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Ruby Belton-White, BS

Early Childhood Educator - New Haven City School District - New Haven, Connecticut

Director of Parent Involvement

Ruby Belton-White was born in Kershaw County, South Carolina, but raised in New Haven, Connecticut. She grew up during the height of the sixties, the Civil Rights Era, and the cry of Black Power. She honors the year 1965 because that is the year the official Voting Rights Act passed. This act allowed her parents to vote although their inability to read well had previously been used as a reason to stop them from voting.

Ms. Belton-White became a single parent at the age of twenty-one, giving birth to her son, Ashante Lemuel Warner. She credits the love and sacrifice of her now deceased mother, Elizabeth Kibler Belton, with her ability to complete college.  In 1977, Ms Belton-White graduated from Southern Connecticut State College in New Haven, Connecticut, where she earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology. 

Years later, Ms. Belton-White, who has remained unmarried, returned to school “with the help and love of God” and in 2010 earned an Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education from Gateway Community College in New Haven, Connecticut.  Currently, she is employed by the New Haven City School District.

In reference to the Sensible Women Initiative, Ms. Belton-White made the following statements: 
"I’m honored to lend my talent to help this project lean forward.  The Sensible Women’s Initiative will engage, enrich, and empower girls growing into womanhood; it’ll support their greatness for this nation."

​I used to want the words

"She Tried" on my tombstone.

Now I want "She Did It." 

~ Katherine Dunham ~

The question is not whether

we can afford to invest
in every child; it is whether

we can afford not to. 

~ Marian Wright
Edelman ~

Never underestimate the

power of dreams

and the influence

of the human spirit.

We are all the same

in this notion:
The potential for greatness

lives within each of us.
~ Wilma Rudolph ~

Whatever we believe

about ourselves

and our ability

comes true for us. 

~ Susan L. Taylor ~

Never be limited by

other people's limited


~ Dr. Mae Jemison ~


Success is to be measured

not so much by the position

that one has reached in life

as by the obstacles which

he (she)

has overcome

while trying to succeed.

~ Booker T. Washington ~

Hold fast to dreams,

for if dreams die,

life is a broken winged bird

that cannot fly.

~ Langston Hughes ~

Education is the passport

to the future, for tomorrow

belongs to those

who prepare for it today.

~ Malcolm X ~

The time is always right

to do what is right.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King ~

No one can make you feel


without your consent.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

The most common way

people give up their power

is by thinking

they don’t have any.

~ Alice Walker ~

Keep your face

to the sunshine and you

can never see the shadow.

~ Helen Keller ~

Don’t count the days,

make the days count.

~ Muhammad Ali ~

One of the lessons that I

grew up with was

to always stay true

to yourself and never let

what somebody else says

distract you from your goals.

~ Michelle Obama ~

Surround yourself

with only people who

are going to lift you higher.

~ Oprah Winfrey ~

Never be limited by

other people’s limited imaginations.

If you adopt their attitudes,

then the possibility won’t exist

because you’ll have already

shut it out…

You can hear other people’s wisdom,

but you’ve got to

re-evaluate the world for yourself.

~ Mae Jemison ~

Every great dream

begins with a dreamer.

Always remember,

you have within you the strength,

the patience, and the passion

to reach for the stars

to change the world.

 ~ Harriet Tubman ~

What happens to a dream


Does it dry up
Like a raisin in the sun?

Or fester like a sore--
And then run?

Does it stink like rotten meat?

Or crust and sugar over--
like a syrupy sweet?

Maybe it just sags
like a heavy load.

Or does it explode?

~ Langston Hughes ~

Intelligence plus character -

that is the goal

of true education.

~ Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. ~


With doubt and dismay

you are smitten

You think there's no chance

for you, (daughter) son?

Why, the best books

haven't been written

The best race hasn't been run,

The best score

hasn't been made yet,

The best song hasn't been sung,

The best tune

hasn't been played yet,

Cheer up, for the world is young!

No chance?

Why the world is just eager

For things that you ought to create

Its store of true wealth is still meagre

Its needs are incessant and great,

It yearns for more power and beauty

More laughter and love and romance,

More loyalty, labor and duty,

No chance--

why there's nothing but chance!

For the best verse

hasn't been rhymed yet,

The best house hasn't been planned,

The highest peak

hasn't been climbed yet,

The mightiest rivers aren't spanned,

Don't worry and fret, faint hearted,

The chances have just begun,

For the Best jobs haven't been started,

The Best work hasn't been done.

~ Berton Braley ~


Courage isn't a brilliant dash,

A daring deed in a moment's flash;

It isn't an instantaneous thing

Born of despair with a sudden spring

~ Edgar Guest ~

Be the best that you can be

Pursue your goals persistently

Make your fondest dreams come true

and most of all believe in you

- Author Unknown -

Hope is the thing with feathers

That perches on the soul

And sings the tune without the words

And never stops - at all

~ Emily Dickinson ~

My mission in life is not merely

to survive, but to thrive;

and to do so with some passion,

some compassion, some humor,

and some style.

