Meet Our Team
The success of our movement lies on the dedication of our staff and their commitment to fighting for issues including gender pay equality, paid family and medical leave, safe work environments for working women and their families.
Danielle Atkinson has extensive experience as a church-based, electoral, and community organizer. She has worked with organizations such as America Votes, State Voices, Population Connection and ACORN. In 2012, Atkinson founded Mothering Justice, a leadership development and advocacy organization. Atkinson has led organizing efforts to raise the minimum wage in both Florida and Michigan. Mothering Justice also led the fight to get earned paid sick time in Michigan. Her work organizing mothers won her the 2013 Michigan Organizer of the Year Award. Atkinson received bachelor’s degrees in political science and sociology from Pfeiffer University and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan, with her husband Frank and their six children.
Erika F. Washington moved to the Las Vegas valley more than a decade ago and instantly integrated herself into the community. Working for many years as a journalist for the only African American newspaper in the state of Nevada, she came to appreciate and understand the inner workings of Nevada politics.
Currently as the Executive Director for the Make It Work Nevada and Make It Work Nevada Education Fund, she is striving to redefine the traditional idea of what organizing looks like. Since 2015 she has sought out to refocus old strategy ideas and adjust the view through both a gender and cultural lens. The organization is successfully organizing Black women and their families around important economic, racial, and reproductive justice issues that will have a long-lasting effect on the political and cultural landscape of Nevada.
She believes and has proven that by amplifying the narrative of folks living at the margins and building infrastructure to expand opportunities and engagement will build bridges across groups and power for the long term.
She is currently chair of the Family Values @ Work Board of Directors; 4-term appointed board member for the city of Las Vegas Community Development Recommending Board; Board Chair for Michigan based Mothering Justice; board member 9to5; board member for the Progressive Leadership Alliance of Nevada; state appointed to the newly established Nevada state Maternal Mortality Review Committee and the former1st Vice Chair of the Clark County Democratic Party.
When she is not working to fight for progressive initiatives, she devotes her time to her almost grown daughters, drinking tea and discovering good books. Follow: @VegasJournalist on Twitter.
Sarah is one of the foremost thought leaders and subject matter experts in campaign strategy and more specifically union organizing. Specializing in empowering and improving the lives of working people, her record of professional accomplishments spans nearly three (3) decades in the labor movement. Having led, advised on, volunteered for, and directed, hundreds of campaigns, she successfully organized more than 100,000 working people into local labor unions from public- and private-sector industries throughout the US. On the global stage, Sarah’s leadership and strategies have led not only to the empowering and organizing of tens of thousands of working people across various sectors and economies in more than 30 countries to form and maintain their own labor unions, but her work has also affected labor policy and practices across these sectors and economies.
Currently, Sarah serves as the Director of Program Coordination at the Solidarity Center and a member of the Executive team. In this capacity, she coordinates global cross-regional, cross-department and thematic programming, leading a staff of 200 both in the US and around the world. Her tenure at the Solidarity Center includes leading her global team to organize workers on a global scale and developing education support programs.
Prior to her Solidarity Center tenure, Sarah served as director of the AFL-CIO Organizing Institute, where she developed organizer training and recruitment programs and led a staff who trained thousands of organizers and affiliate members to build strong unions across the United States and around the world. While at the AFL-CIO she also directed the Union Summer internship program. In collaboration with the Solidarity Center, she began her international labor work by assisting the Nigerian Labour Congress to organize hotel workers into a union in Lagos, Nigeria. She also worked with the Liberian Labour Congress and developed a leadership training program and supported its implementation with the agricultural and mining workers unions. Earlier in her career, Sarah served to recruit and train organizers for the American Federation of State, County Municipal Employees (AFSCME) and led successful organizing drives for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).
Sarah’s work in social justice began as an educator for at-risk youth for the Urban League of Central New York. Thereafter, she engaged in political work in an upstate New York congressional campaign. This experience led to her extensive experience in union building and standing with workers to fight for change. In support of her mission, Sarah currently serves as Treasure on the Board of Directors for 9to5, co-chair of the Global Empowerment Committee of the Black Women’s Roundtable (BWR) and is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists (CBTU). Sarah holds a degree in Political Science from St. John Fisher College.
