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Adams_HS-w275.jpg Ryan Adams, NLC New York City

Behold! The Religious Progressive Left!

Ryan Adams wants to get you plugged in: socially, technologically, and spiritually. He believes that socially-conscious communities can utilize their people and passions to go beyond charity and tackle social problems to truly affect change. After completing a Masters of Theological Studies at Harvard Divinity School, Ryan founded HZQ Consulting, which specializes in leveraging new technologies and services for small businesses, new ventures, and non-profits. He advises entrepreneurs and investors on how to grow mighty in the ever-changing marketplace of apps, platforms, approaches, and people. HZQ stays true to its root, providing big consulting for smaller companies. He spends his “off-time” advising causes and candidates who are working to make the world a better place. He serves on the board of the Emergency Shelter Network of Faith-Based Communities of New York City (ESN-NYC), on the junior board of Citizens Committee for New York City (CCNYC), the advisory board of the New Shul of NYC, and is the co-founder of the New York State Education Initiative (NYSEI). In short, Ryan Adams is concerned with progress, profits, and prophets.

Burgess_HS-w275.jpg Richard Burgess, NLC Pittsburgh

Understanding the Water Crisis in America

Ricky Burgess is a Pittsburgh native with a deep passion for sustainability. Professionally, Ricky works as the Manager for Urban Markets and Solutions for Hatch Chester, a Pittsburgh-based green infrastructure company. Ricky also serves as treasurer for the Pittsburgh Professional Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and as a trustee for the Nazarene Baptist Church. Academically, Ricky graduated with both a MBA and Master of Science in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University, as well as Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering from MIT. Ricky is excited to work with the New Leaders Council to build a young, diverse, deeply connected progressive movement throughout the Pittsburgh metropolitan area, striving to create opportunities for all of its residents!

Curt_Conrad_HS-w275.jpg Curt Conrad, NLC Pittsburgh

Youth Voices

Originally from the small town of Elkins, West Virginia, Curt moved to Pittsburgh in 2012 to begin his graduate degree in social work at the University of Pittsburgh. His emphasis on community organizing and social administration led him to get involved with State and City political campaigns, community based organizations, and social service providers. He has worked for several nonprofit organizations both in his home state and in the Pittsburgh neighborhoods of East Liberty and the Hill District on issues related to housing security, neighborhood development, and economic justice. He is a board member of his neighborhood’s community development corporation, alumnus of Pittsburgh’s chapter of New Leaders Council, and continues to be involved in the Democratic Party. Curt currently serves as the Chief of Staff to Pittsburgh City Councilman Corey O’Connor.

Cooper-w275.jpg Michael Cooper, NLC North Carolina

How to win back Trump's America

Michael Cooper was a 2015 NLC fellow in North Carolina and was a 2009 fellow at the Center for Progressive Leadership in Washington, D.C. where he interned in the office of Congressman Keith Ellison and worked for the civil rights organization Hip Hop Caucus. He is now an attorney in his hometown of North Wilkesboro and a freelance journalist who has written for The New Republic, Generation Progress and U.S. News & World Report.

Fisher_HS-w275.jpg Nikki Fisher, NLC Portland

Automatic Voter Registration is changing the face of democracy

Nikki Fisher attended the University of Tampa where she obtained her B.A. in Government and World Affairs. She worked for the ACLU of Florida on immigration reform, reproductive rights, LGBT campaigns and a variety of other issues for 4 years. After Florida, she returned home to Oregon. In 2013, she was the Regional Field Director for the Oregon United for Marriage campaign. Nikki managed a successful state senate campaign in 2014, flipping an R seat to a D seat for the first time in a decade. She went on to serve as Chief of Staff for State Senator Sara Gelser. After the legislative session, Nikki went on to become Executive Director of a youth lead organization known as The Bus Project. The Bus Project passed and implemented the first automatic voter registration bill in the country. Nikki has championed voter access reforms and has been involved in drafting new legislation reforms at the state level. Ms. Fisher is on the board of the Oregon Women’s Campaign School and the Women Investment Network PAC and serves as a Commissioner for the Oregon Commission for Women.

