Trainee Bios

Bios provided by trainees. Alphabetical by first name.

Branden Riley (He/His, @IamBrandenRiley)

GroundShaker, Problem Solver, Deep thinker, Engineer, Inventor, Foodie, Urban Farmer

Connie Gao (She/Her)

Dornethia Taylor (She/Her/They/Them, @NeeNeeTay)

Dornethia is a wife, mother, manager, educator and community organizer/activist for Black Lives Matter DC. She is a Native Washingtonian, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of the District of Columbia. Her current days are spent fighting for the liberation of oppress people. Her focus is on empowering and helping to create an infrastructure for movement work in the DMV area. She is very active in her leader-full coalition that disrupts, confronts and dismantles systems of state sanctioned violence that criminalize and oppress people while triggering intra-community violence. One of her life goals is to be able to politically educate and build community power so that oppress people can be set free from an inequality system. She enjoys spending time with her family, indulging in self care and doing emotional healing work within her community.

Emma Tramble (She/Her, @emmatramble or @tramusings)

My interests in voting rights and electoral outcomes have fueled my desire to help bring about good solutions for people since I was six-years old. During my 15++ year career, I have worked in the political, grassroots, non-profit and corporate arenas. My strategic work is done from a people first approach so that who people are and their needs are at the root of everything. I have done stints as a Data & Targeting Manager for Pennsylvania Voice and as a paid staffer or volunteer community organizer, data manager, and strategist on mayoral, state legislative and presidential campaigns. Currently, I’m leading a grassroots initiative that focuses on educating African American voters (& others) about Philly’s criminal justice system as it relates to our current District Attorney’s race. I’m a native Philadelphian, am always looking for ways to learn and share, and am known to be easily bribed with food. I consider speaking at a rally before presidential candidate Barack Obama took the stage to be a bright spot in my politically active life.

Erin Shields (She/Her, @ErinCharde)

Erin is a DC-based community organizer and activist focusing on the intersections of housing, criminal justice, and gender. After graduating from Howard University in 2012, Erin looked for ways to build power collaboratively with marginalized communities and transform the systems that oppress us. She is currently a community organizer with Bread for the City, a direct service organization serving the District’s low income residents in areas of food, clothing, medical, social and legal services in an atmosphere of dignity and respect. Specializing in public housing, Erin works with residents to ensure redevelopment of their home does not mean displacement for their family and community. Erin also serves as the current co-chair of Black Youth Project 100’s DC Chapter and has committed herself to the work of liberating all Black people.

Jasmine Leiva (She/Her/They/Them, @Jasminaminta)

Jasmine Leiva is the Program Manager with ACT For Women and Girls, working with youth in California’s Central Valley to develop leadership at the intersections of health access and Reproductive Justice. Jasmine believes the work of healing and building power within our communities is linked, and that we must invest in the transformative work that centers our lived experiences. As the daughter of Salvadoran immigrants, Jasmine strives to center her work with youth and families around the issues that create barriers to the resources our communities need to thrive. Jasmine has worked on reproductive health and justice in the Central Valley for ten years, specifically with Latinx and Spanish speaking communities. Jasmine has organized against harmful statewide parental notification campaigns seeking to limit abortion access, and locally has worked to get Fresno Unified School District to prioritize comprehensive sex education. Jasmine has a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Fresno.

Jazmin Gonzalez (She/Her/They/Them, @jazzgonzo)

Jazz is a queer Tejana dog mom who loves soccer, the outdoors, and all types of food. When Jazz isn’t working for URGE you can find her at home hanging with her little mutt James, at the beach or eating a hamburger somewhere. She also loves bad tv and movies!

John Kim (He/His)

John Kim is the Finance and Operations Manager at the Council of Korean Americans (CKA). John works closely with the Executive Director, CKA staff and members to ensure that CKA’s finance and operational systems are sustainable and effective.

Prior to joining CKA, John worked in Washington, DC as a research intern for the Committee for Human Rights in North Korea (HRNK), where he conducted research on human rights issues in the Korean peninsula, China and Japan. He also studied US economic and trade policies concerning the Asia-Pacific region, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership, Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, and bilateral FTAs. John also assisted in planning HRNK’s events with organizations such as the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the Korea Economic Institute. Previously, John was an intern at Liberty in North Korea (LiNK). John received a B.A. in political science from University of California, Santa Barbara. John studied abroad for a year in Denmark where he took master’s level courses at the University of Copenhagen. He lives in the Columbia Heights neighborhood of Washington, DC.

