You are cordially invited to the CLASS Coalition’s 4th Annual Summit - Breaking Barriers for BrillianceRemoving Silos to Build the STEAM Pipeline held this year in New York City on May 2nd - 3rd, 2019.

The 2019 Summit aims to continue to strengthen collaboration around increasing access and success for high achieving, low-income students at the nation's most selective high schools by breaking down barriers between the education, policy, and private sectors. Together we will work towards creating a strong vision for education that equips students from diverse backgrounds with the skills and network needed to close the excellence gap and strengthen the pipeline for STEAM careers. 

Who We Are: CLASS Coalition, founded in 2015 through a generous grant from the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, is comprised of nearly one hundred principals and leaders from selective public STEM and arts high schools from around the country. CLASS Coalition mission is focused on closing the excellence gap, the disparity in achievement levels between low-income and higher-income children with equal abilities and strengthening the school to workforce pipeline. Visit our website to learn more about CLASS! 


Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice

320 E. 43rd Street

New York, NY

Date & Time

May 2, 2019, 9:00 AM -

May 3, 2019 - 3:30 PM


Thursday, May 2nd   9:00 AM - 5:30 PM

9:00 AM    Networking Breakfast

10:00 AM   Opening Remarks & Panel: Removing Silos to Build the School-Workforce Pipeline    

11:00 AM   Break 

11:15 AM   Panel: Breaking Down Barriers to the Diversity Pipeline

12:15 PM   Break 

12:30 PM  Keynote Speaker: Ms. Amina Mohammed, Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations

1:30 PM    Networking  Luncheon

2:30 PM    Gifted Education for the Cool Kids

3:15 PM    Break

3:30 PM    Panel: Diversity and School Tone

4:15 PM    Break

4:30 PM    Opportunities with CLASS Coalition: Jack Kent Cooke Foundation, Harvard Women in Business, Ivy key, United Nations Girl Up                     

5:15 PM    Closing Remarks    

Friday, May 3rd, 2019  9:00 AM - 3:30 PM

9:00 AM      Networking Breakfast

10:00 AM    Opening Remarks & Corporate Keynote: Ms. Susan Reid, 

                     Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion at Morgan Stanley   

10:30 AM    Corporate Keynote Panel: Recruiting, Retaining, & Empowering a Diverse Workforce

11:15 AM    Break

11:30 AM    Panel: The STEAM Melting Pot

12:30 PM    Networking  Luncheon

1:30 PM      Panel: Women in STEAM

2:30 PM      Closing Session: Committing to a Stronger Future and Next Steps


Amina Mohammed (Keynote) 

Deputy Secretary General, United Nations

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed is the Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, in her work she supports the well-being of people across the world, with a focus on sustainable development, poverty reduction, and the empowerment of the world’s women and girls. She had previously served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.

Susan Reid (Corporate Keynote)

Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion, Morgan Stanley

Susan Reid, Managing Director, is Global Head of Diversity and Inclusion for Morgan Stanley. Susan is responsible for Firm-wide diversity and inclusion efforts that drive the hiring, retention, development and advancement of a diverse group of employees.

Dr. Said Ibrahim


Dr. Ibrahim is a National Institutes of Health-funded clinician-investigator whose research focuses on unequal healthcare access and quality among minority and other underserved communities. He is the senior associate dean for diversity and inclusion at Weill Cornell Medicine, leading efforts to unify diversity initiatives and foster a stronger culture of equity and belonging throughout the institution. In addition, he is focusing on how technology and care innovations can be leveraged to advance not only healthcare efficiency and quality, but also equity.

Kory Hawkins

Associate Director of Admissions, Coordinator for Diversity and Inclusion, Columbia Law School

Kory serves as senior member at one of the most highly selective law school admissions programs in the country, with a specific focus on increasing diversity and enhancing inclusion. He is responsible for data-driven, targeted outreach to underrepresented minority prospects, students of color, and various multicultural, ethnic, and identity groups. In addition, Kory, fosters, maintains, and enhances relationships with these affinity groups.

Essence Dashtaray

Talent Acquisition Manager,Viacom

Essence is responsible for delivering holistic strategy for Campus to Career Programs for Viacom. This includes intern recruitment (prescreens, interviews and placements), programmatic elements and retention for business segments across NYC HQ for Viacom including, but not limited to: Engineering, Data Strategy, Research, Product, Law and Ad Sales. In addition, Essence manages recruitment process for Post Grad Business & Legal Affairs (JD) Rotational Program including placements and programmatic elements.

Alan Royal

Senior Program Manager, Outreach & Partnerships, Jack Kent Cooke Foundation

As Senior Program Manager of Outreach and Partnerships, Mr. Royal oversees outreach initiatives and partnerships for the Young Scholars Program, College Scholarship Program, and Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship. He also develops and manages special partnerships.