As president and CEO of the Latino Chamber of Commerce, Jessica has made it her goal to be a champion for economic equity, aimed at Wisconsin’s growing immigrant and Latino constituency. Jessica has lived a life of volunteerism and service to others, helping in community efforts at an early age for many Latino nonprofits in Milwaukee. Jessica began her career journey in nonprofit management and work her way into politics as one of the first Latinas to graduate from Democratic leadership Institute in 1998. She was able to climb up professionally through the political arena, working for various political campaigns and later as a Congressional Liaison overseeing ethnic communities and Immigration. Presently, she wears many hats in her current role, as a Dane County Commissioner for the Arts, Treasurer for the Tepa Sister City Council, Member of the United Way of Dane County’s Recruitment Committee, and as a Board member for the US Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. As a granddaughter of Farmworkers, she is strong advocate for farm laborers rights. Jessica has worked to advance our state’s opportunities for minorities in business and supports being a sounding board for mobilizing change, whether it is advocating for education reform, implementing groundbreaking programs or by advocating for marginalized communities at the national level. She has directed the chamber to receive nationally recognized merits as US Chamber of the year in 2020, by growing its membership to almost 500 businesses. She was named Hispanic Woman of the Year, awarded the Key to the Latino Community in Milwaukee, received an award as Latino Community Leader of the Year for Madison’s Hispanic Heritage Celebration and recognized as the Small Business Administration’s Small Business Minority Business Champion of the Year. During the Pandemic she was named Bravas Magazine’s Women to Watch for her work on economic inclusion and the manifestation of self-reliance through entrepreneurship. Jessica is a loving mother of three and has a A.A in Broadcasting Communications, B.A in Business Administration, a Certificate for Nonprofit Leadership from UW-Milwaukee and many other certificates in political strategy. Though born in Texas, she is Wisconsin proud to the core and wants to see her state be at the top of Equity and Opportunity for all its residents
Shanika “Nikki” Owens is a native of Albany, GA. Nikki is proud to join 9to5 as an Organizer. She is a small business owner, a mother, and an activist. Nikki became involved in activism through fighting the local school system on behalf of her Autistic son. She wanted him to be treated fairly and exercise his right to participate in extracurricular activities.
When she joined 9to5 in May 2020, Nikki realized she was right at home. Nikki was a member of Inaugural cohort of the Utilities Justice Fellowship. As a member of the cohort, Nikki was instrumental in the fight against high electric bills. This allowed Nikki to use her voice and build power in her community. She led protests in front of the Albany Utilities office, pushed for policy reforms at local city commissioner meetings, and led rallies for a community building. Nikki is passionate about connecting those in need to resources. She has an Associates Degree from Herzing University in Medical Assisting.
Kwasi is a community and political organizer who was born and raised in Aurora, CO who uses They/Him pronouns. Kwasi has a deep commitment to simplifying public policy and other political languages to increase accessibility to holding those in power accountable. Economic justice is a big part of increasing equity and Kwasi is excited to organize towards that goal!
Erin is joining the 9to5 Georgia team as the childcare organizer in Savannah. She first became involved in organizing as an intern with the New York based organization, For the Many (formerly Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson). As a fundraising team leader, Erin worked to move money and build power with working people in the Hudson Valley to fight for healthcare and housing for all and immigration, racial, and economic justice. Prior to joining 9to5, Erin worked as campus organizer at schools in Florida, Virginia, and Massachusetts to help engage new voters and make higher education more affordable. She holds a B.S in Geography from Vassar College and is interested in the ways social movements use and produce space to enact change. Erin was raised as a Quaker in New York and now lives with friends and their many much loved animals in Savannah.
Amanda joined 9to5 in September 2021 as Communications & Digital Coordinator. Before joining 9to5 she worked for 8 years preventing and responding to sexual assault, abuse, and harassment for state and national organizations. She loves creating digital communications including social media, podcasts, video, and GIFs. She holds a BA in Public Relations and Advertising from Point Park University.