Jaime-Alexis-w275.jpg Jaime-Alexis Fowler, NLC Boston

Protecting and Empowering People at Work

Jaime-Alexis Fowler is a seasoned nonprofit leader with a track record of building agile, high-performing, healthy teams. She's currently leading the business side of Common Sense News, the first nonprofit newsroom dedicated to reporting on the programs and policies that affect kids. In her career, she's led marketing and communications at Pathfinder International, a $100M international NGO; run a national nonprofit that provides non-judgmental post-abortion peer phone counseling; as well as built and scaled marketing of government products and expanded a network of local government staff and technologists at Code for America. Her work has been honored by the Convio Innovator Awards for best online fundraising, and a short video she created won the DoGooder Funny for Good award. In 2009, she was a New Leaders Council fellow in the inaugural Boston cohort, then joined New Leaders Council's executive team as director of digital strategy and, later, as co-director of communications. She speaks about management and career issues along with marketing and communications strategy. Jaime-Alexis holds a Masters Degree from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of Vassar College.

Garcia_HS_(1)-w275.jpg Laura Garcia, NLC Maryland

Do No Harm: A Progressive Approach to the Opioid Epidemic

Laura Garcia graduated from Miami University of Ohio, with a B.A. in Foreign Affairs. After graduating, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Morocco as a health volunteer from 2006-2008. Inspired by a Moroccan nurse named Omar, she returned to school and graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a B.S. in Nursing in 2010. After completing her degree, she worked for Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center as an RN on the Progressive Care Unit from 2010-2014. In 2014, she graduated from Johns Hopkins University with a Masters of Science in Nursing. She obtained a position as a Family Nurse Practitioner at Health Care for the Homeless, and continues to care for adults and children facing homelessness as a primary care provider. In August 2016, she became the Director of Adult Medicine. In addition to clinical care, she is involved in advocacy on behalf of homeless, incarcerated, and undocumented residents of Maryland. She participates in the Alternatives to Violence Project, a volunteer organization that conducts prison workshops to help facilitate non-violent conflict resolution.  Laura is a member of the Nurse Practitioner Association of Maryland, and was elevated to the leadership board as the Political Action Committee chair in 2016.

Lucy Gillespie, NLC Pittsburgh

Seeing the Invisible

Fascinated by subtlety, enchanted by puzzles, and navigating life with a cat named Mouse; Lucy doesn't like to sit still. She divides her time between pursing a doctorate in Public Administration & Policy at the University of Pittsburgh, teaching cooking classes and catering through her business, Grains & Grinds, and toiling in the sugar mines as a pastry chef. While no two days are ever the same, what remains constant are her passions about infrastructure, public transit, LGBTQIA+ rights, learning, and conversation. Working as a mediator for inmates in the Baltimore City Department of Corrections during a stint with AmeriCorps sparked a deep interest in social justice. While that spark has taken on new shapes over time, it remains fueled by a dedication to working towards social equity for marginalized populations and by the subtle puzzles that dictate how we lead our lives. She returned to graduate school after feeling the draw toward policy work and saw the need to better equip herself for a life committed to community organizing and advocacy. Whether it's writing, speaking, cooking, or arguing Lucy tries to bring compassion, excitement, and silliness to whatever she does. She wants nothing more than to continue to work towards a more just and equal community, and eventually to find the perfect blazer.

Hanson_HS-w275.jpg Marta Hanson, NLC San Francisco

Thriving as an agent of social change

Marta Hanson is a passionate advocate working at the intersection of leadership development and social change.  Her background spans reproductive rights, politics, fundraising, business coaching, community building, and higher education – including work in both the DC and SF offices of NARAL Pro-Choice America and on the 2014 CA Attorney General re-election campaign of now-Senator Kamala D. Harris.  Currently, Marta serves as Assistant Dean & Associate Director of the Stanford Women's Community Center, where she gets to help build and support a thriving intersectional feminist community.  As a certified strengths coach & facilitator and founder of Social Impact Coaching, Marta brings strengths-based development to individuals and organizations working for social justice.  She serves as board co-chair of the Stanford Alumni Women's Impact Network (WIN), which connects Stanford alumni committed to social justice across the globe, and on the San Francisco board of New Leaders Council (NLC). Marta enjoys dancing the lindy hop and making boozy baked goods, and she can say “thank you” in over a dozen languages.

