Check out the YW Boston Advocacy Committee:
Public Affairs Associate, The Boston Foundation
Brianna is a Massachusetts native who has dedicated her career to bettering the community around her. Brianna started her career in international relations focusing on educational opportunities for students abroad. From there she continued to focus on education as the conductor in which to empower communities economically and socially. While working in operations for an educational advocacy organization Brianna completed two fellowships in public policy: The International Education Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program and a Visiting Fellowship with Education Pioneers. Through these fellowships Brianna was propelled into a career in public policy which lead her to the Boston Foundation as the Public Affairs Associate. Here Brianna works with the Communications and Public Affairs team to disseminate significant information, convene influential stakeholders, and impact Greater Boston’s most pressing needs. She is thrilled to be a part of an organization that focuses on not only education, but economic empowerment, arts and culture, health and wellness, and neighborhoods and housing. Brianna is a personal activist for issues surrounding women’s rights, animal welfare, and international humanitarian efforts.
Lobbyist, Mass Mentoring Partnerships Government Relations Manager
Chelsea Aquino serves as the Manager of Government Relations and Public Policy at Mass Mentoring Partnership, where she develops and manages policy efforts and advocacy campaigns, maintains relationships with state and local agencies, and constructs approaches for driving public financial resources to the field. Prior to her work at MMP, Chelsea served as the Associate Director for the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus and was the former Finance Director for Boston City Councilor At-Large Ayanna Pressley’s ticket-topping 2011 and 2013 re-elections. A Cum Laude graduate of UMass Amherst with a BA in Political Science, Chelsea also received a Graduate Certificate from the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy program at UMass Boston.
Senior Policy and Communications Manager, Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce
Casey (she/her/hers) is passionate about the ways that she can serve her community and call attention to social justice issues impacting marginalized communities. This includes working to further women’s rights, increase economic growth opportunities for minorities, and draw attention to health disparities in various communities. Casey taught high school English, including her favorite courses featuring southern writers and African American writers, before she volunteered as a courtroom advocate for domestic violence survivors. Casey graduated from Boston University School of Law, where she studied and researched public interest and social justice issues, including affordable housing and revenge pornography, and she served as Co-President of the Women’s Law Association and as Symposium Co-Editor for the Boston University School of Law’s Journal of Law & Medicine. Previously working in affordable housing finance, Casey is now working at the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce as the Senior Policy and Communications Manager. From 2018- 2019, she served as a member of Mayor Walsh’s SPARK council for millennial engagement, and is currently serving as an Advisory Board member for the Women’s Lunch Place, a daytime women’s shelter in Boston. Casey serves on the Board of Directors of the Boston Theater Company and the Esplanade Association. She was selected for the 2018 cohort of the Urban Land Institute’s Inclusion to Pathways program. She holds a B.A. from Swarthmore College, an M.A. from Duke University, and a J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
Community Advocacy Specialist, Brookview House
With a Forensic Science background, Trudy (she/her(s)) started working with perpetrators of DV in the Boston Court systems in 2009 conducting competency evaluations alongside a court psychologist. Shortly after in 2011 Trudy transitioned to domestic violence shelters, with DV consuming her life working at two DV shelters. Trudy enjoyed working with DV survivors as they healed and came to learn who they are without their abuser. The fulfillment of the work is watching the transformation. Last year she shifted gears to community advocacy at Brookview House, providing advocacy for homeless and low income families in Roxbury, Dorchester and Mattapan. There is a misconception that families who leave shelter and get an apartment, that their problems are solved. Community Advocacy helps maintain stability, providing resources to those in need, and helps prevent reoccurring homelessness. I believe in bringing my full authentic self to work, and it helps the clients to see me as more than an agency employee. After all we are who we serve. When Trudy is not working she serves on a Community Advisory Board for the Boston Public Health Commission, as well as a Member of the Leadership Committee for the Massachusetts Women of Color Network. The work we do as Women of Color is so important to give a more in depth look into a cultural lens others may lack and make a way for us into leadership roles. She also participates in a traveling roller skating crew to participate in National Skate parties.
Legal Advocate, Volunteer Lawyers Project
Keishia is a fierce advocate for change that envisions a future where women are in every room where decisions are being made. She has worked at New York City Council that partnered with various organizations by stabilizing rent as well mentoring the youth to diminish the school to prison pipeline. Keishia’s passionate with helping minorities unlock their fullest potential to succeed. YWCA is an organization that creates a better life for the foundation of society-women.
