Meet our Staff
Since 2017, Precious sits as the Director/Community Organizer of the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition. Precious holds a Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in Community Organizing from the University of Connecticut’s School of Social Work. She sits on numerous boards and committees including Opportunity Knocks, the Middlesex Coalition for Children, the District Equity Leadership Team (DELT) for the Middletown Public Schools, and the Human Relations Commission for the city of Middletown. In 2017 Precious was featured as one of Connecticut Magazine’s Top “40 Under 40”. Her social justice passions include racial justice, foster care, and economic justice.
Diana has been a member of MRJC since 2017, first as a steering committee member and later coming on as Co-Facilitator. Originally from the Bronx, NY, Diana moved to Middletown in 2005 and has since taken part in many community initiatives focused around education, race, and politics. She serves as the Assistant Director of the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships at Wesleyan University, working to connect students to community-led efforts. She has both a Bachelors in American Studies, and a Master’s in Liberal Arts from Wesleyan University. Diana is a parent of two amazing kids who help her raise three outrageous ferrets.
Meet our Steering Committee
Monica Belyea is a consultant with expertise in Early Childhood health and education systems and cross sector collaboration as well as content expertise in infant and young child feeding and nutrition. She currently provides oversight and coordination for Opportunity Knocks, Middletown’s early childhood health and education collective impact collaborative, through Middlesex Health.
In addition to the Middletown Racial Justice Coalition Steering Committee, Monica is the Board Chair of the CT Breastfeeding Coalition, and Co-Chair of Middletown’s School Readiness Council. Monica earned her MPH from the University of California, Berkeley and her BS in Human Nutrition and Foods from UMaine. She brings her commitment to becoming more anti-racist to all aspects of her personal and professional life.
Justin Carbonella has been serving as the director of the City of Middletown's Youth Services Bureau for over 10 years. Under his leadership, YSB has become the central coordinating hub around youth development, juvenile justice and mental health issues in the Middletown community.
Justin also chairs a number of community coalitions including the Greater Middletown Community Collaborative, Middletown Juvenile Review Board, Right Response Coalition, and the Middletown Substance Abuse Prevention Council.
Justin is a dual graduate of the University of Connecticut holding a bachelors in Political Science and a masters in Public Administration and is a proud product of the Middletown Public Schools system.
Beverly Lawrence is a Middletown community advocate and a mother of 3. Aside from the MRJC Steering Committee, Beverly is also a steering committee member for other groups such as Opportunity Knocks, the Middletown Area Transit, the School Readiness Council, and the Middlesex NAACP. Beverly is also a member of the American Legion Auxilliary Unit 206. She is 1 of 3 women of color who has run a mentoring group called GIFTS (Girls Inspired for Total Success) for 11 years.
Manny Martinez is the Development Director for Middlesex United Way. Manny also is a member of Middletown Kiwanis, a member of River Delta BNI in Old Saybrook and a Board member with the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Waterbury. Manny resides in New Britain with his two kids.