(PART 22) From the Base to the Face of the Democratic Party: And Still We Fight



Barbara R. Arnwine is president & founder of the Transformative Justice Coalition, is internationally renowned for contributions on critical justice issues including the passage of the landmark Civil Rights Act of 1991 and the 2006 reauthorization of provisions of the Voting Rights Act. Currently, she also serves as Co-Chair and Facilitator of the National Commission for Voter Justice, the Millennial Votes Matters Convenings and the Voting Rights Alliance.

She was the head of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law from February 1989 until June 2015 and holds the honorific title of President Emeritus. She also created the legendary Voting Rights “Map of Shame” in 2011, which exposed the new modern wave of voter suppression in the states. Her groundbreaking civil rights and human rights advocacy has been honored with many prestigious awards. She is the radio host of Igniting Change and is a regular presence in the national media, and is often quoted in the press.​

Dr. Joia Crear Perry is the founder and president of the National Birth Equity Collaborative and a thought leader around racism as a root cause of health inequities, speaker, trainer, advocate, policy expert, and fighter for justice. Previously, she served as the executive director of the Birthing Project, Director of Women’s and Children’s Services at Jefferson Community Healthcare Center, and as the director of Clinical Services for the City of New Orleans Health Department where she was responsible for four facilities that provided health care for the homeless, pediatric, WIC, and gynecologic services within the New Orleans clinical service area.

A proud recipient of the Congressional Black Caucus Healthcare Hero’s award and the Maternal Health Task Force at Harvard University Global Visionary Award for Commitment to Advancing Women’s Health, Joia is most known for her work to remove Race as a risk factor for illness like premature birth and replacing it with Racism. She currently serves on the Advisory Committee of the Black Mamas Matter Alliance, Principal at Health Equity Cypher, and on the Board of Trustees for the National Medical Association and the New Orleans African American Museum.

State's Attorney Kimberly M. Foxx is the first African American woman to lead the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office – the second largest prosecutor’s office in the country. Kim took office on December 1, 2016, with a vision for transforming the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office into a fairer, more forward-thinking agency focused on rebuilding the public trust, promoting transparency, and being proactive in making all communities safe.

As Cook County State’s Attorney, Kim has undertaken substantial criminal justice reforms focused on public safety and equity. Additionally, Kim is the first and only prosecutor in the country to make felony case-level data available to the public. The open data portal provides unprecedented access and transparency into the work of a prosecutor’s office. Her goal is to make Cook County the most transparent prosecutor’s office in the country. Kim served as an Assistant State’s Attorney for 12 years and was also a guardian ad litem, where she worked as an attorney advocating for children navigating the child welfare system. Prior to being elected State’s Attorney, Kim served as Chief of Staff for the Cook County Board President, where she was the lead architect of the county’s criminal justice reform agenda to address racial disparities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems.​

Kirsten West Savali is Senior Director, Content: iOne Digital, formerly the executive producer at ESSENCE Magazine, most recently serving as the magazine’s senior editor of News & Politics. As both a writer and cultural critic, her commentary explores the intersections of race, social justice, feminism, and politics.

She is the recipient of the Vernon Jarrett Medal for Journalistic Excellence which honors exemplary reporting on Black life in America and an NABJ Award for Journalistic Excellence. She was also named to EBONY Magazine's 'Power 100’ List, and was awarded a John Jay College of Criminal Justice/Harry Frank Guggenheim Fellowship for her work focusing on criminal justice.