I am honored to join the ACLU of Florida family and prepared to battle for civil liberties. I have a long and varied history in advocating for civil rights, and I come to the ACLU of Florida ready to continue that work, to help bring about the equity and justice that we are all working towards.
I have always believed in working to spread truth and build power in the community, while insisting on accountability from those who are supposed to serve the people. I came to Florida fully understanding that there are challenges. There are those in power who seek to undermine the will of the people. And, while the challenges may seem never-ending, what brought me here is the opportunity I saw to be a part of this vast movement for justice that Floridians have been building together for decades. Together we can advance voting access, immigrants’ rights, racial justice, LGBTQ+ equity, and abortion rights.
Let me share a little bit about my journey and what brought me to the ACLU of Florida. I am coming to Florida from the mountains of Colorado, where I served as executive director of the Colorado Center on Law and Policy (CCLP), a statewide advocacy organization that advances anti-poverty efforts through research, as well as legal and legislative advocacy.
Prior to my time at CCLP, I served as chief executive officer of a health equity organization, and chief strategy officer of a large direct-services organization for Coloradans living with disabilities. I also held leadership positions at the University of Denver from 2007-2014, including chair and faculty posts in the Law and Society and Community-Based Research programs. I developed and led internationalization efforts, serving as a visiting lecturer in Southeast Asia and Africa, teaching in the areas of law and economic development.
Before my academic career, I was a community-based lawyer and helped to frame strategic litigation to systematically address rights violations. I have also conducted research and policy analysis on a variety of different social justice issues, including a national study on women’s leadership. My book, Recognizing Women’s Leadership: Strategies and Best Practices for Employing Excellence, examines where women sit in leadership roles and how well they are performing compared to their male counterparts.
This voyage began when I earned a juris doctor and master's degrees in the United States before receiving my LL.M. from the University of London, Birkbeck College of Law, with distinctions in international finance law and justice. My dissertation topic focused on feminist political economics in South Africa.
Along the way I have worked with many people who have inspired me and I know that will be the case in Florida, given the ACLU of Florida's storied history. Among those from whom I have taken great strength are those most impacted by unjust laws and policies: low-income communities, immigrants, those discriminated against because of who they love, those fighting for their right to live free from discrimination and racism and to control their own bodies. I will continue to be in that struggle for justice alongside all of you and the staff of the ACLU of Florida. I want to thank the state board for having the confidence in me to give me this great opportunity.
I can't wait to meet as many of you as possible as the work of this great affiliate continues. Together I know we can advance the cause of justice. We can change the air we breathe in Florida. We can change the world.