Nonprofit Professionals Selected for 2023 Management Program
The Community Foundation welcomes the third cohort to the program that is building a pipeline for new, more diverse leadership in Greater New Haven’s nonprofit community.
New Haven, Conn. (Oct. 4, 2023) The Community Foundation for Greater New Haven (The Foundation) welcomes the third cohort to the Nonprofit Management Program for Emerging Leaders of Color. The career development program was created in early 2021 as part of The Foundation’s Stepping Forward commitment to supporting the recovery from COVID-19 and advancing racial equity.
"This program is strengthening the pipeline of leaders for Greater New Haven nonprofits and helping to ensure that the next generation of leadership will be more diverse and more representative of our community," says Jackie Downing, senior director of grantmaking and nonprofit support at The Foundation.
Participants attend a course delivered by the University of Connecticut (UConn) School of Public Policy over nine months. The lesson plan topics include racial equity and system change, governance, leading and cultivating strategic partnerships, community engagement, strategic planning, budgeting, evaluation, advocacy, fundraising and communications.
Participants can receive undergraduate or graduate credit and a $1,000 scholarship toward future studies at UConn. After the UConn component, participants will lead their respective organizations in an organizational assessment and take charge of the conversation with their staffs and boards to implement associated recommended changes. The Foundation will compensate the participants’ nonprofit organizations for their absence from their regular work schedules in the form of a two-year general operating support grant.
The program framework was designed by co-leads Dr. David Garvey, director of the University of Connecticut Department of Public Policy’s Nonprofit Leadership Program and Cynthia Rojas, a management consultant, along with topic experts and seasoned practitioners.
Introducing the 2023 Nonprofit Management Program for Emerging Leaders of Color Cohort:
New Haven Promise
Jorgieliz Casanova oversees scholar success in college, application recruitment within New Haven public schools, community engagement, and more for New Haven Promise. In partnership with the Connecticut State Department of Education, Ms. Casanova is the driving force behind events related to FAFSA CT, the statewide push for the completion of federal aid documents. A New Haven Promise alumni and a 2017 honor programs graduate of Albertus Magnus College, Ms. Casanova prides herself in being the first of six siblings to graduate college and is passionate about the New Haven community. Ms. Casanova has impacted countless scholars through academic, financial and career counseling.
Booker T. Washington Academy and St Luke’s Steel Band
Kenneth Joseph, a Trinidadian native, has been living in the New Haven area for almost 15 years. He works as the Family and Community Engagement Manager at Booker T. Washington Academy and also serves as Director of St Luke’s Steel Band - both located in New Haven, Connecticut.
Joseph graduated from the University of the West Indies (UWI) and Northern Illinois University (NIU) with a bachelor's degree and a master's degree in music. As an active musician for over 30 years and being involved in education for almost 20 years, Joseph has a passion for mentoring, educating the youth and supporting families. Joseph volunteers at local organizations to mentor kids, read, distribute food or lend a physical hand where needed. In addition, music continues to play an important role in Joseph’s life. He can be seen performing anywhere from a community fair to a wedding, as well as providing music education to children as young as 8 to adults at any age.
Canal Dock Boathouse
Colette Kroop was adopted from Nanchang, China and has called Connecticut home ever since. Raised in Hamden, Kroop has been a passionate advocate and community builder for local multi-racial and international adoptees.
Kroop is the grant writer and development manager at Canal Dock Boathouse, Inc., where they secure funding for community access and equity programming to ensure waterfront access and diversify Rowing. A graduate of Hamden High School, they earned a bachelor's degree in history and political science from Simmons University in Boston. Kroop served a term with AmeriCorps and worked in Community Development before transitioning to the nonprofit sector.
As a nonbinary queer person of color, Kroop is passionate about expanding safe spaces for young people, especially in environments that are not traditionally open to them. They are excited about this opportunity to grow their personal leadership, and make lasting connections with peers in organizations with similar missions of community-minded service.
"We are stronger together, and I look forward to building community with other leaders of color to better serve and support those who come after."
International Festival of Arts & Ideas and Elm City LITFest
Shamain McAllister - known to most as Sha, represents Irvington/Newark, New Jersey. In May of 2018, she received a bachelor's degree in healthcare management with a minor in criminal justice from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT.
McAllister serves as the community impact manager for the International Festival of Arts & Ideas. Through creativity, authentic partnerships, and innovative ideas she delivers poignant programming.
McAllister is also the program manager for Elm City LIT Festival and DiasporaCon. Elm City LIT is an annual celebration of books, LITerature and LITerary artists with the purpose of enhancing LITeracy while promoting awareness of local, regional and global artists of the African diaspora. The mission of DiasporaCon is to cultivate awareness of opportunities in the industry of comic books & graphic novels.
McAllister proudly serves as a board member for the Arts Council of Greater New Haven and Best Video Film & Cultural Center in Hamden. She is a member of Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc., a sisterhood rooted in scholarship, sisterhood, service, and finer womanhood.