Kuncio_HS-w275.jpg Chris Kuncio, NLC Philadelphia

A Mascot for NLC: Young Ben Franklin

Chris Kuncio was born and raised in Philadelphia. After graduating with a degree in US History and Political Science from the University of Pittsburgh in 2010, he returned to Philly. There he became a tour guide as he worked to get his Masters in Education from St. Joe’s University. For the last three years, Chris has been a 12 grade English teacher at Mastery Charter School – Lenfest Campus, where he has incorporated hip-hop and poetry often into lessons, going so far as to coach the school’s slam poetry in the city’s thriving Youth Poetry Slam League. Simultaneously, Chris has been researching and writing tours about the great American folk-hero, Benjamin Franklin. His passion led him to write a television series TV pilot based on the life of the youthful life of this famous, yet misunderstood, Founding Father. Through his research and writings, he immersed himself into the character and began giving tours portraying the youthful Franklin. He created a rapping historical tour about Franklin to rival the Alexander Hamilton Musical, and intends on developing a company that creates historical content best described as “the Daily Show version of the History Channel” with Ben Franklin as the star.

Lamar_HS-w275.jpg London Lamar, NLC Nashville

Reproductive Justice

London Lamar is a native Memphian and community advocate. She holds a Bachelor’s of Arts degree in Political Science with double minors in Sociology and Intercultural Studies from Saint Mary’s College in Notre Dame, IN. London is the Policy Associate at SisterReach, a non-profit supporting the reproductive autonomy of women and girls of color, poor women, rural women and their families through the framework of Reproductive Justice, where she advocates on local and state levels for public policies which support the reproductive health and rights of all women and youth through civic engagement and community engagement strategies to expand new relationships among stakeholders. In her spare time, London currently serves as President of the Tennessee Young Democrats and Vice-Chairwoman of the Black Caucus of the Young Democrats of America. She is an Emerge Tennessee 2017 Fellow and has also completed the New Leaders Council Nashville 2015 Fellowship and was selected as Memphis Flyer’s Top 20 under 30 Class of 2015. London’s intentions are to act as a result-driven leader in communities through civic engagement initiatives around politics and governmental affairs.

Brandon_Mack_headshot-w275.jpg Brandon Mack, NLC Houston

Investing in Our Future: Supporting Undocumented and DACA Students

Brandon Mack is the Senior Assistant Director of Admission & Coordinator of Transfer Admission at Rice University. He has been with the Office of Admission since 2009. Mack works specifically on minority recruitment initiatives, community based organization partnerships, and community outreach efforts to educate students on highly selective college admissions. He also oversees and manages the transfer admission process and is the liaison to the Rice School of Architecture. In addition to his day job, Mack is a community activist and sociologist dedicated to issues related to the intersections of race, gender, and sexual orientation. He has conducted research on effemiphobia, the negativity related to effeminate gay men. His work has been featured in a GLAAD Media Award winning article and he has presented his work at national conferences such as the National LGBTQ Task Force: Creating Change and NBJC's Out on the Hill. Mack graduated from Rice University in 2006 with a Bachelors of Arts in Sociology & Political Science. In 2013, Mack earned a Masters of Education in Higher Education Administration Supervision from the University of Houston.

Mehra_HS-w275.jpg Kavita Mehra, NLC New Jersey

Choosing to Live.

For nearly 15 years, Kavita Mehra has dedicated her career to improving the lives of others through her commitment to the not-for profit sector.  Most recently she served as Interim Chief Executive Officer for the Boys & Girls Club of Newark (BGCN).Currently, Kavita is an Advisory Board Member for the New Leaders Council’s New Jersey Chapter, a Board Member for LadyDrinks, and an Advisory Board Member for I Have A Dream Newark. Kavita has blogged for the White House initiative Act To Change as well as the Huffington Post. Her speaking engagements include Barnard College, Harvard University, the Hugh O'Brian Youth Leadership Conference, and the Women’s Economic Forum. In 2016, Kavita completed the Boys & Girls Clubs of America Advanced Leadership Program and in 2014,  she was a Lead New Jersey Fellow and an Athena Mastermind at Barnard. In 2013, Kavita was a New Leaders Council-New Jersey Fellow. Kavita completed her Bachelor of Arts from New York University with a double major in both History and Gender Studies. She also holds a Master of Arts in Liberal Studies, with a concentration in South Asian Studies, from Columbia University, as well as a certificate in Business Excellence from The Columbia Business School.

