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Meet the 2016 Austin Fellows
Kristian Caballero, Executive Assistant, Travis County
Kristian Caballero is an El Paso native, graduated from the University of Texas at El Paso in 2009, with a degree in Political Science and Legal Reasoning. Since graduating, she has worked as a paralegal for various Austin-area law firms while simultaneously building her stature as an independent activist and community organizer. She collectively works with other community organizers in an effort to address social, environmental, and economic issues. She helped establish the Occupy Movement and the Reproductive Justice Movement in Texas by engaging and organizing the community. Thereafter, she worked on various political campaigns and worked as Political Director for the Travis County Democratic Party with the focus to implement a Diversity Outreach Program. She now works as the Community Outreach Coordinator for Travis County Commissioner Brigid Shea in Precinct 2, and serves as Vice Chair on the Human Rights Commission for the City of Austin. She continues to focus her efforts on community organizing with the intention of stimulating further awareness and activating citizen initiative.
Schell Carpenter is a reproductive justice and LGBTQ+ activist, occasional writer, and current President of the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity. She has also spent 20 years in the Austin tech industry, most recently as the Vice President of Engineering at BlackLocus. Schell originally came to Texas in the summer before her 8th grade year, moving from the suburbs of Philadelphia to the mid-city suburbs of Dallas/Ft. Worth. She graduated from Trinity High School in Euless in 1989 with a National Merit Scholarship to the University of Texas at Austin, but quickly left school due to untreated mental illness, as well as the effects of being transgender but in the closet. A few years later she started down a career path in technology, beginning in Apple’s Austin technical support call center. She quickly advanced to systems administration, and then software development. She left Apple in 2000 and has since held a number of leadership roles at successful startups, including NetSpend, Tangoe, and Lombardi Software. She finally began social and medical transition in the fall of 2013, and came out publicly as a trans woman in the spring of 2014. Her experience both in and out of the closet gave her a passion for creating safe, inclusive work environments composed of truly diverse teams. This passion resulted in BlackLocus becoming a company that was not only successful commercially, but with nearly unheard of levels of gender and racial diversity for the tech industry. Like many other Texas pro-choice progressives, she was glued to her computer on the day of Wendy Davis’s and Peoples’ filibusters in 2013, with her screen split between the live-stream and Twitter. This was how she discovered the reproductive justice movement, and over time and after much listening, came to understand what RJ meant to her. When Lilith Fund sought new members for its very hard-working board of directors in the fall of 2014, she sheepishly applied -- and to her surprise was not just accepted, but welcomed and celebrated, starting her board service in January 2015. She is the non-gestational mother of two, a loud and proud queer, and frequently spends too much time on the internet.
Jessica Faith Carter, Program Manager, TNTP
Jessica Faith Carter is a doctoral student in the Multicultural Special Education program at the University of Texas at Austin (UT), and her research covers topics such as culturally responsive interventions for students with disabilities, minority experiences in higher education, and minority teacher recruitment and retention practices. She also teaches university courses on special and higher education, and she is an editor for the Texas Education Review journal. In addition to her studies, research, and teaching, Jessica Faith is also a Program Manager for TNTP, a national education nonprofit with a mission of advancing policies and practices that are aimed at ending the injustice of educational inequality. Jessica Faith has a long history in P-16 education, and she has held a number of diverse education-related positions throughout her career including classroom teacher, undergraduate student advisor, author, and pre-service teacher trainer. Jessica Faith is an active member of the Austin community. She is an Austin City Council appointee to the African American Resource Advisory Commission that makes recommendations the city council on issues related to the quality of life for Austin’s Black community. Jessica Faith is also the Graduate Student Representative for the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board’s Graduate Education Advisory Committee. As the appointed representative for graduate students across the state, Jessica Faith works with graduate school deans to advise the Coordinating Board on policies and practices to improve the quality of graduate education in the state. Community service has always been a passion of Jessica Faith’s, and she volunteers with a number of service organizations in Austin including the Junior League of Austin, Breakthrough Austin, and Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid. She is also an advisor to ImpactLab, a nonprofit education innovation lab and incubator that supports education entrepreneurs seeking to address issues of educational inequity. Jessica Faith holds a B.A. in Psychology from Rice University, a M.Ed. in Education Administration from Texas Southern University, a M.Ed. in Counseling from Texas Southern University, and a M.Ed. in Learning and Teaching from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In her spare time, Jessica Faith can be found watching sports, trying new recipes, and visiting family in her hometown of Houston, TX.
