Youth Act: Social Justice, Civic and Political Engagement
Conference Chairs/Moderators in order of appearance
Nancy L. Deutsch - (Additional Conference Planning, Moderator)
Nancy Deutsch, Ph.D., is Director of Youth-Nex, the UVA Center to Promote Effective Youth Development at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is a Professor of Research, Statistics & Evaluation and Applied Developmental Science and is also affiliated with Curry's Youth & Social Innovation (YSI) Program. Deutsch's research examines the socio-ecological contexts of adolescent development, particularly issues related to identity. She has focused on the role of after-school programs and relationships with important adults, and is especially interested in the process of adolescent learning and development as it unfolds within local environments for better understanding about how to create settings that better support youth, especially those at risk due to economic or sociocultural factors. She received her BA from Vassar College and completed her Ph.D. in Human Development and Social Policy at Northwestern University. In 2017 Deutsch became Editor of the Journal of Adolescent Research. She had been an Associate Editor of that publication. She sits on the editorial boards for Applied Developmental Science and Qualitative Psychology.
Robert C. Pianta
Robert Pianta, Ph.D., is Dean of the Curry School of Education, Novartis US Foundation Professor of Education, Professor of Psychology, and founding director of the Center for Advanced Study of Teaching and Learning at the University of Virginia. Pianta’s research and policy interests focus on the intersection of education and human development. In particular his work has been influential in advancing the conceptualization of teacher-student interactions and relationships and documenting their contributions to students’ learning and development. He has authored or co-authored more than 300 articles, 50 chapters, and 10 books and led research and training grants totaling over $60 million. He is past Editor of the Journal of School Psychology and associate editor for AERA Open. Pianta has led research and development on measurement and improvement tools that help teachers interact with students more effectively and that are used widely in the United States and around the world. Pianta received a BS and an MA in Special Education from the University of Connecticut and a Ph.D. in Psychology from the University of Minnesota. He began his career as a special education teacher and joined the University of Virginia faculty in 1986. An internationally recognized expert in both early childhood education and K-12 teaching and learning, Pianta regularly consults with federal agencies, foundations, universities, and governments. He was named a Fellow of the American Education Research Association and received the Distinguished Alumni Award from the University of Minnesota in 2016.
Valerie Adams-Bass - (Conference Co-chair, Moderator)
Valerie Adams-Bass, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Education, a faculty member of Youth-Nex, in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Her research examines the relationships of racial socialization and racial identity with the developmental processes, social and academic outcomes of Black children and youth. She is particularly interested in how Black adolescents interpret negative media stereotypes and whether the messages presented are internalized or buffered as a result of racial socialization experiences. She is also interested in research informed culturally relevant professional development for practitioners who work with African American youth and families. She believes in connecting research to practice. Adams-Bass has been a lead consultant with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council, the United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania and Southern New Jersey's Center for Youth Development. Recently, she worked with the Pennsylvania Humanities Council to revise the Teen Reading Lounge Program into a culturally inclusive out-of-school program for adolescents. As an applied researcher, she has conducted research with urban African American and Latino adolescents, South African youth and facilitated training with adults and youth on college preparation, science, civic engagement, and life skills curriculum and activities.
Chauncey Smith - (Conference Co-chair, Moderator)
Chauncey Smith, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of Education, a faculty member of Youth-Nex, in the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. Smith's research is centered on Black adolescents' sociopolitical development in school and after-school program contexts; his work examines the ways in which Black adolescents recognize, analyze, and respond to oppression (e.g., racism, sexism, classism) in their environment. Additionally, his work employs an intersectional approach to explore Black adolescent school experiences across racial, class, and gender identities. For example, his current work examines the ways in which Black boys from middle class backgrounds make meaning of their school environment, their experiences of racial discrimination in school, and their relationships with peers.
