Co-Founder & Executive Director
Kimberlé Crenshaw is the Co-founder and Executive Director of the African American Policy Forum, and the founder and Executive Director of the Center for Intersectionality and Social Policy Studies at Columbia Law School. She is the Promise Institute Professor at UCLA Law School and the Isidor and Seville Sulzbacher Professor at Columbia Law School.
She is popularly known for her development of “intersectionality,” “Critical Race Theory,” and the #SayHerName Campaign, and is the host of the podcast Intersectionality Matters!. She also is a columnist for The New Republic, and the moderator of the widely impactful webinar series Under The Blacklight: The Intersectional Vulnerabilities that the Twin Pandemics Lay Bare. She is one of the most cited scholars in legal history and has been recognized as Ms. magazine’s “No. 1 Most Inspiring Feminist;” one of Prospect Magazine’s ten most important thinkers in the world; and even listed in Ebony’s “Power 100" issue.
Dr. Luke Charles Harris
Co-Founder & Deputy Director
Dr. Luke Charles Harris Luke Charles Harris is a former Chair of the Department of Political Science at Vassar College, 2002-2005, and the Co-founder and Deputy Director of the African American Policy Forum. He teaches American Politics, Black Feminist Legal Theory, Constitutional Interpretation and Critical Race Theory. An expert in the field of Critical Race Theory, Harris has authored a series of influential articles on questions of racial and gender equality in the U.S.
Recently, he completed Seeing Race Again: Countering Colorblindness Across the Disciplines, a co-authored edited volume released for publication in March 2019 by the University of California Press (Editors: Kimberlé Crenshaw, Luke Charles Harris, Daniel Martinez HoSang, and George Lipsitz). Currently Luke is working on two book projects: Notes from A Child of Apartheid: The Meaning of Equality in Post-Apartheid America, and The Race Track: Understanding and Challenging Structural Racism, co-authored with Kimberlé Crenshaw and George Lipsitz.
Chief of Staff & Director of Programs and
Shermena Nelson serves as AAPF's Chief of Staff/Director of Programs and Community Engagement. Shermena is an Afro-Cuban macro social worker and attorney who focuses on interventions in larger systems, such as communities and organizations, in order to effect change that will enhance the lives of individuals. A native New Yorker, Shermena holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science (minor in African American Studies) from Howard University, a Juris Doctor from the University of the District of Columbia, and a Masters of Social Work from New York University. Shermena’s areas of practice include Program Development and Management, Legal Advocacy, Trauma, Loss and Bereavement.
Senior Research Fellow
Kevin Minofu serves as the AAPF Senior Research Fellow. A former law clerk to Justice Sisi Khampepe of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, he graduated from Columbia Law School with his LLM as a James Kent Scholar in 2018 where he had research interests in civil rights, legal philosophy and comparative constitutional law. He holds both an undergraduate degree in economics and a law degree from the University of Cape Town in South Africa. He also spent several years practicing as an associate at a large commercial law firm in Johannesburg and is an admitted attorney of the South African bar.
Arts & Education Program Director
Julia Sharpe-Levine is a writer, activist and theatre-maker living in Brooklyn. After serving as the Associate Director for 2 years, she now serves as AAPF's Arts and Education Program Director. She has led workshops on theatre and social engagement, and has written articles on politics and intersectionality for publications such as the Huffington Post and Rewire Magazine. She has a Master's degree in Applied Theatre from CUNY's School of Professional Studies and a Bachelor's degree in drama and Chinese from Vassar College, where she graduated with honors. She is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa National Honor Society.
Executive Assistant/Deputy Director of Content Strategy
Emmett O’Malley serves as the Executive Assistant to Kimberlé Crenshaw and as AAPF’s Deputy Director of Content Strategy. He joined the team in 2019 after graduating with honors from Vassar College where he worked closely with Dr. Luke Charles Harris while concentrating in Political Science and Philosophy. His Senior Thesis, titled “Modern Athlete Activism, and the Structures of American Society,” examined the intersection of sports and politics, particularly as it pertains to the relationship between capitalism and anti-racism. In 2017 and 2018, Emmett worked as a Residential Teaching Fellow for the Exploring Transfer Program, and as a Research Assistant for AAPF.
