At The Opportunity Agenda's Communications Institutes, rising leaders working on issues critical to opportunity develop their communication skills, including framing and narrative development, utilizing public opinion and media research, understanding digital communications and social networking, persuasive writing, and on-camera broadcast presentation. Upon completion, they become Communication Fellows, and get to work shaping the public dialogue in their home communities.

    Graciela Aponte

    Senior Legislative Analyst, National Council of La Raza

    Graciela Aponte provides legislative analysis and advocacy on affordable homeownership, foreclosure prevention, and credit scoring for the National Council of La Raza, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Aponte’s expertise is in housing policy, housing counseling, barriers to Latino homeownership, predatory lending, credit scoring, and foreclosure prevention.

    Get to know Graciela

    Algernon Austin

    Director of the Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy Program, Economic Policy Institute

    Algernon Austin directs the Economic Policy Institute’s program on Race, Ethnicity and the Economy (PREE). PREE works to advance policies that enable people of color to participate fully in the American economy and to benefit equally from gains in prosperity. As Director of PREE, Austin oversees reports and policy analyses on the economic condition of America’s people of color.

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    Nikitra Bailey

    Executive Vice President, Center for Responsible Lending

    Nikitra Bailey directs the Center for Responsible Lending’s outreach and educational efforts to national and locally based organizations and provides technical assistance to policymakers on state and federal anti-predatory lending initiatives. Bailey originally joined the CRL as a policy associate after graduating from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

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    Flozell Daniels, Jr.

    President and CEO, Foundation for Louisiana

    Flozell Daniels, Jr. has served as the President and CEO of the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation (LDRF), now the Foundation for Louisiana, since December 2007. Its mission is to invest in people and practices that work to reduce vulnerability and build stronger, more sustainable communities statewide.

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    Jane Duong

    Director of Programs & Advocacy, National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development

    Jane Duong is currently the National Housing Program Manager for the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (CAPACD). At National CAPACD, Duong directed the development and implementation of the first HUD-approved comprehensive housing, foreclosure and financial education network focused on the needs of low- and moderate-income Asian American and Pacific Islander communities across the country.


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    Jordan Estevao

    Director, Save the American Dream Campaign, National People's Action

    Jordan Estevao is the Director of National People's Action's Bank Accountability Campaign, a national effort to mobilize communities throughout the country in the fight to hold banks accountable.

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    Ana Garcia-Ashley

    Executive Director, Gamaliel Foundation

    Born in the Dominican Republic, Garcia-Ashley was just four years old when she began canvassing in a rural village as part of a public safety campaign headed by her grandmother, a neighborhood activist. After the assassination of Rafael Trujillo, she and her family fled the political violence in the Dominican Republic and settled in New York.

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    Deborah Goldberg

    Director of Special Projects, National Fair Housing Alliance

    Deborah Goldberg is a Special Project Director with the National Fair Housing Alliance (NFHA). Since 2005, she has led NFHA’s work on equitable rebuilding of the Gulf Coast region in the aftermath of the 2005 hurricanes. Goldberg has also been involved in NFHA’s public policy work on financial services issues, playing a lead role in efforts around foreclosure prevention and housing finance reform.

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    Sarah Ludwig

    Founder, Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)

    Sarah Ludwig founded NEDAP in 1995 and has worked with hundreds of grassroots groups to organize and advocate for community equity and financial justice. In 2000, she co-founded the coalition, New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, which has secured major policy reforms in the financial justice and foreclosure prevention arenas. Ludwig is a frequent speaker at community forums and has testified at numerous public hearings, on such topics as financial reform, fair lending, foreclosure prevention, and the impact of foreclosure on communities.

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    C. Nicole Mason

    Director of Research and Policy Initiatives, National Council for Research on Women

    C. Nicole Mason has worked in advocacy and public education at the local, state and national levels with a special focus on women and underserved communities for the last 13 years. In her research and writing, she continues to investigate the intersections of race, class, gender, ethnicity, and other markers of difference and their impact on rights and public policy outcomes at the local, state, and national levels.

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    Paheadra Robinson

    Director, Consumer Legal Resource Center, Mississippi Center for Justice

    Jackson-native Paheadra Robinson directs the Consumer Legal Resource Center of the Mississippi Center for Justice. She is a graduate of Tougaloo College and the University of Mississippi School of Law. In addition to private practice, Robinson has also served as legislative counsel to three House committees: Conservation and Water Management, Juvenile Justice, and Municipalities. Her knowledge of the Legislature and its players has helped MCJ open important doors at the Capitol.

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    Christy Rogers

    Director of Outreach, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity

    Christy Rogers is the Director of Outreach at the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity, where she has worked since 2004. She focuses on equitable neighborhood revitalization and federal housing policy, particularly housing finance reform. Rogers holds a B.A. in English, an M.A. in English, a MLA in Landscape Architecture, and a Ph.D. in Geography.

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    Kalima Rose

    Senior Director and Director of PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity, PolicyLink

    Kalima Rose, Senior Director and Director of the PolicyLink Center for Infrastructure Equity, works with the infrastructure team to steer resources for transportation, housing, and key amenities to communities of opportunity. Rose helps local and statewide groups implement economic stimulus funds for greater workforce participation and new investments in underserved communities.

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    Kate Scott

    Assistant Director, Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center

    Kate Scott has served as Assistant Director of the Greater New Orleans Fair Housing Action Center (GNOFHAC) since April of 2010. Kate began working with GNOFHAC as an undergraduate intern in January 2004 and has served in a variety of different roles with the organization since then, including administrative assistant, Coordinator of Outreach and Development, and Interim Co-Director.

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    Jesse Van Tol

    Director of Membership & Organizing, National Community Reinvestment Coalition

    Jesse Van Tol is Director of Membership and Organizing for the National Community Reinvestment Coalition. In that capacity, he is responsible for implementing comprehensive communications and outreach strategies that highlight the organization’s membership, public policy positions and programs.

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    Preeti Vissa

    Chief Operating Officer, Greenlining Institute

    Preeti Vissa is the Director of Greenlining’s Community Reinvestment Program, which focuses on building wealth and economic sustainability in communities of color. Vissa works on a holistic set of wealth-building issues including homeownership, small business development, supplier diversity, financial services, and job creation.

    Get to know Preeti