~ Maya Angelou ~

Mistakes are a fact of life.

It is the response to the error

that counts.

~ Nikki Giovanni ~

With the new day comes

new strength and new thoughts.

~ Eleanor Roosevelt ~

Optimism is the faith that leads
to achievement.
Nothing can be done
without hope and confidence.
~ Helen Keller ~
It always seems impossible
until it's done.
~ Nelson Mandela ~

   We delight in the beauty
of the butterfly but rarely admit
the changes it has gone through
to achieve that beauty.”
~ Maya Angelou ~

Dr. Priscilla (Ann) Brown

Associate Professor of English at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas

Regional Director Southeast

Dr. Priscilla (Ann) Brown is an Associate Professor of English at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where she also served as Director of the McNair Scholars Program (2017-18) and is the Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship advisor.

Dr. Ann completed teaching appointments in Arkansas public schools and at the Sheridan School in Washington, DC.  Her work in the United Arab Emirates, where she taught for six-and-a-half years, included teaching at both private a secondary school and on the university level. As a faculty member at CERT-Higher Colleges, Dr. Ann conducted workshops for public sector entities, including the National Bank of Abu Dhabi, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company, and the military’s English language program. Her ability to communicate effectively in different settings bears witness to her philosophy of meeting people where they are.

As evidence of her belief that the best way to navigate today’s global changes successfully is to engage in face-to-face dialog and hands-on ventures with people from various groups, Dr. Ann has visited nearly twenty countries as a matter of personal travel.  In addition, she completed a Senecorps work-study program in Senegal, a Japan Fulbright Memorial Fund Teacher Program, and a Korean American Teacher Workshop. These experiences continue to enhance her understanding of “broad sympathy” and her commitment to equipping US citizens to thrive in a global marketplace.

A native of Augusta, Arkansas, Dr. Ann earned degrees in English education from Arkansas State University (B.S.E.) and Harding University (M.S.E.). She completed her doctorate in Literatures in English at Howard University. 

Maureen D. Campbell, AA, BS

Marketing & Sales Senior T. S. Specialist - UIL Holding Corporation; Orange, CT - ​New Haven, Connecticut

1st Vice President

Presently and professionally, Maureen D. Campbell is employed as a Senior Technical Support Specialist in the Marketing and Sales Division at UIL Holding Corporation in Orange, Connecticut. In addition, she has been a licensed Insurance Producer since 1991 and a licensed registered representative since 1995. She successfully completed and received a certificate in the Fundamentals of Marketing in 2006 from the American Management Association and also a certificate in Strategic Marketing Advanced Course in 2007 from the American Management Association.

Maureen served as a Board member for several years for the New Haven Preservation Trust. The NHPT is an organization that honors and preserves New Haven’s architectural heritage-historic buildings and neighborhoods – through advocacy, education, and collaboration. In addition, she was also an active Board member for Fair Haven Community Management Team, where she served as a secretary for several years. The Fair Haven Community Management Teams helps residents have a voice in neighborhood improvement and revitalization efforts and are an important link to the police and to other city and social service agencies. 

She served on the Board of Directors for The Fair Haven Community Health Center for six years. The Fair Haven Community Health Center is a not-for-profit primary health care organization that has been serving the greater Fair Haven Community since 1971. The Center provides comprehensive health care – from prenatal to pediatric, adolescent to adult, and geriatric. Maureen, who is also a patient, played a key role in being one of the neighborhood’s most vocal advocates for the residents in making their concerns known to the Board of Directors in order to address them.

Maureen holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration from Norwalk Community College. After dedicating her life to her family and encouraging and helping to support her husband and two adult children through college, she decided to return to college after thirty-two years to get her degree. She worked more than 40 hours per week, due to her perseverance and determination; and finally, in May 2014, Maureen graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Management from Albertus Magnus College in New Haven, CT.  She is also a new member of Kappa Gamma Pi National Catholic Honor Society. 

She is the daughter of the late Lascelles A. Burke, Sr. and Gwendolyn Burke and has five siblings. Maureen is married to Earl Campbell and has a son, Earl Campbell, Jr.; a daughter, Leah Campbell; and a wonderful grandson, Blake Andrew Campbell.

Lois Carter, AA, BA, MA

 FCC / Lead Teacher for the Urban League of Hudson County
Jersey City, New Jersey

Regional Director (Northeast)

Mrs. Lois Carter is a current employee of the Urban League of Hudson County, Inc. in Jersey City, New Jersey.  She works as an FCC Manager/Lead Trainer for the league and has been in their employ since 1997.  Over the years, she has held other positions of employment such as Educational Director for James Street Academy (Newark, NJ) and Director of Day Care for Faith Temple New Hope Christian School East Orange, NJ.
In preparation for her professional career, Mrs. Carter earned an AA Degree in Elementary Education from Essex County College, a BA Degree in History from Upsala College, and an MA Degree in Early Childhood Education from New Jersey City University.  She participates in several professional organizations and has received noteworthy certificates and awards from various sources.
She has spent years supporting young women, middle-age women, and elderly women in the field of early childhood education.  Her contributions have included: Teaching preschool through 2nd grade for twenty years and working as an education administrator for approximately six years.
Around 1993, she decided to venture out in the area of training.  She soon discovered that this was her passion. After consulting for approximately two years, she accepted a position with the Urban League of Hudson as their lead early childhood trainer.  Her experience as an early childhood trainer for the past twenty-two years has been positive and rewarding.  She says the greatest reward for her has been to motivate individuals to develop goals and objectives for their profession in order to improve their lives, as well as the lives of the children and families that are served.