Dr. Venus E. Evans-Winters
Black Girls Initiatives Research Coordinator
Venus E. Evans-Winters, Ph. D. is the Black Girls Initiatives Research Coordinator at the African American Policy Forum. Her areas of research are educational policy analysis, Black girls’ and women’s onto-epistemologies, and critical race feminist methodologies. The former Professor of Education, Women & Gender Studies, and African American Studies is the author of Black Feminism in Qualitative Inquiry: A Mosaic for Writing Our Daughter’s Body and Teaching Black Girls: Resilience in Urban Schools. She is co-editor of the books, Black Feminism in Education: Black Women Speak Up, Back, & Out and Celebrating Twenty Years of Black Girlhood: The Lauryn Hill Reader. Her forthcoming co-authored text is Introduction to Intersectional Qualitative Research. Dr. Evans-Winters is also a clinical psychotherapist in private practice and founder of Planet Venus Institute.
Vincent Wong is a first-year Ph.D. candidate at Osgoode Hall Law School, where he is interested in critical race theory, movement lawyering, migrant justice, transnational social movements, and anti-carceral politics. He is an advisory committee member of the Community Justice Collective, a hub of movement lawyers providing legal and strategic support to organized communities and social justice movements across the Greater Toronto Area. Previously, he has worked at the International Human Rights Program at the University of Toronto and the Chinese and Southeast Asian Legal Clinic.
Research and Writing Fellow
Alanna Kane is an intersectional activist, queer Trinidadian, and aspiring legal scholar aiming to disempower the entanglements of race, racism, and the law. She is a second-year student at the University of California, at Los Angeles School of Law, where she specializes in Critical Races Studies. Prior to law school, she worked as a paralegal in the Competition section of White & Case LLP. She graduated Dartmouth College in 2017 cum laude with a Bachelor or Arts in Government and double minor in International Studies and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. Her interested research areas include suspect classification doctrine, tiers of scrutiny, and equal protection. As a former intern at AAPF in 2016, she is humbled, energized, and excited to return to the team as Research and Writing Fellow!
Vineeta Singh is completing a postdoctoral fellowship with "The Lemon Project: A Journey of Reconciliation," the College of William & Mary's public history initiative reckoning with its 300-year history of anti-blackness. Her work with the Lemon Project focuses on building partnerships with community orgs working on educational and other reparative justice efforts to counter the university's historically extractive relationships with Black communities in the Tidewater region. Her research, teaching, and service work are all informed by her research on modern U.S. higher education as a racial frontier and her Ph.D. training in Ethnic Studies at the University of California, San Diego.
Originally from Massachusetts, Myles Olmsted is a graduate of Vassar College, where he majored in political science with a correlate sequence in Hispanic studies. At Vassar, Myles was the Sports Editor of the Miscellany News and worked in the Office of Admissions. In 2018, he was a Summer Democracy Fellow through the Foundation for Civic Leadership, interning at an electoral reform and anti-corruption nonprofit. At AAPF, Myles serves as a Program Coordinator, assisting with organizational operations, development, and communications, alongside work on AAPF's major programs and initiatives. When the world allows, Myles is also an actor. He is proud to be counted among the dedicated and caring AAPF staff.
Media Arts Specialist
Rebecca Scheckman is a Visual Storyteller who creates art to engage and intervene. Mediums include video, drawing, graphic design, photography, and set design–multimedia savvy as a result of a career that was cultivated during a recession and the disruptive move to online and digital technology. She has supported The Laura Flanders Show, and worked with the Media Studies department at the New School. Rebecca has filmed 500+ interviews, edited two dozen short documentaries, and supported fundraiser videos for various non-profits and campaigns. She currently freelances regularly with several clients such as Brooklyn-based production company, Dakoit Pictures as an Editor and Artistic Director. Toho Publishing, a Philadelphia- based company, as an illustrator.
Creative Arts Administrator
Awoye Timpo is a New York-based performing arts director and producer. Her work with AAPF includes development of the play Say Her Name: The Lives That Should Have Been. Awoye’s New York credits include work at New York Theatre Workshop, The Vineyard Theatre, The Playwrights Realm, Atlantic Theater Company, the National Black Theater and the Public Theater. Regionally she has directed at Studio Theatre (DC), Actors Theatre of Louisville, Long Wharf Theatre (New Haven) and Berkeley Rep. Her work has also been seen in Edinburgh and Johannesburg. Awoye works as a Creative Director for music events and is a Producer of CLASSIX, a series exploring classic plays by Black playwrights.
Abby Dobson is AAPF's 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 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