This conference aims to examine the intersection and experiences of women, leadership, and how social justice shapes and informs their approach to leadership and tease out approaches on how to navigate power structures within organizations and institutions.

We’re honored to have Dr. Claire Green-Forde as our keynote speaker followed by Panelists Dr. Laura Quiros, associate professor of Social Work at Adelphi University, and adjunct faculty members: Maria Cuadra, Carolyn Peguero-Spencer, Kari Tabag, Peggy Noel and our newly formed student association Adelphi Students for Change.

Speaker Bio

Claire Green-Forde

Dr. Green-Forde is the Executive Director of NASW-NYC. Dr. Claire J. Green-Forde is an unapologetic social justice advocate whose mission and passion is to be an illuminator, and systems interrupter. She is a Barbadian-born, New York and New Jersey-based, Licensed Clinical Social Worker whose work and interests focus on the intersectionality of behavioral health, criminal justice, social disparities, trauma, and human development.

Dr. Green-Forde firmly believes in the bio-psycho-social-spiritual model of wellness and is a strong advocate for holistic and culturally humble practices that consider both a trauma-informed and neurobiological lens. She has training and experience in areas including adolescent and adult mental health, policy development, and racial trauma. Dr. Green-Forde lends her time to help support various missions and is a member of many community service organizations including Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.


Carolyn Peguero Spencer
Carolyn Peguero Spencer is a Ph.D. candidate at Fordham University School of Social Service, a part-time adjunct instructor at Adelphi University School of Social Work in New York, Assistant Professor at SUNY Orange Community College, and a practicing bilingual licensed clinical social worker (LCSW).

Her doctoral research uses an intersectionality lens to investigate Latina single mothers, post-secondary degrees in Community Colleges, and economic well-being outcomes while exploring universal daycare and basic universal income as policy mandates.

She takes a multidisciplinary approach that draws from gender studies, sociology, economics, and critical race theory scholars.

She holds a master’s degree in Social Work from Fordham University in New York and a master’s degree in Psychology from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. She co-authored a journal article “Investigating Diversity in Social Work Doctoral Education in the United States.

Dr. Laura Quiros
Dr. Laura Quiros is an Associate Professor of Social Work at Adelphi University for the past eleven years. I teach social work practice at the Doctoral and Masters level and in Fall 2019, I designed and taught a Freshman Year Seminar course titled; Trauma and the Work of Social Justice. I teach in the traditional face-to-face program as well as in our OMSW program. My research and scholarly interests focus on trauma-informed care from a social justice lens. Using my lens as an educator, researcher, author, practitioner, trauma survivor, mother and woman of color from a multiracial and multiethnic background, I identified a deficiency and an interconnectedness in the fields of trauma, diversity and inclusion and social work education and leadership. The common thread in my teaching, scholarship and service is elevating complexity and furthering the mission of social justice, from a trauma-informed lens.

María Elisa Cuadra-Fernández, LCSW-R, ACSW, CASAC, CPP, ICPS, ICADC
María Elisa Cuadra-Fernández is an Adjunct Professor, Adelphi University, School of Social Work for 20 years, where she teaches advanced practice and social justice courses. Has also taught at Stony Brook, Fordham, Yeshiva, and the Westchester Social Work Education Consortium. María Elisa is also Executive Director/CEO of COPAY Inc., a bilingual, multicultural human services agency providing direct care, advocacy, and environmental change strategies on behalf of low income, marginalized families with extensive trauma histories. Educated at Stony Brook and Adelphi Universities, she has served as Chairperson, LI Latinx Coalition and the NC Heroin Task Force. Honors: NYS Senate Award (Bill J5498); Zonta International UN Women; El Diario’s NYC Outstanding Hispanic Woman; NASW Social Worker of the Year, and Community Service Awards from Union AFL/CIO, the Hispanic Federation, and Town of North Hempstead. María Elisa is a dual citizen of the United States and the Republic of Chile and very proud of her Native American and Latinx roots.

Kari Tabag
Kari Tabag is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW-R) with the State of New York. Kari received her MSW from Adelphi University where she is also a social work doctoral candidate and adjunct professor in the Master of Social Work program. Kari’s research focuses on the psychological impact of gendered racial microaggressions among Filipino American women. Kari is a school social worker for the New York City Department of Education and maintains a private practice focusing on adolescents, emerging adults, and families. Kari’s community service extends to positions of leadership  and membership within several organizations centered on the promotion of advocacy for marginalized populations.

Kari is featured in the National Association of Social Work’s (NASW-NYS) New York State campaign “This is Social Work”. Recently, Kari was quoted in a February 9 article in FilAm: A Magazine for Filipino Americans in New York titled “Attack on Filipino Man Slashed Across the Face Denounced.”

Peggy Noël, LCSW-R, MLSP
Peggy is a licensed clinical social worker that enjoys facilitating individuals, couples and groups to identify their needs and become in touch with their true selves. In addition, Peggy serves as an adjunct professor at Adelphi University where she has worked as a Faculty Field Liaison since 2013 and recently began teaching: End of Life Care and Oppression and Diversity. Presently, she is facilitating the Adelphi Students for Change where the students are being coached in leadership, research, public speaking via podcasting trending social injustice issues and hosting live events of the same genres.

Adelphi’s Students for Change began as an alternative assignment placement, at the School of Social Work, comprising eight students. The COVID-19 pandemic amplified injustices that were previously not given the attention that they deserved. In consideration of that, the students saw a need for remote learning opportunities related to increasing awareness around these issues in order to illustrate the role of social workers at all levels of care – micro, mezzo, and macro. They started a weekly podcast related to current events, history, and social justice issues, which has blossomed into live discussions featuring guest speakers as well as other virtual opportunities.

The event will conclude with a Poem written by Choya Randolph. who is obsessed with making things come alive with her words. She’s a poet, a journalist, a dreamer and creator dedicated to using her words to make an impact. Her work has been published in Rigorous Magazine, midnight & indigo, Hoxie Gorge, Shift Literary Magazine, Haunted Waters Press and elsewhere. She is a proud Floridian who lives happily on Long Island in New York.

Join Zoom Meeting

For more information, please contact:

Schanica Pickens
School of Social Work

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