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Fellows Selected for 2015 Racial Justice Training Institute

Race equity training is essential to anti-poverty advocacy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Michelle Nicolet, 312.368.2675

Chicago, IL – (April 30, 2015) – The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law has announced that 41 fellows have been selected to participate in the 2015 Racial Justice Training Institute (RJTI), a groundbreaking national program. RTJI builds the capacity of low-income people’s advocates to deploy up-to-date racial justice advocacy skills that address the role racism plays in causing and perpetuating poverty.

“With recent events in Ferguson and elsewhere, our nation is at a pivotal moment in understanding and addressing issues of race, implicit bias, and the structural barriers that marginalize communities of color,” said John Bouman, President of the Shriver Center. “It is more important than ever to address the causes of disparate outcomes based on race in health, education, income, criminal justice involvement and other areas relevant to poverty.”

The RJTI, with generous support from the Ford and Annie E. Casey Foundations, includes a combination of online and onsite training activities structured over six months; the onsite portion of the training will be hosted by Northwestern University School of Law. RJTI fellows participate in the training program as part of racial equity teams. With support from skilled faculty and other RJTI fellows, they apply new knowledge and skills to racial justice initiatives within their organizations and communities. ​

Following the training, the 2015 fellows will join a growing national alumni network of advocates working to advance a coordinated racial justice agenda. “RJTI was an experience of a lifetime for me,” said Deb Gardner, Legal Director of the Public Justice Center, who participated in the program in 2014. “A phenomenal amount of work went into it. It was such a gift and it will impact my work for the rest of my career, no doubt about that. I’m looking forward to continuing to be involved with the faculty and the other participants.”  

“Through the RJTI, we hope to both improve outcomes for persons of color and also build a network for systems change across the country,” said Ellen Hemley, Vice President of Advocacy Resources and Training at the Shriver Center. “That supportive network will help ensure that this work is really happening, happening effectively, and happening often.”


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org

2015 Racial Justice Training Institute Fellows

Nick Allen, Columbia Legal Services, WA
Stephanie Altman, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, IL
Latasha Barnes, Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation, IL
Anne Louise Blanchard, Connecticut Legal Services, Inc., CT
Veronica Cook, South Brooklyn Legal Services, NY
Morgan Craven, Texas Appleseed, TX
Merf Ehrman, Columbia Legal Services, WA
Marley Eiger, Cleveland Legal Aid Society, OH
Danielle Erickson, Legal Assistance of Western New York, NY
Francisca Fajana, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, MA
Kristen Noelle Hatcher, Connecticut Legal Services, Inc., CT
Elizabeth Hendren, Northwest Justice Project, WA
Luz Maria Henriquez, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, MO
Patricia Hernandez, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality Inc. Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc., OH
Stu Itani, Legal Aid Society of Columbus, OH
Christopher Jones, Florida Institutional Legal Services Project, FL
Natalie Knott, Legal Assistance of Western New York, NY
Alex Kornya, Iowa Legal Aid, IA
Chinh Le, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, DC
Peggy Lee, Southeastern Ohio Legal Services, OH
Robin Marable, Legal Assistance of Western New York, NY
Ralonda Mason, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, MN
Natalie Maxwell, Community Legal Services of Mid-Florida, Inc., FL
Ashley McDowell, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, DC
David Morales, Northwest Justice Project, WA
Justin Page, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, MN
John Petit, Community Legal Aid Services, Inc., OH
Lael Robertson, Mid-Minnesota Legal Aid, MN
Linda Rothnagel, Prairie State Legal Services, Inc., IL
Daniel Rowinsky Quintian, Legal Services of Greater Miami, Inc., FL
Kendra Sena, Massachusetts Law Reform Institute, MA
Alice Setrini, LAF, IL
Steve Sharpe, Legal Aid Society of Southwest Ohio, LLC, OH
Madison Sloan, Texas Appleseed, TX
Jennie Sutcliffe, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, IL
Kari Talbott, Legal Assistance of Western New York, NY
Nieka Thompson, Connecticut Legal Services, Inc., CT
Stephanie Troyer, Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, DC
Karen Cherese Warren, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, MO
Eve Weissman, Staten Island Legal Services, NY
Odette Williamson, National Consumer Law Center, MA

2015 Racial Justice Training Institute Faculty and Coaches

Carol Ashley, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, IL
Daryl Atkinson, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, NC
Todd Belcore, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, IL
Ellen Braune, Opportunity Agenda, NY
Aneel Chablani, Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, OH
Marqus Cole, Prairie State Legal Services, IL
Anita Earls, Southern Coalition for Social Justice, NC
Dorcas Gilmore, Independent Consultant, MD
Ellen Hemley, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, MA
Camille Holmes, National Legal Aid & Defender Association, DC
Alan Jenkins, Opportunity Agenda, NY
Terry Keleher, Race Forward, IL
Bill Kennedy, Legal Services of Northern California, CA
Jackie Langum, Legal Services of Eastern Missouri, MO
Kimberly Merchant, Mississippi Center for Justice, MS
Gillian Sonnad, Central California Legal Services, CA
Mona Tawatao, Western Center for Law and Poverty, CA
Kate Walz, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, IL


The Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law provides national leadership in advancing laws and policies that secure justice to improve the lives and opportunities of people living in poverty. We specialize in practical solutions. We advocate for and serve clients directly, while also building the capacity of the nation’s legal aid providers to advance justice and opportunity for their clients. www.povertylaw.org

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