Board Members

President
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M. Lorena Gonzalez is Legal Counsel to Seattle Mayor Ed Murray. As a member of his Executive Team, she provides general legal, political and strategic counsel to the Mayor on a variety of policy and legislative priorities.
 
Prior to joining Mayor Murray’s administration, Lorena was a Shareholder at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, where she focused her practice on representing individuals in a variety of serious personal injury cases as well as representing those victimized by people in authority positions. Lorena has been recognized locally and nationally for her work in and out of the courtroom, and has been awarded multiple recognitions, including: 2005 LBAW Outstanding Member of the Year; 2009 HNBA Top 7 Lawyers Under 40; 2010-2013 Washington Law & Politics Rising Star; 2010 WSBA Civil Rights Section Distinguished Service Award; 2011 SU School of Law Alumni Service Award; 2012 Thomas C. Wales Foundation Night Among Heroes Honoree; 2013 SU School of Law’s Latina/o Law Student Association La Justicia Award; 2014 SU Alumni Community Service Award; 2014 Washington State Association of Justice Carl Maxey Diversity Award.  In 2013, Seattle Magazine recognized Lorena as one of Seattle’s Most Influential Persons.
 
Lorena serves on various local, regional and national non-profit boards, including the National Council of La Raza, Northwest Area Foundation and, until recently, the Washington State Association for Justice. She’s also a founding member of the National Advisory Committee for the Latino Victory Project – a national movement that builds power in the Latino community so that the faces and voices of Latinos are reflected at every level of government and in the policies that drive our country forward.

Lorena grew up as a migrant farmworker in the lower Yakima Valley and is the daughter of immigrant parents from Michoacán, Mexico. She is the first and only attorney in her family.

Vice President
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Ann is Directing Attorney for the Washington Defender Association's Immigration Project. She defends the rights of noncitizens accused of crimes and provides education to judges, defenders and prosecutors. She has had extensive experience in legal services and teaching and has served on numerous national boards, receiving the 2005 Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law. Ann rejoined the OneAmerica board in late 2008, after serving previously from 2002-2005.

Treasurer
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Han is the Vice President for Human Resources at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center where he also handles HR for the Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. He holds an undergraduate degree in Chemistry and an EMBA from the UW. Human and Civil rights have formed the basis for Han’s career, personal volunteer choices and work over the years, most recently with Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest. His past community service includes the Seattle King County Workforce Development Council and the Puget Sound Labor Agency. How US immigration policy affects the mobility of science, and scientists, is of particular passion to Han.

Secretary
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Hardeep Rekhi is a partner of Rekhi & Wolk, P.S., a civil rights law firm focused on representing employees. His practice encompasses all aspects of federal and state civil rights litigation with respect to employment, including discrimination, wrongful termination, wage and hour, failure to accommodate, and sexual harassment.

With a demonstrated commitment to social justice, Hardeep strives to serve his community through vigorous advocacy with a human touch. He cares deeply about the rights of all people to be free of discrimination and believes in the power of the law to effect positive change. Hardeep is a member of the legal team for Sikh Coalition. He has also participated as a panel member for various community civil rights panel discussions.

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Yasmin Christopher is a 3rd year law student at Seattle University School of Law. She is currently an extern with the Honorable Judge Mary Yu in King County Superior Court, a former law clerk with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and former policy fellow at the Polaris Project, an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to human trafficking, based in Washington D.C. She is also a national delegate for We Belong Together, an organization that advocates for immigration rights as a women’s equality issue, the president of the Middle Eastern and South Asian Law Student Association, member of the Seattle University Law Public Interest Law Foundation, and honorary International Ambassador to the Bangladesh Work Camp Association, an organization that works to foster quality cultural exchange experiences in her native Bangladesh.

