Team

Who are we?

Maureen Costello,
Executive Director
Val Brown,
Principal Academic Officer
Kate Shuster,
Research & Evaluation Manager
Katrice Quitter, Partnerships Manager
Brittany Brazzel Headshot
Brittany Brazzel, Professional Development Specialist
Dumont Walker Head Shot
Dumont Walker, Digital Strategy Manager

Maureen Costello

Maureen is a New York City native whose career led her to Montgomery, Alabama. The move tested one of her lifelong beliefs: That every American should live in New York, and that every New Yorker should live somewhere else, for at least a year. If that is not practical, she says, we all still need to learn about others’ lived experiences and diverse perspectives.

Drawn to social justice by her own teachers, Maureen’s career has reflected the belief that the purpose of education is to make the world better. She taught high school U.S. history for 18 years before leaving the classroom to lead education programs at Newsweek magazine, Scholastic, and the Southern Poverty Law Center.

Under Maureen’s leadership at SPLC, Teaching Tolerance crafted the Social Justice Standards, launched Teaching the Movement and Teaching Hard History, and issued reports describing the negative impact of political rhetoric on schools.

Maureen believes that education shapes who we are and can be a powerful means to advance racial justice. At CARE, her job is to support educators as they build an antiracist future for all our children.

Maureen earned her B.A. from The New School University and an M.A. in American History from the New York University Graduate School of Liberal Arts.


Val Brown

Val comes from a proud family of educators and is honored to carry on the tradition.

She most recently served as professional development manager for Teaching Tolerance where she designed, facilitated, and evaluated antibias and antiracist professional learning for educators around the country. Val has spent 14 years in public K-12 and higher education as a teacher, instructional coach, district administrator and professional learning specialist. She was named district teacher of the year (2013) and was honored by the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans in Teacher’s Edition (2015). In December 2016, Val recognized a silence in the education community regarding issues of race, and a gap in learning opportunities for educators. In response she founded #ClearTheAir, a platform for educators to learn about the intersections of history, racism, and education. She believes community, learning, and dialogue are essential to personal and professional growth, and that education is a vehicle for social change.

Val received her B.A. in journalism from the University of Florida and holds an M.Ed. from Florida Atlantic University in Multicultural Education and an M.A. from the University of Central Florida in Education Leadership. She is currently writing her dissertation about educator activism.


Kate Shuster

Kate is originally from New Mexico. In high school, college, and graduate school she participated actively in intercollegiate policy debate as a competitor, coach and educator – in 1992, she was only the second woman to win the college national debate championship. 

For the next 20 years, she traveled the world building debate programs across the United States and in dozens of countries, training thousands of teachers, writing a dozen books and teaching at several universities. This spurred her lifelong interest to think critically about effective pedagogy, how it is measured, and who gets to decide what counts as evidence. 

She holds a Ph.D. in Educational Studies from Claremont Graduate University with twin emphases in educational policy and research methods. She has worked as an independent research and evaluation consultant for most of her life, working with large and small data sets to investigate questions of equity with advanced research methodology.  

Most recently, she managed the Teaching Hard History initiative for the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Teaching Tolerance project and led an interdisciplinary team that created the world’s first K-12 framework for teaching the twin histories of slavery and settler colonialism in what is currently known as the United States. 


Dumont Walker

Dumont grew up in central Virginia and comes from a family with a rich history of working as educators and social activist. Attending the local public high school, he was actively involved in athletics and community projects which paved his way to attend and graduate with a B.A. from Xavier University

Dumont’s career in digital strategy began over fifteen years ago and has included, marketing and communications outreach, website design/development, fundraising, and engagement strategies for a variety of national and international organizations. Most recently Dumont worked a the Digital Manager for the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, guiding the organization through the expansion of its digital footprint. Prior to that represented several progressive non-profits as a Digital Account Executive, creating fundraising strategies and increasing their outreach. Dumont also spent time as the Senior Digital Communications Specialist for Catholic Charities USA, driving their social media channels and supporting a wide variety of social initiatives.

Dumont currently lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with is wife and, their daughter Ty, they are waiting on the birth of their son in November. In his spare time, Dumont can typically be found going on walks with his family or training for his next powerlifting meet.


Katrice Quitter

Katrice was born and raised in Ohio and continues the family tradition of being an educator and changemaker. Her career in education began about 18 years ago working in early childhood to provide quality preschool and early learning experiences birth-5 years. Katrice eventually transitioned to K-12 as a classroom educator, instructional coach and, most recently, an education consultant providing support to districts and organizations around diversity, inclusion, and equity.

From the start, she learned that quality educational experiences built on a foundation of relational trust will make a significant impact in outcomes for learners. Upon leaving the classroom to work with adult learners, her hope and dream has been to help others create an cultivate spaces of belonging. Spaces where everyone feels that their humanity and lived experiences are acknowledged, valued, included, and welcomed.

In a profession that is constantly changing and evolving, Katrice believes that we should always keep students at the center of everything that we do. As we shift our what and how in education, our decisions should always have learners at the center. Being intentional about honoring their perspectives, truths, and experiences will forever be the guidance we need to create inclusive and antiracist learning environments.

Katrice earned her B.S. from The Ohio State University and a M.Ed. in Gifted & Talented Education from Ashland University.


Brittany Brazzel

Brittany is an innovative content creator and dynamic educator who uses her lived experiences and gift of storytelling to generate authentic engagement and collaboration. During her time as a high school social studies teacher, she worked diligently to teach a curriculum that empowers students and developed educators through professional development.

Brittany believes deeply in the power of education and views herself as an evolutionary learner. Always seeking to grow and understand she loves to find and/or develop ingenious ways of empowering other lifelong learners. The aim of her work centers around antiracism, cultural relevancy, and inclusion to uplift the racial and social consciousness of communities. Her hope is to play a role in reimagining what education could be to ensure all students, staff and families can experience equitable success.

Brittany resides in Wisconsin with her wife and two children. She holds a B.A. in History and an M.Ed. from Edgewood College.