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Session IV

Topic: TBD

University of Connecticut

Fall 2022

Registration link:

The Speakers


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Dr. Frank Tuitt

Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer


Dr. Frank Tuitt, who has more than two decades of higher education administration experience, was named Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer at the University of Connecticut in late July 2020.

From September 2019 to Summer 2020, he was a visiting scholar at the Echo Center for Diversity Policy at The Hague, Netherlands.  He was the inaugural visiting scholar at the Echo Center and delivered lectures, facilitated training, and conducted research in support of diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts in the Netherlands and to post-secondary institutions in Europe.

In 2019, he received the National Association of Chief Diversity Officers in Higher Education Individual Leadership Award in recognition of “outstanding contributions to research, administration, practice, advocacy, and/or policy, and whose work informs and advances understanding of diversity and inclusive excellence in higher education.”

He began his professional career with positions at Wesleyan, Harvard, and UMass-Boston.

Dr. Tuitt earned his undergraduate degree in human relations from Connecticut College in New London and has both a master’s and doctorate from Harvard School of Education in administration, planning and social policy with a concentration in higher education.


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Nadene McKenzie-Reid

Deputy Head of Technology

Natwest Markets

Nadene McKenzie-Reid is the Deputy Head of Technology at Natwest Markets in Stamford CT. She has worked in investment banking technology for over 20 years having started her career at UBS in FX technology before moving to Rates technology in Greenwich Capital Markets, now Natwest Markets, for the last 16 years.

Nadene has a passion for pursuing equity in education and currently serves as the Vice-Chair of Stamford Cradle to Career board that has a city-wide education initiative addressing racial and economic disparities. She also serves on the boards of A Better Chance (Darien CT) and STEAMPark, organizations focusing on providing educational opportunities to underserved students.

Nadene was born and raised in Jamaica and received her undergraduate degree in Physics and Computer Science from the University of the West Indies in Kingston. She then migrated to the US to earn a graduate degree in Computer Science from the University of Bridgeport in Connecticut. She currently resides in Stamford CT with her husband Cecil and three children, Tena-Lesly, Carlee and Cecil Jr.



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Dr. Katherine A. Golar

Chief Medical Officer

Optimus Health Care, Inc

Katherine A. Golar is Chief Medical Officer at Optimus Health Care, Inc. of Bridgeport, CT. Prior to her role at Optimus, Dr. Golar served as Medical Director and Chief Medical Officer at multiple centers in New York and Connecticut, helping to lead institutions in providing high-quality medical and behavioral health care, as well as addressing the social determinants of health for patients and clients from a wide variety of backgrounds and cultures. This included nearly a decade as Chief Medical Officer at the Brownsville Multi-Service Family Health Center (BMS) of the Brownsville Community Development Corporation, based in Brooklyn, New York, a Federally Qualified Health Center serving more than 15,000 patients.

Golar received her M.D. at Boston University School of Medicine and completed her Internal Medicine residency at Montefiore Medical Center's Residency Program in Social Medicine in the Bronx, New York. She was named as Physician of the Year in 2010 by the Primary Care Development Corporation, an organization dedicated to increasing the capacity and quality of primary care in underserved communities in New York City.

Jacqueline D. Woods


Chief Marketing Officer


Ms. Woods is a passionate leader, noted for growing businesses using innovative strategies to develop customer-centric programs focused on revenue optimization. With more than two decades of experience driving marketing efforts in data, technology, and analytics industries she positions companies for growth and unifies business functions. As CMO and member of NielsenIQ’s Executive Committee, she leads global positioning, branding, and the go-to-market strategy.


Her diverse experience includes Fortune 100 companies (IBM, Oracle, GE, and Verizon) and her expertise has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, Fortune Magazine and The New York Times. Additionally, Black Enterprise and Savoy Magazine has named her a  Top 100 Executive in Corporate America for the past three years.


