The National Equity Atlas Fellowship is designed to equip community leaders of color with skills and tools to leverage data to advance racial and economic equity.
About the National Equity Atlas Fellowship
The National Equity Atlas Fellowship provides intensive, hands-on data training and support to leaders of color in communities across the United States in community-based organizations working to increase racial and economic equity by advancing policy solutions and systems-level transformation.
During the year-long program, fellows:
- Receive training to access datasets, conduct analyses, and create data visualizations
- Participate in monthly learning sessions and one-on-one coaching sessions
- Learn from other community-based leaders from across the country
- Engage with data and policy experts
- Collaborate with National Equity Atlas staff
With the support of their organizations, the Atlas team, and their peers, fellows will develop data visualizations and products for advocacy campaigns focused on advancing policy and systems change at the municipal, county, regional, state, or national level. The data products that the fellows produce will be featured on the Racial Equity Data Lab — a space on the Atlas where users can learn how to create their own customized data displays, dashboards, maps, and other visualizations.
Communications and Cultural Strategist, North Bay Organizing Project
Santa Rosa, California
Lina Blanco (she/they/ella) was raised by her single immigrant father and Mexican grandparents in mixed rural communities in the Green River Valley of Washington state. She has witnessed the injustices they and other immigrant families face while navigating life in the United States. Lina first found her political awakening as a youth coach facilitating nonviolence leadership and poetry slam workshops with elementary and high school students across the West Coast with the Institute for Community Leadership. After obtaining her BA in ethnic studies at Mills College, Lina became a co-founding staff member of the Native American Health Center's Media Center, an Oakland-based nonprofit that provides community-based graphic design and digital storytelling workshops in collaboration with intergenerational and intertribal stakeholders. She also co-founded KQED en Español, a Spanish language engagement and news initiative at the Bay Area’s NPR/PBS affiliate station. Lina now lives in Sonoma County, tending a milpa alongside her sweetheart, black cat, and senior Chihuahua.
Lead Faith Organizer, Fair Count
Asia Duffie (she/her) is a lead faith organizer at Fair Count. Her work is centered around long-term power building in under-represented communities of color. While studying at Columbus State University, Asia learned of the power to leverage data to advance the priorities of communities of color. Her mission is to continue building and cultivating relationships to advance rural areas that have been historically undercounted. Her overall goal is to increase civic engagement and mobilize Georgians to ensure their voices are heard. Asia believes that monumental change is inevitable when communities of color unite together.
Special Projects Policy Coordinator, Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF)
New York, New York
Lloyd Feng (he/him) leads the Invisible No More Campaign at the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families (CACF). Through this campaign, he advocates for disaggregated race/ethnicity data for Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander (AANHPI) communities in New York. Lloyd also leads CACF's involvement in advocacy efforts related to congressional, state, and local redistricting, and he represents CACF as a member of the APA VOICE Redistricting Task Force.
Data Coordinator, Action St. Louis
St. Louis, Missouri
Teela Gajewski (she/her) is a data coordinator at Action St. Louis, a nonprofit, grassroots organization dedicated to building political power for Black communities in St. Louis, Missouri. In her role, she maintains an organized membership database to aid outreach and organizing efforts. She also assists with research, reporting, creating sign-up forms, and operating procedures for Action St. Louis’ ongoing housing and electoral justice campaigns. Teela has a master’s degree in public policy and a bachelor’s degree in social work. She believes freeing and empowering those who are the most oppressed is the only way for us all to experience freedom.
Communications Manager & Organizer, Ride New Orleans
New Orleans, Louisiana
Shirani Jayasuriya (she/her) is a community organizer and communications specialist committed to amplifying historically marginalized voices by centering the experiences of Black, Indigenous, and people of color in the fight for equity. As the daughter of an immigrant, she believes in decolonizing narratives through relationship-building and grassroots, community-led initiatives. Shirani has lived in New Orleans for more than a decade. She currently serves as a communications manager at Ride New Orleans, the leading organization advocating for equitable and world-class transit for everybody in the region. Shirani is a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where she studied cultural studies and comparative literature. She also recently earned an equity and diversity certification from the University of Minnesota. Shirani completed an extensive community organizer training program with Sustainable Progress through Engaging Active Citizens (SPEAC) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is also a 2022 graduate of the Committee for a Better New Orleans Bryan Bell Metropolitan Leadership Forum, and she is now a co-chair for the program's 2023 cohort.
