Program Description

SESSION 1 | Welcome and Keynote: Coalition Building and Multiracial Solidarity

Friday, April 9, 2021 6:00 - 7:30 PM ET

Ian Haney Lopez (MPA/JD ’90); Q&A moderated by Hope Wollensack (MPA ’18)

Law professor and author, Ian Haney Lopez (MPA/JD '90), will deliver the keynote address on coalition building as a tool for accountability. He will focus on the weaponization of racism in American electoral politics and on what this means for how we might build a multi-racial movement for racial and economic justice. Following the keynote address, Hope Wollensack (MPA ’18) will moderate a Q&A session.

Ian Haney Lopez, MPA/JD ’90 (he/him)

Ian Haney López is a law professor at UC Berkeley who studies racism. His focus for the last decade has been on the use of racism as a class weapon in electoral politics, and how to respond. In Dog Whistle Politics (2014), he detailed the fifty-year history of coded racism in American politics. Ian has since actively promoted the idea…

Hope Wollensack, MPA ’18 (she/her)

Hope is a Senior Strategist at Economic Security Project and the Director of Economic Security in Atlanta City Councilmember Farokhi’s Office. In her role at ESP, Hope is a key contributor on building the national table for guaranteed income and providing thought leadership on race and equity as we envision an inclusive, just economy. In her…

SESSION 2 | Workshop: Storytelling

Saturday, April 10, 2021 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM ET

Welcome: Laura de Olden (she/her)

Introductions: Fatima Khan (MPA ’21) and Nausheen Rajan (MPA ’22)

Opening Remarks: NDN Collective

NDN Collective is an Indigenous-led organization dedicated to building Indigenous power. Through organizing, activism, philanthropy, grantmaking, capacity-building and narrative change, we are creating sustainable solutions on Indigenous terms.

Sarah Sunshine Manning

Sarah Sunshine Manning, NDN Collective Director of Communications, is a citizen of the Shoshone-Paiute Tribes of the Duck Valley Indian Reservation in Idaho and Nevada, and Chippewa-Cree of Rocky Boy, Montana. Manning directs NDN Collective’s communications strategy and impact. She also serves as producer of the NDN Podcast While Indigenous and…

Storytelling Facilitation: StoryCenter

StoryCenter has been steeped in the work of surfacing powerful personal stories and facilitating innovative arts approaches to participatory media creation — from idea generation to final video production — since 1992. In 1992, StoryCenter founded and pioneered Digital Storytelling, a participatory methodology for creating media, and has since shared our unique methods through hundreds of workshops around the world with a variety of communities and organizations — enhancing artistic practice and building solidarity across chasms of difference. We employ storytelling and story listening methods to support wellbeing, artistic expression, and justice. Stories and videos produced through our partnerships amplify voices typically ignored by mainstream and online media, engage audiences in reflection and action, and lend honesty and dignity to important civic dialogues at local, national, and international levels.

StoryCenter: Facilitators

Jonny Chang

Jonny Chang is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and is a creative writer, performer, budding musical producer, filmmaker, sound designer, artist, and change-maker. He is passionate about ensuring more people of color, trans- and gender-queer people, women, and other marginalized groups are given platforms for their voices on-…

Ngozi Oparah

Ngozi "N/A" Oparah is a queer, first-generation Nigerian-American writer, storyteller, and activist. Her work has appeared in several literary and academic publications. Ngozi holds an MFA in Creative Writing from California College of the Arts and a B.S. in Neuroscience & Philosophy from Duke University. She is the Director of Community…

Closing Remarks: Amity Paye, Color of Change


Amity Paye

Amity Paye is Interim Director of Storytelling & Marketing and the Senior Director of Communications at Color Of Change. She oversees the organization’s media strategy, social media, design, production and partnerships to make Color Of Change a household name. She uses media coverage to drive some of the organization’s most important…

SESSION 3 | Alumni Panel: Transformative Justice

Saturday, April 10, 2021 2:00 - 4:00 PM ET

According to Mia Mingus, transformative justice (TJ) is an abolitionist political framework and approach for responding to violence, harm, and abuse. TJ was created by and for BIPOC, disabled, queer and trans, immigrant, and other communities who are oppressed and targeted by the state. As such, transformative justice responses and interventions: 1) do not rely on the state (e.g. police, prisons, the criminal legal system, I.C.E., foster care system (though some TJ responses do rely on or incorporate social services like counseling);  2) do not reinforce or perpetuate violence such as oppressive norms or vigilantism; and most importantly, 3) actively cultivate the things we know prevent violence such as healing, accountability, resilience, and safety for all involved.

This workshop will serve as an overview of TJ principles and applications, with an interactive component. Attendees will consider ways to practice TJ in their work and their communities.

Andrea Armstrong, MPA ’01 (she/her)

Professor Armstrong joined the Loyola University New Orleans, College of Law faculty in 2010.  She is a leading national expert on prison and jail conditions and is certified by the U.S. Department of Justice as a Prison Rape Elimination Act auditor.  Her research focuses on the constitutional dimensions of prisons and jails, specifically…

Vivian Chang, MPA ’17 (she/her)

Vivian Chang is the Civic Engagement Manager at the Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO where she oversees APALA's work on elections, redistricting, political activity, and civic engagement broadly. She has led successful AAPI field campaigns for U.S. Senate in Nevada and Georgia, and served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA in…

Seleeke Flingai, MPA ’18 (he/him)

Seleeke Flingai (he/him) is a research associate with the Reshaping Prosecution program at the Vera Institute of Justice. At Vera, Seleeke conducts quantitative data analyses and other research to understand how prosecution and the larger justice system work in communities across the country, with an eye toward increasing transparency in…

Varsha Gandikota-Nellutla, MPA ’19 (she/her)

Varsha Gandikota-Nellutla is a member of the Cabinet of Progressive International and leads its policy pillar, Blueprint. Prior to PI, Varsha worked on a global reproductive justice campaign at Women Deliver in New York. She's from Hyderabad, India. (MPA '19)