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FEB 22


  • Welcome


  • TBD


  • TBD


  • Q & A

  • Closing








Black Health Policy

Advocates applauded Congress’ three trillion dollar Health and Economic Recovery Omnibus Emergency Solutions (HEROES) Act back in March, but know that much more needs to be done for the Black community as a result of COVID-19. Consequently, the Black to the Future Action Fund has published the new policy platform “COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Plan for Black America.” 

The plan addresses four key points impacted by the pandemic—the economy, healthcare, housing and democracy rights—that could help flatten the curve and the playing field, as highlighted on the Black to the Future website. Some examples of the plan’s recommendations include putting cash directly into the hands of people and canceling student loan payments, rent, mortgages and evictions, plus public utilities and internet costs. The Black to the Future Action Fund is pushing Congress and the public to back these proposals and to adopt the plan immediately.

Vaccine Resouces

Getting vaccinated protects you, your loved ones, and your entire community from serious diseases. You can take steps to spread the word about the importance of vaccination in your community — and we can help! Use the information and resources in this section to share up-to-date, credible information about vaccines with people in your community.

Why Vaccines Matter

There have been many misunderstandings about vaccines. There are myths and misleading statements that spread on the internet about vaccines. Here are answers to 5 of the most common questions/misconceptions about vaccines.

Vaccines do NOT cause autism.

No studies have found a link between a vaccine and the likelihood of developing autism. The only paper that suggested a link has been discredited. The doctor who wrote it lost his medical license. Research is showing that infants may be born with autism, before any vaccinations are given.

Vaccines are NOT too much for an infant’s immune system to handle.

Infants’ immune systems can handle much more than what vaccines give them. They are exposed to hundreds of bacteria and viruses every day. Adding a few more with a vaccine doesn’t add to what their immune systems are capable of handling.

Vaccines do NOT contain toxins that will harm you.

Some vaccines contain trace amounts of substances that could be harmful in a large dose. These include formaldehyde, aluminum, and mercury. But the amount used in the vaccines is so small that the vaccines are completely safe. For example, over the course of all vaccinations by the age of 2, a child will take in 4mg of aluminum. A breast-fed baby will take in 10mg in 6 months. Soy-based formula delivers 120mg in 6 months. In addition, infants have 10 times as much formaldehyde naturally occurring in their bodies than what is contained in a vaccine. And the toxic form of mercury has never been used in vaccines.

Vaccines do NOT cause the diseases they are meant to prevent.

This is a common misconception, especially about the flu vaccine. Many people think they get sick after getting a flu shot. But flu shots contain dead viruses—it’s impossible to get sick from the shot. Even with vaccines that use weakened live viruses, you could experience mild symptoms similar to the illness. But you don’t actually have the disease.

We DO still need vaccines in the U.S., even though infection rates are low.

Many diseases are uncommon in the U.S. because of our high vaccination rate. But they haven’t been eliminated from other areas of the world. If a traveler from another country brings a disease to the U.S., anyone who isn’t vaccinated is at risk of getting that disease. The only way to keep infection rates low is to keep vaccinating.

The Opportunity Foundation


The Opportunity Foundation's mission is to expand social action activities for minority youth throughout Fairfield County, through scholarships and educational support, to make postsecondary success possible for all students.

Our vision is to be locally impactful in the lives of minority youth by providing scholarships and other financial support, to make the completion of education beyond high school a reality for those who dream to inspire.

Ronald K. Woods - President
Josiah Lindsay - Vice President
Raiford Cockfield - Secretary
Tracy McMillan - Treasurer
Randolph Kinder -Board Member
Phillip Miller - Board Member
Dr. Dwayne Smith - Board Member

Go to for more information.


Couch Conversations


Engage the community.

Think aloud.

Act on the mindshare.


Couch Conversations

Session I

Couch Conversations

Session II

Couch Conversations

Session III


February 22, 2020

October 17, 2020 

February 27, 2021


UCONN - Stamford Campus


Virtually through UCONN



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