Eric K. Ward a long time civil rights strategist, is the Executive Director of Western States Center (WSC). Based in the Pacific Northwest and Mountain States, WSC works nationwide to strengthen inclusive democracy by building movement, developing leaders, shifting culture and defending democracy. From 2014 – 2017, Eric worked as a Ford Foundation Program Officer, where his grant-making supported efforts to combat inequality. Prior, he was the Program Executive for The Atlantic Philanthropies, U.S. Reconciliation and Human Rights Programme, United States and led the foundation’s grantmaking efforts in immigration and in support of American Muslim, Arab and South Asian communities. Eric is a 2018-2019 Open Society's New Executive Fellow and currently serves on the board of directors of Proteus Fund and the artist driven, Revolutions Per Minute (RPM).
Linda Sarsour is a board member of the Women’s March, the Executive Director of the Arab American Association of New York, co-founder of MPowerChange and Muslims for Ferguson, and a member of Justice League NYC. She has won numerous awards, including being recognized as of one Time Magazine’s 100 most influential people in the world in 2017. A Brooklyn-born Palestinian-American-Muslim racial justice and civil rights activist, community organizer, social media maverick, and mother, she has been at the forefront of major social justice campaigns in NYC and nationally, and is a frequent media commentator on issues impacting Muslim communities, Middle East affairs, criminal justice reform. She is widely recognized for her transformative intersectional organizing work and movement building.
Pramila Jayapal is the Congresswoman representing Washington’s 7th District. The first Indian-American woman in the US House of Representatives, Jayapal has spent the last 20 years working internationally and domestically as a leading national advocate for women’s, immigrant, civil, and human rights. She is the Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee and also serves on several Committees including the Judiciary Committee and the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security, as numerous Caucuses, including those on immigration, LGBT equality and for Asian Pacific Americans. She was first elected to public office as a Washington State Senator in 2014, becoming the first South Asian American ever elected to the State Legislature and the only woman of color in that body. Prior she was the founding and longtime Executive Director of Hate Free Zone (now OneAmerica) and led the national coalition We Belong Together. Jayapal came to the US by herself at the age of 16 to attend college at Georgetown University and later received her MBA from Northwestern University.
Zorayda Avila is the Capacity Building and Outreach Manager and Director of the Leadership Institute for Alianza Americas, a network of immigrant-led organizations. Prior to joining Alianza Americas, she served as Executive Director for the cultural and education center Casa Michoacán in Chicago. She is a founder of the Transnational Women’s Collective, a bi-national organization bringing together women leaders from the US and Mexico. Avila holds an undergraduate degree from the Universidad de Morelia in Psychology.
Elizabeth Warren, is one of two U.S. Senators from Massachusetts. She is recognized as one of the nation's top experts on bankruptcy and the financial pressures facing middle class families. In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, she served as Chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program. Among her leadership posts are serving on the Congressional Committee on Banking, Housing & Urban Affairs, the Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions, the Committee on Armed Services, and the Special Committee on Aging. Warren was a law professor for over 30 years, wrote over 100 articles and 10 books, and has received numerous honors, including from the National Law Journal, TIME Magazine, and the Massachusetts Women's Bar Association.
Kathy Tran is a Delegate for Virginia’s 42nd House District. Elected in 2017, she and Kelly Fowler became the first Asian-American women elected to Virginia’s House of Delegates. She previously served as the Acting Administrator for the Office of Workforce Investment and the Director of the Division of Policy, Legislation, and Regulation in the U.S. Department of Labor, as well as working at the National Immigration Forum. Kathy graduated from Duke University and earned her Master of Social Work from the University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Guzmán is a delegate of Virginia’s 31st House District, elected in 2017 to become the first Hispanic female immigrant to join the 400-year-old Virginia General Assembly. She currently works as the Division Chief for Administrative Services for the Center for Adult Services for the City of Alexandria. She holds a Bachelor's in Public Safety from Capella University, a Master's in Public Administration from American University, and a Master's in Social Work from the University of Southern California.
Luis Gutiérrez is a Congressman in Illinois’ 4th District in his twelfth term. Gutiérrez is nationally recognized for his tireless leadership championing issues of particular importance to Latino and immigrant communities, and was instrumental in advocating for President Obama’s executive action to provide deportation relief to certain long-term undocumented immigrants and their families through The Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals. His career is also defined by his work on gun violence prevention and comprehensive immigration reform.
Luisa Blue was elected Executive Vice President of SEIU in May 2016, after serving on the SEIU International Executive Board from 2012-2016; she is the first Asian Pacific Islander to hold this post at the union. As one of the highest-ranking API union leaders in the nation, she has been at the forefront of making racial and immigrant justice a priority throughout her four decades of union organizing and advocacy. She was recognized in 2015 at the national Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance convention, where she was awarded the Philip Vera Cruz Organizing Award.
Ana María Archila is co-Executive Director of the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD), one of the largest community organizing networks in the country, with 45 affiliate organizations in 32 states. Previously, she was co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY), supporting the organization’s 16,000+ members to shape public policy on housing, education, health care, policing, and civil rights. Together with Maria Gallagher, Archila’s public confrontation of Senator Jeff Flake during Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings captured national attention.
Wilmot Collins is the Mayor of Helena, Montana. Born in Liberia, Collins arrived to the US as a refugee in 1994. He was elected Mayor in 2017, defeating a four-term incumbent to become the first black person to be elected the mayor of any city in the history of Montana since statehood. Collins is also a Child Protection Specialist with the Montana Department of Health and Human Services; an Adjunct Instructor at the University of Montana, Helena College; and a U. S. Navy Reservist. He holds a Master’s degree in Human Resources Management.