Yasmin also lends her voice and personal family history to raise awareness about human trafficking. She was a part of a King County Metro Bus public service announcement campaign in 2013 and has traveled the state giving lectures at various colleges on her family’s experience and possible public policy improvements on the issue. In addition, Yasmin has donated her time and artwork to various fundraising events through her collaboration with the Refugee Women’s Alliance and the International Rescue Commission that work to provide direct services to trafficking survivors here and abroad. Most recently, she has co-founded an aspiring organization, ASHHO, to work on building resilient communities by providing comprehensive trainings to the community, businesses, agencies, and youth on how to recognize and appropriately respond to Human Trafficking while focusing on prevention and protection.

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Joe Fugere is the founder of Tutta Bella, the Pacific Northwest’s first certified authentic Neapolitan pizzeria. Joe opened his first restaurant in 2004 and currently has five locations in and around Seattle. The success of his business can be attributed to a passionate focus on building a meaningful business respected by employees, customers and peers and he works tirelessly on creating shared value for these constituents.

In August 2010, Joe had the honor of being selected to represent small business owners in a meeting with President Obama. One month later he was invited to the White House for the signing of the 2010 Small Business Lending Act, at which time the President recognized Tutta Bella for its contribution to economic recovery. That same year, Tutta Bella beat out 33,000 of its peers nationally by being named “Independent Pizzeria of the Year” and received “Business of the Year” recognition by the Greater Seattle Business Association and “Operator of the Year” from the Washington Restaurant Association. Most recently, in December 2013, the Seattle Human Rights Commission awarded Joe its “Human Rights Business Award.”

Tutta Bella restaurants have received recognition from every business chamber to which they belong. The company has been named “Best of” in multiple trade and culinary publications and the Harvard Business School recognized Tutta Bella as one of America’s 100 fastest growing “Inner City” businesses. The company aspires to nourish lives by sharing traditions, authentic food, and love.

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Alice Ito is a Distinguished Fellow at the Center for Community Change. She previously served as a program officer at the Marguerite Casey Foundation, and has worked on staff or consulted with community based nonprofits and philanthropic organizations for more than 20 years. Her work includes strategy development, research, education, and training on practices and policies to support democracy and equity.

Alice conducted oral history interviewing and research at Densho, a nonprofit that documents and educates about principles of democracy and the experiences of Japanese Americans incarcerated by the U.S. government, on the basis of their ancestry without due process of law.

Alice is a founder of the Nonprofit Assistance Center and API Chaya in Seattle, and the Asian Women’s Shelter in San Francisco. She has served as a board member for numerous organizations, currently including Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants & Refugees, and Social Justice Fund Northwest. Born and raised in Washington State, Alice is a grandchild of immigrants. She is a graduate of Stanford University and attended the program in Public Policy at Claremont Graduate University in California.

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Sudha is a connector, story-teller, organizer, community builder, writer, and political campaigner. She has long been an outspoken proponent and educator on environmental and social justice issues with a strong commitment to creating a more equitable world. Originally from Spokane, WA,Sudha joined the board of OneAmerica (at the time, Hate Free Zone) because of her experiences growing up as the daughter of immigrant parents from India. After 9/11 and the rise in hate crimes and shifts in attitudes towards South Asians, Sudha wanted to have a more active role in the politics and policies around immigrant issues. Sudha believes in building power for immigrant communities and is appreciative of the opportunity to serve on the board of one of the most effective movement-focused organizations. Sudha also serves as Board Chair of OneAmerica Votes.  Sustainable Path Foundation honored Sudha as by naming her one of ten "Pass it Forward" awardees for her work on connecting racial equity, immigrant communities, and the environmental movement.

Sudha recently joined Seattle Public Utilities’ Environmental Justice and Service Equity Division as a strategic advisor. In this work she connects together social justice and environmental issues and creates strategies for effective community engagement with a particular focus on immigrant and under-served communities.

Most recently, as the Communications Director for SEIU Local 925, Sudha built power with and for the 23,000 members of the union including child care providers, public school classified staff, and University of Washington classified staff.  She led major campaign communication efforts, developed coalition partnerships, trained member spokespeople, and played a strategic role in advancing racial equity in the organization.

