Fellow, New York
Abdoulaye Ba is a Senegalese-born organizer and writer. Throughout his career, he’s worked for non-profits, academic research centers, Congress members, state legislators, and now manages the institutional giving program at United We Dream, the nation's largest immigrant youth network.
A native of Carthage, Mississippi, Courtney N. Body is a social justice advocate and organizer fighting for equity and justice in Mississippi. Beginning advocacy work in 2015 with Better Schools Better Jobs, she has continued her activism by volunteering with the NAACP and working at One Voice where she serves as the Advocacy Coordinator.
Caressa was born into a Ugandan family in Tulsa, Oklahoma. She studied biology and psychology at Oklahoma State University before working with organizations such as Reading Partners, Kids Against Hunger, and the Tulsa Adolescent Brain Cognitive Development (ABCD) study. She is currently serving as the community outreach associate for Oklahoma Appleseed Center for Law and Justice, where she focuses on criminal justice reform and mental health reform.
Jeffery (Jeff) J. Compton is a business owner and boots-on-the-ground activist from Louisville, Kentucky, where he first began organizing in 2016. His work centers on advancing racial equity and putting an end to unjust incarceration and police brutality.
Dynasty "Dy” Davidson began organizing on May 28, 2020 to protest the unjust and tragic death of Breonna Taylor. Since then, she’s worked on political campaigns (Charles Booker/Hood to the Holler), sat on boards (Kentucky Alliance, AOUON KY), and started her own grassroots organization, Justice4Louisville to achieve collective justice.
Fellow, North Carolina
Nora Graham is a poet and organizer who fused her two passions by creating a nonprofit poetry and creative writing program that she taught in the Baltimore City public school system.
Brentton Jackson is a native son of Mobile, Alabama and a graduate of Jackson State University. He is passionate about representation in education and literature, and his work focuses on voter registration and civic education.
Marcus Jackson is a formerly incarcerated Kentuckian and long-time criminal justice reform advocate. He worked for the ACLU of Kentucky and Louisville Urban League’s Reily Expungement Clinic before founding his own organization, Advocacy Based on Lived Experience (ABLE), and becoming vice chair of the Kentucky Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
Jamil Ali Johnson is a native of Jackson, MS and a graduate of Tougaloo College. He currently works as the civic engagement and environmental justice organizer for the state conference NAACP.
Jarret Luter is a graduate of the Southern University and A&M College, where he currently works as a professor of history. He serves as the NAACP Baton Rouge (LA) branch's Political Action Chair, where he actively participates in voter registration drives and hosts local candidate forums.
Fellow, West Virginia
Kenneth Matthews has been involved in criminal justice reform and community organizing since 2020. He advocates for marginalized voices at the West Virginia Capitol and trains other activists to share their narratives with power and purpose.
Sharon McClure was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama, and she worked in the healthcare field for over 30 years until becoming deputy director of Faith and Works Collective. She is passionate about voter registration, building Black political power, and expanding the (re)Vote Black Church Community Voter Project, which would help create 300 Civic Engagement Ministries in Black Churches across Alabama.
Layanie is a recent graduate of UMass Boston and a field organizer at Massachusetts Voter Table. Her work focuses on topics and issues that affect the BIPOC community as well as immigrant communities.
Melissa Overton is the special projects and community outreach coordinator for the Mississippi Black Women’s Roundtable. Prior to working with MS Black Women’s Roundtable, Melissa worked as an assistant director of a childcare center, supervising agents in the customer service industry, and as an administrative assistant.
Sergio Ruben Martinez
Sergio Ruben Martinez was born to Mexican parents in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Having served as the president of the Student Government Association at Oklahoma City Community College and regional field director for Kendra Horn’s 2022 senatorial campaign, Sergio has a passion for reaching marginalized communities through targeted and timely outreach and expanding representation for Latinos in the Oklahoma state government.
Freedom Thompson is an organizer from Lincoln, Nebraska. She is the creator and developer of Roots to Rise, the board treasure for Intertribal Spiritual Lodges, and the community health care access organizer for Nebraska Appleseed.