Carol Watchler (Former Co-Chair of GLSEN CNJ; now BRCSJ Community OUtreach coordinator) was a schoolteacher for thirty-seven years, during which she received the NEA Virginia Uribe Award for Creative Leadership in Human Rights as well as the NJEA Martin Luther King Jr. Civil Rights Award, & continues after more than twenty-five years to work on sexual orientation & gender identity concerns in the school environment & the greater community. Carol was an early leader in the movement- her dedication to safe spaces for LGBT people in education going back to the start of the National Education Association Gay & Lesbian (now GLBT) Caucus in the 80’s where she was the first female co-chair. She continues to be involved in workshop presentations for educators & community groups to ensure safe & welcoming schools for all persons whose lives are affected by LGBTQIA issues. She helped to found & was president of Youth Service New Jersey, a statewide organization working to support community service learning in school & works to educate herself on cross cultural awareness as well by looking at ways to eliminate racism by her participation in the White Aspiring Allies to People of Color. Carol is a proud & strong paddler on the Machestic Dragons, Breast Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Team, which encourage & empower people to face their dragons with an indomitable spirit.
The Rev. Robert Moore (Executive Director, Coalition for Peace Action) is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. Since his full-time peacemaking ministry began in 1978, Rev. Moore has played a leadership role in major activities in the U.S. peace movement. He organized a press conference at Three Mile Island the day after the nuclear accident; he & CFPA played a major role in defeating the NRA’s attempt to rescind New Jersey’s Assault Weapons Ban; & he pioneered the first Peace Voter Campaign in the US. Rev. Moore co-organized the founding conference of the National Religious Campaign against Torture under CFPA’s umbrella, spinning off to become an ongoing major national interfaith group & he played a similar role in founding the Interfaith Network on Drone Warfare. These activities are only a miniscule sample of all the inspirational work that has allowed CFPA to become a model for peace groups across the country. Starting as a single group with one office under Rev. Moore’s leadership, CFPA has grown has grown to over 7,800 members & it is recognized as one of the fastest growing & most effective grassroots peace groups in the nation. Rev. Moore has received many honors in his personal & organizational capacities & has traveled far & wide in his various peacemaking ministry roles, including trips to Hiroshima & Nagaski, the former Soviet Union, Germany, Scandinavia, Greece, Holland, Canada, & Mexico.
David Sailer (Founder & Owner of the Clarion River Group) has worked with social justice organizations & leaders for more than 25 years. He learned his organizing skills as a union organizer, leading campaigns with low-income workers across the country as well as in Central America. David has also served in senior leadership positions in labor, housing rights, & education rights organizations- such as acting as the Director of Finance & Administration at SEIU Local 32BJ & as the Executive Director of The National Housing Institute among other pivotal roles. He has served as a teaching fellow with the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute & as an Adjunct Professor at the Cornell University ILR school. He has a BA from Wesleyan University & a Masters in Organizational Development & Leadership from Fielding Graduate University. Currently, through the dynamic Clarion River Group which he founded, David trains new organizers, coaches experienced leaders & guides organizational transformation work at mission-driven organizations across the country.
Wey-Wey Kwok (Senior Attorney, Center for Medicare Advocacy) has spent her career as a public interest attorney. Her practice has included the areas of low-income & disability benefits, prisoners’ rights, juvenile dependency & delinquency, family law, domestic violence, elder law, health care, & immigration. She has worked as an attorney with the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii, as a project attorney for the AARP Foundation's National Training Project, & for the Public Defender’s office as well as in numerous other public interest settings. Since 2002, she has been with the Center for Medicare Advocacy, a nonprofit, nonpartisan law organization that provides education, advocacy, & legal assistance to help older people & people with disabilities obtain fair access to Medicare & quality health care. She engages in policy work & analysis, impact litigation, & direct client representation. Wey-Wey holds a law degree from Georgetown University Law Center, & a bachelor’s degree from Yale, where she majored in American Studies.
Tom Haydon (Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist) worked as a news reporter for more four decades, including 32 years at The Star-Ledger of Newark, N.J. He covered politics, state & federal courts, police, crime, immigration & the environment. He also reported on local, county & state government in New Jersey. The winner of several journalism awards, Tom was on a team of reporters that received the Pulitzer Prize for their incisive & exemplary work. His work was honored by the Union County Human Relations Commission for achievement by the media. Throughout his career, Tom worked at numerous newspapers covering southern, central & northern New Jersey as well as a stint as an online reporter at NJ.com.