Phoebe has over 20 years of experience in executive administrative support. She joined the 9to5 staff in 2021 and currently serves in the role as Executive Assistant to the Executive Director.
She also supports the Chief of Staff, and the Payroll and HR Departments when needed.
Prior to joining 9to5, she worked in the small business sector in various administrative roles.
Phoebe is a self-proclaimed Google-fu, information junkie and foodie.
Hannah is a community organizer who believes deeply in building collective power for systemic change. She has been working as a community and electoral organizer since 2016 in the areas of economic, immigrant and housing justice, and voting rights in Denver, Chicago, Tucson, and Virginia. She is thrilled to be back in Denver, where she was born and raised, to work on housing and climate justice with 9to5.
Sam joined the 9to5 communications team in February and currently manages social media and assists with digital projects. Prior to 9to5, she graduated with a BA in Media Communication and a minor in Women’s Studies from Colorado State University where she gained experience creating content for the campus recreation center. In her communications work, she aims to inspire change by bringing awareness to social injustices through digital channels.
Christina has a demonstrated history of robust civic engagement work, leading communications and development in the non-profit sector, and strategic community organizing in electoral and grassroots campaigns, specifically in the Midwest region.
Grounded in her upbringing in systemic poverty with war-refugee parents, she has a strong passion for identifying collaborative solutions to lift vulnerable, marginalized, and oppressed communities out of inequity and injustice cycles.
Building deep and meaningful relationships to create community is core to her personal mission. Ensuring equitable policies are crafted in the municipal, state, and federal levels in Wisconsin, while providing education on equity and inclusion, is a central goal of hers.
Christina has managed successful political campaigns to put people of color in elected seats and is currently the campaign manager for a candidate running in the most diverse district in St. Paul, Minnesota. Christina also sits on the Immigration Task Force for Esther, a social-justice organization based in the Fox Valley region of Wisconsin, working towards equitable immigration policies.
She is a board member at the Hmong American Partnership of the Fox Valley and is pursuing her Master in Social Work degree at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay.
Carolyn has over ten years of experience in financial planning, analysis and accounting. Prior to joining 9to5, she worked with several social impact organizations in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors. Her areas of expertise include project management, operations, and streamlining processes. Carolyn holds a Master in Business Administration from Marquette University, where she was a Trinity Fellow, a program fostering social change with a focus on social and economic justice.
Jenn Rivera is a communications & nonprofit professional and macro social worker. Before joining 9to5 as their resident communications and digital go-to, Jenn worked in philanthropy helping manage programs and relationships with community based Indigenous organizations across the US. Jenn is passionate about resourcing and sustaining our movement towards collective liberation and sees themselves as part of the larger ecosystem of systems weavers and bridge builders. She majored in sociology and Latin American studies during her undergraduate studies and holds a Masters degree in Social Work. Outside of work, Jenn enjoys gardening, dabbling in ceramics, and spending time with her family in her home state of Virginia.
Mica Whitfield is a nonprofit leader and women’s advocate with more than a decade of experience in program development and advocacy. She is fiercely passionate about improving the quality of life for women across the State of Georgia. In her previous position, she served as the Director of Programs for Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia (HMHBGA). There she managed several programs, grants, advocacy initiatives, and policy-level workgroups for the organization. In addition, she serves as the Vice President and Advocacy Chair for Postpartum Support International- Georgia Chapter. In this role, she has coordinated advocacy efforts to enshrine Maternal Mental Health Day in the Georgia Code, and secured 1.05 million in appropriations to establish the State’s first Maternal Mental Health Telepsychiatry Line. Prior to her role at HMHBGA, she worked with AID Atlanta, one of the largest AIDS service organizations in the Southeast as the Women’s Health Program Manager. Mica received her Master’s in Social Work from Clark Atlanta University and a B.S in Social Work from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro. Mica lives in Lawrenceville with her two children, Justice and Joy.