Karuna Koppula (She/Her)

Karuna Koppula is a Senior Political Associate and Operations Manager at the Analyst Institute. Before joining the Analyst Institute, Karuna was a Field Director in her home district of CA-10 and a Field Organizer for President Obama’s re-election campaign in Ohio.

Kimberley Egonmwan (She/Her, @kiskyler)

Kimberley Irene Egonmwan, Esq. is a Chicago-based Consultant and Organizer. As an Activist, she has consistently pushed for Criminal Justice Reform as a member of the Police Accountability Collaborative, calling for the US Department of Justice to investigate the Chicago Police Department, and to enter into a formal consent decree.

As the Award-winning Social Action Chairman of the National PanHellenic Council of Chicago, Kim has served on the front line of social justice progress, pushing for progress and reform in several key areas impacting the African-American Community including property tax relief, increasing civic education and participation through standing-room only public forums, and she specializes in building the relationships and consensus necessary for passage of controversial policy. She belongs to several Boards including the Smithsonian National Museum of African-American History and Culture and the Ravinia Associates Board.

Kiran Bammarito (She/Her)

Kiran started her career in progressive communications, working on advocacy causes such as mental health and wellness, marriage equality and environmental sustainability. Working on these initiatives piqued her interest in the progressive data and analytics world, and she began learning Python, SQL and other data-related skills. She has organized for the DREAM Act and DACA and looks forward to continuing to use data and analytics to advance progressive politics.

Lain Littlejohn (They/Them, @PlainxLain)

Lain is the Kansas State Organizer for URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity. Originally from the NW Chicago suburbs, Lain graduated from Kansas State University and is currently working in Kansas to gain residency and continue their education. They are black, queer, trans, and loving every second of it.

Lashelle Scott (@SenScott_NS20)

Currently in Houston. Active with the Democratic Party> Member of the Coalition of Black Democrats, Summer fellow with Battleground Texas, Fellow of the Collective PAC Black Campaign School, Ignite Fellow, Vote Run Lead Alum. I have worked on 8 campaigns - 6 Congressional and 2 Mayoral races.

Luis Alcauter (He/His)

I’m the creative director at Solidarity Strategies, a political consulting firm in Washington, D.C. I have been working at Solidarity Strategies for a year and a half. My work consist on creating and designing different marketing material for our client, but I also focus on providing data to various campaigns.

Mariama Orange (She/Her)

Neal Hussein (He/His, @neal_hussein)

I am an Irish Egypt raised in the Arabian Gulf. I have been involved in progressive politics on and off since I volunteer organized for the 2008 Obama campaign. In 2014, I was one of only two data people working on any Senate campaign in the country and I am so excited to be part of this training which can change the way we run politics.

Nia Weeks (She/Her)

A native of New Orleans, Nia has spent years fighting for the rights of women, children, and families. Nia received her bachelor’s degree in Communications with a minor in Women’s studies at Indiana State University, where her advocacy training began. After completing her undergraduate education, Nia worked in public relations before beginning law school. She graduated with a law degree from the Loyola School of Law in New Orleans in 2009. Nia then served as a law clerk for Southeast Louisiana Legal Services, the Housing Authority of New Orleans, the Louisiana Public Defender Board, and Essence Music Festival. After passing the Louisiana Bar, Nia served as a law clerk for the Honorable Judge Angelique Reed in First City Court in Orleans Parish and was the director of a supervised visitation center for victims of domestic violence named Harmony House. Before coming to WWAV, she served as a public defender in Orleans Parish for two years.

Ragin Jackson (She/her, @RaginJackson)

Retired jock. Hoos & UM superfan. Hufflepuff. OBJ apologist. Politics are cool too

Victoria O’Dell (She/Her, @Victoria_ODell)

Hey, there! My name is Victoria but you can call me Vickie. I’m a Texas native with a degree in design and a background in advocacy. Currently, I’m an independent design consultant/freelancer living and doing work in Austin, Texas.

Vidal Hines (He/His)