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven and #ThaTeam Podcast
Rebekah Moore, a New Haven native, is known for her vibrant spirit, welcoming aura and devotion to youth and community. Moore graduated Southern CT State University with a bachelor's degree in psychology & is the co-owner of #ThaTeam Podcast. As program director of The Arts Council of Greater New Haven, Moore’s goals are to fill the need for artistic creativity, assist creatives with their professional journeys within the arts and to curate thought provoking experiences that leave a lasting impression. She is truly passionate about her community and uplifting creatives.
Sofia I. Morales
Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE)
Sofia I. Morales, originally from San Juan, Puerto Rico, has called Greater New Haven home since 2016. As the program manager of research and evaluation at Yale School of Public Health’s Community Alliance for Research and Engagement (CARE), she is committed to promoting community-focused, culturally-responsive initiatives and programs, working to advance health equity and social justice. Morales’ work embodies an intersectional approach, deeply considering communities’ lived experiences. She further accounts for the profound impact of power structures and systems of oppression.
Morales holds several additional academic roles: adjunct professor of public health at the University of New Haven, lecturer at Southern CT State University, and community-based participatory research consultant at Emory University's Rollins School of Public Health. Moreover, Morales serves as vice-president of the Board of Directors for New Haven’s Downtown Evening Soup Kitchen (DESK).
Morales holds an master's degree in public health from the University of Puerto Rico’s School of Public Health and a bachelor's degree from Boston College. With a decade of experience in public health practice and community-engaged research, Morales is committed to continue addressing the multifaceted social and structural determinants of health, striving to ensure that public health solutions are community-driven.
Emmanuella Nwagboli was raised in Branford, Conn and currently lives in Shelton. She graduated from Southern Connecticut State University where she earned her bachelor's of science in public health. Although Nwagboli is a budding newcomer to the non-profit arena, she brings a refreshing blend of youthful enthusiasm and a lifelong dedication to altruism.
Raised in an environment steeped in the values of compassion and community, Nwagboli’s commitment to giving back was cultivated from a young age. Whether volunteering at her local soup kitchen, organizing health awareness campaigns at school, or lending a helping hand to youth at her church, her past endeavors showcase a deep-rooted desire to uplift those in need. Her formative years were marked by hands-on involvement in various community-driven projects, and she continues this work in her current life. Growing up in a large family with 10 kids and experiencing a lack of access to resources has shaped her in profound ways.
“My family faced financial constraints and that experience made me acutely aware of the disparities that exist within communities and the critical need for equitable access to resources and services. It ignited a passion within me to work towards creating a more just society, where individuals and families have equal opportunities to thrive.”
Kai S. Perry
Cornell Scott Hill Health Center
Kai S. Perry is director of clinic operations for Cornell Scott Hill Health Center. Perry is driven by high ambitions in life and has spent the last decade working for community health centers. She is passionate about her role in helping underinsured individuals access to high quality care.
Perry spends her free time giving back to the community by serving as a board member for the Literacy Volunteers of Greater New Haven on their Development and Equity task force and as a literacy tutor. Additionally, she serves on the New Haven chapter of the NAACP’s Freedom Fund and Healthcare committee. For 20 years, she has been a foster parent to medically complex children in the foster care system. Perry continues her pursuit of helping people become their best selves as a certified life coach for my New Haven-based business, Elevate Your Excellence LLC, specializing in personal and career development
Manuel A. Rivera
CT Integrated Care for Kids (InCK)
Manuel A. Rivera is a native of Puerto Rico and a New Haven resident for the past 18 years. After retiring from the military in 2018, he earned a bachelor's degree in urban economics and public policy from Quinnipiac University in 2021. He is a current UConn executive master's of public administration fellow class of 2024.
Rivera is the director of implementation and quality improvement at CT Integrated Care for Kids (InCK) an initiative focused on improving coordination of care and services for children and families experiencing complex medical, behavioral, and social needs. A devoted husband and father of three, he is passionate about creating equitable economic, healthcare, and social changes in urban communities still struggling to overcome much of the same challenges his family faced in Puerto Rico.
“I am humbled and excited to learn, network, and collaborate with such an amazing organization and the incredible collective of talent within.”
Women and Family Life Center
Destiney Stackhouse earned a bachelor’s degree in social work from Central Connecticut State University (CCSU) and a master’s degree in social work from the University of Connecticut (UConn). While at CCSU she was vice president of Phi Alpha Honor Society for Social Work and worked at the Ruthe Boyea Women’s Center. At UConn, she was enrolled in the advanced standing program to complete her master's in one year and was a student worker at the field education office.
Stackhouse currently works at Women and Family Life Center (W&FLC) in Guilford, CT as a referral navigator and supervises interns. As a referral navigator, Stackhouse provides individual support and referrals to W&FLC programs as well as regional and statewide resources. Stackhouse aspires to grow as a leader working in a nonprofit that supports the community and hopes to dedicate her career to making an impact on women and families to achieve their goals.