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Andrew Barnhill , Educational Policy , University of North Carolina System
Andrew is a North Carolina native and a graduate of New Hanover High School in Wilmington. From 2004-2006, he hosted Noteworthy with Andrew Barnhill on WilmingtonÍs local cable access network. He graduated cum laude from Furman University as a Herman W. Lay Scholar with a B.A. in Political Science and Rhetoric, and completed studies at the University of Oxford in theatre and political theory. A 2008 recipient of the U.S. Presidential Award for Service and a 2009 National Finalist for the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, Andrew earned graduate degrees from Duke University. Andrew’s academic work focused on the relationship between religion, law, and social policy. A licensed Baptist minister, AndrewÍs sermons are published in the Huffington Post and in several anthologies. He is the current Eastern Regional Director of the Young Democrats of North Carolina, a former Chair of Young Democrats for the 7th U.S. Congressional District of North Carolina, the re-chartering President of the New Hanover County Young Democrats, and a member of the state executive committee of the North Carolina Democratic Party. Andrew’s early career has been marked by work in the offices of U.S. Congressman Mike McIntyre, Eleison Group„a faith-based political consulting firm„and Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell and Berkowitz, a law and lobbying firm in Washington, DC. Andrew is involved with a number of local and national organizations including the Coca-Cola Scholars Foundation, the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and the Fund for Theological Education, of which he is a Fellow. A passionate advocate for equal access to higher education, during his time at Duke Andrew served as a member of the Undergraduate Education Committee of the Board of Trustees. He currently works in higher education administration and as a university instructor of speech and political science. He is a brother of Pi Kappa Phi Fraternity.
Chaz Beasley , Associate , Alston & Bird LLP
Chaz Beasley is an attorney, currently living in Charlotte, NC. A North Carolina native, Chaz was born in Statesville and raised by a single mother in Taylorsville and Conover. A product of the stateÍs public schools, he graduated from Newton-Conover High School in 2004 as valedictorian and student body president. During the summers, he interned in youth ministry and performed missionary work in the southern United States and abroad. Following high school, Chaz attended Harvard University with the support of various scholarships, including the Ron Brown Scholars program. While in college, he founded an anti-poverty initiative that provided assistance to Hurricane Katrina victims and low-income communities in the Boston area. He served as an usher at his church and participated in an on-campus choir. As a senior, Chaz wrote his thesis on North CarolinaÍs alternative education system. He graduated in 2008 with high honors in economics. After graduation, Chaz began working at Fannie Mae during the toughest years of the housing crisis. He served as an analyst in risk management for two years, working to stem the financial losses caused by bad mortgages. He remained active in the community, coaching basketball at a local school, planning events for his church, and volunteering for various political campaigns. Chaz attended law school at Georgetown University, graduating in 2013. While studying there, he worked for Majority Leader Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate. During the summers, he interned with judges on the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina. In 2012, Chaz was elected to represent North CarolinaÍs tenth congressional district at the Democratic National Convention. Currently, Chaz is an associate in the Global Finance & Debt Products group at Alston & Bird LLP. His practice focuses on capital markets transactions, in which he represents financial institutions in corporate and structured debt financings. He also serves as Vice President of the Ron Brown Scholars Alumni association and as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. In his spare time, Chaz enjoys morning workouts, basketball, and spending time with his family.
Jenifer Daniels , Co-Founder/COO , The Bridge
Accredited public relations professional and award-winning educator, Jenifer Daniels co-founded of a social good startup helping brands build bridges to the community. Jenifer has been a featured speaker at Ignite Charlotte 5, trained over 750 in gaining effective communication skills, and crafted the strategy to help an unknown candidate earn a city council seat in the 17th largest US city. Jenifer is the outgoing chair of the City of Charlotte Neighborhood Matching Grants committee. Jenifer has a masters of arts in communication from Wayne State University, and a certificate in nonprofit management from Duke University.
