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Meet The 2017-2018 #Fight4AFuture National Leadership Council

In this unprecedented moment of political activism and engagement emerging in the months after Donald Trump’s inauguration, it’s clear that we need fresh, unique ideas to push back against the dangerous Trump agenda and spread progressive values throughout the country. That’s why Generation Progress is so excited to announce our 2017-2018 #Fight4AFuture Gun Violence Prevention and Criminal Justice Reform Network.

Generation Progress believes in the power and passion of young people wanting to make a difference. With 12 inspiring young people from 10 states, the Leadership Council will be working to make sure Millennial voices are heard in the fight for gun violence prevention and criminal justice reform.

Through the Leadership Council, we will continue to build a movement that is inclusive and sensitive to the urgent needs of communities impacted by gun violence and the criminal justice system, and a movement that is led by young people to address gun violence at its roots while pushing for genuine security in all communities.

You can learn more about the members of our Leadership Council below and join the #Fight4AFuture Network yourself here.

MohammedMohammed Alam | New York, NY

Mohammed is a graduate of the Colin Powell School at The City College of New York, with a B.A. in Political Science. During his undergraduate studies, he helped establish and was President of the Roosevelt Institute Chapter, and was elected Executive Vice President of the student body representing 13,000 students. Mohammed has previously worked for U.S. Senator Gillibrand, U.S. Congressman Rangel, and NYC Council Speaker Quinn. Mohammed has also worked in The White House, the New York Attorney General’s Office, and the Center for American Progress. He is currently the External Affairs Manager at the Center for Court Innovation, which promotes new thinking about criminal justice reform. On a voluntary basis, Mohammed served as an Organizer and a Finance Council Member with Hillary for America, he is a New Leaders Fellow at the Carnegie Council, is the elected Vice President of the Manhattan Young Democrats, the Political Director for the New York State Young Democrats, and is currently running as a candidate for National Committeeman to represent the state of New York at the Young Democrats of America.

 

DemitriDemitri Carpenter | Birmingham, AL

Demitri Carpenter currently lives in Birmingham, Alabama where he also grew up. He is in ministry school studying to be a pastor, in addition to working full-time for a non-profit called Christ Health Center where he serves as Outreach Coordinator. He also leads a mentoring group called My Brother’s Keeper made up of 35 young men ages 14-20 and serves on the Advisory Board for a non-profit in Birmingham called Hope Inspired Ministries, as well as for the Business and Finance Academy at his alma mater, Woodlawn High School. Demitri sits on the Advisory Council for the City of Birmingham’s Department of Youth Services. His greatest passion is life is getting to serve other people.

 

MichaelCogbillMichael Cogbill | Philadelphia, PA

Michael Cogbill is currently a community organizer for Pennsylvania’s leading gun violence prevention program, CeasefirePA. Michael has spent over 7 years fundraising and consulting for political campaigns with an emphasis on getting women elected and candidates who vow to promote social justice. Michael has held leadership roles on the successful campaigns of Councilwoman Cindy Bass, State Representative Donna Bullock, Common Pleas Court Judge Kai Scott and Attorney General Josh Shapiro just to name a few. Michael was born and raised in Philadelphia where he plans to stay and continue his gun violence prevention advocacy work.

 

VictoriaVictoria Coy | New Orleans, LA

Victoria Coy grew up in Abita Springs where she staged her first political protest at age 5 ­— and it has gone that way ever since. As a student at Tulane University, she organized an award-winning men’s education in rape prevention campaign that saw the first reduction in campus sexual assaults in five years. After graduation, she found herself in Fiji and three years of village life later, she opened the country’s first rural women’s crisis center and accessible food co-op. After returning home, she went to work as a 5 state organizer for the nation’s largest gun violence prevention organization where she saw an overwhelming need for advocacy in neglected Southern states. She left to start Louisiana’s only state-level gun violence prevention organization, the Louisiana Violence Reduction Coalition. In their first month of existence, LVRC nearly singlehandedly defeated all gun lobby priority legislation in the state. They plan on introducing the state’s first positive GVP legislation this session. Most recently, Victoria was also the Interim Executive Director for the LGBT Community Center of New Orleans, on staff of LA Courts Matter (a judicial vacancy watchdog group), and on the policy committee of the Independent Women’s Organization, the violence pillar of Nola4Women, the Legislative Agenda for Women and as a 2016 National Council of Jewish Women WAY program cohort. She also launched Organize!LA after the election and is teaching organizing skills, free of charge, to a couple thousand direct followers and affiliate groups. She is actively involved in defining the future of the Louisiana progressive movement.

