MEET DR. KANDACE FORRESTER! Carmen Perkins’ powerful road to pursing equity, diversity, and inclusion helps to inspire and push forward the work that we do at PROJECT EDQUITY. Her story is complemented by Dr. Kandace Forrester’s, whose own unique background and experiences put her on a course to advocate for equity, diversity, and inclusion. Her story goes like this…
Kandace is a native of Sacramento, California. From an early age, Kandace was keenly aware of the inequities in education and communities of color. This awareness, coupled with the desire to be the first in her immediate family to attend college, motivated Kandace to submerse herself in education. This dedication led to a plethora of educational opportunities, including the honor of being awarded the Gates Millennium Scholarship and acceptance into the University of California, Berkeley.
During her time at Cal, Kandace would meet her husband, have two children, and earn three degrees, including her PhD in Education. Kandace developed a strong passion not just for learning, but also the field of Education itself. During her tenure in the Bay Area, Kandace supported several education and public service organizations, including Upward Bound, local school districts, The Alumni Achievement Program (TAAP), the National Council of Negro Women (NCNW), and the Academic Talent Development Program. She also became deeply concerned about the state of school discipline and the school-to-prison pipeline and focused her research on theses areas.
Kandace brought her focus on equity and inclusion for all students to her work as a credentialed school psychologist, where in addition to providing special education support, assessment, and resources, she implemented large-scale PBIS and Restorative Practices Initiatives, consulted with school administrators on issues of school climate and discipline, mental health, and crisis intervention, and provided motivational interviewing and coaching for teachers new to the profession . In her most recent role as the Director of Student Services for a Charter Management Organization, she implemented several initiatives and programs to support homeless and foster youth, English learners, students with disabilities, students with behavioral challenges, and parent and community stakeholders.
Kandace and her family have recently relocated back to Kandace’s hometown where she actively supports the community that her family has called home for over three generations. Her greatest wish is to support, motivate, and empower others by creating meaningful opportunities for education, advancement, and engagement within marginalized communities. That wish, a lot of hard work, and her partnership with Carmen Perkins, helped birth PROJECT EDQUITY! Kandace, Carmen, and the whole PROJECT EDQUITY team hopes to partner with those, both near and far, who also tirelessly advocate and support our youth and our communities.
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