Kimberlé Crenshaw co-founded the AAPF and serves as the Executive Director. Crenshaw, Professor of Law at UCLA and Columbia Law School, is a leading authority in the area of Civil Rights, Black feminist legal theory, and race, racism and the law. Her articles have appeared in the Harvard Law Review, National Black Law Journal, Stanford Law Review and Southern California Law Review. She is the founding coordinator of the Critical Race Theory Workshop, and the co-editor of the volume, Critical Race Theory: Key Documents That Shaped the Movement. Read More
Dr.Luke Charles Harris co-founded the AAPF and is Director of Programming. Harris is the former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Vassar College, where he teaches American Politics and Constitutional Law. Harris clerked for the late A. Leon Higginbotham, Jr., the distinguished legal historian and former Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit; served for two years as a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Warwick, School of Law in Coventry England; and for one year as a Lecturer at the University of Pennsylvania in the Department of Sociology. Read More
Julia Sharpe-Levine is the Associate Director of the African American Policy Forum. She is also pursuing a Master's Degree in Applied Theatre from CUNY. Before joining AAPF in the summer of 2014, Julia attended Vassar College, where she graduated with honors in May 2014 with degrees in drama and Chinese. Her primary areas of interest include Critical Race Theory, Performance Studies, Critical Dramaturgy, Prison Studies, and Intersectionality. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.
Kieran Alessi serves as Community Relations Coordinator for the African American Policy Forum. Kieran graduated from Brown University in 2013 with a bachelor's degree in neuroscience before moving back to their home state of New York, where they first jumped into nonprofit work as program director for The Common Good, a platform that supports greater dialogue for U.S. public policy issues. Between December 2014 and November 2015, Kieran worked as a research assistant for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Pancreatic Cancer Clinic and was part of MSK's LGBT Steering Committee to improve LGBTQ-inclusive policies for employees and patients. When not fishing or head bobbing to JoJo, Kieran also facilitates an anti-oppression gender and sexuality workshop called GenSex NYC.
Kyndall Clark is the Program Coordinator at The African American Policy Forum. Shortly after graduating from Vanderbilt University in 2013, Kyndall served as a 9th grade special education teacher in Philadelphia, PA. She managed a caseload of 22 students and introduced culturally relevant materials to the 9th grade core classes. After one year inside the classroom and the school losing its charter, Kyndall joined Shared Solutions, a community-university collaborative between the School District of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. While working, she completed the university’s Master of Liberal Arts program where she conducted fieldwork on Durbar, a sex worker’s collective in West Bengal. Prior to joining the AAPF staff, she served as the Program Manager of Blondell's Brown Bag Lunch Series, a women's leadership and development initiative in the Office of Councilwoman Blondell Reynolds Brown.
Cherrell Brown, the Community Engagement Director at AAPF, is a community organizer and educator living in NYC. She currently works as a social justice educator with Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Before that Cherrell served as one of the National Organizers for Equal Justice USA, a national non-profit organization working towards repealing the death penalty. She is also involved with several grassroots organizations working towards ending police and economic violence and teaches direct action trainings and community organizing 101. She recently traveled to London to obtain an MA in Culture, Diaspora and Ethnicity from Birkbeck University
Abby Dobson is AAPF's 2016 Artist-In-Residence. A Sonic Conceptualist Artist, Dobson’s sound is the alchemy of R&B/Soul, jazz, classic pop, gospel, and folk, forging a gem that erases musical boundaries. Abby has performed at venues such as S.O.B's, Kennedy Center Millennium Stage, Apollo Theater, Blue Note Jazz Club, and The Tonight Show (Jay Leno). Her debut CD, "Sleeping Beauty: You Are the One You Have Been Waiting On” was released in 2010 to glowing reviews. Abby received a Juris Doctorate degree from Georgetown University Law Center and a Bachelor’s degree from Williams College in Political Science and History. An independent scholar, Abby’s research interests focus on the intersection of race and gender in the imagination, creation, consumption, and distribution of music. Passionate about using music as a tool for empathy cultivation, Abby creates music with the intention of inspiring audiences to reflect on the world in which we live and inspiring people to engage in action based on this reflection in support of transformative social change. Abby creates music to privilege black female voices and highlight the human condition. She is committed to shining her artistic light - volunteering with the African American Policy Forum and the National Organization for Women, NYC Chapter. www.abbydobsonsings.com
Cynthia Luo is a second-year JD candidate at Columbia Law School. She previously worked as a high school English teacher in the Hartford public school system after graduating with honors from the University of Connecticut with degrees in Linguistics/Philosophy, Classics, and English. She has also served on the boards of the Connecticut branch of the National Organization for Women and the East Coast Asian American Student Union. At the law school, she's involved in multiple organizations surrounding the topics of race and gender, including Empowering Women of Color, the Journal of Gender and Law, the Domestic Violence Project, and the Feminist Society.
Eden Silva Jequinto learned the power of education, organizing, and cultural work from her migrant Pilipin@ family and the predominantly Third World communities that raised her. Eden graduated from UC, Santa Cruz with a BA in American Studies in 2004 and moved to Oakland, CA where she worked as a core member of EastSide Arts Alliance (ESAA). At ESAA, Eden founded the Guerilla Youth Theatre Project and the Leadership Program, training youth into lead teachers. Eden worked with intergenerational Third World grassroots groups and nonprofits, supporting campaigns through guerilla theatre, healing work, and systemic analyses, before returning to Los Angeles in 2011. After earning her MA in Urban Planning at UCLA in 2013, Eden began at UCLA School of Law as a student in both the Critical Race Studies program and the Epstein Public Interest Law and Policy program. Eden looks forward to serving as a grounded and effective attorney.