The YMCA of Greater New York is hosting a virtual roundtable series to discuss racial inequities and promote social justice in our communities — and the action that we as individuals, organizations, and communities must take for change.
Understanding the Inequities in the Justice System
On October 27, a panel of experts discussed and addressed Racial Inequities in the Justice System. Please watch this important dialogue to learn what racial inequities exists in our justice system and what we as individuals, organizations and communities can do to make change.
- Michael Rivadeneyra, YMCA of Greater New York, Senior Director of Government Relations (moderator)
- Nonny Onyekweli, National Urban League, Director of Criminal Justice
- Judge Eugene Oliver, Jr., Retired Deputy Administrative Judge Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division
- Erica Bond, Vice President of Social Justice Initiatives, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Senior Director Of Government Relations
YMCA of Greater New York
Michael Rivadeneyra is the Senior Director of Government Relations at the YMCA of Greater New York, where he develops the legislative and budgetary agenda for the organization. Prior to this role, Mr. Rivadeneyra served in various capacities as a legislative staffer to Council Members James Vacca, Annabel Palma, and Diana Reyna.
While in law school, Mr. Rivadeneyra served as a legal intern at Main Street Legal Services, where he represented immigrant survivors of gender violence and advocated on behalf of undergraduate students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mr. Rivadeneyra also worked to advance immigrants’ rights as an intern at the New York Legal Assistance Group during law school. Mr. Rivadeneyra is a city council designee to the Board appointed by Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Director of Criminal Justice
National Urban League
Nonny Onyekweli is a lawyer and the Director of Criminal Justice at the National Urban League where she is develops and implements their racial, social, and criminal justice reform-related campaigns. She uses advocacy and public education strategies to advance racial justice on the federal, state and local level, with a particular focus on policing.
Prior to the League, she was a litigation associate at Skadden, Arps where her pro bono practice included immigration, children’s rights, and family law and she served as the co-chair for the Law Firm Anti-Racism Alliance Gun Violence Intervention and Prevention Committee. She also worked at the Legal Aid Society as an immigration public defender and represented medically vulnerable clients during the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic.
She was previously a fellow at NYU School of Law’s Policing Project and a member of the Cleveland Police Federal Monitoring Team working to implement the Federal Consent Decree between the City of Cleveland and the U.S. Department of Justice focusing on constitutional policing.
Nonny is a writer and opines of issues surrounding race, intersectionality, and policing. She holds a J.D. from New York University School of Law and B.S. from the University of Maryland.
Vice President of Social Justice Initiatives, John Jay College of Criminal Justice
Erica Bond has experience in the government, non-profit, public policy, and legal sectors. Prior to becoming Vice President of Social Justice Initiatives at John Jay College, Ms. Bond was the Policy Director at the Data Collaborative for Justice (DCJ) at John Jay College, a research organization that seeks to advance safe, just and equitable communities through data and research on criminal justice policy, operations and reforms. Previously, Ms. Bond served as Special Advisor for Criminal Justice to the First Deputy Mayor of New York City. In this role, she advised and supported the First Deputy Mayor in management of the City’s criminal justice agencies. Ms. Bond’s city service included collaborating with partners across government to advance significant criminal justice initiatives, including the plan for closure of Riker’s Island and New York’s landmark effort to raise the age of criminal responsibility. Prior to joining city government, Ms. Bond was a Director of Criminal Justice at the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (now called Arnold Ventures), where she worked to develop new research, policy reforms and evidenced-based innovations with the goal of transforming criminal justice systems nationwide. In this role, she partnered with criminal justice practitioners, researchers, and policymakers on initiatives to improve community safety, increase trust and confidence in the criminal justice system and ensure fairness in the criminal justice process. Ms. Bond’s work at the Arnold Foundation included projects with the National Academy of Sciences to improve eyewitness identification procedures, the International Association of Chiefs of Police to create a center on evidence-based policing and John Jay College of Criminal Justice to advance research and policy related to pretrial reforms. After graduating from law school, Ms. Bond worked as a Litigation Associate at Kaye Scholer (now Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP), an international law firm where she represented clients on a variety of matters, including government investigations, regulatory compliance issues and commercial disputes. Ms. Bond is a mayoral designee to New York City’s Civilian Complaint Review Board. J.D., Fordham University School of Law; B.A., Wesleyan University
Judge Eugene Oliver, Jr.
