Guest Speakers

Dr. Tia Martinez, co-principle of Forward Change Consulting, has over 25 years of experience working across the United States to improve social outcomes in low-income communities. With Forward Change Consulting, Dr. Martinez helps foundations, community-based organizations and government agencies pursue comprehensive strategies to improve the life outcomes and opportunities for children, young adults and families living in disadvantaged communities.

Dr. Martinez is currently doing work on dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline and transforming life chance for boys and men of color across the country. She travels all over the country chronicling the school-to-prison pipeline’s development over the last 40 years. She exposes today’s reality where systemic root causes conspire to create a growing plague of community disadvantage across the country. In addition, Dr. Martinez offers solutions and strategies to shut down this pipeline so that our most vulnerable citizens, their families, and our communities thrive. She specializes in strategies built on research policy change, community stakeholder engagement, and leadership development.

Tia’s previsouly has worked as the chief equity officer at the Stupski Foundation after serving as acting director of education at the Warren Institute on Race, Ethnicity, and Diversity at UC Berkeley Law School. While at UC Berkley, Dr. Martinez, led a policy unit that produced research, policy prescriptions, and curricular innovation on issues related to education reform and racial justice. Prior to joining the Warren Institute, she served as strategic consultant to the Office for Civil Rights in the US Department of Education. In this capacity, she led a strategic planning process and supported nationwide rollout and implementation of the new strategy across 12 regional offices.

Dr. Martinez has an AB in History from Harvard University, a Master in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley Goldman School of Public Policy, and a JD from Stanford Law School.

Lunch & Learn Speaker

Kimberly A. Dent currently serves as the Executive Director of the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood/Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. She brings over 20 years of government experience to the fathers and families she serves in Ohio. The Ohio Commission on Fatherhood provides funding to Responsible Fatherhood programs throughout the state and makes policy recommendations. The Commission also trains professionals and engages the community regarding the vital role fathers play in their children’s lives. During her time in government service, Ms. Dent has served in various capacities in local and state Child Support Programs. She has been a child support caseworker at the local level, a program consultant, a business analyst and a Human Services Program Administrator in County Services. In addition, she has served in Policy, Outreach, Education and Grants Management units at the State Office of Child Support. Before assuming her current role as Executive Director, Ms. Dent served as a commissioner on the Ohio Commission on Fatherhood, representing the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. 

Ms. Dent holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh and a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Ohio University. She is working on her Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration, specializing in law. Ms. Dent is a nationally- recognized expert in her field and often is called upon to present at national gatherings on fatherhood and family support.