Area Coordinator in Residential Life, Northeastern University
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Lei Douglas (she/her/hers) is an advocate for equity in educational resource access and student success as well as effective representation for individuals with marginalized identities at Higher Education institutions. She serves as an Area Coordinator in Residential Life at Northeastern University. She has been involved in the education field for over 7 years and within her roles in Student Affairs, she has supported students and staff alike through student development and advisement, affinity and interfaith space creation, and equity and inclusion advocacy. Graduating from California State University, Northridge with a Bachelors in Pan-African Studies and continuing her education at Northeastern University with a Masters in Higher Education Administration, she began her career in Higher Education at a private Catholic institution in Miami, FL and learned to navigate the bureaucracy and the hierarchy of the academy in order to effectively support the college student experience. Moving to Massachusetts in 2017 allowed her insight into the history of Boston as well as the relationship between the BIPOC neighborhoods surrounding Northeastern’s campus and the impact institutions have on gentrification, housing and educational access and affordability, and the cultural erasure of communities. Lei is passionate about community care, holistic wellness, and liberation through intentional rest.
Nonprofit Director of Marketing and Programs, The Commonwealth Institute
Lizzie is the Director of Marketing and Programs at The Commonwealth Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting businesswomen in leadership in Massachusetts. In this role, she facilitates research, events, leadership development training, and partnerships with corporations and industry organizations. Lizzie has experience in health technology and education policy, in addition to be fierce advocate for equity in the workplace.
Physical Activity Coordinator, Boston Public Schools
Sravanthy is a public health professional and fierce advocate of health equity. She has done work in behavioral health including with the Boston-based non-profit The Family Van to design an evidence-based, community health worker mental health program to increase access to behavioral health services. Her work in healthcare settings also included improving healthcare access for those living with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and HIV/AIDS with a focus on cultural humility and addressing biases and stigma within the American health systems. She grounds her work in building resiliency and empowering communities. Sravanthy is a semi-professional dancer and believes in the power of movement for community building, well-being, self-expression, mindfulness, and joy.
HR Business Partner, Partners HealthCare
Awilda Guzman (she/her/hers) is a Human Resources professional who has dedicated time and effort in educating herself on issues that disproportionately impacts marginalized groups. Her passion lies in not just breaking down barriers in our own individual lives but in today’s most complex societal issues. There are areas within diversity, equity, and inclusion that needs improvement and we can all make an impact here and now.
Director of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division of Health & Human Services for the Town of Arlington
Jillian (she/her(s)) serves as the Director of the Diversity, Equity & Inclusion Division of Health & Human Services for the Town of Arlington. She received a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts Amherst. During her time at UMass she was able to expand her interest in the arts, and recognize her passion for equity and inclusion. Jill completed the Master of Public Affairs (MPA) program at Brown University’s Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, where she focused on US public policy and had the opportunity to continue her work on diversity and inclusion efforts specifically for the MPA program. Prior to attending graduate school, Jill resided in the greater Boston area for close to five years. She worked in the Autism Spectrum Center at the Boston Children’s Hospital and as a youth leader at the Brookline Teen Center. Her occupations and personal experiences exposed her to the lack of access to healthcare and the educational gaps within underserved communities which compelled her to further serve underrepresented communities and combat social injustices. Jill has become the first Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Coordinator, now Director for the Town of Arlington, Ma, and serves as the ADA Coordinator. Additionally she is a member of the Mystic Valley NAACP Branch and a steering committee member of the CHNA 17.
M.Ed. Mgmt-Cambridge College, B.S. Leadership Mgmt-Northeastern University; Educator, activist, and mentor
“I believe we should be the change we want to see and I try my best to do that while I empower my people.” Sharon Hinton is an Educator at the college, high school and middle school levels for over 25 years. As an Educator, Activist, Writer, Producer, Director, Motivational Public Speaker, and Mentor, Hinton is also the Producer/Director/Writer/Host of her own show called “On Another Level” and TV and Podcast Program, “A Deeper Insight” on BNN TV. As Founder and President of Black Teachers Matter, Hinton has also been an Adjunct Faculty Professor at Springfield College, Northeastern University, Mass Communications College, a BUILD MENTOR at Another Course to College High School and is currently the Senior Academic Instructor at The Peoples Academy, Inc. a Technical/Vocational school in Dorchester, Mass.
