The Equal Justice Society would like to thank the following staff, friends, and allies for their help in creating this resource.
Lee-Or Ankori-Karlinsky has been the Program Officer at Beyond Conflict since 2012. He assists in the development and implementation of project programs, with a particular emphasis on the Neuroscience and Social Conflict Initiative. Prior to joining Beyond Conflict, he worked for other non-profits in the Boston area in research and administrative capacities. He graduated magna cum laude from Dartmouth College with Bachelor of Arts in Government.
Anna Basallaje is the Director of Development with the Equal Justice Society. Previously, Anna served as the Fundraising Manager with Asian Americans Advancing Justice, a national affiliation of four civil rights organizations in Chicago, DC, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. Prior to joining Asian Americans Advancing Justice, she served as Deputy Director for OASES, a community based education organization that served K-12 students and their families. She has also worked with the James Irvine Foundation in their Youth Program, Asian Americans Advancing Justice – Los Angeles as Director of the Youth and Parent Leadership Project, and as a Student Affairs Officer with the University of California, Berkeley Graduate Opportunity Program.
Ina Breuer is Executive Director of Beyond Conflict. She joined Beyond Conflict’s staff in October 1999 after working for five years at the New School for Social Research as the Assistant Director of the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies. Ms. Breuer is a Board member of the Alliance for Peacebuilding, and a member of Tufts University Scholars at Risk Network. In 2009 she co-taught a course on leadership and conflict transformation at Tufts Experimental College. She also worked as a consultant for the East-West Management Institute in Sri Lanka in 2006 and was an Advisory Committee member to the Initiative on Inclusive Security in their efforts to develop a Toolkit for Advocacy and Action for women peacemakers around the world. For nearly twenty five years her work has focused on conflict resolution, negotiation, civil society development, facilitating the growth of higher education and fostering democratic political culture in transitional societies, primarily in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and South Asia. Ms. Breuer has a BA from Northwestern University, studied at the Freie Universität Berlin and has a Masters in Political Science from the New School for Social Research in New York City.
Christopher Bridges. Chris is a member of the Equal Justice Society legal team. He first joined EJS as a Butler Koshland Fellow. Before EJS, Chris worked with the ACLU of Northern California and local school administrators to address the systemic disparities that have led to the current “School to Prison Pipeline” crisis. He is a graduate of Northeastern University School of Law, where he sought to build bridges by participating in multiple affinity groups, including the Black Law Students Association, the Asian Pacific Law Students Association, and the Latin American Law Students Association. He also holds an MS in Criminal Justice from Michigan State University and a BS in Political Science and BA in Criminal Justice, both from North Carolina Central University, where he founded and led the Black Unification and Resocialization Network, an organization with a mission to provide professional networking opportunities for African American students.
Allison Briscoe-Smith, Ph.D., is a former Greater Good Science Center Graduate Fellow who is now a psychologist and assistant professor at the Wright Institute. Dr. Briscoe-Smith earned her undergraduate degree from Harvard University. She then received her clinical psychology Ph.D. from University of California Berkeley. She then went on to continue her specialization in trauma and ethnic minority mental health through internship and postdoctoral work at University of California San Francisco/San Francisco General Hospital. She has combined her love of teaching and advocacy by serving as a professor and by directing mental health programs for children experiencing trauma, homelessness or foster care. Much of her work has been with schools, as a clinician, consultant and trainer. As an adjunct professor at the Wright Institute, she provides consultation and training to Bay Area non-profits and schools on how to support trauma informed practices and cultural accountability.
Juan Cartagena is one of the nation’s leading voices on equality and nondiscrimination who successfully uses the law to effectuate systems change for the benefit of marginalized communities. He is currently the President & General Counsel of LatinoJustice PRLDEF, a national civil rights public interest law office that represents Latinas and Latinos throughout the country and works to increase their entry into the legal profession. A graduate of Dartmouth College and Columbia University School of Law, Juan currently lectures on constitutional and civil rights law at Rutgers University in New Brunswick and periodically at the Interamerican University School of Law in Puerto Rico. He has written extensively on constitutional and civil rights issues including the political representation of poor and marginalized communities – especially Puerto Rican and Latino communities – and over the last decade has begun litigating, publishing articles, and speaking on the effects of mass imprisonment, policing and drug policies on Latino communities.
Abigail Dusseldorp is currently the Program Associate and Office Manager at Beyond Conflict. In this position, she assists in the implementation of programming, manages social media accounts, and works closely with the Director of Strategic Giving. Prior to joining Beyond Conflict, she worked for another non-profit in the Boston area in an administrative capacity and as a research assistant. She graduated summa cum laude from Northeastern University with a Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs and Middle East Studies.