Rachel Wahl - (Moderator) Assistant Professor, Curry School of Education
Rachel Wahl, Ph.D. is an assistant professor in the Social Foundations Program, Department of Leadership, Foundations, and Policy at the Curry School of Education at the University of Virginia. She is also a Fellow and member of the Council Trust at UVA's Institute for Advanced Studies in Culture. Her current research focuses on whether and how people who disagree can learn from each other through deliberative dialogue, as well as the ethical implications of such learning and the prior civic education that might prepare people to learn from their opponents. Her prior research also focused on efforts by community activists to change police officers’ beliefs and behavior through activism and education, which is the subject of her first book, Just Violence: Torture and Human Rights in the Eyes of the Police (Stanford University Press, 2017). More broadly, the book explores the political and ethical dimensions of international attempts to spread liberal principles through education. Wahl’s work has been published in journals such as Comparative Education Review, Law and Society Review, Polity, Human Rights Quarterly, Studies in Philosophy and Education, and Educational Theory among others. Her research has been funded by donors such as the Spencer Foundation, the Carnegie Corporation, and the federal Institute of International Education.
Panelists (listed alphabetically)
Aaron Azelton serves as the National Democratic Institute's (NDI) Director of Citizen Participation Programs. He is a civic engagement specialist who has helped to manage, design, and implement inclusive political participation programs at NDI since 1992. In his current position, Azelton supports NDI initiatives by providing guidance on all aspects of community organizing, advocacy, government monitoring and nonprofit organizational development. He frequently serves as a facilitator for civil society programs throughout the world. In this capacity, he has helped local organizations develop strategic outlooks, plan political actions, structure partnerships, and carry out internal reforms in more than 30 countries. Azelton helped design NDI¹s Civic Forum program, a unique approach to promoting civic action in developing societies.
Nkemka Anyiwo is a doctoral candidate in Social Work and Developmental Psychology at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. At this conference, she is a facilitator of the Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle. Anyiwo is an engaged scholar who focuses on the examining the cultural assets (e.g. racial/ethnic identity, socialization, critical consciousness) play a role in promoting the resilience and empowerment of Black adolescents in the presence of systemic racism. As an undergraduate student at the University of Maryland, College Park, Nkemka was highly engaged in leadership in organizations such as the Black Student Union, the Sisterhood of Unity and Love, and the Society of African American Studies. She continued her leadership engagement as the former National Chairperson of the Student Circle of the Association of Black Psychologists.
Mark A. Bolden
Mark Bolden, Ph.D. holds a doctorate in Counseling Psychology with a concentration in African Psychology from Howard University. He provides psychological consultation at Ascensions Psychological Services in South East Washington, DC. In the past, he has served as a consultant to universities concerned with Race Based Traumatic Incident response and communities concerned with long-term disaster relief response. Currently, he is the adviser to the Student Circle of the Association of Black Psychologists (ABPsi) as well as a past board member of ABPsi. Through his work with Dr. Shawn O. Utsey and colleagues he has published articles and chapters on race-related stress, coping, spirituality, and quality of life among African people. They are completing a mixed methods study on the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma and Resilience of the 1921 Tulsa Race War Survivors and their families. As a co-founder of the Fanon Project, he is working on practical treatment and response paradigms to heal the wounds of trauma from colonial oppression and facilitate healing for the global African community.
Zyahna T. Bryant
Zyahna Bryant, 16, is a student activist and community organizer who attends Charlottesville High School. She is an active member of the City of Charlottesville Youth Council and serves as a member of the National League of Cities Youth Planning Committee and the City of Promise Youth Council. At 12, she organized her first demonstration, a rally for Justice for Trayvon Martin and other unarmed black lives lost to police violence. In the spring of 2015, Zyahna spoke as a panelist advocating for funding of Public Education alongside local organizers and Bernie Sanders at his Budget Town Hall in Charlottesville in 2016. Later that fall, Zyahna founded the Black Student Union at Charlottesville High School and is now in her third year serving as the president. In the spring of 2016, Zyahna wrote the petition to the Charlottesville City Council calling for the Removal of the Lee Statue and Renaming of Lee Park. This year, City Council voted to remove the statues. In the future, Zyahna wants to study political science and continue to advocate for social justice in her community and the world.
