In honor of Black History Month, we are celebrating the accomplishments of Black leaders across Connecticut who are making history today! In 2021, these leaders were recognized as some of the 100 Most Influential Blacks in Connecticut by the state conference of the NAACP.
Since 2011, Adam Cloud has served as the Treasurer of the City of Hartford. As City Treasurer, Mr. Cloud is responsible for an investment portfolio of approximately $1 billion dollars. He also administers the City’s deferred compensation program and its pension benefits. Mr. Cloud’s personal commitment to service has included serving as Chairman of the Hartford Redevelopment Agency, Vice Chairman of the Hartford Economic Development Commission and Treasurer of the Democratic Town Committee. He resides in Hartford with his wife and their three children. He has also been an LGH member since 2003 and is a Quest graduate! Click here to learn more about Mr. Cloud.
In 2020, Andrea Barton-Reeves was appointed the first-ever CEO of the CT Paid Leave Authority. With her, she brought extensive experience in providing critical services for families and children, as well as people & families with intellectual and related disabilities. She has also been named one of the Hartford Business Journal’s Forty Under Forty, and Five New Leaders to Watch. Ms. Barton-Reeves was later honored at the fifth annual 100 Women of Color Gala Awards Ceremony. She is also an EOP and Summit alumna and was an active Board member for many years! Learn more about Ms. Barton-Reeves’ accomplishments here.
Since 2017, Ayesha Clarke, friend of LGH, has served as the Chairperson for the Hartford Board of Education. She is also a member of the Greater Hartford Branch NAACP and the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education. Ms. Clarke also currently serves as Deputy Director at Health Equity Solutions (since 2020). Health Equity Solutions is an organization focused on the important work of achieving health equity in CT. Her role’s duties include developing campaigns (advocacy and fundraising) to support the mission and vision of the organization and oversight of public communications and media outreach. Click here to learn more about Ms. Clarke’s career and accomplishments.
Eboni Nelson became the Dean of the UConn School of Law (located in Hartford, CT) in 2020. At South Carolina Law (where she previously taught for 13 years), she received the Best Classroom Teacher and Outstanding Faculty Service awards. Ms. Nelson also used to practice employee benefits law at Bracewell LLP in Houston, Texas. Her scholarly focus has been on education law and policy, and she is especially interested in the availability of equitable educational opportunities for students of color and those from economically challenged backgrounds. She has also served as vice chair of the South Carolina State Advisory Committee to the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights and a member of the Law School Admission Council Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. Click here to learn more about Ms. Nelson’s accomplishments.
Since 2017, Jay Williams has been the President/CEO of the Hartford Foundation for Public Giving. The HFPC is committed to dismantling structural racism, achieving equity and improving social and economic mobility in our region. They work in partnership with local nonprofit organizations and community stakeholders. Mr. Williams serves on the boards of the MetroHartford Alliance, AdvanceCT, and is a member of the Governor’s Workforce Council. He is a 2019 alumnus of LGH’s Executive Orientation Program! Click here to learn more about Mr. Williams.
Joshua M. Hall is currently serving his second term as a CT State Representative from Hartford’s 7th District. Hall played critical roles in the passage of raising the CT minimum wage to $15 per hour and creating a Paid Family and Medical Leave program (both in 2019). He is also a member of the Appropriations and Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committees and the Black and Puerto Rican Caucus. Mr. Hall advocates and fights for investment in community schools as well as revitalizing neighborhoods through housing preservation, and works to ensure that residents are able to achieve lasting economic security. He lives in Hartford’s Blue Hills neighborhood with his wife Timcia and their two sons. Click here to learn more about Mr. Hall’s accomplishments.
Since 2010, Sanford “Sandy” Cloud, Jr. has served as the Board Chairman of the CT Health Foundation. He is a lawyer, a former 2-term state senator (who sponsored legislation creating CT’s first Department of Housing), and has been a member of several boards of directors for corporations and organizations around the state and nation (including as Board Chairman of UConn Health). He also helped found National Voices for an Inclusive 21st Century (a collaboration of national human relations and civil rights organizations). While serving as President & CEO of the National Conference for Community and Justice, he led a policy panel to address racial and ethnic health disparities. Mr. Cloud is determined in his role at the CT Health Foundation to eliminate, or at least significantly reduce, the racial and ethnic health disparities in CT so that all people, regardless of their background, can improve their health and access to quality healthcare. Click here to learn more about Mr. Cloud.
Tiffany Young started as Director of Community Partnerships with the Hartford Yard Goats, and in 2018, she was honored with the first MiLB Presidential Citation Award for Excellence in Building Community, Diversity & Inclusion. Ms. Young was promoted to Executive Director of the Hartford Yard Goats Foundation in 2019. This made her the first woman and person of color in a senior management role of the organization. In 2019, she was also honored with the 100 Women of Color Award for her work in the Greater Hartford community. Ms. Young is a friend of LGH and 2019 Summit alumna. Click here to learn more about Ms. Young and her accomplishments in motivational speaking!
Since 2019, Vanessa Dorantes has served as Commissioner of the Department of Children and Families (DCF) in CT. She has worked for DCF since 1992 and has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and a master’s degree in Social Work. From 2004-2019, she worked as an adjunct faculty member at Central CT State University and taught many Social Work courses including: Human Behavior in the Social Environment I& II, Social Welfare Policy & Services II, Communities, Child Welfare I & II as well as a cultural competency course. Ms. Dorantes has also served as a tri-chair of DCF’s Statewide Racial Justice Workgroup. Click here to learn more about Ms. Dorantes.