Shanda is a firm believer that someone else’s opinion does not define you or what you can accomplish in life, if you are willing to fight. A graduate of Winston-Salem State University with a degree in Political Science, Shanda was a vanguard for grassroots organizing and politics. Collegiate activism lead to campaign work for city council elections in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Shanda seeks to leave the world a better place, whether by given a voice to the voiceless, or redeeming social, political, and economic conditions that keep people oppressed.
LaToya is passionate about closing the gender pay gap, and believes that women should have access to affordable, quality healthcare regardless of their citizenship and socio-economic status. She enjoys educating people about organ donation, voter registration, suicide prevention, and women’s health concerns. A native of Savannah, LaToya has a BA in Liberal Arts and an MA in Adult Education and Community Leadership from Armstrong State University. LaToya has worked for the State of Georgia for the past eleven years, most recently providing enrollment assistance to parents of uninsured youth.
Allison is a new(ish) Atlantan, transplanted from her hometown of Memphis where she did statewide advocacy, grassroots organizing, training development and facilitation for more than 15 years. She was most recently the State Director of a sexual health and reproductive freedom coalition in Tennessee aiming to realize bodily autonomy and full access to comprehensive healthcare for all. Allison has also developed popular education and training programs to support the liberatory movements and communities that we need and deserve, with a special focus on supporting the continual work of White people (herself included!) in undoing habits of white supremacy towards being active and helpful co-conspirators in movement work. She’s also a mother of 3 humans and 1 dog and is partnered with a wonderful fellow lifelong seeker of justice.
Truth Freemyn was the Principal Consultant of PBF Leadership Consultants for more than 20 years and Co-founder of truthfreemyninstitute & Wisdom Network Presents. She has been involved in leadership development for more than two decades. She has expertise in fundraising, management, human resources, personal growth and professional development fields; working with staff, volunteers, managers, boards, and funders. Truth previously served as Anti-Discrimination Project Director at 9to5 for five years. In this role she led 9to5’s national welfare campaigns, directed the Wisconsin-based 9to5 Poverty Network Initiative and co-lead our Sexual Harassment work. She is a 2019 fellow of Wisconsin Women’s Network Policy Institute.
Ashley Campos W. is the Admin Coordinator for 9to5’s Colorado Chapter. Ashley graduated from Virginia Wesleyan University and received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and Hispanic Studies. While studying, she interned at an immigration law firm in the DC area that inspired her to dive more into the realm of social justice and human rights. Her passion aligns with helping women and minorities fight for social equality and economic justice.
Diana Castro is a Coordinator for 9to5 in the Larimer/Weld county area. Before 9to5, Diana worked with organizations like Fuerza Latina and interpreted for the Poudre School District. Diana is new to the 9to5 family and is excited to join the team and learn more about being an Organizer. One of Diana’s long term goals is to graduate from CSU with a major in Political Science and a minor in Anthropology. Diana was born in Sinaloa, Mexico and immigrated to the United States in 2004.
Edith became involved in the Justice for Janitors movement in 2016 with our ally SEIU marching downtown alongside hundreds of other janitors like herself fighting for their rights. She began to realize that this was where she belonged, with her community fighting together for a better future that included minority and racial justice. Now she is a proud Chapter Organizer with 9to5 that holds the same values that she is dedicated to fighting together with our communities. As a DACA recipient since the age of 18 and born in Durango Mexico, she knows too well what it is like to fight and push for better opportunities. She has gone through many obstacles but none that she has not been able to overcome. Excited to begin this journey with 9to5 has been one of the greatest opportunities she has come across, not only to work with her own community but to push others to fight alongside 9to5 as well!
Jessica Ramos joined the 9to5 team in the fall of 2020. She joined as an Organizing and Legal Fellow and is primarily assisting with the Eviction Legal Defense program. Previously, Jessica has worked with Mijente, Towards Justice, and Colorado Coalition for the Homeless. She is passionate about creating change for working women and addressing issues rooted in systemic racism that influence people’s quality of life. She is a 2020 first-generation graduate from Colorado College. She grew up in Oklahoma and her family hails from Mexico.