Retired Deputy Administrative Judge Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division
The Hon. Eugene Oliver, Jr, former Deputy Administrative Judge of the Bronx Supreme Court Criminal Division, is a proud Bronx resident. A graduate of the New York City Public School System, Middlebury College, and Fordham University School of Law. A former Bronx Executive Assistant District Attorney, he was appointed to the bench by the Hon. David Dinkins, Mayor of the City of New York in 1990. During his prestigious career, he has served as Supervising Judge of both New York County, and Bronx County Criminal Courts. He was responsible for the design and implementation of a new training program for newly assigned judges to the Criminal Court, and has been instrumental in the introduction of new alternative sentencing programs. Judge Oliver supports organizations that work philanthropically within the community. He currently serves on the Board of the East Side Settlement House, the Black Bar Association of Bronx County, a Middlebury College Overseer, a member of the National Bar Association, NAACP, and various other associations
Addressing Racial Inequities in Health Care
On February 23, a panel of health experts discussed how inequities in our health care system are affecting communities of color, with a focus on COVID-19, life expectancy, and maternal care — and how the Y can help close the gap in access to quality and sustainable care.
- Sharon Greenberger, YMCA of Greater New York, President & CEO (moderator)
- Adrianyeli Feliz, West Side YMCA, Teen Leader (moderator)
- Eboné Carrington, NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem, Chief Executive Officer
- Dr. Julia Iyasere, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Dalio Center for Health Justice, Executive Director
- Errol Pierre, Healthfirst, Senior Vice President of State Programs
Resources on racial health disparities:
- Kaiser Family Foundation - Disparities in Health and Health Care: Five Key Questions and Answers
- CDC - Health Equity Considerations and Racial and Ethnic Minority Groups
- CDC - Health Disparities and Inequalities Report
President & CEO
YMCA of Greater New York
Sharon Greenberger is the 10th President and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York, a leading New York City nonprofit serving a diverse population of more than half a million children, adults, and seniors annually through programs and services that empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community. With 24 branches throughout the five boroughs, the Y connects active, engaged New Yorkers to build stronger communities.
Sharon launched the YMCA’s new strategic plan, Thriving New Yorkers, Stronger Communities, which outlines the organization’s vision for serving New York City from 2018-2025. She is leading development of two new YMCA branches in the Bronx, to be completed in 2020. The new Bronx facilities will serve tens of thousands of residents, create new jobs, add new recreational and learning spaces, and foster community engagement.
Prior to joining the YMCA in 2015, Sharon spent more than 20 years in both the private and public sector working to improve New Yorkers’ health and livelihood and promote the development of New York City.
As Senior Vice President, Facilities and Real Estate at New York-Presbyterian Hospital, she oversaw $2 billion of active projects to expand and improve facilities to better serve the needs of patients and their families. Sharon managed operations for 1,700 public schools serving 1.1 million children as COO of the New York City Department of Education, and led completion of 100 new schools while leading the City’s School Construction Authority. She also served as Chief of Staff to the City’s Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding, and Vice President for Economic Development at the Alliance for Downtown New York.
Sharon received her bachelor’s degree from Wesleyan University and holds a master’s degree in City Planning, with a focus in Housing and Community Development and Environmental Design, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
She is a member of the Prospect Park YMCA and lives in Brooklyn.
YMCA Teen Leader
West Side YMCA
Adrianyeli Feliz was born in Harlem and identifies as Afro-Latina. She is currently a senior at the Urban Assembly School for Media Studies. She started at the West Side YMCA during her freshman year. During her time at the Y, Adrianyeli has been a leader among her peers, participating in numerous programs, including Teen Center, Leaders Club, and Rowe Scholars. She was also chosen as an intern for the Teen Career Connection Summer Internship Program, serving as a Counselor-in-Training at PS 191, where she was loved by both campers and staff.