Isabel Casas, Legislative Aide, Office of Senator Judith Zaffirini
Originally from San Antonio, Texas, Isabel attended Southwestern University, where she studied Political Science and Spanish. After graduating, she worked in the legal sector in Austin before pursuing a Master’s degree in Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin. Following an internship with the office of Senator Kirk Watson, Isabel joined the staff of Senator Judith Zaffirini, where she covers health and human services and education issues. Isabel’s enduring passion for social justice has led her to serve on the City of Austin’s Human Rights Commission, where she focuses on promoting diversity and minority rights in municipal affairs. An avid traveler, Isabel enjoys experiencing and learning about other cultures. In her free time, she enjoys reading, exercising, and spending time with her family and dog.
Kellee Coleman, Trainer, Embody Transformation
Kellee Coleman has over 18 years of equity and social justice community organizing experience integrating media, and popular education as strategies for social change. In 2008 she co-founded Vibrant Woman/Mama Sana prenatal clinic, a project of Mamas of Color Rising, where she currently works as coordinator for their Black Women’s initiative. The project works to provide holistic and culturally specific prenatal care, birth companions, midwifery services, prenatal fitness and nutrition services to lower income Black and Latina folks in the Austin area. In 2013 she facilitated the Austin Travis County Health Department’s community health workers training focused on health equity issues impacting Black women in Austin, Texas. She has conducted original research on the social determinants of health as they impact Black women locally. She is a member of the national leadership collective of Incite! Women and Trans*people of Color against Violence. She has consulted with numerous national and local organizations including US MERA, MANA, UT LBJ School of Public Policy, and Women’s Community Center on equity and reproductive justice issues.
Servando Esparza, Manager of Government Affairs, Texas Independent Producers and Royalt Owners
Servando Esparza is the Manager of Government Affairs for the Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Owners Association (TIPRO) in Austin, Texas. Servando worked in the Texas Senate for almost eight years working for State Senator Kip Averitt and then State Senator Leticia Van de Putte. Most recently, he worked as Special Projects Director for Leticia Van de Putte’s campaign for lieutenant governor. During his time working in the legislature, he specialized on natural resources, energy, insurance, criminal justice, immigration and redistricting legislative issues. Servando was raised in Fort Worth, Texas and graduated from Texas Wesleyan University.
Bianca Garcia, Assistant County Attorney, Travis County
Bianca Garcia is a native Austinite. She is a proud alumna of Becker Elementary, O’Henry Middle School, and Austin High School. Bianca graduated from The George Washington University with a BA and MA in International Affairs and Latin American studies. While studying in Washington, DC, she had the honor of maintaining her Texas ties while working for Congressman Lloyd Doggett. She went on to receive her JD from The University of Texas School of Law in 2012. During her time at Texas Law, Bianca was awarded a fellowship from the Bernard and Audre Rapoport Center for Human Rights and Justice to participate in a human rights clerkship at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. After law school, Bianca began as an Assistant District Attorney in Hidalgo County where she handled all levels of criminal cases. She joined the Travis County Attorney’s office in 2015. She is thrilled to be back in her hometown. She is currently the Secretary of the Travis County Democratic Party and a provisional member of the Junior League of Austin. Bianca is a fan of Star Wars and all things Tolkien. She is also mom to a 1 year old Miniature Schnauzer named Winston.
Matt Glazer, Executive Director, Austin Young Chamber of Commerce
Matt Glazer is the Executive Director for the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce. Matt serves as the chief executor for the overall vision and direction of the AYC. Matt is a Texas native who has successfully launched two companies and a statewide non-profit in Texas. He is well known as a communication and public relations expert winning the Austin American Statesman’s social media award in 2009 and the Austin Chronicle’s “Best of…”award. In late 2010, Glazer became the inaugural Executive Director of Progress Texas and the Texas Research Institute. He helped launch the organization and when he left, it had nearly 50,000 members within 90% of the counties of Texas and a staff of seven. In addition to launching companies and a non-profit, Glazer has worked for local and national groups including — the American Heart Association, Weird Homes Tour, Texas Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, KTBC Fox 7 Austin, and dozens of political candidates and causes across the country. Glazer joined the Austin Young Chamber of Commerce, first as a member in 2012, and then as the Executive Director in 2014. He currently serves as the state co-lead for the Truman National Security Project in Austin and as a Democratic mentor for the Annette Strauss Institute for Civic Life's annual campaign bootcamp. He is a runner, cinephile, and loves all things muppet.