 

JacobiJacobi Crowley | Lawton, OK

Jacobi Crowley is a community leader, public speaker, coach, and radio personality from Lawton, Oklahoma. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Management. Jacobi Crowley is a strong advocate for criminal justice reform. Jacobi uses his own personal experience when talking to others about gun violence and criminal justice reform. Jacobi started the (being black in Oklahoma) movement that led to policies being changed all across the state of Oklahoma at local universities. Jacobi recently ran for State Representative; he was noticed as the youngest African American to run for any political office in the state of Oklahoma. Jacobi currently works for Lawton Public Schools, as a Crisis Interventionist Counselor at the B.R.I.D.G.E Academy, an assistant football and track coach at Eisenhower High School.

 

MariamMariam El-Haj | Mission, TX

Mariam El-Haj is a Clinical Psychology graduate student who has been living on the southern border of Texas for over 18 years. She has her Bachelors’ in Psychology and Sociology and plans to continue studying towards her Doctorates’, aspiring for a degree in Health Psychology. She currently works with the Office of Victim Advocacy & Violence Prevention at her campus, The University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, and is also a part of several on-campus and off-campus organizations, such as Unite for Reproductive and Gender Equity, Texas Freedom Network: Texas Rising, and Aquí Estamos RGV. She is also currently organizing locally for resistance against the Trump administration for immigration and border wall issues. As a personal victim of gun violence, Mariam advocates for changing the way people view guns and gun laws, especially living in an open-carry state, as well as attending a campus-carry university. Mariam is a first-generation American from Palestinian and Argentinian immigrants, growing up in a multicultural home. She currently lives in the Rio Grande Valley and, thus, invests her work in the intersection of several different issues reflecting the region.

 

headshot (1)Robert Emmons | Chicago, IL

Robert Emmons is a student at the University of Illinois studying Political Science with a concentration in Law and Globalization. Robert is originally from Mays Landing, NJ but is now a resident of the South Side of Chicago. It is the South Side of Chicago where Robert began his interest in gun violence prevention and politics. By growing up in an area stricken by poverty, lack of access to quality education, and immense violence, Robert gained a sense of needing to change his community. He found that he had a passion for human rights and expanding access to quality living across the globe. He would later be accepted to the Young Diplomatic Forum; which is a forum set up to enhance the leadership abilities of the world’s future leaders. It is there where he developed an interest in social change. He discovered that he had a story to tell the world that is often hidden from the global stage. From this point on Robert would become a delegate to the Future Leaders Congress in Albania, Co-President of the University of Illinois Chapter of StreetU, and now planning on starting a not-for-profit to help end gun violence in the streets of Chicago.

 

TaylorTaylor Gleeson | Columbus, OH

Taylor Gleeson is from Boulder, Colorado, currently studying Policy Analysis with an emphasis in community organizing at The Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio. After the Aurora Theatre shooting in 2012, her gun violence prevention work began, initially in the faith community through serving as the 2016-2017 North American Social Action Vice President for NFTY – the Reform Jewish Youth Movement. She then co-founded Students United Against Gun Violence, an organization to give students a voice on the issue of gun violence, and now organizes on progressive issues in Ohio.