Emily Farnell , Constituent Services Assistant , United States House of Representatives
Emily Farnell is a constituent services assistant for Congressman Mike McIntyre (NC-07). Her portfolio includes casework related to the Veterans Administration, the Office of Personnel Management, Banking and Housing, and the Department of Labor. A native eastern North Carolinian, Emily is passionate about issues pertaining to rural areas of the state. Prior to her current position, she worked for the NC Democratic Party as a field organizer on Congressman McIntyreÍs 2012 reelection campaign. She has also worked as an Organizing for America fellow and interned with the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at Center for American Progress in Washington, DC. Emily has been a member of the board of directors of the General Board of Church and Society, the public policy and social justice agency of the United Methodist Church, since 2008. Her work on this board includes serving on the Peace with Justice/United Nations and International Relations work area, the by-laws committee, and the Native American Task Force. Emily has a B.A. in Religious Studies and a minor in Creative Writing from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an undergraduate, she studied abroad at the University of Glasgow. When not working, she can be found cheering on her beloved Tar Heels or binge-watching The West Wing.
Tara Ilsley , Health Education Specialist , Duke University
Tara Ilsley grew up in Winston-Salem, North Carolina and attended North Carolina State University .She graduated with a degree in International Politics and Spanish. While at NC State University Tara was President of The NC State College Democrats on campus. As an undergrad, she was very interested in HIV/AIDS prevention and traveled to Malawi to Malawi teach HIV/AIDS education in rural villages. After graduation she continued she work in HIV/AIDS prevention and education in Tela, Honduras leading a HIV/AIDS non-profit on the northern coast of Honduras. After living in Central America she moved on Berkeley, CA to serve as an AmeriCorps member at Community Clinic working with uninsured residents of Berkeley focusing on the Latino population. After serving in AmeriCorps she worked at La Clinica de La Raza as a bilingual HIV/AIDS counselor. She provided HIV/AIDS outreach and prevention in high-risk areas in Oakland, California. She led a CDC sponsored program to decrease HIV infection in intravenous drug users through counseling and risk reduction. She led community health forums on HIV/AIDS and sexual reproductive health for immigrant Latino communities. Tara then began to realize the intersect of public health prevention and research and shifted her work into HIV Research and began working at the University of California at San Francisco. She assisted in the implementation of four National Institute of Health HIV Grants specifically for women to better understand the underlying molecular, cellular, and immunological basis for HIV transmission and pathogenesis in women, the research focused on microbicide gel study to learn how different types of hormonal contraceptive could possibly increase HIV infection in women. In 2012 Tara moved back to her home state of North Carolina to begin her Masters in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and recently graduated. This fall she began working at Duke University in the Community Medicine department and continues to work with the underserved ands uninsured community of Durham and specifically with the growing Latino population in North Carolina.
Brad Johnson , Associate Director of Development , Triangle Residential Options for Substance Abusers, Inc. (TROSA)
Brad serves as the Associate Director of Development for TROSA, an innovative residential, substance abuse treatment facility in Durham, North Carolina. In this role, Brad facilitates fundraising, government relations, and marketing efforts for the $13 million social enterprise. He has worked in various capacities in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining TROSA, Brad worked for several years abroad with the United Nations in Italy and Pakistan in the Executive Office of the worldÍs largest humanitarian agency _ the World Food Programme. Brad helped drive and shape WFP’s new, corporate child nutrition agenda and helped identify sustainable ways in which the local and international business community could engage in the effort to combat global child undernutrition. He also previously worked domestically as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with NCLR – the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the US – on nutrition and food security issues to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans. A native of Garner, North Carolina, Brad earned a Master in Public Affairs degree and a certificate in Health and Heath Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public & International Affairs at Princeton University and a Bachelor in Arts in Public Policy and Social & Economic Justice from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a Public Policy and International Affairs Fellow (2006) and a Presidential Fellow with the Center for the Study of the Presidency and Congress (2010).