Jen Danifo, M.F.A., is Senior Program Officer at the Pennsylvania Humanities Council. Jen plans and administers a variety of programs for PHC, including the award-winning Teen Reading Lounge, grants, and Commonwealth Speakers. In addition to program development work, she is responsible for building partnerships, and providing capacity building training to program partners. Jen has worked in the creative nonprofit field over 8 years, first as a program coordinator with Young Audiences of Eastern Pennsylvania, where she coordinated arts education programs for school districts in and around Philadelphia. She joined the PHC staff in 2006. Jen has a B.F.A in writing for film and television from the University of the Arts and an M.F.A in creative writing from Rosemont College. She currently serves on the board of the University City Arts League, an arts education organization located in West Philadelphia. Jen lives in University City with her husband and two lazy cats.
Lisa B. Diaz
Lisa B. Diaz, Ph.D., is Director of 4-H Youth Development at the University of Illinois Extension. Since 1902, 4-H has been providing high quality youth development experiences through a network of more than 100 public universities and colleges across the nation, and in more than 50 countries around the world. 4-H serves youth 5-18 and is guided by a core belief in youth as drivers of change. 4-H reaches youth in every corner of America – from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities. The 4-H network of 500,000 volunteers and 3,500 4-H professionals provides caring and supportive mentoring to all 6 million 4-H’ers, helping them grow into true leaders today and in life.
Jack Drummond, M.Ed., is Director of the Philadelphia Mayor's Office of Black Male Engagement. He is a leader, administrator, advisor, and adjunct professor (Lincoln University). As director for the Mayor’s Office of Black Male Engagement he is tasked to help create an equitable Philadelphia for men and boys of color by eliminating disparities and creating opportunities. Drummond also has 15 years of mental health experience as an administrator and direct service worker for youth and families. He has a triple B.S. degree in Psychology, Education, and Music and an M.Ed. degree in Education from Lincoln University. He is currently completing a doctoral degree in Education Leadership & Policy at Temple University. As the Director for the Mayor's Office of Black Male Engagement, Jack initiated the My Brother's Keeper – Community Conversations Initiative (A monthly discussion with community that aims to discuss & provide resources for community members who support men and boys of color in the areas of Justice, Education, Health & Wellness, and Economic Development). He also helped to create the Philadelphia Men and Boys of Color Collaborative (PMBOCC) – a city wide rites of passage initiative for community leaders providing workshops, trainings, and forums that will bring men of color in the City of Philadelphia into deeper engagement and empowerment experiences.
Sharif El-Mekki is the Principal / Founder of Mastery Charter Shoemaker Campus (MCSC) in Philadelphia. After attending an elementary Freedom School, middle school in Iran, and Overbrook HS, El-Mekki attended IUP. After a brief stint as a social worker/counselor at the Youth Study Center, he became eager to make a more direct community-focused impact. After 8 ½ years as a teacher, he became an administrator (Turner/Shaw middle schools). El-Mekki is in his 10th year serving as the proud principal of Mastery Charter School-Shoemaker Campus (MCSC) a neighborhood public charter in west Philadelphia that serves approximately 780 students in grades 7-12. As the principal of a turnaround school in the neighborhood he grew up in, El-Mekki has deep connections and roots in the area in which he serves. Each year, 100% of his students are accepted into post-secondary pathways and 80% are accepted into 4-year colleges. El-Mekki’s team at MCSC has been recognized for their community partnerships/student achievement by President Obama, Oprah Winfrey, New Leaders, PennCan, and others. El-Mekki recently completed fellowships with the US Department of Education and America Achieves and is a co-founder of The Fellowship, an organization supporting current and aspiring Black male educators in the region. El-Mekki blogs about education on phillys7thward.org
India Fenner is part of the Temple University Community Collective. She is a Philadelphia native, currently in her Sophomore year, studying Political Science and African American Studies at Temple University. India has been involved with the non-profit Temple University Community Collaborative for the last two years. Being a part of this organization has shaped her into a strong advocate for youth and people of color.
Barbara Ferman, Ph.D., is a Professor of Political Science at Temple University and Founder and Executive Director of the University Community Collaborative, a Temple University based initiative that provides media-based youth leadership development programming for high school students. She has published several books and numerous articles on urban politics, racial integration, youth civic engagement, and education. She loves teaching and values the creativity and energy of students. For fun, she plays tennis and gets lost in good novels.