 

CeceliaCecelia Gonzalez | Las Vegas, NV

Cecelia Gonzalez is currently working on obtaining her master’s degree in criminal justice at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. As a community activist, she has dedicated her life to the multidimensional issues of criminal justice reform. Her family had been impacted by gun violence as well as intergenerational incarceration. She hopes to do research and policy change around mass incarceration and violence against women. Recently she has been involved in working with students to keep guns off her campus. In her spare time, she volunteers on a hotline dedicated to assisting UNLV students with sexual assault, domestic/dating violence, and stalking. She firmly believes everyone has a right to an education free of violence. Cecelia hopes to continue her education and obtain a Ph.D. in criminal justice to further impact community change.

 

KylahKylah Guion | Ernul, NC

Kylah L. Guion is from Ernul, North Carolina. While only experiencing one very personal loss to gun violence, the issue has become one of great importance to her as she has witnessed the negative effects of the epidemic. Kylah is a member of a community improvement organization, A.C.T.I.O.N. (A Call to Impact Our Nation), which seeks to educate and encourage members of the community to work with law enforcement to improve conditions in the surrounding communities and improve officer-citizen relationships. She believes that education, inclusiveness, and transparency are all aspects that need to be included in our justice system and government in order to overcome the epidemic of gun violence and mass incarceration that plagues America. In the fall of 2017 Kylah will attend North Carolina A&T of Greensboro, North Carolina; majoring in Political Science and Sociology. She intends to network with leaders from various backgrounds in order to implement change in both her community and the country.

 

BrentBrent R. Hamlet | Chicago, IL

Brent is unashamedly Black, and unapologetic progressive and womanist who is a lifelong resident of Chicago’s Southside. He attributes his activism to his parents and grandparents, who have stressed the importance of history and to value service. He received his post-secondary education from the City Colleges of Chicago, Alcorn State University, and Northeastern Illinois University. He has extensive experience in the areas of Community Organizing and Youth Development where he has been employed at Quad Communities Development Corporation, Jane Addams Senior Caucus, Action Now, and the United African Organization. In 2014, he was chosen as a Young People For Fellow with People for the American Way. During the fellowship, he developed a blueprint that focused on the areas Courts, Community Safety and Justice. Most of it is used to educate people on the systemic issues surrounding Mass Incarceration.  His most recent accomplishment was being chosen to be a Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for Kim Foxx who was recently elected in November as Cook County’s first African American State’s Attorney.  Currently, he serves on the Faculty in the Special Education Department at Chicago High School for the Arts and as a proud member of many organizations, he has applied the initiatives and skills he’s learned that not only outline his commitment to women of color but young people and all other marginalized groups.

 

CheredithCheredith Rhone | Greenwood, LA

Cheredith Rhone attends Centenary College of Louisiana where she will graduate in April 2017 with a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration Finance & Management and a minor in economics. She currently serves as the president’s student employee at Centenary College, the youngest secretary of Shreveport Mayor Ollie Tyler’s Women’s Commission, and on the board of directors of Twirlers in Motion. Throughout her college career, Cheredith has participated in several public service internships. She interned for the Honorable Mayor Ollie Tyler, Cedric B. Glover, Senator Mary Landrieu, and Governor John Bel Edwards campaign. In 2015 she participated in the Institute of Business and Government Affairs internship program which allowed her to work and attend meetings at The White House and on Capitol Hill. She also earned an ethics and leadership certificate while taking night classes at George Mason University during the entirety of her internship.  Among the cohorts in her class, Cheredith was selected to participate in the Iran Nuclear Deal conference call with President Obama. She is also a nominated change maker and attended the White House Summit on the United State of Women. Cheredith has also served on the youth advisory board for the Providence House, treasurer, chaplain, and model initiate in her sorority Chi Omega, junior representative on the conduct court at Centenary, and 2016 homecoming queen. During the summer of 2016, Cheredith studied French culture and literature in Paris, France. Cheredith is currently a member of Women in Government Relations (Washington, D.C.), Financial Women’s Association (New York, NY), Women of Community Renewal, Toastmasters International, Community Renewal & Shreveport Chamber of Commerce Young Professionals Initiative. Cheredith is a member and missionary at St. Paul C.M.E. Church in Belcher, LA. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, and relaxing.

Chelsea Coatney is the Digital Director for Generation Progress.

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