Kaitlin first joined 9to5 Colorado as an intern while earning her MSW from the University of Denver. Prior to joining 9to5, her organizing work began as a canvass director, leading canvass teams in fundraising for progressive non-profits. She also worked as a mental health worker for children with trauma from physical and sexual abuse. As a 9to5 organizer, she organized for the successful passage of Paid Family and Medical Leave in Colorado.
LUZ GALICIA. is a single mother of two daughters Katherine and Diana, both already graduated from college. She also just became a grandmother to Dimitri two years ago. Luz was a fierce community leader in 9to5’s housing campaign to stop the eviction of Denver Meadows Mobile Home Park Community where she was a resident. She helped to lead the fight against all odds to stop the rezoning of her community and collectively purchase the park. Luz brings a wealth of lived and professional experience, having earned her journalism degree in Mexico and working in the hospitality business for over 26 years. Luz is currently working in collaboration with the City of Boulder and 9to5 at different mobile home communities in Boulder to engage with the community, especially underrepresented communities. Luz is also continually educating residents on the new legislation passed the last couple years. She has a passion for helping the communities that need it most in different ways, including informing, educating, and empowering leaders and residents and collaborating with other organizations and with representatives of the city as well as city councilors in benefit of the communities. Luz is currently providing training to empower residents to voice their concerns and motivate residents to actively participate and get involved in new legislation and training.
Cesiah is the Associate State Director for 9to5 Colorado, her background is in organizing in mobile home communities and advocating for more renters’ rights at the local and state level. 9to5 Colorado has been a pioneer in leading for housing justice through community organizing and legislation for the past five years. Born in Morelos, Mexico, she moved to Colorado at a young age. Cesiah first became an advocate by helping to pass legislation that granted undocumented students in-state tuition in Colorado in 2013. Cesiah earned her degree in political science with a minor in women’s studies and is currently pursuing my MA in the New Direction Program at University of Colorado Denver. Cesiah is the oldest of three and her mother is her greatest inspiration.
Ashley is the Associate State Director at 9to5 Colorado advocating for accessible work/family flexibility policies across the state. She started as an organizer on the paid leave campaign and went on to lead the Colorado FAMLI Coalition and the Colorado Families First Coalition to win a state-run paid family and medical leave program at the ballot in 2020. Prior to working at 9to5, Ashley was a Qualified Intellectual Disabilities Professional for developmentally-disabled women with psychiatric disorders. Ashley began organizing with the Denver DSA socialist feminist committee where she helped to develop the anti-oppression framework that guides the organization’s mission. She believes that the needs of people should be centered over profits, unconditionally.
Dre started at 9to5 as a public transit organizer but has taken on housing as her main area of work as the housing crisis has progressed throughout the Colorado metro area. Her specific focuses include mobile homes, community control of land, renter’s rights, and she helped co-anchor the coalition Colorado Homes For All, which is based on a national housing justice movement started by Right to the City called Homes For All. Before coming to 9to5 she worked with United Students Against Sweatshops and the Workers Rights Consortium as a volunteer and later worked in childcare, all of which furthered her interest in the intersections of labor, race, and gender.
Krishna Inmula joined the 9to5 Georgia team in October 2020, currently managing the chapter’s digital communications, design projects, and data. Before joining the 9to5 team, she worked with Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition of Georgia to cement the nonprofit as a leading voice for improving maternal & infant health in Georgia, first as an AmeriCorps VISTA member and then as a contract consultant. Krishna’s prior professional experience ranges from marketing and design to data management to indie music PR and radio promotions. She holds a BBA in Management Information Systems and BS in Psychology from the University of Georgia.
Jewel Howard has been active in civic engagement since 2015. She has headed several voter registration campaigns and served as Co-director of the Voter Registration program for 2020. In addition to her work in civic engagement, Jewel is an 8 time Emmy-nominated producer, a spoken word artist, and podcast host. Jewel is a graduate of Roosevelt University with a B.S. in Business Administration.