Born and raised in the Central Texas area, Cicely Kay has a passion for community involvement and development, from the local to state level. She cultivated her passion for civic engagement while serving as a Commissioner on the Planning and Zoning Commission in her hometown of Kyle, Texas. There she came to understand the impact governments have on their residents, and decided she wanted to assist in shaping the policies and programs implemented by governments. Cicely believes government’s role is to enable their constituents to live full and productive lives. To gain a fuller understanding of the functions of a local government she interned with a City Manager. There she worked closely on the city’s budget and emergency management plan, and assisted multiple city departments with special projects. She has experience at the state level working in both the House and Senate through four legislative sessions, most recently for Representative Jessica Farrar, a long-term Democratic member representing parts of Houston. She has worked on many policy areas while at the Capitol, but is particularly interested in: health and human services; local government and intergovernmental affairs; ethics; and natural resources. Cicely enjoys the legislative process, and particularly enjoys assisting constituents in navigating state government and agencies, and educating them on how to become involved in the legislative process. Cicely has also worked on numerous campaigns, from statewide candidates to city candidates. Most recently, she was a Neighborhood Team Leader coordinating Battleground Texas’ Wendy Davis and Leticia Van de Putte campaign efforts, and a field director for a successful mayoral campaign. Cicely holds a Bachelor of Arts in Government from the University of Texas at Austin, and recently received her Masters in Public Affairs from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at UT-Austin. She also spent two summers studying international politics, political history, and economics of public policy at Cambridge University in England. In 2014 she was named a Terrell Blodgett Fellow in Government Services in Urban Management and Finance. As Vice-Chair of the student organization Citizens for Local and State Service she worked to promote local government service to LBJ students by organizing networking opportunities and panels with leaders in local government.
Zoey Lichtenheld, Communications Coordinator, NARAL Pro-Choice Texas
Zoey Lichtenheld is the communications coordinator for NARAL Pro-Choice Texas—a statewide reproductive rights advocacy organization. In her position, Zoey collaborates with allied advocacy organizations and reproductive health care providers to craft messages around reproductive rights issues in Texas and works on strategies to reach key audiences including elected officials, activists and the general public. In her role at NARAL Pro-Choice Texas, Zoey also provides program and fundraising support including assisting with event planning, grant research and drafting, donor communications and program development. Zoey became interested in pursuing a career advocating for equal access to health care after spending several years volunteering for the Lilith Fund—a non-profit that helps people access abortion through small grants—and hearing countless stories of people’s struggles accessing reproductive health care. While serving as an intern for the Lilith Fund, Zoey researched Austin demographics to identify target areas with high concentrations of potential first-time donors and drafted a direct mail fundraising letter. Zoey graduated with honors from the University of Texas at Austin and holds bachelor’s degrees in journalism and women’s and gender studies. Through her journalism courses, Zoey gained experience in researching, interviewing, news writing and multimedia storytelling. While pursing her bachelor’s degrees, Zoey was a leader of Voices for Reproductive Justice, a student organization that created on-campus dialogue about the reproductive rights, health and justice issues Texans face. Through this organization Zoey also participated in efforts to enroll Austin residents in health insurance through the Affordable Care Act. Zoey’s undergraduate thesis titled, “’Let Her Speak: Using Subversive Testimony to be Heard,” analyzes how people amplified their voices in opposition to legislation that put restrictions on reproductive health care by breaking the rules of providing testimony in a legislative space. Zoey is not much of a rule-breaker herself, but she is a proud Texan—born and raised in Austin. Zoey relishes the opportunity to challenge stereotypes about Texans and even though she often disagrees with the decisions Texas leaders make, she will never turn down the opportunity to defend her home state. In her spare time Zoey enjoys reading, hiking and snuggling with her two cats.
