Honoring Our 2022 New York Equity Champions

by | Jun 9, 2022 | Blog

Closing gaps in equity and opportunity for New York’s children requires collaboration across sectors as many of the key issues we work on impact ALL levels of society. That’s why, over the last five years, we have built partnerships with community leaders, organization leaders, thought partners, and more throughout New York State.

On Wednesday, June 8, our team had the pleasure of bringing together education leaders, stakeholders, and partners for our first annual New York Equity Luncheon, where we honored two New York Equity Champions who have been central to advancing equity for children and infants, and toddlers in their communities and across New York State. 

Congratulations, Samuel L. Radford, III and Sherry M. Cleary! We are so grateful for your leadership, dedication, and partnership in this critical work.

Learn more about the honorees below.

Samuel L. Radford III
Co-chairperson of We the Parents of Western New York
Recipient of the Ed Trust–NY Equity Champion Award

Samuel L. Radford, III has been a parent advocate and leader in Buffalo for more than 30 years. His public policy interests arise at the intersection of parent engagement, student academic achievement, and district-level education policy. He currently serves as co-chair of We The Parents of WNY and as a program director at the Community Action Organization of Western New York. Mr. Radford is the former president of the District Parent Coordinating Council of Buffalo, a duly recognized organization responsible for representing parent interests within the Buffalo Public Schools. He has served in several leadership roles in community, student, and parent-based organizations throughout his tenure, including the White House Community Leadership Council for Education during the Obama administration. A native of Buffalo, Mr. Radford excelled in public schools. After high school, he served honorably in the United States Marine Corps. Mr. Radford also taught math at Buffalo’s Stepping Stone Academy, where his keen interest in public education advocacy was nurtured.

Sherry Cleary
University Dean of Early Childhood Initiatives at the City University of New York & Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute
Recipient of the Ed Trust–NY Equity Champion Award

Sherry M. Cleary is the university dean of early childhood initiatives and the executive director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute, which is housed at the City University of New York. She leads the work of a dynamic, intelligent, and passionate team dedicated to building essential systems to ensure a highly effective early childhood workforce for the state of New York and to guarantee that every young child has access to excellence. Ms. Cleary co-chairs the New York State Early Childhood Advisory Council. She has worked in the field of early childhood education as a classroom teacher, a program leader, and as both a faculty member and higher education administrator at Erie Community College, the University of Pittsburgh, and now, CUNY. She has extensive experience in inner cities and rural communities. Sherry has served on several boards of directors and college advisory boards as well as presided over national and regional membership organizations.