Education and Child Development Advisers

To acquire knowledge of the general education, social-emotional learning and child development communities and how best to participate with them, and for credibility with the public and with potential sponsors, the campaign originally relied for guidance on the following individuals who support our goals.    

george bermudez

GEORGE BERMUDEZ, PhD

Dr. Bermudez is Director of Child Studies at Antioch University in Los Angeles and Director of Training at Los Angeles largest facility treating troubled youth. He has 35 years of experience as a clinical and family psychologist in poor urban neighborhoods (New York’s lower Eastside and the South Bronx; Los Angeles’ East Los Angeles and Watts). Dr. Bermudez has been an associate professor at the California School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles, specializing in Multicultural Clinical Psychology, and he has a Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from the Southern California Psychoanalytic Institute. Apart from his direct work counseling youths and families, his focus has been training others in a multi-dimensional, integrative approach to psychological theory and practice that brings together developmental theory, psychoanalysis, family systems, group psychology, and multiculturalism. He is a regular speaker at conferences on child and adolescent development, family systems theory, couples counseling, developmental psychopathology and group treatment. 

PAUL F. CUMMINS

A renowned educator who early on included SEL programs in alternative schools he founded, Mr. Cummins is current CEO and President of the Coalition for Engaged Education with the mission of creating opportunities for all children to have equitable access to a quality education.  Among the numerous highly-rated schools he has founded or co-founded are Crossroads, New Roads, Camino Nuevo, and New Village, all in Los Angeles. He also founded P.S. Arts, a non-profit that provides art classes to children in Title I schools. Mr. Cummins has published four books on education plus a biography, two volumes of his poetry, and two children’s books. His forthcoming book is entitled Engaged Education: New Visions for Joy and Success in Learning.

laurie meadoff

LAURIE MEADOFF

A recognized national leader in the world of life skills and SEL programs for youth, she founded and for 30 years led (and is now President Emeritus of) The CityKids Foundation, which, in its own words, “engages and develops diverse young people to positively impact their lives, their communities and the world by making sure their voices are heard. CityKids has pioneered, maintained and innovated cutting edge youth development programs for three decades, training tens of thousands of young people to be leaders and motivated agents of social change.” She has also been a consultant to the SEL program of the Hawn Foundation. Currently, she is CEO of Laurie Inc. and Team, a company that describes itself as “designed to innovate, connect and, activate brands and media from around the world. With extensive experience in executive production, resourceful collaboration, and strategic planning, Laurie masterfully uses her vast network to build bridges and devise projects with significant and resounding societal influence.” Other causes or socially conscious businesses she has led are Cancer Shmancer, Inc., (as CEO), Chat the Planet (co-founder and President), and Next Next Entertainment (co-founder and President).

ROBERT F. SHERMAN, PhD

Former Director of the Initiative for Social and Emotional Learning at the NoVo Foundation, Mr. Sherman is now a prominent consultant to foundations and nonprofits in areas of education reform, youth development and leadership, and civic engagement. Current and most recent clients include:  Ford Foundation and the Movement Strategy Center, a consortium of six national education funders focused on education reform that includes Ford, Hewlett, Sandler, Nellie Mae, Stuart Foundations, and the National Education Support Fund.  The broader list of his consulting includes:  Einhorn Family Charitable Trust; Growth Philanthropy Network/Social Impact Exchange; National Afterschool Association; Public Interest Projects/Neo Philanthropy; City Year; Coro NY Leadership Center; Random Acts of Kindness Foundation, and NJ Performing Arts Center.

A major focus of his tenure at NoVo was the Collaborating District Initiative, which funded the planning and rollout of district-wide social and emotional learning, K-12, in eight large US school districts, as well as evaluation and significant strategy sharing across districts. Prior to NoVo, he was Executive Director of the Action Center to End World Hunger, a division of Mercy Corps.  Here he also developed and supervised the agency’s Global Citizen Corps, a youth activist and service program involving thousands of young people from 11 countries who convene in person and online in a yearlong peer-to-peer leadership, learning and service effort focused on local action-taking on global challenges around hunger, poverty, conflict, and human rights. Earlier, he founded and directed the national Effective Citizenry program at the Surdna Foundation in New York City, where he served for 15 years. Anchored in SEL at its core, the program supported organizations that help young people participate meaningfully in shaping civic and community life. Still earlier he worked in the NYC government in senior community relations positions. He holds a Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies at Adelphi University, and a BA from Haverford College.

robert sherman

WILLIAM SPEAR

Amanda Manares is a founding partner of Precision Health Technology Products, as well as an investor or Advisory Board member of multiple businesses and market disruptors in many industry sectors, including social impact investing. These service more than 30 global marketplaces. Her specialty has been securing market innovation and first-to-market advantages for several companies, including Appics AG and WeText. In this she draws on an extensive range of industry influencers, key strategic partners, global change makers and public figures she has cultivated over time. She is frequently called on for strategic development of business and selective nonprofit initiatives based on these factors, as well as for an innate skill at simplifying complex concepts, for her execution talents and instincts, and for her ability to understand and communicate organization missions to global markets.

Most recently, her interests and skills have gravitated toward entertainment and media and to navigating realms of virtual immersive technologies and blockchain ventures – including architecting crypto-philanthropic initiatives. As a mother herself, Amanda sees the emotional intelligence revolution and social emotional learning as a needed catalyst of an advanced society that has gained the skills to shed its destructive, conflict-ridden tendencies and prosper in a mutually caring and ever more innovative, fairer, and healthy new world. She also brings the vision of such a world to her role as a Founding Circle Member of the Stan Lee Foundation.

QUENTIN WILSON

Until two years ago Mr. Wilson was CEO and President of All Management Corporation whose primary business is student loans and which secondarily organizes “College Clubs” at high schools around the country to develop higher education awareness and aptitude. Both an education and financing specialist, Mr. Wilson has earlier served as Commissioner of Higher Education for the State of Missouri where he oversaw the State’s student loan guarantee agency, as well as was Cabinet Director and Revenue Director for the state. He also served as Associate Director for the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority (MOHELA). the Missouri School College Relations Commission, and the Board of Excellence in Missouri Foundation. He holds an MBA from St. Louis University and BA from George Washington University. He is also a graduate of the State and Local Government Executives Program at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.

quentin wilson