Alicia S. Rich (Executive Director, Morgan Stanley Wealth Management | Field Strategic Services) is a Financial Services Executive with 20+ years of industry experience. She began her career as an Investment Associate, helping families with wealth, retirement & education planning. Alicia migrated to a corporate role where she led teams designing digital tools that would ultimately support how Advisors, their staff & their clients engage & manage their everyday finances. Her current position at Morgan Stanley in Field Engagement & Adoption focuses on building digital communities, training aides & other resources to support technical skill development & self-education for support staff nationwide. Throughout her career, Alicia has participated in numerous diversity & inclusion events, including being a panelist representing Latina perspective for Conversations on Race & Gender, hosted by the Multicultural Network, & most recently as a subcommittee lead for the Women’s Executive Director Initiative, working to develop diverse talent & prepare them for Executive Leadership. Alicia attended Rutgers University, concentrating in Sociology & Women’s Studies.
Pamela Hall (Chief Operating Officer (COO), eCaring) is an entrepreneur with extensive start-up experience, launching over 30 companies both for clients & as an operations co-founder, realizing 10 significant exits averaging $143MM exit value, & two IPOs; seeing several of these companies from pre-institutional financing through exit. She brings close to 20 years of management & operational experience driving success for industry leading organizations & building innovative brands, & currently serves as Chief Operating Officer (COO) of NYC-based eCaring. Prior to joining eCaring, Pamela was Co-Founder & COO of United Preference, a leading health & wellness incentive administration & data analytics platform provider, directly partnered with Discover® Financial Services with clients that included some of the largest health plans in America. Pamela has been a long time advocate of issues that impact the LGBTQ community. She currently lives with her family in Princeton, NJ.
Robin Parker (Executive Director, Beyond Diversity Resource Center) focuses his work on using anti-oppression tools to build a more inclusive & just society. At the Beyond Diversity Resource Center, Parker emphasizes compassion & anti-oppression as polestars for diversity training & organizational development. He co-authored "The Anti-Racist Cookbook, A Recipe Guide for Conversations About Race That Goes Beyond Covered Dishes & Kum-Bah-Ya"& "The Great White Elephant, A Workbook on Racial Privilege for White Anti-Racists". Parker was formerly Deputy Attorney General in the New Jersey Division of Criminal Justice & Chief of the Office of Bias Crime & Community Relations. In that position, he prosecuted hate crime & developed innovative social justice training for community groups & human relations commissions. Parker is the recipient of the Rachel Davis Dubois Human Relations Award, a New Jersey Senate Citation for excellence in human relations, & the A World of Difference Award from the Anti-Defamation League of the B’nai B’rith. He is a graduate of the University of Illinois Law School & Rutgers University.
Dean Dafis (Councilperson, Maplewood, NJ) is Maplewood’s first out elected LGBTQIA Councilperson where he is actively engaged in efforts related to economic development, business special improvement district enhancement, senior services, youth empowerment & mentoring, social justice advocacy, & community coalition building. A first generation Greek American who grew up in the melting pot urbanity of 1970’s downtown Philadelphia, Dean is an attorney who began his legal career in Legal Aid in the criminal & family courts & then later worked at prominent law firms & on Wall Street in economic fraud & white collar crime matters. After the market crash of 2008, he became a full-time political & community activist.
Dean championed NJ’s first permanent rainbow crosswalks as a welcome marker of his community’s sanctuary status & inclusive policy, as well as a community building exercise. In his words, “For our youth in particular, those struggling with doubt or isolation & in need of affirmation, I want them to have a place where they can proudly cross or walk over their fear or shame.” Dean’s own youth was filled with self–doubt, fear, & the repeated bullying that was very common in those days before GSA’s existed in schools. He’s a gay conversion therapy survivor who came of age during the late 80’s, witnessing friends either die of AIDS or get arrested & incarcerated for speaking up whilst fighting for their lives. He co-directed organizing efforts of “MENY” (Marriage Equality NY)- an early grassroots advocate for marriage equality in New York which later became “MEUSA” (Marriage Equality USA)- advising affinity groups across the country in their respective equality campaigns.
He enjoys public service & partnering with advocates, community leaders, & other elected officials since moving to New Jersey in 2015 with his partner, George Forbes.
*organizations for identification only