Justice Works 2014 Speakers Line-Up

Get ready to be inspired!

Arelis Tavares

Arelis Tavares is the Community Outreach Director at the New York State AFL-CIO; since joining in 2013, Arelis has worked with community groups statewide on social justice, economic development and worker rights issues and legislation, including serving as the...

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith

Barbara Smith has been politically active in many movements for social justice since the 1960s. She served two terms on the Albany Common Council representing Arbor Hill and North Albany from 2006 to 2013. A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Barbara has been a resident of...

Jason Sinocruz

Jason Sinocruz

Jason Q. Sinocruz is a staff attorney and member of Advancement Project’s Ending the Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track  team.  As a community lawyer, he works with grassroots groups throughout the country by providing legal, policy, research, strategic, and advocacy...

Kathy Sheehan

Kathy Sheehan

On January 1st 2014, Kathy M. Sheehan became the first woman Mayor in Albany’s history.In 2010, after winning a city-wide election, Kathy became Albany’s Treasurer and Chief Fiscal Officer. Kathy modernized the City’s tax collection system and completely overhauled...

Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour

Linda Sarsour is a working woman, community activist, and mother of three. She is a Palestinian Muslim American and a self-proclaimed “pure New Yorker, born and raised in Brooklyn!” Currently she is the National Advocacy Director for the National Network for Arab...

Gustavo Rivera

Gustavo Rivera

Gustavo Rivera was elected to represent District 33 in the New York State Senator in November of 2010. The 33rd Senate District extends from the Northwest Bronx to areas of the East Bronx and includes the following neighborhoods: Kingsbridge Heights, East Tremont,...

KaeLyn E.L. Rich

KaeLyn E.L. Rich

KaeLyn Rich joined the NYCLU family as a Genesee Valley Chapter board member in 2008 and became chapter director in 2011. With community organizing experience that dates back to stuffing folders for her parents’ union meetings, Rich specializes in direct action...

Sonya Reynolds

Sonya Reynolds

Sonya is an electoral data nerd with the New York State Civic Engagement Table.

Eòghann Renfroe

Eòghann Renfroe

Eòghann Renfroe is the Transgender Rights Organizer for the Empire State Pride Agenda.In this capacity, Eòghann organizes grassroots efforts to pass the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act and to build support for greater equality and justice for transgender and...

James Payne

James Payne

James Payne is a graduate of Wilberforce University and holds a Masters of Arts degree from Clark Atlanta University. He is currently employed by the Buffalo Board of Education and is also a member of 100 Black Men of Greater Buffalo,Inc.  He has helped to developed...

Senator Kevin Parker

Senator Kevin Parker

Kevin S. Parker was first elected to the New York State Senate in 2002. A lifelong resident of Brooklyn, Senator Parker represents the diverse 21st Senatorial District which includes: Flatbush, East Flatbush, Midwood, Ditmas Park, Kensington, Windsor Terrace and Park...

Lawrence Parham

Lawrence Parham

Lawrence Parham is the Upstate Campaigns Manager for Citizen Action of New York and NYS Southern Tier Organizer for the Alliance for Quality Education (AQE). These two grassroots organizations fights for racial, social, environmental and economic Justice and to ensure...

Willie Murray

Willie Murray

Willie Murray is a resident of Binghamton who loves his city and is a committed community activist. Currently balancing work with study at SUNY Broome, he still finds time to serve on the Southern Tier Citizen Action Board, on the Citizen Action anti-racism committee...

Ivy Morris

Ivy Morris

Ivy Sharpe Morris was born in Albany and moved back in 2009, just in time to help on Mayor Kathy Sheehan's campaign. Ivy learned about politics from her grandfather, who worked for four governors in the Executive Chamber mailroom. He is Ivy's inspiration to be active...

Maurice Mitchell

Maurice Mitchell

Maurice has worked in social change and democracy as a student activist, volunteer, and staff member for more than 15 years. Maurice’s work includes deep organizing in local communities as well as statewide and national coalition work. His experience includes...

Charles Khan

Charles Khan

Charles is an organizer and community advocate with Strong Economy For All; a labor/community advocacy group focusing on issues of economic and tax fairness, wages and jobs and inequality. Charles was born and raised on Long Island, NY. Graduated in 2010 from Penn...

Jasmine Gripper

Jasmine Gripper

Jasmine Gripper has spent over 5 years working as a teacher. She quickly realized that education policies  impacting the classroom are often decided by those who have little to no classroom experience. In order to effect genuine change and address the growing...

Kat Fisher

Kat Fisher

Kat Fisher is Lead Organizer of the Hudson Valley chapter.  Formerly a high school teacher and entrepreneur, she has worked on numerous issue and electoral campaigns with Alliance for Quality Education in the Hudson Valley, was a volunteer with Metro Justice and OFA...

Maria Fernandez

Maria Fernandez

Maria C. Fernandez is currently the Senior Coordinator for the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC), a citywide coalition of New York City students of color fighting for comprehensive education reform in NYC public schools. For the past 11 years, Maria has been organizing...

Assemblymember Pat Fahy

Assemblymember Pat Fahy

Patricia A. Fahy was elected in November 2012 to represent the 109th Assembly District from the City of Albany, and the Towns of Bethlehem, Guilderland, and New Scotland. Pat successfully ran on a platform of education and jobs, bringing over two decades of experience...

Mark Emanatian

Mark Emanatian

Mark Emanatian is a long time organizer with Citizen Action of New York, which is a statewide membership organization working on economic, social, environmental and racial justice issues to help make a better NY. Emanatian is also a teacher and musician active for...

Billy Easton

Billy Easton

Since 2005 Mr. Easton has been the Executive Director of AQE.  He brings 30 years of experience in community and union organizing and a wealth of experience in strategy, media relations, politics and legislative activity to his work at AQE.  Billy provides significant...

Kristen Dart

Kristen Dart

Kristen Dart is the community organizer at Planned Parenthood Southern New England in Providence, RI . Her primary focus is organizing within faith communities and college students. She is originally from Saratoga Springs, NY. While there she played a significant role...

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Andrea Stewart-Cousins

Andrea Stewart-Cousins was born and raised in New York to parents that encouraged a life grounded in education and service. Since the very beginning of her tenure in government, Andrea Stewart-Cousins has espoused the values of empathy, empowerment and civic...

Zakiyah Ansari

Zakiyah Ansari

Zakiyah Ansari is the Advocacy Director of the New York State Alliance for Quality Education (AQE), the leading statewide organization that has been fighting for educational equity for the last decade. Zakiyah was one of the few parent advocates appointed to Mayor...