholder, LGBTQ Patient and Family Advisory Council. Brigham and Women’s Hospital; and is a consultant to Fenway Health’s Department of Behavioral Health.

He is a past President of the International Federation of Social Workers. He is the first person of color to hold this post. He is a past president of the Massachusetts Chapter of NASW and of NASW National-Washington DC.

He was the Chairperson of the National Social Work Public Education Campaign. He was a member of the Council on Social Work Educations Commission on Global Social Work Education and sits on its Committee on Human Rights. He served on the executive committee of the North American and Caribbean Association of Schools of Social Works board representing the Council On Social Work Education.

In May 2009 he was selected as a Fulbright Specialist for the United States-Israel Educational Foundation (USIEF), where he gave a series of workshops and speeches throughout Israel as a part of the Funds outreach to African American leaders to visit Israel.

In 2017, he was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker (R-MA) as a member of the Massachusetts LGBT-Q Youth Commission. In 2009 Professor Bailey was appointed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick(D-MA) to the serve on the board of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA); he was reappointed in 2013.. At MEFA he chairs the Audit Committee and is a member of the Executive Committee.

He is a past President of the board of the AIDS Action Committees (AAC), Inc.; was a member of the AAC Advisory Council; and the AIDS Action Committees Program Committee; and was a member of the Gay and Lesbian Advocate and Defenders (GLAD) board of Ambassadors.

Professor Bailey is Vice Chair of the Board of Women of the Dream, Inc. (WOD), based in Camden N.J. Women of the Dream, Inc. is a national nonprofit organization that enables socially and financially disadvantaged girls, ages 12-18, to achieve their fullest potential and lead purposeful, healthy lives with guidance and education. Professor Bailey is the President of the NASW- Assurance Services Inc. (ASI). ASI is headquartered in Frederick MD. He also served as the board treasurer.  In that capacity, he serves as chair of the Audit Investment committee; and was a member of the Executive and Compensation committees.

He is President of the board of the Fenway High School; is a member of the of the Friends of Harriet Tubman Park; the Friends of Titus Sparrow Park. He is President, Church Council of Boston’s Union United Methodist Church, and is a member of the Union United Methodist Church Leadership Team.

He is a member of the board of For Our CommUnitieS,Inc. (FOCUS,Inc. ) whose purpose is to promote the development of affordable housing in Massachusetts; and is a member of United South End Settlements(USES) board of directors.

He is a past member of the Leadership Council, Success by 6 campaign at United Way of Massachusetts Bay; and was the co –chair, Boston Children’s Hospital Community Advisory Board.  He is a past member of the Commissioner’s Professional Advisory Committee at the Massachusetts Department of Social Services (DSS now DCF); and he was a member of the Massachusetts Department of Mental Health Professional Advisory Committee for Child and Adolescent   Services.  Professor Bailey has been named by Get Konnected (GK)as one of Boston’s 25 Most Influential People of Color in 2018; and in 2019 as a GK25 LGBTQ+ Pioneer .



Rebecca Smoler
Rebecca Smole holds an MS in Educational Leadership and Master of Arts in Teaching from Simmons College and a BA in English and Cinema Studies from Northeastern University.  She has been an English Language Arts educator in Boston suburbs for the last twelve  years. In 2010, after taking a course on antiracist teaching practices, she returned to her classroom and school with a new commitment to equity and justice. She is currently an instructor at Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for Students (IDEAS) and the English Language Arts Coordinator 6 – 12 for Sharon Public Schools. Rebecca has taught courses and presented on a range of topics relating to antiracist education, including bias, white fragility, engaging in difficult conversations on race, and enacting systemic change in educational institutions. She lives in Wayland with her husband, daughters & their dog, Tonks.



Ronald Walker
Ron Walker has over 45 years of experience serving as a teacher, principal, staff developer, and consultant in various educational communities. Currently, Ron serves as the Executive Director and is a founding member of the Coalition of Schools Educating Boys of Color (COSEBOC). The mission of COSEBOC, founded in 2007, is to connect, inspire, support and strengthen school leaders dedicated to the social, emotional and academic development of boys and young men of color.