Research and Program Coordinator, MILPA Collective (MILPA)
Daniel Mendoza (he/him) is a research and program coordinator at the MILPA Collective. For the past eight years, his work has focused on ending mass incarceration, disrupting the school-to-prison pipeline, and building people and community power. Leveraging partnerships with a broad range of juvenile and criminal justice advocates, he has influenced policy changes, particularly around eliminating the practice of trying youth as adults, ending the use of solitary confinement for youth, and improving reentry services. In addition, Daniel seeks to craft and share positive narratives about comrades who have been formerly incarcerated or system impacted.
Deputy Director, Greater Birmingham Alliance To Stop Pollution (GASP)
Jilisa Milton (she/her) is an Alabama-based civil rights attorney, policy analyst, social worker, racial justice activist, community organizer, and relational strategist. She is currently the deputy director of advocacy and strategic partnerships at Greater Birmingham Alliance to Stop Pollution (GASP), where she supports multi-faceted strategy around community organizing, policy advocacy, and legal advocacy in the areas of environmental justice, air quality, and climate justice.
Research Analyst, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO)
Feliciano Ocegueda (he/him) is a water justice research analyst at the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO). As a member of LVEJO’s water justice program, he seeks to educate and inform community members on issues related to equitable water access and infrastructure in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood. Feliciano is dedicated to advancing health and environmental justice across the Midwest. He is inspired by his passionate colleagues and the environmental justice advocates he collaborates with daily. Feliciano holds a master’s degree in urban planning and policy and a bachelor’s degree in public health from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Community Organizer, Center for Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa
Iowa City, Iowa
Dalila Solis (she/her/ella) is a community organizer for the Center of Worker Justice of Eastern Iowa, where she primarily focuses on resolving wage theft and discrimination cases. In the past, Dalila has worked as a legal assistant for a local immigration lawyer. She also previously served as a youth counselor for underserved communities. Dalila is a first-generation Mexican American and the first member of her family to graduate from college. She has dual degrees in criminology and Spanish from the University of Northern Iowa.
Director of Engagement, Detroit Future City
Shari Williams (she/her) has worked in the nonprofit industry for since 2011, gaining experience in community engagement, participatory research, publication writing, and project management. At Detroit Future City, she leads engagement efforts to support local stakeholders in working together to rectify long-standing issues and justly attain equity. Shari is passionate about advancing sustainable and equitable economic opportunities to cultivate prosperity and stability for all. She has a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University and a Master of Urban Planning from Wayne State University. Shari also serves as a board member for the Detroit Champions for Hope and the Michigan Association of Planning.
Digital Strategist, Black Visions
Minneapolis–Saint Paul, Minnesota
Kyra Brown (they/them) is a Black, queer, and trans Midwesterner whose work focuses on advancing Black liberation and environmental justice. Kyra currently serves as the digital strategist at Black Visions, a Black-led movement organization based in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area. They lead a broad range of the organization’s digital efforts, including the daily posting, developing bi-weekly newsletters, and collaborating with other communications team members to shape the narrative direction for Black Visions. At the core of their work and mission is a commitment to helping their communities achieve liberation and experience joy.
Strategic Data Project: Building a dashboard to help residents decipher the Minneapolis Police Department budget and explore how dollars allocated to the police could be reduced and/or redirected toward investments that strengthen communities
Climate Justice Program Manager, Catalyst Miami
Natalia Brown (she/her/ella) is an environmental justice advocate and community-engaged researcher based in South Florida. She currently serves as the climate justice program manager at Catalyst Miami; as a member of the Miami Climate Alliance Steering Committee and chair of its Energy Justice Working Group; and a Florida policy lead for the Gulf South for a Green New Deal Regional Assembly. Natalia sustains and facilitates cross-cultural, cross-sectoral collaborations across South Florida to advance community-centered solutions at the intersection of environmental justice and economic democracy. She also seeks to minimize harm and advance transformative justice in multisector responses to climate change. Natalia holds a bachelor’s degree in ecosystem science and policy from the University of Miami.
