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Audience in Lecture






Director of Strategic Community Partnerships


Providence School Department


Jael Lopes is the CEO and Founder of Proximity, a coaching and consultant company designed to equip leaders with human-centered solutions through relational facilitation, training, and strengths application.

With a rich background spanning over 20 years in the not-for-profit arena, she has made significant contributions as a public school district administrator, educator, and youth development specialist. Her proficiency in spearheading cross-functional teams, systematizing operations, engaging communities, and orchestrating strategic initiatives has been instrumental in propelling organizational growth.

In her current role as the Director of Strategic Community Partnership for the Providence School Department, Jael fosters collaborations between community organizations, educational institutions, businesses, and educational leaders. Her efforts are geared towards aligning objectives to enhance student outcomes, demonstrating her commitment to educational excellence and community welfare.

Beyond her professional pursuits, Jael dedicates her time to impactful community service. She holds the position of Vice-Chair on the Rhode Island Kids Count Board of Directors, chairs the Nominating/Governance Committee, and contributes to the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation and Amedity Aid. Her leadership and vision were recognized in 2022 when she was chosen for the Echoing Green Social Innovation Challenge. Jael is also a proud member of the Leadership Rhode Island Sigma II Class and the 2021 Social Enterprise Greenhouse Incubator Cohort.

Jael's diverse skills are complemented by her proficiency in four languages and her journey as an immigrant from the Republic of Cabo Verde. Her certifications as a Gallup Strengths Coach, CPR/First Aid Instructor, Justice, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Strategist, Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Restorative Justice Trainer, and Relational Facilitator reflect her dedication to personal development and societal contribution.

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