Amy Cislak

Principal, University High School

Amy Cislak is the Principal of University High School, the number one ranked public high school in Arizona and a nationally celebrated high school. She has grown the school’s enrollment to 1,200 students, doubled Latino and African American enrollment and a 100% graduation rate with over $34 million in scholarship awards. Amy was named the Arizona Educator Trailblazer of the Year by the Arizona Chamber of Commerce for her efforts at University High School and was also named one of Southern Arizona’s 40 under 40 by the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Wendy Garcia

Chief Diversity Officer Office of New York City Comptroller, NYC Comptroller's Office

Wendy Garcia is the Chief Diversity Officer in the Office of New York City Comptroller. In her current position, she is responsible for helping increase contracting opportunities for Women and Minority-owned Business Enterprises in New York City, implementing corporate board diversity initiatives, and helping to lead an Advisory Council on Economic Growth through Diversity and Inclusion, a group comprised of national, local, corporate, and government experts seeking to increase supplier diversity through transparency, accountability and disclosure in the public and private sectors.

Jason Clark

President, Metropolitan Black Bar Association

As President of the Metropolitan Black Bar Association of New York City, Jason Clark has made social and criminal justice reform a priority. He has organized programs aimed at 1) reducing the number of deaths of unarmed civilians by law enforcement 2) protecting the rights of immigrants and 3) reforming New York’s bail system. In addition, Jason is an assistant attorney general in the New York State Attorney General’s Harlem Regional Office. 

Darlene Slaughter

Chief People Officer, March of Dimes

Darlene Slaughter is the Chief People Officer for the March of Dimes, the leading nonprofit fighting for the health of moms and babies. In her role, she is responsible for leading all Human Resources functions and implementing strategies that support the organization’s overall business objectives. Prior to March of Dimes, Slaughter was Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at United Way Worldwide, the world’s largest privately-funded nonprofit, where she worked with local United Ways and communities to advance D&I initiatives. 

Jae Gardner

Founder, Ivy Key

Jae Gardner is the Founder of Ivy Key, a New York City-based education company that offers top quality tutoring, test prep, and admissions consulting to over 150 schools. Jae is also a regular education correspondent for ABC News, an active angel investor and a leadership member of the Harvard Alumni Association.

Lourdes Olvera Marshall

Diversity & Inclusion Manager, Fried Frank

At Fried Frank, she works closely with the Employee Resource Groups, fosters integration throughout the Firm, provides professional skills training to diverse attorneys, and partners with outside organizations. Ms. Olvera-Marshall is also an NYU-certified Executive Coach specializing in career, leadership, diversity, and cross-cultural topics. She is a frequent speaker on networking and leadership topics throughout various organizations in New York City.

Colin Seale

Founder/CEO, Think Law

Colin created thinkLaw to give all students access to the type of game-changing critical thinking education they need to not only fully understand the way the world is, but to question it and imagine the way the world ought to be.

Clayton Banks

President, Silicon Harlem

Clayton Banks is the Co-Founder and CEO of Silicon Harlem.  The mission of Silicon Harlem is to transform Harlem and other urban markets into Innovation and Technology Hubs.  Under his leadership, Silicon Harlem has been able to partner with the Department of Education for New York City to establish an after school STEM based startup accelerator, collaborate with the NYC Mayor’s office to assess wireless broadband in upper Manhattan and coordinate a virtual startup incubator for tech based entrepreneurs.  

Prashanthi Menon

President, Association for Women in Science

Prashanthi is a medical communications professional with 10 years of experience providing scientific and clinical expertise in the areas of Oncology, Rheumatology and Cardiovascular science currently serving as Medical Director at Greyhealth Group. In addition, she is the president for the association for women in science, with responsibilities for organizing career and networking events.

Hotel Options

Westgate New York City

304 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Distance to Ford Foundation: 2 minute walk (.10 miles) 

Get directions

Cost: ~$259.00 per night   

The Westin New York

Grand Central, 212 E 42nd St, New York, NY 10017

Distance to Ford Foundation: 4 minute walk (.20 miles)

Get Directions

Price: ~$400.00 per night   

Millennium Hotel New York 

One United Nations Plaza, New York, NY 10017

Distance to Ford Foundation: 4 minute walk (.20 miles)

Get Directions

Price: ~$300.00 per night   

Pod 39 Hotel

145 East 39th Street, New York, NY 10016

Distance to Ford Foundation: 9 min walk (.40 miles)

Get Directions

Price: ~$220.00 per night 

Receive $100 off!

Members receive $100 off ticket prices - To become a member click "RSVP Now" and choose the "Become a Member " Ticket.  We will email your Member ID # so that you can take $100 off your ticket price!