Chief Executive Officer
NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem
Eboné M. Carrington, MPA, FAB is currently the Chief Executive Officer of NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem. NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem is a public hospital that serves the communities of central and west Harlem, northern Manhattan, and the south Bronx. The Hospital has 13,000 discharges, 206,000 outpatient visits, and 80,000 emergency department visits per year.
As the Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Carrington provides leadership to the Hospital’s inpatient, outpatient, emergency, and critical care units and has fiscal and operational responsibility for a workforce of 3,200 and an operating budget of over 400 million dollars.
Prior to joining NYC Health + Hospitals | Harlem, Ms. Carrington served as Senior Vice President and Chief Quality Officer, as well as Chief Operating Officer at Interfaith Medical Center, a multi-site community teaching health care system located in Brooklyn.
Ms. Carrington has been chosen by Modern Healthcare magazine as one of the “Up and Comers” in healthcare administration, and by Crains New York Business as a 40 under 40 Executive; and given the same honor by Stony Brook University. She has completed the Bloomberg New York City Leadership Certification, is an Executive Leadership Fellow of the Advisory Board, a Member of the Board of Directors of the New York Theological Seminary, and is an adjunct professor at the Baruch College Marxe School of Public and International Affairs.
A native of New York City, Ms. Carrington earned her Master of Public Administration from New York University and her Bachelor of Science in Business with honors from Stony Brook University.
Dr. Julia Iyasere
NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Dalio Center for Health Justice
A native of California, Dr. Iyasere moved to the East Coast to attend Yale University where she graduated with a B.S. in Molecular Biology with a focus in Neuroscience. After a year working in cancer cell biology and cell signaling cascades at Harvard Medical School, she joined the Columbia community at Columbia College of Physician and Surgeons, eventually choosing to pursue a dual degree with the Columbia Business School and graduating with an M.D./M.B.A in 2008. After completing her residency in Internal Medicine at Columbia, Dr. Iyasere stayed for a year as Chief Resident before joining the Section of Hospital Medicine in 2012. She completed a part-time fellowship in Medical Simulation at the NewYork-Presbyterian Simulation Center during her first year with the Division. Currently, Dr. Iyasere serves as a Vice President, as well as the Director of LEAD Academy, a physician leadership and career development program at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital.
Throughout her accomplished medical career, Dr. Iyasere has been a steadfast champion of diversity and inclusion. Most recently, Dr. Iyasere has been appointed to the role of Executive Director of NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital’s Dalio Center for Health Justice. In this role, she leads the Center’s efforts to address longstanding health inequities due to race, socioeconomic differences, limited access to care, and other complex factors that impact the well-being of our communities. The Center will serve as a convener, collaborator, and grantor, bringing together renowned experts in diverse fields to fuel change and support health justice among NewYork-Presbyterian team members, patients, communities, and ultimately local and national policy.
Prior to her current role, Dr. Iyasere was the associate chief medical officer for Service Lines and the Co-Director of the Care Team Office at NYP. An assistant professor of medicine, Dr. Iyasere continues to see patients as an internist in the Section for Hospital Medicine at Columbia.
Senior Vice President of State Programs
Errol Pierre is the Senior Vice President of State Programs at Healthfirst, Inc, the largest non-profit health plan in New York State, serving 1.6 million members. In this role, he is accountable for growth, profit/loss, sales and retention for the Medicaid and Long-Term Care product portfolios. Additionally, he provides strategic and operational direction for the company’s newly launched Health Equity Foundation and Community Affairs. As a result of many efforts in 2020, Errol Pierre was appointed to the Yonkers Health Equity Taskforce by Mayor Mike Spano.
Prior to Healthfirst, Errol spent over 12 years at Empire BlueCross BlueShield, which is the largest for-profit health plan in New York State. Their Medicaid and Medicare health plans in New York City and Long Island serves close to 5 million members. Errol’s career in health care started at Empire as an intern in 2003. Throughout his tenure, he held various leadership roles in Sales and Strategy until leaving the company as the Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2019.