Under his leadership COSEBOC is impacting over 600 schools across the nation with a combined student population of over 300,000. COSEBOC has been recognized for its work on changing the negative narrative often perpetuated by the media and others to a positive counter narrative that lifts up the gifts, talents and promise possessed by boys and young men of color. COSEBOC is recognized as a critical organization in the efforts to eliminate the academic achievement gap. In this regard recognition has come from many organizations such, the Council of Great City Schools, Education Trust, Cities United, The Center for Law and Social Policy, The Panasonic Foundation, The Kirwan Institute, Harvard University and the American Public Health Association just to name a few. COSEBOC has been awarded major national grants by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and the Open Society Foundation.

Ron has also grown the visibility of COSEBOC and has made many presentations on the national and state level. He has presented to the U.S. Department of Education, College Board, California Association of African American Administrators and Superintendents, The American Public Health Association, The Council of Urban Boards of Education as well being interviewed by Soledad O’Brien on symposium on Educating Black Males. Ron is a Fellow with the Campaign of Black Male Achievement (CBMA) and a 2018 recipient of the Forward Promise Fellowship for Leaders.

He was also invited to attend President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Forum held at the White House. Ron has been recognized for his service in education by the Boston Public Schools, Boston College-School of Education, Temple University-School of Education, The Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. and many community groups. He was nominated for Ebony’s Magazine Manifest Award for individual making substantial contributions in the field of education. Ron has authored two publications on leadership and is featured in numerous education articles. In 2018, Ron authored Solomon’s Plan: Gift of Education from a Father to His Son. He remains steadfastly committed to high quality education for children and particularly boys and young men of color and other underserved populations.

Ron attributes any success that he has gained to his unrelenting belief in God, the lessons taught by his parents Solomon and Delores Walker and the faith that his wife Toni, children and grandchildren placed in him.



Edward Walker
Edward Walker has committed his entire professional career to the realm of education. Over the past 17 years, Ed has served as an Acting Director of Multicultural Recruitment, Director of Alumni Relations and an Associate Director of College Counseling. In 2014, he joined the Guidance Counseling Department at the Cambridge Rindge and Latin School; simultaneously serving as an Instructor/Teacher Coach at IDEAS (Initiatives for Developing Equity and Achievement for Students).

 In 2008, Ed founded and serves as the President at Independent Consultants of Education, a consortium of educators devoted to closing the gaps to educational access, by helping underserved individuals and organizations to achieve higher education through customized curriculum and innovative educational workshops. 

 Finally, Ed has established himself as an influential inspirational speaker, known as Ed “Inspire for Higher” Walker, who has had a positive impact on the lives of thousands of youth and adults at over 50 secondary-schools and colleges. For his efforts, he was presented with the College Board Academic Leadership Award, given to one individual each year for their demonstration of excellence in secondary and post-secondary education and also featured on the cover of the Boston Globe’s Diversity magazine, as one of the 12 individuals identified as a Diversity Champion, in the city of Boston. He obtained his Bachelors degree in African American Studies with a concentration in English and a Masters in Education in School Psychology and Counseling. 



Dr. Jamilia Blake
Dr. Jamilia Blake
is an Associate Professor in Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Blake’s research examines the developmental trajectory of peer-directed aggression bullying, and victimization in socially marginalized youth and racial/ethnic disparities in school discipline. Dr. Blake has published studies examining the social and psychological consequences of aggression and victimization for African-American girls and students with disabilities and the disparate impact of school discipline for African-American girls. She is author to more than 40 publications. Her work on the inequitable discipline experiences of Black girls has been featured in the New York Times, Huffington Post, on NPR, and CBS. She is the co-PI of a federally funded grant to examine the relation between school discipline and disproportionate minority contact in juvenile justice centers for immigrant youth. Dr. Blake is the co-editor of the American Psychological Association book, Psychological Assessment and Intervention for Ethnic Minority Children, and is the lead researcher for the Center’s report, Girlhood Interrupted: The Erasure of Black Girls’ Childhood. In her role as a Senior Scholar at the Center, Dr. Blake is continuing to explore the perception of Black girls’ innocence and stereotype-based experiences.