Meet the Step-Up Panelists


Colleen Clark-Bernhardt

Ms. Clark-Bernhardt is the Equity and Criminal Justice Council Coordinator for Dane County, Wisconsin. In this role, she serves as a catalyst for innovation in criminal justice reform and equity throughout county operations. She serves as a member on: Dane County Criminal Justice Council, Racial Justice Improvement Project, Racial Disparities Sub-Committee, Pretrial Reform Sub-Committee, and the Dane County Community Restorative Court Advisory Board. Ms. Clark-Bernhardt is also the co-leader of the Racial Equity and Social Justice Team (RESJ) within Dane County. Additionally, she serves as Dane County’s representative to the Government Alliance on Racial Equity (GARE).

Dane County has been developing strategies to improve racial equity in county policy since 2008. Ms. Clark-Bernhardt has been integral to policy research as well as strategic partnerships and engagement. She is an innovative collaborator who knows how to build synergy toward a just and equitable county.


Tania A. Ibarra

Tania is a dynamic bilingual (English and Spanish) leader with expertise in Accounting and Financial Analysis, Assurance Services, Consulting Services, Business Processes Reviews, Lean Six Sigma Project Management, Organizational Development, and Strategic Planning. Through her career Tania has participated and played different roles in many diversity and inclusion initiatives at the various companies and organizations she has served. Particularly, Tania has played a key role in founding and developing the Latino Professional Association of Greater Madison. Tania believes that each person has talents, gifts, knowledge, skills, abilities to contribute to their organizations and communities. An organization’s and community’s ability to provide opportunities and an environment for those contributions to take place; ensures the organization and community is as successful as it can be. Tania believes that it is in the best interest of the community and organizations as a whole to ensure all people have the fair opportunities to contribute, succeed and be gainfully employed.


Ja’Mel Ware was born and raised in Detroit, MI. He moved to Madison WI in 2006 to pursue a Bachelors degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. 
After many years in professional settings, he began to understand his passions for entrepreneurship, entertainment, and diversity. In 2015 he founded Intellectual Ratchet (IR) an entertainment company that seeks to diversify cities through urban experiences. 
With the support of his friends and team IR continues to grow its “socialution” connecting people with spaces and opportunities to discover the allure of their cities. 
In his spare time, he likes to binge watch Netflix shows, workout, sleep, build models and eat at locally owned restaurants.   


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