Allison Elgart is the Legal Director of the Equal Justice Society. Allison previously clerked for the Hon. Robert P. Patterson, Jr., United States District Court, Southern District of New York, and was a summer law clerk for Public Advocates in San Francisco, where she worked on education and housing litigation. Allison is a graduate of Harvard Law School, where she was the Editor-in-Chief of the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review and worked as a student attorney at the Harvard Legal Aid Bureau, representing low-income clients in housing, domestic, immigration and benefits cases. She has degrees in Public Policy and Psychology from Brown University. Allison has given MCLE presentations on implicit bias and the law to attorneys through nonprofit organizations, the Bar Association of San Francisco, and the ABA Criminal Justice Litigation Section. Allison is also a Lecturer in Law at Stanford Law School and teaches a course entitled “Strategic Litigation for Racial Justice”. Allison is a member of the California and New York bars.
Rachel Godsil is the Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law at Seton Hall. Godsil is a co-founder and director of research for the Perception Institute, a national consortium of social scientists, law professors, and advocates focusing on the role of the mind sciences in law, policy, and institutional practices. She collaborates on empirical research to identify the efficacy of interventions to address implicit bias, racial anxiety, and stereotype threat. She regularly provides trainings and lectures to a wide range of private and public institutions.
Michael Harris is a Senior Attorney in Juvenile Justice at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL). At NCYL, Michael has worked on reducing racial disparities in statewide juvenile corrections systems, and he has worked on cases that challenge the “school-to-prison pipeline” in Connecticut, Texas and California. Additionally, he works on litigation to address implicit bias, and he has delivered presentations to local and national gatherings on the role implicit bias plays in decision-making within the juvenile justice system. Before joining NCYL, Michael served as Deputy Director of the W. Haywood Burns Institute in San Francisco, working to reform juvenile justice systems. Michael has worked in California, and Washington to reduce racial disparities in the juvenile justice system using a collaborative process to affect systemic reform. Prior to Michael’s work at the Burns Institute, he was a Staff Attorney and Assistant Director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area where he worked on a broad range of civil rights cases for 18 years.
Sara Jackson is the Director of Externships at UC Davis School of Law. Sara has extensive experience as a public interest lawyer and in developing experiential learning and public service opportunities for law students. Prior to joining King Hall, Sara spent 3 years at Georgetown Law School directing their pro bono and public service programs. Before working in in a law school setting, Sara spent several years as a practicing civil rights attorney at the Equal Justice Society in San Francisco, CA, and the Advancement Project in Washington, DC. Sara is a graduate of UCLA School of Law where she participated in the Public Interest and Critical Race Studies concentrations. She has a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA School of Public Affairs, and a B.A. in international affairs from Macalester College.
Celinda Lake is a prominent pollster and political strategist for progressives. She currently serves as President of Lake Research Partners. Lake’s polling and strategic advice has helped candidates such as Jon Tester, Senator Debbie Stabenow, and Governor Bob Wise defeat incumbent Republicans and her expertise guided Senator Mark Begich to victory, making him the first Senate candidate in Alaska to oust the incumbent in 50 years. She has focused on women candidates and women’s concerns, having worked for Speaker Pelosi, Governor Janet Napolitano, Senator Debbie Stabenow, Senator Barbara Mikulski, Mayor Carolyn Goodman, Mayor Annise Parker, and over a dozen women in the House and Senate. Celinda worked for the largest independent expenditure to take back the House and has been a key player in campaigns launched by progressive groups such as the AFL-CIO, SEIU, Sierra Club, Planned Parenthood, Vote Vets, HRC, and EMILY’s List. Lake co-authored the book What Women Really Want with Republican pollster Kellyanne Conway, which examines the way women are changing the political landscape in America, and she also served as pollster for Senator Joe Biden’s 2008 presidential bid. She worked with innovative message projects that helped redefine language on the economy, inequality, big money in politics, climate change, public schools, teachers, and criminal justice reform.
David Mermin is a Partner at Lake Research Partners and heads the firm’s Bay Area office. David and his team conduct rigorous quantitative and qualitative opinion research on a wide range of topics including voting rights, health care, transportation, immigration, civil rights, political reform, and retirement security. He has served as pollster and strategist for dozens of candidates at all electoral levels, including Governor, and former Homeland Security Secretary, Janet Napolitano of Arizona, former Senator Mark Begich of Alaska, Congressmen Raul Ruiz and Mike Honda of California, Hank Johnson of Georgia, and Brenda Lawrence of Michigan, as well as for numerous state and local ballot initiative campaigns. In addition to the above experience on democracy-related issues, his issue clients at LRP have included America’s Voice, Make It Work, SEIU, AFSCME, UFCW, National Conference on Public Employee Retirement Systems, and the Brennan Center for Justice. Mermin joined LRP in 1996. He holds an M.A. in Geography with a concentration in political and urban geography from the University of Minnesota, and a B.A. in Political Science from Brown University.