Osuan_HS-w275.jpg Nekpen Osuan, NLC New York City

Why Every Organization Needs True Diversity

Nekpen Osuanis a seasoned project management and analytics professional, and Vice President at Morgan Stanley leading firmwide business development and strategic wealth management policy. She is also the co-founder of WomenWerk, a women's empowerment non-profit based in New York City. Her prior roles including presenting at the 2016 South by South Lawn Conference at the White House, leading data strategy for President Obama's re-election campaign in Florida and leading Special Education reform at the NYC Department of Education. In addition, Nekpen is a 2017 Above and Beyond  Women by City and State and 2017 Council of Urban Professionals Fellow. She enjoys travel and serves on local non-profit Boards including the junior Boards of Generation Citizen, Sponsors for Educational Opportunity's Junior Leadership Board (SEO JLB), The College Initiative, Manhattan's Community Education Council 6 and Community Board 9 in Manhattan. Nekpen earned her Masters in Economics and Education Policy from Columbia University and her Bachelors with Honors at Baylor University.

Pandy-Cherry_HS-w275.jpg Karen Pandy-Cherry, NLC Broward

She Must Lead, You Should Support Her!

Karen Pandy-Cherry is an Award Winning Entrepreneur, Speaker & Advocate. She is a graduate of St. Thomas University Law School and holds a BA degree in Organizational Leadership & Group Communications from Trinity International University. Karen is Vice President of Refresh Live, A Food/ Education & Lifestyle Company which was formed around her work combating economic inequality and social justice issues. Karen is wife to Chef Chad Cherry and the mother of three, Kytana (20); Kyrsten (13) & Zyon (4). Karen managed her first corporation with her father, Frank, at the age of 15 and owned her first company by 17.  She gained experience in the non-profit sector working as a community organizer and program manager fighting against inequality and increasing awareness about issues affecting families.  She is the Board Vice Chair of the LA Lee YMCA and a member of Communities of Promise Health & Wellness Solution Coalition, which was formed to address various issues affecting community residents in the 33311 area of Fort Lauderdale. Karen is also the Mentorship Chair for the New Leaders Council-Broward County, a 501(c)(3) that works to recruit, train and promote the progressive political entrepreneurs of tomorrow. Her awards & accolades include being named 2017 Woman of Distinction by the Lauderhill Regional Chamber of Commerce, 2017 World Change Maker by the Change Makers Academy and 2017 Trailblazing Woman of History by the Broward County Commission.  Her mission in life is to give hope and opportunity to individuals and communities.

Pineda_HS-w275.jpg Anthony Pineda, NLC Silicon Valley

When Words Save Lives

Over the last five years, Anthony has worked to establish a new way to teach, motivate, and develop youth utilizing hip-hop culture. During his time learning with the NLC institute, he decided to explore what it meant to be a Life Entrepreneur. This meant building upon his progressive ideas, which pushed the philosophy of educational institutions and even those of educators themselves. Anthony explores the intersection of education, technology, and creativity as a means to develop those he works with. Hip-hop is his passion and he firmly believes in the power of knowledge. Growing up in Stockton was a difficult and a powerful experience. He sees the increasing need for all to be educated. Despite the way economics currently plays into the way we develop policy, we must find ways to reignite the fire for learning. Anthony continues to study hip-hop and education, while simultaneously continuing to work with hip-hop and youth in various settings. After taking the steps to ensure the formation of Creatrixi Institute, he continued to develop relationships with people in Silicon Valley. Anthony currently works in the field of education and mental health providing programming for youth utilizing hip-hop culture. Anthony has discussed these topics with people around the world and believes the future of education is going to be based on how well we teach youth who they are and generate true motivation for learning. Anthony’s drive and passion to create a new paradigm for education to grow and thrive is unyielding. Anthony will continue his work until we create new educational policy that sees the value of cultural knowledge and technological inclusion for youth at all stages of development.