As a member of SWI, she hopes to make tremendous contributions to working with girls, young ladies, and families.

Lakesha Fowler

Manufacturing and Engineering Recruiter with Tech USA
Charlotte, North Carolina

Director of Mentoring

Ms. Lakesha Fowler is a graduate of Saint Augustine's University, located in Raleigh, NC, where she received her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Liberal Studies in 2013. During college, she received several commendations and participated in several activities including, but not limited to, making the Dean’s List, NC State’s EXCITE Program Participant, Brain Muscle Participant, Focus on Children, Inc. Member, and Peace College Racial Discussion Participant. She served as a student representative for Judicial Affairs as well as president of the Modeling Troupe. Academically, she maintained a 3.3 GPA and received a 4.0 her last semester in undergrad.

Ms. Fowler is currently pursuing a Master’s Degree in Information Systems Management via DeVry, Keller Graduate School of Management.  She expects to receive her graduate degree in January 2019. 

Since May 2017, Ms. Fowler has been an employee of Acosta Sales & Marketing as a Claims Resolution Analyst. Prior employment for her includes working in the Student Affairs Department at St. Augustine’s University, serving as a YMCA counselor and tutor, and working as teacher assistant for several NC Public Schools. 

Ms. Fowler has been a member of the Sensible Women Initiative since 2015, at which time she served as Assistant Chapter Coordinator for Towson University's Beta Chapter in Towson, MD.  Currently, she serves as SWI Director of Mentoring.  She prides herself in assisting young ladies ages 5-25 in making more sensible choices.  Mentorship, leadership, education, professionalism, and service are several key terms around which Ms. Fowler revolves her life. More importantly, she is a living testimony of the value of making better choices.

She has relocated to the Charlotte, NC area where she volunteers with the Charlotte Alumni Chapter of Saint Augustine’s University.  However, she still manages to find time to help with Girl Scout Troop 2311 in Washington, DC and SWI's Beta and Gamma Chapters at Towson University and Delaware State University, respectively. 

Ms. Fowler's goals are to aid in the development of SWI's Mentoring Curriculum as well as furthering her own entrepreneurial endeavors after graduate school.  More importantly, Ms. Fowler wants to maintain her sensibleness, always be mindful of her choices, and grow spiritually.  She is always willing to help and be an avid listener.

She is inspired by a quote from Marian Anderson which states: " If you have a purpose in which you can believe, there is no end to the number of things you can accomplish."

Dr. Wandah Gibbs

Entrepreneur - Co-Owner of WGW Publishing Inc., Rochester, New York

Director of Adaptation

Born in Canada, Wandah Gibbs travelled to every single European Country before she was 15 years of age. She and her family lived in the South of France and Scotland where she attended grade school. In fact, a native English speaker, she started 1st Grade in a French school, even though at the time, she spoke no French at all. She had to adapt and did.  Upon her return to Canada, she attended an all-French school where she excelled in French and English and was placed in Advanced Placement classes in both subjects.

Wandah married an American Air Force airman and moved to the US into a completely different culture. She had to adapt and did. She moved to California and started a family then on to Germany for seven years. She had to adapt again and did. In fact, she was living in Germany when the Berlin Wall came down and the Cold War was over.

She and her husband, decided to volunteer to exit the Air Force, and for a number of good reasons, moved to a city they had never visited before. She had to adapt and did. Meanwhile her young family was growing up when tragedy struck, and her husband of 20 years was killed in a motorcycle accident. Suddenly, head of household and needing to provide for her family, Ms. Gibbs worked full-time and attended college in the evenings part-time where she excelled and earned a scholarship to Syracuse University at the prestigious Newhouse School of Public Communications.

Within three years, she completed a dual-major, Bachelor’s in Public Relations and International Relations. Though going back to school as an adult was tough, she had to adapt and did. Soon after that, she completed a Master’s in Television/Radio and Film Production and was named Newhouse Scholar, an award bestowed upon few.

She became Director of Operations for a large Educational Company managing contracts under the No Child Left Behind era. She spent several more years both as Director and Director of Operations of student-centered programs both in the for-profit and not-for-profit worlds.

In 2016, Wandah Gibbs earned her Doctorate in Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. In October of 2017, Dr. Gibbs and her business partner launched a publishing company: WGW Publishing Inc. Being an entrepreneur has had its challenges. Again, she had to adapt and did . . .  To date, they have published 14 books with several more on the way. 

Though life has its challenges and she's had to adapt . . . , she did.