Mrs. Carlesa Finney-Thomas
Equity Advocate and Lead Consultant
Carlesa Finney, a vocal family and community advocate, has vast and varied years of experience integrating education and mediation skills for multiple education, health, and community organizations. She influenced cultural change related to equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) in leadership for the community college and school district in Anne Arundel County, including serving ten years on the school board. She has provided EDI training and consultation for numerous organizations in the community and throughout the state. Carlesa has effectively galvanized community support for numerous innovative initiatives and model programs to address long-standing, persistent disparities and to accelerate equitable access to opportunities for children, youth, and families to achieve better outcomes.
During her nine-year tenure as a Trustee for Luminis Anne Arundel Medical Center, she co-chaired their first Equity Task Force that received the American Hospital Association’s 2019 Carolyn Boone Lewis Equity of Care Award. She is currently a Trustee for Luminis Doctor’s Community Medical Center, is an Advisory Board Member for Prince George’s County Hospice on the Chesapeake and Board Member for the Anne Arundel Conflict Resolution Center. She is also a Board member to MOMCares, which provides postpartum Doula and other services to underserved women in Baltimore City.
In addition to her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Early Childhood from Towson University and Master’s degree in Education from Johns Hopkins University, Carlesa is certified in workplace and conflict mediation by the Mediation Training Institute, Eckerd College. She is also a trainer and Regional Consultant for “Kids at Hope”- a national initiative to create cultures where all children succeed, no exceptions. She has received many awards over the years including the 2017 YWCA TWIN (Tribute to Women in Industry) Award and in 2011 as one of Maryland’s Top 100 Women. She believes that when it comes to caring about your community, no one can do everything, but everyone can do something!