Fellows


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.

    Mizue Aizeki

    Deputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project

    Mizue Aizeki is Deputy Director at the Immigrant Defense Project where she focuses on ending injustices related to the entanglement of the criminal and immigration systems, including criminalization, imprisonment, and exile due to criminal convictions.

    Get to know Mizue

    Janaé Bonsu

    National Public Policy Chair, Black Youth Project 100

    Janaé Bonsu is a Black queer feminist activist-scholar and organizer with over five years of policy research and advocacy experience. She currently serves as the National Public Policy Chair of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist member-led organization of Black 18- to 35-year-olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people, where she leads the development of value-based policy and campaigns.

    Get to know Janaé

    Danny Cendejas

    Organizing Director, Detention Watch Network

    Danny Cendejas joined Detention Watch Network as Organizing Director in 2016.

    Get to know Danny

    Astrid Dominguez

    Advocacy Coordinator, ACLU of Texas

    Astrid Dominguez joined the ACLU of Texas in May 2012 as a Border Rights Fellow coordinating the U.S.-Mexico Binational Abuse Documentation Project at the Texas border.

    Get to know Astrid

    Vicki Gaubeca

    Director, ACLU-New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights

    In 2009, Vicki Gaubeca became the director of the ACLU-New Mexico (ACLU-NM) Regional Center for Border Rights, based in Las Cruces, where she has helped develop and implement its mission of addressing civil and human rights violations that stem from border-specific immigration policy and enforcement.

    Get to know Vicki

    Andi Gentile

    Youth Justice Policy Strategist, Impact Justice’s Center on Youth Registration Reform

    Andi is the Youth Justice Policy Strategist for the Center on Youth Registration Reform (CYRR) at Impact Justice in Oakland, CA. Before joining the CYRR, Andi was a community organizer in worker-justice and queer and trans youth organizations in New York City and Austin.

    Get to know Andi

    Kimberly Gonzalez

    Miami Coordinator, Dream Defenders

    Kimberly Gonzalez is a 30-year-old queer Latina and Miami native by way of Cuba and Puerto Rico. She joined the Dream Defenders in July of 2012 and has participated in various campaigns including the 2012 Freedom Fall campaign, the Dream Era campaign that launched on the first day of the 2013 Florida legislative session, and Take Over Florida, an action held on the steps of the Florida state capitol after the George Zimmerman verdict.

    Get to know Kim

    Shena Gutierrez

    Co-Founding Member, Border Patrol Victims Network

    Shena Gutierrez has dedicated her life to advocating for social change and laying the foundation to shift America’s conversation about law enforcement, in particular holding Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest law-enforcement agency in the nation, accountable. On March 30, 2011, Shena’s husband, José Gutierrez, was brutally beaten by CBP agents near a port of entry in Southern Arizona. Since this tragedy, which her husband survived, Shena has become a spokesperson for border communities and victims of border patrol abuse, leading several delegations of border residents to meet with federal policy makers.

    Get to know Shena

    Dr Kirk A. James

    Professor, Columbia University

    Dr. James has over a decade of leadership experience in various social service fields. He is a well-respected writer, educator, clinician, and speaker on issues pertaining to social justice. His primary research focuses on deconstructing issues of mass incarceration — specifically as it pertains to trauma, cognitive development, culpability, and the examination of systems that perpetuate racial injustice under the guise of the “criminal justice system.”

    Get to know Kirk

    Lynne Lyman

    California State Director, Drug Policy Alliance

    Lynne Lyman is the California state director for the Drug Policy Alliance (DPA), where she leads the criminal justice reform work. A native of Los Angeles with an M.P.A. from Harvard, Lynne joined DPA in 2012 after working with government and civil rights organizations in California and Massachusetts on policy, political advocacy, and capacity building to address social problems confronting inner city communities, particularly issues relating to racial justice, youth violence and criminal justice system reform.

    Get to know Lynne

    Mark O'Brien

    Director of Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment, Baltimore City Health Department | Behavioral Health System Baltimore

    Mark O'Brien is the Baltimore City Director of Opioid Overdose Prevention and Treatment where he works to implement a multi-agency response to the opioid crisis and resulting overdose deaths. Prior to starting at BCHD and BSHB, Mark was a Senior Criminal Justice Policy Associate and Acting Director of Communications in Legal Action Center's Washington, D.C. office.

    Get to know Mark

    Ronald Simpson-Bey

    Alumni Associate, JustLeadershipUSA

    Ronald D. Simpson-Bey is the Alumni Associate for JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) and a 2015 Leading with Conviction Fellow with JLUSA. He serves on the steering team of the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI), a former Program Associate with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Research Assistant at the University of Michigan School of Social Work.

    Get to know Ronald

    Catherine Tactaquin

    Executive Director, National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights

    Catherine Tactaquin is Executive Director and a co-founder of the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (NNIRR). Since 1986, NNIRR has worked to promote the rights for all immigrants, regardless of immigration status, through national advocacy campaigns, coalition-building, and support for immigrant community organizing and empowerment.

    Get to know Catherine

    John-Michael Torres

    Communications Coordinator, La Unión del Pueblo Entero

    From Mission, Texas, John-Michael attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he got involved with the Student/Farmworker Alliance and the farmworker-led Campaign for Fair Food. After graduating, he returned home to South Texas and joined local organizing efforts for farmworker rights and against corporate-led globalization.

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    Alisha Williams

    Senior Staff Attorney, Peter Cicchino Youth Project

    Alisha Williams works with homeless or street-involved queer and trans youth, providing free civil legal services at the Peter Cicchino Youth Project. Prior to working at PCYP, Alisha was at the Sylvia Rivera Law Project, where they served as the Director of the Prisoner Justice Project from 2012 to 2014. As director, Alisha was able to engage in community organizing for prison abolition while seeking immediate institutional changes to provide access to safer correctional housing for trans community members.

    Get to know Alisha