Kelle’ Martin is a native Texan. Growing up in Houston, Kelle’ has always had a desire to make the world a better place. Martin earned a Bachelor’s in English Literature with a minor in Woman’s and Gender Studies from the University of Texas, where he worked as program coordinator for the Gender and Sexuality Center - a resource center for women, the LGBTQIA community, and their allies - as well as an Orientation Advisor. While volunteering for organizations such as Montrose Center and Msociety, Kelle’ went on to earn his Master’s in Social Work with a concentration in political social work from the University of Houston. He served as Policy Analyst for the Legislative Study Group, a bipartisan caucus during the 83rdLegislative Session. In 2013 he became a Project Specialist for the State Independent Living Council, where he planned and implemented projects that increased the access people with disabilities had to gym equipment and health initiatives in certain areas of the state, provided transportation for people with disabilities and seniors who used public transportation in rural areas of Texas, as well as conducted a needs assessment gauging the efficacy of public transportation for the same populations in rural and small urban Texas. Martin facilitates Men of Color, or MoC, a group that seeks to give visibility to the diverse perspectives of the gay male experience in Austin. Kelle’ is passionate about empowering Texans to register and participate in the local elections process.
Dan McKernan, User Experience Director, InspireHUB Inc.
Dan is a seasoned design, marketing, advertising and creative director with several years of experience providing leadership, development and industry expertise to the organizations he has supported. As InspireHUB’s User Experience Director, Dan drives user experience efforts for development projects across web, tablet, and mobile platforms. Designs/develops InspireHUB’s Design best-practices and processes for delivering exceptional digital solutions by defining innovative user interfaces and interaction styles which result in improved user satisfaction and efficiency. Prior to joining InspireHUB, Dan served on the Board of Directors for Camp Fire, USA, proving children ages 3 – 18 with opportunities to learn and develop leadership skills through small groups interactions with peers and adults, exploring the natural world through outdoor programs. Dan also previously served as the Director of Digital Marketing and Advertising for UMeTime Corp., a startup company that utilized social media as the primary medium for customer engagement. Dan is also the Founder and Web Designer for McKernan Design, a marketing design company focused on the evolution of online marketing and integration with social media networks. Dan attended Los Angeles Pierce College where he earned an Associate’s Degree and Quincy University where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Liberal Arts and Sciences.
Ted Moskovitz, Founding Team, VP Busines Development, Apollo Scheduling
Born in Toronto but raised in Tampa, Ted can discuss both maple syrup and sailing, moose and manta rays. Ted’s progressive credentials go back over a decade. While in University, he authored speeches for the anti-gerrymandering initiative Fair Districts Florida. Following graduation, he worked in office of U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, and then as a Financial Consultant for progressive candidates and initiatives at New Partners Consulting. After graduating with high honors from American University School of Law, Ted began his career as an attorney at the Securities and Exchange Commission where he reviewed IPOs and other filings startups and Fortune 100 companies in the alternative energy, medical device, and semiconductor industries. In April 2014, Ted took the leap, leaving the SEC to launch the SaaS company Apollo Scheduling. When not running Apollo’s sales operation, Ted co-hosts The Leap Takers podcast dedicated to exploring and sharing the stories of people across the globe who have taken big leaps in their lives, and providing practical advice and inspiration for people who want to take a leap of their own. An avid traveler, in 2015 Ted found himself in 28 cities in 6 countries, covering over 135,000 miles in the process. By night, Ted advises socially responsible ventures and can be found fiddling with his molecular gastronomy kit, playing tennis, and tracking down Austin’s best grilled cheese sandwich.
Simone Nichols-Segers, Manager of Advocacy, Texas, National MS Society
Simone Nichols-Segers is a non-profit government advocacy professional and lobbyist with a passion for health care policy. During the 2015 Texas legislative session she led efforts to introduce and pass two pieces of complex legislation to increase transparency and consumer protections in health insurance. Passed with near-unanimous support in the House and Senate, both bills are now being used as model legislation in multiple states across the country. Simone is currently working with the Texas Department of Insurance on implementation of both bills and spends a lot of her time reading insurance code and rules. As the manager of advocacy for the National MS Society in Texas, Simone follows the latest policy trends and enjoys her work to increase access to health care for all, regardless of income. From closing the coverage gap in Texas to ending balance billing in emergency rooms, she has worked on health care policy that impacts all Texans. A native Austinite, Simone loves living in a progressive city and has fun exploring her hometown with her family. She and her husband Eric have been married for five years and adore their very feisty and independent toddler. Simone enjoys traveling, spending time outdoors and snuggling with her daughter while reading bedtime stories about feminist icons. She loves being a mom and has discovered a new power behind her activist work: a determination to make the world a better place for her daughter. In addition to access health care, Simone is passionate about reproductive rights and ending gun violence.