Ritchie_HS-w275.jpg Bronwyn Ritchie, NLC St. Louis

ART meets ROI

With a degree in International Business, Economics, and Finance from Saint Louis University, Bronwyn's focus is bolstering the economic and cultural vitality of communities through unconventional channels. Bronwyn works as a Digital Marketing Manager at Timmermann Group, a marketing firm with the mission of making St. Louis a desirable career location for digital experts by producing quality work that challenges St. Louis' reputation as a “flyover city. Bronwyn serves as the Director of Marketing and Communications for St Lou Fringe. Part of a national network of independent performing arts organizations, St Lou Fringe acts as an arts-first platform for amplifying the opportunities available to the disenfranchised groups that inhabit the St. Louis metro area. With Bronwyn's organizational leadership, St Lou Fringe has expanded its programming to a robust five-month season designed to infiltrate, engage, and unify key neighborhoods within the St. Louis community. Bronwyn also sits on the board for Solid Lines Productions, a growing production company creating programs that foster community dialogue about socially relevant issues through live theatre. When she's not sharing her opinions on the 4th Industrial Revolution over a glass of red wine, Bronwyn enjoys participating in the 48 Hour Film Project, curating Spotify playlists, and listening to local music.

headshot-w275.jpg Sandra Shelly, NLC New York City

Work for us: Corporations backing Social Justice Movements

Sandra has dedicated her career to working in progressive politics. She decided to pursue a career in public service after working abroad in Kenya where she assisted caretakers in Nairobi Orphanages. Soon after she was chosen to intern at the White House for President Obama in 2011, where her passion for progressive politics was forged. Since then, she has lived in over 6 states working for various progressive candidates and issues, most notably, President Obama's reelection campaign, Cory Booker's Senate Campaign, and for Planned Parenthood Federation of America in Texas where she managed the Affordable Care Act campaign in Dallas and Fort Worth. Afterwards she managed the field strategy in Austin for then Senator Wendy Davis and advocacy effort for the health-center shutdowns during the passing of the legislative ban which restricted access to women's healthcare across the state. In 2015, she returned to her hometown of New York City to work on Mayor De Blasio's veteran anti-displacement initiative, followed by joining the Hillary for America team in 3 states. Currently, she is with as the Organizing Director for Southern California where she manages a team of coalitions, business leaders and organizers to work with elected officials in support for immigration reform. She is a proud native New Yorker and a graduate of Baruch College.

Snowden_HS-w275.jpg William Snowden, NLC Louisiana

How to Save a Life from the Jury Box

As a felony trial attorney, William witnesses the discriminatory practices removing jurors from the jury panel on a regular basis. In response to these practices, William created The Juror Project—an initiative aiming to increase the diversity of jury panels while changing and challenging people’s perspective of jury duty. The Juror Project engages the community through informative meetings and group discussions. William presents at high schools, colleges, churches, neighborhood associations and other community gatherings discussing the importance of jury service, the discriminatory practices of some prosecutors, as well as what members can do to actually get on a jury. Additionally, William works as a supervising attorney at the Orleans Public Defenders and has been there since 2013. In the Spring of 2017, William was a Practitioner-In-Residence at UC Berkeley Law School discussing the role implicit bias and racial anxiety play in the voir dire process and in the deliberation room.

Suarez_HS-w275.jpg Christopher Suarez, NLC Washington, D.C.