Strategic Data Project: Building a multilingual dashboard to help residents across Florida develop a deeper understanding of the climate and environmental issues impacting their state and counties
Marcus D. Carson
Marcus D. Carson
Founder and Executive Director, Growing Kings
Marcus D. Carson (he/him) is the founder and executive director of Growing Kings, a nonprofit that provides innovative mentoring programs to young men in Birmingham, Alabama. Born and raised in Birmingham’s Titusville neighborhood, he finds purpose in giving back to his community. Through his organization, he provides consistent, long-term support and delivers culturally relevant, structured programming to young men who face challenges stemming from racial and economic inequity. Marcus currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Alabama Association of Nonprofits, and he’s a member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Incorporated, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, and the Florida A&M University National Alumni Association. He holds a master of business administration degree with a concentration in finance and a bachelor’s degree in business management from Florida A&M University.
Strategic Data Project: Producing an educational fact sheet that builds awareness of local policing budgets, highlights effective community-based alternatives to youth incarceration, and empowers local groups to call for investment in community-centered resources and initiatives
Digital Organizer, California Immigrant Policy Center
Los Angeles, California
Nathan Cheung (he/him) currently serves as the digital organizer at the California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC), where he leads the digital strategy for all the organization’s statewide policy campaigns and its local campaigns in Los Angeles. He brings intersectional experiences to his work at CIPC, having previously worked in labor and immigrant rights organizing, as well as LGBTQ advocacy. Nathan holds a master's degree in Latin American studies and a bachelor’s degree in communication from the University of California, Los Angeles. Through his work, he hopes to work towards a world where movement is not a privilege, but a freedom, and where people can be with whomever they want, wherever and whenever.
Strategic Data Project: Developing a toolkit for digital organizers and other communications professionals to learn how to present data related to immigrant populations with an equity frame
Community Organizer, Chainbreaker Collective
Santa Fe, New Mexico
Cathy Garcia (she/her), born and raised in Los Angeles to Mexican immigrants, was the first in her family to complete college (St. John’s College, Santa Fe), first to drop out of a master’s program (University of California, Los Angeles), and first to drop out of law school (University of New Mexico). Cathy taught mathematics for 10 years at Crenshaw High School in South Los Angeles and Maywood Academy in East Los Angeles. As a leader in United Teachers Los Angeles, she advocated for better teaching and learning conditions across the district. Since returning to Santa Fe, New Mexico, Cathy has continued working to empower youth, their families, and their communities in the struggle for systemic change. She is currently a community organizer with Chainbreaker Collective.
Strategic Data Project: Creating an interactive map of the City of Santa Fe to highlight demographic and environmental trends by census tract
Carla Rae Marshall
Carla Rae Marshall
Multi-Media Consultant, Black Hills Clean Water Alliance
Rapid City, South Dakota
Carla Rae Marshall (she/her), Mnicoujou/Oglala Lakota, is a long-time Mother Earth Advocate/Water Protector. She currently serves as a multimedia consultant for the Black Hills Clean Water Alliance, using her expertise and skills to manage the grassroots organization's online tools. Her efforts help keep the tribes living in the Black Hills region (in South Dakota and Wyoming) and their allies informed about current mining threats and permit hearings. Through her work, Carla Rae aims to support community action, advance policy change, and help strengthen governmental regulations at all levels to protect the region’s natural assets and Indigenous peoples rights to their traditional sacred sites.
Strategic Data Project: Developing the “Keep Black Hills Water Alive: Protecting Black Hills Water from Mining” mapping project to illustrate the local impacts of past and present mining contamination on the region’s land, waterways, and Indigenous sacred sites
Advocacy, Training, and Power Building Director, Springboard to Opportunities
Treshika Melvin (she/her) serves as the advocacy, training, and power building director for Springboard to Opportunities. She has an unwavering belief in the power of community to transform society. Treshika has worked in various nonprofit roles for most of her career, and has a long background in advocacy with a primary focus on public education. She has advocated for and alongside students and parents; coordinated and facilitated local and state-level coalitions; and worked to shape local, state, and federal level policies and legislation impacting children, schools, and marginalized communities. Treshika was born and raised in Jackson, Mississippi, and is a proud graduate of Jim Hill High School. She holds a master’s in education degree in human development and psychology from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education and a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Millsaps College.