Miller Nuttle, Campaigns Director, Bike Austin
Miller is Campaigns Director with Bike Austin, where he coordinates community organizing and lobbying efforts in support of bicycle and pedestrian safety infrastructure in Central Texas. Before moving to Austin, Miller worked at Transportation Alternatives and the Sierra Club. Miller is a graduate of Green Corps Field School for Environmental Organizing and Wesleyan University.
Virginia Palacios, Research Analyst, Environmental Defense Fund
Virginia Palacios is a Research Analyst on the Oil and Gas Campaign at Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), an international environmental advocacy nonprofit. At EDF, Palacios researches state and federal regulations and analyzes data on the environmental impacts of oil and gas development. In 2014, she helped to develop a series of bilingual workshops in South Texas that equip people living among oil and gas development with information about how to report potential contamination incidents to the appropriate state agencies. Virginia is a Co-Chair on EDF’s staff Diversity Committee, and helped to write EDF’s first-ever Diversity Strategy aimed at securing durable and equitable solutions for addressing the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. Virginia earned her Masters of Environmental Management from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment in 2012. Between her first and second years at Duke, she spent a summer in her hometown of Laredo, Texas and worked with a local coalition to organize two town halls on the impacts of rapidly accelerating oil and gas development in South Texas. Upon returning to Duke, Virginia founded the Drilling, Environment, and Economics Network (DEEN) to convene researchers with different perspectives about the costs and benefits of oil and gas development. Palacios grew up on a cattle ranch in South Texas, hunting, gardening, and raising show goats for 4-H. With frequent droughts on the ranch, she learned to appreciate the fragility of natural systems. This awareness of ecosystem dynamics eventually brought her to a career in environmental science and policy, but not before she earned her Bachelors of Science in Aeronautical Science. Palacios was a commercial- and instrument-rated airplane pilot before changing careers in 2007. Understanding the urgency of climate change, Palacios decided to focus her efforts on getting everyone –even Texans- on board to solve the problem of rising carbon emissions. Virginia graduated from high school in Austin, and moved back to the city in 2012 after graduating from her Master’s program at Duke. In her spare time, she volunteers with Capital Area Master Naturalists, rows at Austin Rowing Club, registers voters, and serves on a steering committee for a group of local environmental leaders seeking to address the racial divide in Austin’s environmental movement.
Sam Robles, Communications Director, Workers Defense Project
Sam wants to live in a world filled with responsible developers, more people of color in our history books, and millennials that take their online power to the streets. In her current role as the Communications Director of Workers Defense Project, Sam finds ways to uplift the voices of construction workers and hardworking families in the press, local school board meetings, and on your mobile device. Sam has previously worked in the Texas Legislature, she served as a legislative assistant for State Senator Sylvia R. Garcia. She has also served as Outreach and Program Coordinator for the Senate Hispanic Caucus under the Chairmanship of State Senator Jose Rodriguez. In both of these roles, Sam organized statewide around immigration, election, and education policy. While attending UT, Sam organized students around the UT v. Fisher Affirmative Action case by holding townhalls, rallies, and online forums for students of color to share their campus experience. She was a instructor for UT-Austin’s Intergroup Dialogue program, where she facilitated undergraduate “hot topic” discussions on race and racism. In her spare time, Sam can be found wandering the young adult section of Half Priced Books. Currently, she is trying to figure out why millennials are killing R&B. For updates on Texas politics, immigration, and 00’s hip-hop references follow her on twitter @SamRoblesTx.