Rebranding School Integration

Christopher Suarez is a teacher and lawyer who carries a passion for education reform and policy. A product of the Chicago Public Schools, he is particularly interested in urban education. He began his career teaching sixth grade math at a charter school on Chicago's near-west side, where he led an after-school math tutoring program.  Chris is the founder of Learn Together, Live Together, a new organization seeking to build a national conversation around school diversity. Chris is an alumnus of the Yale Law School. While there, he served as a clinic director of the law school's Education Adequacy Project, which challenged the constitutionality of Connecticut’s school funding system.  He also led the Project for Law and Education at Yale, which provides a forum for law students to discuss education policy. Chris is currently a litigation associate at a top Washington D.C. law firm, where he litigates patent and technology-related cases. As a litigator, Chris retains his passion for education and provides pro bono counsel to families who cannot afford representation in special education and school discipline cases. In his spare time, Chris is an avid runner and traveler.

Tanglao_Bio-w275.jpg Gabriel Tanglao, NLC New Jersey

Racial Justice: All Day, Every Day

As a proud Filipino-American, son of a union-nurse, and product of public schools, Gabriel has strong roots that ground him deeply as an educator-activist. Passionate about humanities, Gabriel has taught at Bergenfield High School, located in one of the most culturally diverse communities in the state of New Jersey. Beyond the classroom, he has advised the National Social Studies Honor Society, Model United Nations, and served as a STEM Mentor to help cultivate the next generation of student leaders. Active in his union, Gabriel has built capacity at the local, state, and national levels by creating networks, organizing members, and facilitating leadership development. He has been focused on the work of promoting social justice through public education, and has traveled the country as a speaker, organizer, and trainer. Active in his local community, Gabriel has worked to build coalitions around the intersecting issues of racial, economic, and environmental justice. He has strong held beliefs that leadership rooted in democratic values, purposeful collaboration, and robust diversity is vital to our rising progressive movement. Gabriel earned an MA in Economics Education and Entrepreneurship from the University of Delaware, an MS in Teaching, and BA in Political Science from Pace University.

Thompson_HS-w275.jpg Davicka Thompson, NLC Palm Beach

Making History

Ms. Davicka N. Thompson is a seasoned communications executive. Davicka has extensive public service and private sector experience having led several public relations and community engagement initiatives for more than 15 years. She dedicates a majority of her time working in the government sector on infrastructure, transit, aviation, maritime, transportation and capital improvement programs. Most recently, she spearheaded the Campaign to Elect Bradley Harper for Judge. The campaign was victorious with Palm Beach County electing the first Black judge, without prior gubernatorial appointment, in its 107-year history. She possesses detailed understanding of the community, public policy, political maneuvering and governmental institution factors that may affect decision-making. She plays a key role in soliciting public support for public awareness projects in the Dallas, Texas and South Florida metropolitan areas, as well as creating diversity plans and compliance programs to ensure fair and equal project participation. Davicka, a steward of progress, is committed to the advancement of her community. She serves in board leadership roles for the Children’s Home Society of Palm Beach and the Palm Beach County Tourist Development Council. Both roles allow her to contribute as a thought leader on matters which she is most passionate – underserved youth, economic development and travel.

Igor_Tregub_Head_Shot_(1)-w275.jpg Igor Tregub, NLC Los Angeles & Oakland

Anti-Displacement Strategies: Bringing Community Back

Igor Tregub is an experienced housing, environmental justice, and labor advocate. He serves as an elected Berkeley Rent Stabilization Board Commissioner and chairs the Berkeley Zoning Adjustments Board, Berkeley Housing Advisory Commission, and the 35,000-member-strong Sierra Club San Francisco Bay Chapter.Professionally, Igor is a federal safety specialist and engineer and has completed nuclear safety and nonproliferation assignments in California, Nevada, Texas, Washington, D.C., and Central Asia. Igor is the cofounder and principal at Tregub and Associates Consulting, a boutique firm specializing in political campaigns and land use processes. He writes on the topics of housing and environmental justice and clean energy. Look out for his NLC Compact paper The Triple Bottom Line. Igor’s awards for his work include a Certificate of Congressional Recognition by Rep. Barbara Lee for creating the Berkeley Foreclosure Prevention and Resources Workshop. Igor is a graduate of the inaugural 2009 NLC-Los Angeles cohort, served on the Board of NLC-San Francisco from 2009 to 2012, and currently serves on the Advisory Board of NLC-Oakland. He holds Bachelors’ degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Political Science from UC Berkeley and an M.S. in Engineering Management from Duke University.