Graduate Program Coordinator, Northeastern School of Criminology & Community Justice
Dakotah Kennedy (she/her/hers) possesses over five years of advocacy experience with a focus on criminal justice reform and youth work. Dakotah received her Bachelors in Criminology and Criminal Justice from Portland State University in Oregon. Her professional experience includes coordinating holistic defense resources at a public defender’s office, providing career coaching to youth experiencing houselessness, as well as establishing a poetry slam program within a correctional youth facility. Additionally, Dakotah worked alongside legal advocacy groups and community organizations to successfully advocate for clemency on behalf of young people serving adult sentences in prison. As a member of the YW Advocacy Committee, she is excited to engage with complex policy work and connect with change makers in the greater Boston Area.
Assistant Program Director, Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston
Muna Killingback is the Assistant Program Director at the Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy at UMass Boston, where she manages the Gender, Leadership, and Public Policy graduate certificate program. She is also a doctoral student in UMass Boston’s Global Governance and Human Security program. She has a long history of involvement in the YWCA from her teen years on, from the local to the international level. She was a staff member at the World YWCA, the movement’s global headquarters in Geneva for 10 years, and was one of its first ever young women interns, later serving as the Director of Communications for the last seven years of her tenure there. Before that, Muna was the Director of Public Relations and Public Affairs at the regional YWCA of Essex and West Hudson in NJ. She remains an active member of the YWCA’s World Service Council in the USA which supports the work of the World YWCA. Muna also has a Master’s degree in international relations and a graduate certificate in human rights from UMass Boston, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in English and Journalism from Douglass, the women’s college of Rutgers University, where she first learned about feminism. She was also the second executive director of the Cambridge-based non-profit organization, WomenExplore, which runs progressive educational programs for women and women. Her advocacy interests are in women’s rights, human rights, social and economic justice, and peace, and her current research is looking at feminist and faith-based approaches to peacebuilding.
Legal Specialist Data Analyst Contracts & Compliance, Massport
Tanya is a native of Massachusetts and has always held a clear passion for Diversity & Inclusion and Supplier Diversity programs and initiatives. She has sought to exercise her passion for diversity & inclusion, social & economic responsibility, and professional growth and development for women and diverse individuals by taking on leadership roles within several non-profits and organizations throughout her career to include the Young Professional Network of the Urban League of Eastern MA. Tanya’s professional experience extends from operations management, corporate inventory planning & analysis, diversity & inclusion/compliance, supplier diversity, minority/women/ disadvantaged business enterprise (M/WDBE) firm(s) outreach. Tanya managed the federal Airport Concession Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (ACDBE) Certification program. She reviewed and processed applications for small diverse businesses who sought to operate in the airport concession space. Additionally, she sat as a voting member on several Real Estate & Asset Management selection committees for a variety of development proposals. She reviewed bids and proposals to ensure Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) compliance within the proposals, ensuring bidders are fulfilling comprehensive D&I plans and M/WBE (Minority/Women Business Enterprises) outreach for their projects. Tanya was selected to participate in the Urban Land Institute’s 2019 Pathways to Inclusion Cohort and the 2020 Project REAP (Real Estate Associate Program) national cohort. Additionally, Tanya participates on the Urban Land Institute’s following committees and product councils to include the Women’s Leadership Initiative, Technical Assistance Panel, Urban Plan Volunteer program, Boston Infrastructure product council. Tanya is also 2-time alumnus of the Partnership Inc. professional development Program (Associate and Fellows). Tanya holds a BA from Tufts University and an MBA from the University of Massachusetts Boston, specializing in the areas of Human Resources, Supply Chain Management and Leadership & Organizational Change. She is thrilled to be a part of YW Boston Advocacy committee and is excited to be a part of this movement.
Communications Specialist, Boston College Center for Corporate Citizenship
Sharon Sabin (she/her/hers) has a lifelong commitment to equity and justice engendered by broad-ranging life experience and strong sense of ethics. She sees both art and social work as utilizing the skills of observation and the ability to communicate to others the human experience. She worked vigorously as co-facilitator of the school parent council (SPC) and school site council of a Boston public school. Sharon moved on to become an organizer for Roslindale is for Everyone (RISE) where she facilitates the restorative justice team. She launched the RISE mutual aid group (Roslindale Cares) in the spring of 2020. Prior to her work with RISE, Sharon worked on local political campaigns supporting candidates who work to eliminate racism and empower women. She believes such representation in legislative bodies is essential in establishing equity. Much of Sharon’s recent work is focused on joining with other white allies as they unlearn and relearn what it means to be white in the U.S. and assist in creating just society. She is a married, has an adult daughter, and lives in Jamaica Plain.