Joshua Mbanusi , Social Justice Teacher , KIPP: Gaston College Preparatory
Joshua Mbanusi is a recent college graduate from Cornell University where he majored in Policy Analysis and Management with a concentration in social policy. He was born and raised in West Orange, NJ before moving to Plano, TX shortly after his high school graduation. Joshua is currently a 2012 Teach for America corps member serving in Eastern North Carolina as a 9th grade ïSocial JusticeÍ teacher. Joshua is deeply committed to expanding opportunities for AmericaÍs most underserved families. His long-term goal is to impact positive change using both economic and education polity to combat structural barriers inhibiting families from escaping poverty.
Conen Morgan , National Technology Director , ProgressNow
Graduate of North Carolina State University, BS Computer Science. Past 2-Term President of the Young Democrats of North Carolina. Served as Political Director for a US Senate campaign, Campaign Manager for Congressional and Gubernatorial campaigns, and the former Director of New Media and Digital Strategy for the NC Democratic Party. Currently, National Technology Director for ProgressNow.
Jason H. Parker , Digital Strategy , Center for Teaching Quality
In my role at the Center for Teaching Quality, I create and execute digital strategy programs across the organization, using data analytics to inform decision-making processes. Ultimately, my work results in increasing the voice, reach and political power of our virtual community of teacher leaders that are transforming teaching in the classroom and in their schools, districts and state. I also help entrepreneurs tell their stories and establish their brands. I write about entrepreneurship and the funding environment as a freelancer for WRAL Tech Wire, telling the story of entrepreneurship in the Research Triangle and North Carolina. I’m an investor and partner in Durham’s first distillery, Brothers Vilgalys Sprits Company, producer of the world’s finest honey spiced liqueur, Krupnikas. I assist in developing strategic partnerships and external marketing and communications of the organization. On many days, I also serve as executive janitor and taste-tester. In my role as President of the Triangle Flying Disc Association’s Board of Directors, I promote the growth of the sport of Ultimate Frisbee and showcase the Triangle’s players. I set strategic direction for the organization, pursue sponsorships and partnerships, and help organize leagues, tournaments and other events. I’m an optimistic networker and entrepreneur, a visionary community-builder, a skilled digital strategist and a highly engaged citizen. I’m a writer, communicator, and strategic leader dedicated to helping my peers and colleagues perform to the best of their abilities. I believe that all individuals have the capacity to “”be a 10″” and if given support and held accountable to their goals, will generate success in their careers and in their lives.
Anna Stearns , Paralegal, Ronald E. Sneed, P.A.
Anna is the lead Paralegal and Office Manager at Ronald E. Sneed, P.A., where she has worked for the last 14 years. Anna capitalized on the opportunity presented to her in her senior year of high school when she was hired to work as a file clerk with the firm. She discovered a passion for the law and for social justice which has been nurtured and affirmed by her boss and mentor, Ron Sneed. While employed with the firm, Anna obtained her Associates and BachelorÍs degrees, majoring in Political Science at UNC-Asheville. Anna also serves as clerical assistant to the Board of Aldermen in Black Mountain. She obtained her Paralegal Certification from the North Carolina State Bar in 2005 and is a Paralegal member of the North Carolina Bar Association. She continues to foster and develop her understanding of the law and plans to attend law school in 2015. Anna is also very active in her community, serving as a member of Black MountainÍs Housing Commission and a member of the Religious Education Committee at her church, the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the Swannanoa Valley. Anna frequently works as a mentor to teen moms, a cause near and dear to her heart as she herself was a mom at fifteen. Anna is active with her local Democratic Party and was elected in 2013 to serve as Secretary of both the WomenÍs Caucus of the Young Democrats of North Carolina and as Secretary of the Buncombe County Chapter. She also advocates for passage of the 90 year old Equal Rights Amendment through her work as Social Media Coordinator for Ratify-ERA, NC. Anna lives in Black Mountain with her long-time partner, Rick, and their three children, Dylan (16), Daniel (11), and Tayler (16). In her spare time she is a knitter, a runner, and a genealogist.