A Bronx, New York resident, Errol graduated from Fordham University with a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance. He later obtained a master’s degree in Health Policy and Financial Management from New York University. He will complete his doctoral degree focused on Health Equity by June 2021. Lastly, he is an adjunct professor at New York University; teaching various courses in Healthcare and Business.
In his spare time, Errol volunteers for numerous non-profit organizations. He serves as a board member of the Arthur Ashe Institute of Urban Health, He is a member of the national 100 Black Men Health & Wellness Committee. Lastly, he mentors both high school students and Fordham undergraduates in the Bronx. In 2020, he was acknowledged as one of the Caribbean-American “Power 100” by Carib News and was awarded for “Outstanding Community Service” by the Aesclepius Medical Society.
Race & Education
April 28, 2021 – 3:30 PM
Schools are one of the most segregated areas in America today. A panel of experts will discuss how inequities in race and education are affecting communities of color and how we as individuals, organizations, and a community can eliminate these disparities.
- Dennis Walcott, Queens Public Library, President & CEO (moderator)
- Zakiyah Ansari, Alliance for Quality Education, Advocacy Director & New York City Director
- David C. Banks, The Eagle Academy Foundation, President & CEO
- Abe Fernández, Children's Aid Society, Vice President of Collective Impact & Director of National Center for Community Schools
President & CEO
Queens Public Library
Dennis M. Walcott is President and CEO of Queens Public Library, one of the largest and busiest public library systems in the United States, dedicated to serving the most ethnically and culturally diverse urban area in the world.
A non-profit institution that receives 95 percent of its funding from government sources, QPL offers free access to a collection of more than 5 million books and other materials in multiple languages, technology and digital resources, and more than 87,500 educational, cultural, and civic programs and welcomes 11.5 million people each year. QPL consists of 66 locations, including branch libraries, a Central Library, seven adult learning centers, a technology center, two universal pre-kindergartens, and two teen centers.
Dennis was named QPL’s President and CEO in March 2016 following a lifelong career in public education and human services. The former chancellor of the New York City public school system and a deputy mayor under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Dennis joined the Library after serving as the New York State- appointed monitor of the East Ramapo School District in Rockland County, initiating a series of reforms to ensure the equitable delivery of service and opportunity to the district’s students.
Before working at City Hall, Dennis was the President and CEO of the New York Urban League for more than 12 years and served as the Executive Director of the Harlem Dowling Westside Center. He began his career as a kindergarten teacher.
Dennis is a Queens native and a graduate of New York City public schools. He received a bachelor’s degree in sociology, and a master’s degree in education from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. He also holds a master’s degree in social work from Fordham University. Dennis and his wife Denise live in Queens, have four adult children and are grandparents.
Advocacy Director & New York City Director
Alliance for Quality Education
Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the leading statewide organization that has been fighting for educational justice in New York State.
Zakiyah is the mother of 8 children and grandparent of 4. Zakiyah has dedicated 20 years of her life to the fight for educational justice and ending the oppression of Black and brown people. In 2017, Zakiyah was named one of City and State magazines "25 Most Influential in Brooklyn." Zakiyah volunteers her time with NY Justice League. Zakiyah is a 2020 Atlantic Fellow.
President & CEO
The Eagle Academy Foundation
David C. Banks is the President and CEO of the Eagle Academy Foundation and the Founding Principal of The Eagle Academy for Young Men, the first school in a network of innovative all-boys public schools in New York City. David’s visionary approach to the education of young men of color emphasizes a partnership between schools and communities based on the guiding principles of academic excellence, leadership and character development. The Eagle model has been adopted in schools throughout all five New York City boroughs and Newark, with replication of the model expanding nationally through the Eagle Institute. As Eagle Academy students achieve outstanding high school graduation and college matriculation rates, the Eagle model proves that a high quality, college preparatory education for young men of color can be provided in a public-school setting.
The first Eagle Academy for Young Men was established as part of New York City’s high school reform initiative in partnership with One Hundred Black Men, Inc.
