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Executive Officers

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Rayna Walters
President & CEO

"Righteousness exalts a nation. Hate just makes people miserable."       - Fannie Lou Hamer


Rayna Malik Walters, JD is a high school ELA teacher committed to filling places and spaces with the histories of people of color. Rayna came to teaching after more than a decade of helping to run a family business. A proud NHPS graduate, she earned degrees from Southern CT University (B.Sc. Sociology) and the University of Connecticut School of Law (Juris Doctor).  Rayna has worked for the City of New Haven’s Board of Aldermen and as Deputy Director of the City of New Haven’s Office of Substance Abuse Policy and Prevention. She really believes in the power of love.

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Kurt Zimmermann
Vice President & COO

Kurt Zimmermann has an M.Ed. from the University of Connecticut in Cognition Instruction and Learning Technology.  An education major at his Jesuit college, he has dedicated himself to service. Kurt has taught in the inner city for the last ten years serving a population of mostly BIPOC. In these years, he has seen great need inside of the classroom and feels called to serve these needs, specifically, the need for a culturally responsive curriculum that acknowledges and celebrates people of color.  Kurt’s technological background makes him strive to bring innovative learning to the children.  He believes that integrating the technological experience inside of the classroom is a wonderful way to expose children of color to a complete historical depiction of humanity that involves and celebrates all people. He knows that through this service black and brown children will be esteemed and have many opportunities to build their confidence.

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Garrett Griffin Jr.
Treasurer & CFO

Garrett Griffin, Jr. is an alum of North Carolina A&T, a historically black university (HBCU) with a degree in Accounting.  Teaching is a calling that Garrett entered after years of service as an Accountant with The State of Connecticut’s Department of Labor.  His volunteer work as the Executive Director of Granville where he developed and successfully sought funding for afterschool programs that served BIPOC teens from Waterbury, ignited a spark within him that led him inside of the classroom.  As an HBCU alum, he was taken aback by the lack of black and brown people on the walls and in the pages of the books from which he taught.  His college years instilled in him a sense of historical pride that he envisions being readily available inside of every classroom so that black and brown children can feel cultural and historical pride and esteem. Garrett knows first hand the benefits of being taught black history and cultural pride. It is his desire to bring historical events and people that are relevant to black and brown children so that they can see the heights that they can achieve.

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