Connie Flanagan, Ph.D., is the Vaughan Bascom Professor in Women, Family and Community and Associate Dean of the School of Human Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Her scholarship focuses on adolescents’ political theories and on the factors in communities that foster identification with and action for the common good in young people. Flanagan’s 2013 book, Teenage Citizens: The Political Theories of the Young, won the 2014 Best Authored Book Award from the Society for Research on Adolescence. Other awards include the 2015 Blanche F. Ittleson Award from the American Orthopsychiatric Association for research linking civic engagement, social justice, and youth well-being; the 2012 Research Prize from the Tisch College of Citizenship and Public Service at Tufts University; an honorary doctorate in Humanities and Social Sciences from Örebro University in Sweden. Flanagan serves on many national and international advisory boards such as CIRCLE (www.civicyouth.org).
Gasper Gjeluci is Senior Program Officer at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) office in Albania. He has been engaged with NDI since 2011 and has covered areas of public advocacy, Political Party youth assistance, elections, and has served as Parliamentary liaison to NDI regional Program. Gasper’s contribution to democracy assistance is related mainly to promoting youth political participation, organizing and mentoring youth groups on advocacy, policy-making, assisting various youth forums in drafting political programs and manifestos, and helping in organizational structuring. He had a role in various citizen’s perception studies through Focus Groups and Audit of Citizens Engagement conducted by NDI with local partners. Gasper is an external lecturer at the University of Tirana, Faculty of Foreign Languages where he has been teaching since 2014. Gasper holds an MSc from the foreign language faculty as an interpreter and
translator of English and Italian. Additionally, he is certified as a dialogue facilitator from Nansen Center for Peace and Dialogue.
Charlayne Hayling-Williams, Ph.D., is a counseling psychologist who owns her own consulting firm and wellness agency in Washington, D.C. She is trained in cultural competence, urban children youth and families, and complex social policy issues as they relate to poverty. She completed a Master's of Education in Counseling and Human Services, and Doctor of Philosophy in Counseling Psychology from Lehigh University. Committed to a life of service, advocacy, and large-scale reform efforts, Hayling-Williams also completed a residency in the Yale University School of Medicine in Urban Education, Policy, and Prevention. She subsequently completed two highly competitive policy fellowships in Washington. Hayling-Williams has held leadership positions in the District of Columbia Government and private community health sector. She received her bachelor’s degree in psychology and juvenile justice from Florida A&M University magna cum laude. A native of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she is married and the mother of one daughter. She is a facilitator of the Association of Black Psychologists Student Circle.
Diana E. Hess
Diana Hess is the Dean of the School of Education at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she also holds the Karen A. Falk Distinguished Chair of Education. Formerly, Hess was the Senior Vice President of the Spencer Foundation. Since 1997, she has been researching how teachers engage their students in discussions of highly controversial political and constitutional issues, and what impact this approach to civic education has on what young people learn. Her first book on this topic, Controversy in the Classroom: The Democratic Power of Discussion won the National Council for the Social Studies Exemplary Research Award in 2009. Her most recent book, The Political Classroom: Evidence and Ethics in Democratic Education, co-authored with Paula McAvoy, won the American Educational Research Association’s Outstanding Book Award in 2016 and the prestigious Grawemeyer Award in 2017. Hess is deeply committed to working with teachers to improve the quality of democratic education in schools. To that end, she frequently keynotes conferences and leads professional development courses and workshops. Professor Hess serves on the board of the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago and the iCivics Scholars Advisory Board.
Meg Heubeck M.A.T., M.Ed., currently works for the UVA Center for Politics developing curriculum for the Youth Leadership Initiative (YLI) and Global Perspectives on Democracy (GPD). Meg has worked in the field of education for twenty-five years as a classroom teacher, instructional leader and instructional designer. She has worked on projects such as the Jamestown 2007 Federal Commemoration developing and editing teacher resources, several International Visitor (IVLP) programs for the U.S. Department of State, and has written on the importance of civic engagement and political civility which was highlighted in the USA Today last January. Meg is currently working with teachers and localities on strategies to increase civil discussion in classrooms as well as in the community.