David’s successful approach has been covered in numerous news outlets including CBS This Morning. The Eagle story was chronicled in The Infamous Future, a visionary documentary on the positive transformation of young men through their time at Eagle Academy.
National leaders and leading educational voices endorse the Eagle Academy model including former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and former New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, whose borough has adopted the Eagle model in nine schools as part of the Eagle Demonstration Project. In 2018, Secretary Clinton co-wrote an op-ed with David on Eagle’s philosophy. City & State, the premier political outlet covering New York State, ranked David in the top 75 most powerful education leaders in New York State in 2020.
In partnership with Scholastic, Inc., David helped curate the Rising Voices Library, a collection of nonfiction, biographical and fiction books celebrating Black and Latino boys. The library provides students in grades K–5 with high-interest, culturally-relevant texts that give context to what they’re experiencing in the world around them.
David is a graduate of Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey and received his Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law. In 2014, David Banks was chosen as one of seven Black Male Achievement Social Innovators nationwide by the Leadership and Sustainability Institute for demonstrating tangible results in improving the life outcomes of African American boys and men. David was a member of the Board of Directors for the International Boys’ Schools Coalition. In May 2014, David was awarded an honorary Doctorate degree from Wheelock College.
David resides in New Jersey. He has four adult children: Jamaal, twins Aaliyah and Ali, Malcolm Rashaad, and two grandchildren, Hayleigh and Nomi Jae.
Vice President of Collective Impact & Director of National Center for Community Schools
Children's Aid Society
Abe Fernández directs the National Center for Community Schools and oversees the place-based collective impact initiatives at Children’s Aid in New York City, leveraging over twenty years of experience in education, youth development, and the social impact sector.
He was previously a senior advisor to South Bronx Rising Together, a cradle-to-career collective impact initiative of which he was a founding co-director. He also led the Empire State Poverty Reduction Initiative – a statewide effort to plan and implement strategies to mitigate poverty – for the Bronx.
Abe is a national expert on the community school strategy and, with the team at NCCS, provides consultation and training to initiatives around the country and beyond. He is a graduate of Brown University and the Senior Leaders Program for Nonprofit Professionals at Columbia Business School.
Race & Housing Disparities
On June 16, a panel of experts discussed how housing inequity is a disparity in the quality of housing in a community, this is a form of economic inequality. The right to housing is recognized by many national constitutions, and the lack of adequate housing can have adverse consequences for an individual and families. Join our panelists of experts in understanding the barriers to affordable housing and how homelessness and housing instability has plagued our communities, as well as the long-lasting impact on wealth-building capacity.
- Cedric Dew, YMCA of Greater New York, Senior Executive Director of Transitional Housing and Jamaica YMCA (moderator)
- Derrick Griggs, Neighborhood Housing Services of NYC, Inc., Chief Executive Officer
- Bernard Warren, Webb & Booker, Inc., Chairman & CEO
General resources on racial equity and social justice:
- Just Medicine: A Cure for Racial Inequity in American Health Care by Dayna Bowen Matthew
- The Health Gap. The Challenge of an Unequal World by Michael Marmot
- How to be an Antiracist by Ibram X. Kendi
- Stamped: Racism Antiracism and You by Jason Reynolds and Ibram X. Kendi
- White Fragility by Robin DiAngelo
- Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson
- The Fire Next Time by James Baldwin
- The New Jim Crow by Michelle Alexander
- Why Are The Black Kids Sitting Together In the Cafeteria? by Beverly Tatum
- So You Want To Talk About Race by Ijeoma Oluo
- Me and White Supremacy by Layla Saad
Art, Film, & More
- National Urban League - 21 Pillar Toolkit
- HBO - True Justice
- PBS - The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution
- Netflix - 13th
- California Newsreel - Race: The Power of an Illusion
- Oprah's Master Class - Cicely Tyson
- MoMa Exhibit - Marking Time: Art in the Age of Mass Incarceration
- New York Public Library - Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture
- Health Disparities and Hope: How the Dalio Center for Health Justice Will Make ‘Real Progress’
- Racial Equity Tools
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