Sudha graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Biology and Society and a specialization in environment, policy, and writing. After college, GreenCorps, the field school for environmental organizing, selected her for a year-long fellowship where she worked on issues ranging from cruise ship pollution to mercury in water.

The 2004 elections brought Sudha back to her home state of Washington to organize in Pullman on behalf of the democratic ticket. Sudha then joined the team of Corporate Accountability International to campaign to secure the human right to water, prevent corporate control of water and challenge Coca Cola’s water use in villages in India. Sudha later moved on to Washington Conservation Voters where she led the organizational communications efforts online and offline and managed outreach to the media.

Through her work in Washington state and international politics, Sudha has learned that there is an inextricable link between the movements for public health, human rights, environmental protections, strong communities, social justice, and gender, race, and income equity. Sudha has authored multiple articles on the importance of working at these intersections at Grist.org  and SeattleGlobalist.org:

1. http://www.seattleglobalist.com/2013/07/30/not-buying-it-keeping-worlds-...

2. http://grist.org/politics/why-the-environmental-movement-need-immigrants/

3. http://grist.org/politics/2011-03-02-why-environmentalists-should-care-u...

4. http://grist.org/article/2010-05-06-can-the-gulf-oil-spill-be-environmen...

5. http://grist.org/article/2010-03-19-why-environmentalists-should-get-inv...

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De’Sean Quinn grew up in Seattle in the vibrant and diverse neighborhood of Beacon Hill and attended the University of Washington, graduating with a degree in Political Science. De’Sean’s interest in politics drove him to be involved in several political campaigns, most notably Ron Sims’ campaign for Washington governor. Following that campaign, he served as the Community Relations Manager for King County Executive Ron Sims for two years and was later appointed as Council Relations Director.

De’Sean is currently a Water Quality Planner and Project Manager with the King County Department of Natural Resources and Parks where he works on community relations, directs public involvement consultants, and represents the agency on various intergovernmental planning groups. He also works with the local communities and the Puget Sound Partnership to update their work in accordance with the regional action agenda strategies.

De’Sean is also a Councilmember for the city of Tukwila and has served for three years. He is a champion for all residents but brings a unique experience to the council, having worked closely with immigrant and refugee groups in King County. He has a particular interest in empowering residents throughout the community. Previously, De'Sean worked in the King County Executive's Office for both Executive Ron Sims and Executive Dow Constantine, serving in various positions including Community Relations, Council Relations, and Regional and Tribal Relations, where he was responsible for managing relationships with the 39 cities and 2 tribes in King County. He has a passion for public service and believes strongly that it is a privilege and a responsibility.

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Michele is the Executive Director of the Gates Public Service Law Scholarship Program at the University of Washington and has served as the Assistant Dean for Public Service Law since 2009. She started her legal career as a staff attorney at Evergreen Legal Services in 1988 with a focus on family law, custody and domestic violence. She later served as a faculty member at the University of Washington School of Law in the clinical law program for eight years where she founded the Child Advocacy Clinic. At UWLS she taught child advocacy, family law and interviewing and counseling for lawyers. Prior to rejoining the law school as Executive Director of the William H. Gates Public Service Law Scholarship program in 2006, she was a statewide advocacy coordinator at both the Northwest Justice Project and Columbia Legal Services where she coordinated civil legal aid advocacy in the areas of family law, youth and education, housing, elder law, Native American and right to counsel issues. In addition to her service on numerous boards and guilds both locally and nationally, Michele served on the Washington State Access to Justice Board for six years and is currently a Management Information Exchange board member and is the elected secretary of that body. She was awarded a King County Bar Association Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 1992 and was honored by Washington Women Lawyers with a Special Contribution to the Judiciary Award in 1998. Over the years she has provided training and has written on topics such as leadership and diversity and has served as a facilitator for meetings and retreats for non- profit organizations. She is grateful to have been able to devote her entire legal career to public service and is doubly grateful to be in a position now to encourage and support others in pursuing that path.

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