Erin Hoopes is Branch Manager of the Philadelphia City Institute Library, Free Library of Philadelphia. She has worked in public libraries since 2004, and especially loves teen programming and literature. She began her library career as a Young Adult Librarian at the Northside Branch of the Jefferson-Madison Regional Library in Charlottesville, Virginia.
Elan C. Hope
Elan Hope, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at North Carolina State University and Director of the Hope Lab. In the Hope Lab, she and her team take an assets-based approach to investigate factors that promote well-being for marginalized adolescents and emerging adults who face racism and racial discrimination. In the Hope Lab, research is deeply rooted in the belief that while there are common developmental experiences among racially marginalized youth, individual differences and contextual variation require a deep exploration of diverse pathways to success and well-being. Hope examines well-being as psychological and physical health, academic success, and civic engagement. A self-described womanist, Hope is committed to wellness and excellence for disenfranchised groups. She believes that, in the words of Marianne Williamson, “We ask ourselves, ‘Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?’ Actually, who are you not to be?”
John N. Hunter, Jr.
A native Virginian, graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University, and founder and executive director of the World Peace Game Foundation, John Hunter is an award-winning gifted-education teacher and educational consultant who has dedicated his life to helping children realize their full potential. During a three-decade career as a public school teacher, Hunter has combined his teaching and artistic talents to develop unique teaching programs including the World Peace Game. During his university years, he traveled and studied comparative religions and philosophy throughout Japan, India and China. It was while in India that Hunter, intrigued by the principles of non-violence and Gandhian thought, began to think of how his profession might contribute to peace in the world. Knowing that ignoring violence would not make it go away, how could he teach peace in an often-violent world? Accepting the reality of violence, he would seek to incorporate ways to explore harmony in various situations. This exploration would take form in the framework of a game – something that students would enjoy. Within the game data space, they would be challenged, while enhancing collaborative and communication skills. In 1978, at the Richmond Community High School, Hunter led the first sessions of his geo-political simulation, the World Peace Game. Over time, in a synchronous unfolding with the growing global focus on increasingly complex social and political conditions, the game has gained new impetus. Through master classes, educators from around the globe have adopted the Game in their classrooms. Hunter and the Game are featured in a TED Talk, the award-winning documentary film, "World Peace and Other 4th Grade Achievements," and book of the same title. As Hunter succinctly explains, “The World Peace Game is about learning to live and work comfortably in the unknown.”
Stormy Kelsey is a youth media educator with the Temple University Community Collective. She is a Philadelphia native and will be graduating from Temple University in 2020 with a degree in Media Studies and Production. Stormy has been involved with The University Community Collaborative, since her sophomore year in high school. She has helped facilitate conversations around media literacy and social advocacy.
Heang Ly, Ed.M. is Director of Consulting and Training at the Center for Teen Empowerment. She provides technical support and skills training for non-profits, businesses, foundations, schools, and city departments to ensure successful implementation of community and youth leadership initiatives. Ms. Ly is an expert in the field of youth development, group facilitation, and non-profit management with over 15 years of experience organizing around social justice issues with youth. Ms. Ly holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, in psychology and education and a Master’s degree from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education in administration, planning, and social policy.
Nathaniel McLean-Nichols was proudly raised by a single mother along with his two sisters and two foster siblings in Boston, Ma. He is a 20 years old and a Junior at the University of Massachusetts. He has worked as a Youth Organizer and Associate Program Coordinator at the Center for Teen Empowerment for the past year. He strongly believes in cultivating youth voice, especially in communities of color. He has witnessed how their voices have been suppressed and lacks support for development and growth. Nate aspires to be a middle school teacher and increase needed representation of males of color in education.
Carrie is a youth organizer for the Center for Teen Empowerment. She is 16 years old and a Junior at Fenway High School in Boston, Ma. She has worked as Youth Organizer at the Center for Teen Empowerment for 3 years. She is passionate about promoting youth leadership and voice, especially of those traditionally underrepresented. She looks forward to spreading her community organizing reach from local to national in the future. Carrie hopes to become an entrepreneur and develop community programs. Carrie is also a singer, dancer, and actress.
