Rashanda (she/her) was born and raised in New Haven, CT. A first generation college graduate, Rashanda has devoted her life’s work to educational advocacy on behalf of BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and other people of color) students and those in other historically marginalized communities. To that end, Rashanda has worked for over a decade developing innovative programs that promote equity in educational opportunity and advance fundamental human rights protections.
Inspired by a deeper commitment to advocacy and aspiration to challenge laws and policies that have historically disenfranchised too many communities of color, Rashanda attended the University of Miami School of Law. While there she was selected as a Public Service Fellows through the Miami Scholars Program and a Fellowship through Center for Ethics & Public Service. She was also the Managing Editor of the Race and Social Justice Law Review.
While interning at the University’s Human Rights Law Clinic, Rashanda represented a client in the Inter-American Court of Human Rights in Washington, DC and participated in a National “Working Group” with the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Civil Rights, Office of Violence Against Women, and other federal agencies to ensure that the U.S. enacted stonger laws and policies to protect the rights of victims and survivors of domestic violence. She also co-authored the first county-wide (Miami-Dade County) Resolution in the country, declaring freedom from domestic violence as a basic human right.
Returning to Connecticut, Rashanda has continued her educational advocacy efforts on both state and national levels where she worked to ensure that all students have access to a high quality education, regardless of their race, ethnicity, household income or zip code. She currently serves on the Hamden Racial and Ethnic Disparity Workgroup, the JJPOC Education Subgroup, the CT PTA and is Co-Chair of the NAACP Legal Redress Committee.
Director of Communications and Operations
Kierra (she/her) was born and raised in the Bronx, New York. She identifies as Afro-Caribbean and Black american. She moved to CT as a young person and graduated from New Haven Public Schools. While attaining her B.B.A. in Marketing and Management Information Systems from Temple University, she became dedicated to the movement surrounding teaching an accurate, all-encompassing version of Black Studies in classrooms. She was a co-organizer with the Black and Brown Coalition at Temple and an active member of The Saturday Free School in North Philadelphia – where she began studying the Black radical tradition.
Kierra began substitute teaching at NHPS in order to continue her life-long role of working with young people within her community. She became involved with SEJ as a young person herself in 2019, fueled by her passion for social justice and educational equity, especially pertaining to Black youth.
Outside of her SEJ work, she mentors teenagers and sits on the Board of Directors for a family-oriented non-profit in Chicago. She is also a published poet and enjoys writing personal essays.
Jacqueline Dohna (She/Her) has a huge passion for people. This stems from her extroverted personality and her desire to help others understand their intrinsic value. Jacqueline strives to live a lifestyle filled with empowerment. This led her to receive a Bachelors of Psychology, and later, a Masters of Divinity.
As an extension of her love for education, Jacqueline has been active in organizing social justice efforts since 2014. She was an undergrad leader involved in organizing the first ever protest in her University’s town. In addition, she has been involved in planning racial justice events at her University both as a student and employee. During her first year in graduate school, she was involved in a series of meetings with the professors and administrators regarding educational equity. All 4 years of graduate school she was a part of the Black History Committee.
Jacqueline’s love language is creating a delicious vegan meal that will have you second guessing that it’s made with just plants. She also enjoys expressing herself through dance and movement. You can catch her on a nature trail busting a move or a full on dance routine.
All of her passions and experience have led her to join the SEJ team as Program Manager where she desires to seek more liberation each day.
Jayleen (she/her) is a first year college student studying political science. She
has been working with SEJ since 2018 and believes that SEJ has help her
become the person she is today. She is
also an artist who’s been drawing since the age of 14.
Over the years she’s studied
Black and latinx history and was able to learn more about her own history. Through the 2020
protests she truly accepted and learned to love her identity as a Afro-Latina. Now, she uses the skills she learned over
the years to help the fight against racism and help other community members that are in need of help. Her main goal is for racism to become a thing of the past and
bring and to help bring about a better future for the youth.
Georgia Lieber – Interim Chair
Philip Kalikman – Treasurer
David G Carter – Secretary
Marina Warsaw-Fan Bishop