Constance Moore is an interdisciplinary Teaching Artist. Constance teaches at Maya Lin Elementary School in Alameda. She is also Adjunct Faculty at Holy Names University in Oakland where she teaches Why Make Art?, a course that explores the role of creativity in personal, academic and professional communication. Constance shares her students’ enthusiasm and love of making. She hopes to transmit their spirit and freshness into her work. She has a BA in Politics from Mount Holyoke College, and an MA in American Studies from Brown University. Constance received her MFA in Interdisciplinary Art from Goddard College in 2015.
Dr. Manuel Pastor is Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity at the University of Southern California (USC). Pastor currently directs the USC Program for Environmental and Regional Equity (PERE) and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration (CSII). He holds an economics Ph.D. from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Pastor’s research has generally focused on issues of the economic, environmental and social conditions facing low-income urban communities – and the social movements seeking to change those realities. His most recent books are Unsettled Americans: Metropolitan Context and Civic Leadership for Immigrant Integration, co-edited with John Mollenkopf (Cornell University Press 2016); and Equity, Growth, and Community: What the Nation Can Learn from America’s Metro Areas, co-authored with Chris Benner (UC Press 2015). He currently serves as a Public Member of the Strategic Growth Council in California, and has previously served as a member of the Commission on Regions appointed by California’s Speaker of the State Assembly, and as a member of the Regional Targets Advisory Committee for the California Air Resources Board. Pastor holds the Turpanjian Chair for Civil Society and Social Change at USC and received the Liberty Hill Foundation’s Wally Marks Changemaker of the Year award in 2012 for social justice research partnerships.
Eva Paterson is co-founder and President of the Equal Justice Society, a legal nonprofit that is transforming the nation’s consciousness on race through law, art, and social science. For 13 years, Eva served as executive director of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights. She has received more than 50 awards from organizations such as The San Francisco Foundation, ACLU of Northern California, and Northwestern University, where she received her B.A. in political science and was elected the first African American student body president. She received her law degree from U.C. Berkeley School of Law.
Professor john a. powell is Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society (Haas Institute) and Robert D. Haas Chancellor’s Chair in Equity and Inclusion at the University of California, Berkeley. Formerly, he directed the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University and the Institute for Race and Poverty at the University of Minnesota. He led the development of an “opportunity-based” model that connects affordable housing to racialized spaces in education, health, health care, and employment. He is the author of Racing to Justice: Transforming our Concepts of Self and Other to Build an Inclusive Society.
Jennifer A. Richeson is a Professor of Psychology at Yale University. She received a Sc.B from Brown University, and a MA and Ph.D. in social psychology from Harvard University. Prior to joining Yale in 2106, she was the John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Professor of Psychology at Northwestern University, where she was also a Faculty Fellow at the Institute for Policy Research and Professor of African American Studies Northwestern University. She also previously held a faculty appointment in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at Dartmouth College, and was a visiting fellow at Stanford University’s Research Institute of Comparative Studies in Race and Ethnicity. Professor Richeson’s research examines psychological phenomena related to cultural diversity.
Favianna Rodriguez is an interdisciplinary artist, cultural strategist, and organizer based in Oakland, California. Her art and collaborative projects address migration, economic inequality, gender justice, and ecology. Favianna lectures globally on intersection of art, social justice and cultural equity to catalyze social change, and leads art interventions in communities around the country. Rodriguez collaborates deeply with social movement groups around the country to co- create art that is resilient, empowering and transformative. She is the Executive Director of CultureStrike, a national arts organization that engages artists, writers and performers in migrant rights. In 2012, she was featured in a documentary series by Pharrell Williams titled “Migration is Beautiful” which addressed how artists responded to failed immigrant policy in the United States. In 2009, she co-founded Presente.org, a national online organizing network dedicated to the political empowerment of Latino communities.
Linda R. Tropp is Professor of Social Psychology in the Department of Psychological and Brain Sciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Her research concerns how members of different groups approach and experience contact with each other, and how group differences in status affect cross-group relations. A Fellow of the American Psychological Association and the Society of Experimental Social Psychology, Tropp has received the Allport Intergroup Relations Prize and the Outstanding Teaching and Mentoring Award from the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues. She also received the 2012 Distinguished Academic Outreach Award from the University of Massachusetts Amherst for excellence in the application of scientific knowledge to advance the public good. Tropp has worked on state and national initiatives to improve interracial relations in schools, and with non-governmental and international organizations to evaluate applied programs designed to reduce racial and ethnic conflict.
James F. Thrasher, Ed.D., is the retired Assistant Executive Director, Human Rights/Community Outreach Department of the California Teachers Association (CTA). His duties centered around assisting CTA members and the children of California’s public schools to work through equity issues that arise. He also worked with community based organizations to insure that parents, students and communities have a voice in the educational process. First and foremost, Jim is a teacher. He started his teaching career in 1972 with the Springfield Ohio Public Schools and taught there for two years, before moving to California. Jim was a Resource Specialist and Chair of the Special Education Department at Modesto High School from 1976 to 1997. Jim has dedicated his life to children and education in the belief that those that are the neediest of us should receive the most from us.