Aidyn Mills, Ph.D, designs opportunities for social change by connecting the dots between people and institutions. She manages two programs for high school youth and the next-generation, with the Charlottesville Area Community Foundation, to promote civic engagement. Mills is a cultural anthropologist, who also enjoys the challenges and opportunities for collaboration and creativity with her seven-year old daughter.
Judith Torney-Purta, Ph.D., is Professor Emerita of Human Development at the University of Maryland. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Stanford University and a Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of Chicago. She was Professor at the University of Illinois Chicago and at the University of Maryland College Park. During the last fifty years she has conducted research using large-scale surveys (nationally and internationally) to study young people’s political attitudes and civic engagement. In her 1999 study for the International Association for the Evaluation of Educational Achievement (IEA) 140,000 adolescents in 29 countries were surveyed. She was Associate Editor of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology and serves on the Advisory Committee of the CIVICLeads Project (ICPSR). As a member of the U.S. National Committee for Psychological Science (National Academy of Sciences) she led workshops to foster international research collaboration. She received APA’s 2009 Award for Contributions to International Psychology and was elected to the National Academy of Education in 2014.
Zin Min Thu
Zin Min Thu is a program officer at the National Democratic Institute (NDI) in Myanmar's Nay Pyi Taw Brach Office, where he assists the parliamentarians of Myanmar Union Parliament. He graduated from the Dagon University, with bachelor degree in Physics in 2011. After graduation, he began working for a local organization, Charity-Oriented Myanmar (COM) as a training coordinator organizing "Leadership and Political Awareness for Next Generation Training Camps" for ethnic youths around the country from 2011 to 2013. He then worked for the local Akhaya Women organization providing tools and a mechanism to stop violence against women (VAW) and services for the survivors of VAW. He organized "One Billion Rising" global campaigns that young people joined to raise awareness on VAW around the world. He achieved full scholarship and achieved a diploma degree in Social Science and Art in 2014, completed in 2015. He is a founder of Nat Pha Yar Ma (Goddess) Institute, which provides leadership and community peace building skills to young women around the country. In 2016 Thu joined NDI to help prepare him to run an office in the future.
Tafadzwa Tivaringe, M.Phil. is a doctoral student at the University of Colorado Boulder. He holds a Master of Philosophy in Development Studies with disciplinary concentration in Political Science from the University of Cape Town, South Africa. Inspired by how young people in Africa navigate and challenge different forms of inequalities, Tafadzwa’s research and writing focuses on what he terms “the shifting spaces and modalities in young people’s political participation.” In his current role as a research assistant for CU Engage’s Research Hub, he creates connections between youth in the US who address systematic inequalities through organizing efforts with youth doing similar work internationally. A Mellow Mays Fellow, Tafadzwa brings a multidisciplinary perspective to this research that seeks to link understandings of economics, philosophy and political science with the ways that young people engage in collective systemic change work and learn in the process.
Roderick J. Watts
Roderick Watts, Ph.D. is a professor emeritus of Psychology at the Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the principal consultant of Action Research Associates and also an adjunct faculty member at Pacifica Graduate Institute in Santa Barbara, California. Watts is a fellow in the American Psychological Association and in the Society for Community Research and Action. In past years, he held positions at Georgia State University, DePaul University, The Consultation Center and the School of Medicine at Yale University, and Howard University. He is both a community psychologist and a licensed clinical psychologist. Because his practice of psychology and applied research emphasizes social justice, his approach to interventions reflect an integrative analysis—one that includes larger social forces and qualities of community—along with growth at the personal level. As a consultant, he has worked with governmental organizations, schools, foundations, research and public-policy organizations, universities, and other nonprofit organizations on diversity, program development and evaluation, and training. His interests as a scholar-activist include liberation studies and action (with roots in liberation psychology), mentoring, men's development, and youth sociopolitical development.
Devin D. Willis
Devin Willis is a second year undergraduate in the College of Arts & Sciences at the University of Virginia, pursuing degrees in both Linguistics & Global Development Studies. Among other activities, his extracurricular life is centered around activism and advocacy through his work as secretary of the Black Student Alliance. This past summer he served as a student-liaison to Charlottesville community organizers, sat on the People's Action for Racial Justice steering committee, and helped to create the March to Reclaim Our Grounds and the subsequent demands.