Luis is Associate Vice Provost for Faculty Advancement, Russell F. Stark University Professor, Director of the Diversity Research Institute, and Professor of Political Science at the University of Washington. His research interests are in racial and ethnic politics, urban politics, politics of immigration, educational politics, and voting rights policy. He is the author of several books, articles and chapters. His last two co-authored books are: Latinos in the New Millennium: An Almanac of Opinion, Behavior, and Policy Preferences (Cambridge University Press 2012) and Latino Lives in America: Making It Home (Temple University Press 2010). In 2011 President Barack Obama appointed him as commissioner to the President's Advisory Commission on Education Excellence for Hispanics. In 2011 he was also named one of the top "100 Influentials" by Hispanic Business.
M. Lorena González is a Shareholder at Schroeter Goldmark & Bender, where she focuses her practice on representing individuals victimized by people in authority positions—employers not giving workers the pay and benefits owed to them, police officers abusing their powers, and sexual aggressors preying on those unable to defend themselves. Lorena, who is fluent in Spanish, was admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2005 and has litigated numerous cases in state and federal court. The daughter of immigrant parents from Mexico, Lorena is a native Washingtonian who grew up in the lower Yakima Valley where she and her family worked as migrant farm workers. She is the first and only attorney in her family.
LeeAnn has been the Alliance for a Just Society’s Executive Director since its founding in 1993 as NWFCO (the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations) and has over 28 years of organizing experience. She guides the development of campaigns and reports, and was at the forefront of designing testing models to address under-enrollment in public benefits programs. She has worked as the Director for Idaho Community Action Network and in that capacity she has overseen the successful campaign to cover farmworkers by Idaho’s minimum wage laws. In October 2002, LeeAnn was the recipient of the prestigious Leadership for a Changing World Award from the Ford Foundation, the Advocacy Institute, and the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University. LeeAnn has been a OneAmerica Board Member since 2006.
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.
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.
Yasmin Christopher is a 3rd year law student at Seattle University School of Law. She is currently a law clerk at the U.S. Attorney’s Office and was a policy fellow at the Polaris Project, an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to human trafficking, in Washington D.C. this past summer. She is also the president of the Middle Eastern and South Asian Law Student Association, member of the 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.
Her community work in Seattle began in 2010, when Yasmin interned at OneAmerica during her senior year at Evergreen State College. Since that time, she has participated in numerous organizing events and has lobbied diligently for the rights of immigrants in Washington State. She is also part of a women’s delegation, We Belong Together, an organization that advocates for immigration rights as a women’s equality issue.
Yasmin also lends her voice 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.
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 four locations in and around Seattle. A fifth location is scheduled to open this fall in Bellevue. 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.
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.
Abdullahi is working to build the base of immigrant and refugee communities around Washington State and strengthen ties with allies on grassroots leadership and issue campaigns. Abdullahi has been with OneAmerica since 2004. In the past six years, Abdullahi held numerous positions at OneAmerica including Civic Engagement Coordinator, Community Coalition Builder, advisor to the Executive Director, Senior Organizer and is now its newest board member. He is passionate about working with immigrant and refugee groups in the community to empower and find solutions to their problems, providing trainings to assist immigrants in civic participation, maintaining open communications between all groups, and identifying and recruiting members. Abdullahi is currently working in the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. In his home country of Somalia, Abdullahi taught human rights law at the Somali National University and worked with the Government of Somalia negotiating peace treaties. Abdullahi has an MPA in Criminal Justice from City University in Bellevue, Washington and a Bachelor of Law degree from the Somali National University.
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.
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:
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.
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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