Grants Manager, United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley
Sandy is a native Rhode Islander who now calls Boston her home. She has worked for several nonprofits in both fundraising and direct service capacities. Sandy is currently the Grants Manager at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and sits on the Board of the Laotian American National Alliance (LANA). For the latter, she helps implement and oversee policy and advocacy initiatives. During her free time, Sandy enjoys hiking, jogging, and spending time with her loved ones.
Program Coordinator for Staff Development, Facing History and Ourselves
Sydney Stewart is a South Carolina native, who moved to Massachusetts in 2014 to pursue an undergraduate degree at Wellesley College in Peace & Justice Studies and Education. In her undergraduate career, she recognized a deep passion for political action and community organizing, which led her to pursue leadership positions within Black student life and student government. In these positions, she set the policy agenda for multicultural initiatives through a cabinet position on college government and served a 2-year term on a presidential committee of faculty, staff, and student representatives to advance an equity agenda for the college. Sydney has held research and policy positions in nonprofits in both Boston and Washington, DC. Sydney currently serves as the program coordinator for staff development at Facing History and Ourselves, a non-profit that uses lessons of history to challenge teachers and their students to stand up to bigotry and hate. In her professional role, she supports the seamless management and execution of a variety of strategic initiatives within the program department, ranging from the organization’s internal staff development to meetings with school administrators from around the country. In her free time, Sydney dedicates herself to creating educational opportunities for young people to see themselves in their learning environments. In addition to her role on the YW Boston Advocacy Committee, she volunteers with the FYRE Initiative, which empowers girls through a curriculum incorporating social justice education, positive identity development, and civic engagement. Sydney is regularly found sifting through the pages of Toni Tipton-Martin’s Jubilee, as she strives to diversify her cooking portfolio.
I (she/her(s)) am a 4th year student at Northeastern University, where I study Political Science, Philosophy, and Economics. I have had the opportunity to concentrate in aspects such as social and economic policy, which has given me a strong lens on how institutions and other strong aspects can affect individuals. During my free time, I participate on the African Dance team, where we go against other universities in the Boston area. I am also involved in other organizations on campus such as the Social Justice Resource Center, and the Center for Intercultural Engagement. This has allowed me to have a stronger voice for issues that mean a lot to me. In terms of work experience, I was able to do my first co-op at MFS, which is a financial and investment company. I am currently doing my senior capstone on mass incarceration, and focusing on why the U.S has one of the highest percentages compared to other westernized countries. Through this time period, I was able to work in the legal and funds department where I gained knowledge in areas such as contracts, stocks, and so forth. In the future, I hope to go to law school, where I will be exposed to more areas, as well as career paths. Although, I do not know what type of attorney I want to become, I know I want to make a difference.
Managing Consultant, Impact Catalysts
Amanda (she/hers) is passionate about the right to health care and dismantling barriers that prevent folks from accessing resources. At Impact Catalysts, she is dedicated to helping nonprofits incorporate community voices and take a partnerships-based approach to social change. Amanda is also the co-founder and Executive Director of Health Advocacy Innovations, a global health nonprofit working to make childhood tuberculosis treatment more efficient and accessible. Amanda was born & raised in MA, volunteers as a grant reviewer for United Way, and has been a delegate for Cambridge’s Participatory Budgeting process.
Volunteer members are joined by several YW Boston staff and board on the Committee:
- Jake Aoki, Fund Development Associate
- Joké Balogun, YW Boston Board Member. Compensation Consultant, Talent Management, Human Resources at Simmons University.
- Leigh Chandler, Manager of Marketing and Communications
- Rachael Conway, LeadBoston Manager
- Coralys Negretti, Associate Director of Marketing and Communications
- Sherrie Saint-Amant, YW Boston Board Member. Past: Community Relations Business Partner TJX.
- Jordan Ziese, YW Boston Advocacy and Public Policy Coordinator