Blake Rocap, Partner, Carnes & Rocap
Blake grew up in San Angelo, Texas before moving to Austin to attend the University of Texas. He earned his BA in American Studies with a minor in Government before returning to West Texas to attend the Texas Tech School of Law on a full Regent's Scholarship. While in law school he was a founding board member of the Student Public Interest Initiative, the social director of the Board of Barristers and a member of the institution's curriculum committee. After practicing as a plaintiff's attorney in the area of employment discrimination and workplace safety, he became General Counsel to a statewide political campaign where he became highly proficient in Texas campaign finance and election law, and solidified his interest in public policy. He has served as a committee clerk in the Texas House and is highly experienced in Texas legislative process and public policy where he continues to represent healthcare clients. Blake and his wife live in central Austin with their daughters and their chocolate Labrador, Arnold, where they enjoy the proximity to University of Texas and its athletic events. On nights when he's not playing volleyball, Blake can be found in his kitchen where he enjoys cooking and eating with his family and friends.
Brakeyshia Samms, State Policy Fellow and Policy Analyst, Center for Public Policy Priorities
Brakeyshia Samms is a progressively-minded millennial interested in discovering the ways budget and tax policies can help everyone thrive in today’s economy. She believes that if the government can fairly raise enough money to invest in public services and programs, it would help alleviate poverty, weaken structural racism, bridge the gender divide, expand opportunity, and shrink economic inequalities. Currently, she is a State Policy Fellow with the Center for Public Policy Priorities (CPPP) through the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities’ post-graduate fellowship program. At CPPP, she works with the Invest in Texas team, where she analyzes the impact of Texas budget and tax policies on economically disadvantaged families and communities. She also coordinates Texas Forward, a statewide revenue coalition of over 70 organizations that works to ensure legislators have enough revenue to make the critical investments in public services that will ultimately improve lives of all Texans. She has held internships with the Office of the United States Trade Representative, the City of Fairfax (VA), and the Democratic National Committee. In fall 2011, she was one of 32 students selected from the entire UT system to be a Bill Archer Fellow, where she spent a semester in Washington, DC and interned with the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the United States Department of Justice. She earned her Master of Public Policy degree from George Mason University in May 2014 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science and History from The University of Texas at Tyler in May 2012. She is a proud native of Carrollton, TX.
Zahra Shakur Jamal, Community Education & Outreach Program Associate, Asian Family Support Services of Austin
Zahra Shakur Jamal was born in Karachi, Pakistan. Zahra and her family immigrated to the U.S. 15 years when she began her undergraduate degree at Boston College. Zahra found Boston College with its Jesuit affiliation to be an embodiment of her personal beliefs and values as a Muslim. Zahra believes that the Jesuit commitment to equality and working with those most in need in society is consistent with Islam’s central message and its view that humans are responsible for one another, irrespective of race, religion, or ethnicity, and for our natural environment. Upon graduating from Boston College, Zahra moved to Texas where she joined her family business. While in Houston, Zahra was immersed in an immigrant, Asian community through her work, volunteer activities, and social network. She volunteered extensively with Asian, immigrant youth development programs and designed and conducted trainings for a non-profit initiative that trains volunteer social workers to provide culturally-appropriate services to immigrant families at or near the poverty line. Zahra then began law school where she worked with domestic violence survivors, victims of mortgage fraud, and spoke in front of the United Nations General Assembly in Geneva on food security for developing nations. After passing the California Bar, Zahra spent a short time working on the Obama campaign in Las Vegas and for OFA issuing organizing on comprehensive immigration reform, climate change legislation, and sensible gun safety laws. Zahra and her husband started a small business in the Houston area and she recently moved to Austin. She currently works for Asian Family Support Services of Austin (formerly Saheli) where Zahra works primarily with immigrant and refugee families from countries ranging from Burma to Iraq. Zahra makes presentations to men, women, and youth groups in churches, mosques, and schools on topics ranging from sexual assault to cyber-safety.
Amanda Williams, Executive Director, The Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity
Amanda Williams is a native Texan and Latina feminist activist living in Austin, Texas. After graduating from the University of Houston with a Bachelors of Arts in English Literature in May of 2011, she worked for Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast in public affairs until returning to graduate school to obtain a Master's Degree in Social Work with a specialization in political social work. Amanda worked the 83rd Texas Legislative Session as a policy analyst for the Legislative Study Group in 2013 and then went on to work for a federally qualified health center doing women's health advocacy and policy work. She was most recently the Program Manager of Shift. focusing on abortion stigma eradication, movement building, and advocacy. She joined the board of directors for the Lilith Fund for Reproductive Equity in 2012 and was recently named the organization's first Executive Director.