Strategic Data Project: Creating a factsheet that’ll highlight workforce development policies and initiatives in Jackson, Mississippi, and at the state level as well as their impact on the economic well-being of Black mothers living in low-income housing
Jesus Alfredo Montalvo
Jesus Alfredo Montalvo
Data Management Specialist, La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE)
San Benito, Texas
Jesus Montalvo (he/him/el) serves as a data management specialist at La Union del Pueblo Entero (LUPE). Since he joined LUPE in March of 2018, Jesus has supported healthcare outreach to low-income families. Before joining the organization, he yearned to get involved in activism and play a role in amplifying his community’s voice. Now, he finds joy in being able to enrich the lives of many by helping them find confidence in the belief that they can make a difference as well.
Strategic Data Project: Building a digital hub featuring information about local government meetings (i.e., dates, agendas, maps, calendars, and data) to inform and encourage civic engagement in San Benito, Texas
Sheba Y. Rogers
Sheba Y. Rogers
Divest/Invest Senior Program Manager, Detroit Justice Center
Sheba Y. Rogers (she/her) is a senior program manager at the Detroit Justice Center (DJC), leading the organization’s Divest/Invest Initiative. In her role, she leads a coalition of 10 community-based organizations that are working together to establish a policy model to divest in criminal justice spending and strategies and create legislation that increases investments in holistic, community-driven strategies for public health and safety. Sheba’s passion stems from the direct impact of her mother’s incarceration and experiencing the subsequent and profound disadvantages within her family and community. Through a variety of professional roles and community involvement over the past 14 years, she has worked to transform the harmful conditions created by mass incarceration, education inequality, and racial injustice into thriving, healthy environments that holistically support the needs, well-being, and excellence of Black children, families, and communities. Sheba holds a master’s degree in education policy and management from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education, a master’s degree in social work degree from the University of Michigan, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology and Afro-American studies from Howard University.
Strategic Data Project: Creating neighborhood profiles of the Detroit communities that have been subjected to police surveillance technology and a fact sheet that documents how much it costs to invest in other supportive services that more adequately contribute to a reduction in gun violence and improve safety
Civic Engagement Organizer, Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition
Bronx, New York
Marshall Strawbridge (he/him) currently serves as a civic engagement organizer at the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition. He leads the development and implementation of the Voter Power Committee’s efforts, helping to maximize voter participation, hold elected officials in the Bronx accountable, and secure the coalition’s vision for racial justice and economic democracy. He is inspired by the organization’s commitment to advancing change that is guided by the power of organized people. Marshall holds a dual bachelor’s degree in philosophy and political science from Manhattan College.
Strategic Data Project: Designing a dashboard and map to illustrate the variance in the availability of housing and other key resources in the Bronx by income level
Associate, Partnership for Southern Equity
Justin Sykes (he/him), an advocate passionate about racial justice and human rights, believes that system change is possible through story-centered approaches and asset mapping. He is currently an associate at Partnership for Southern Equity (PSE), working across the organization’s Just Growth and YES! For Equity portfolios. In partnership with the Atlanta Regional Collaborative for Health Improvement (ARCHI) and Neighborhood Nexus, he and PSE are leading the creation of a tool called the Metro Atlanta Racial Equity Atlas (MAREA). This immersive, story-centric tool will contextualize personal narratives with engagement, interactive community data, and historical background with an explicit focus on advancing racial equity. Justin holds a bachelor’s degree in sustainable development from Appalachian State University.
Strategic Data Project: Creating a suite of Tableau charts featuring data from the Metro Atlanta Racial Equity Atlas (MAREA) — an interactive tool that combines lived experiences of residents and data to foster community agency over neighborhood development
Director and Co-Founder, Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children
New Orleans, Louisiana
Gina Womack (she/her) is the director and co-founder of Families and Friends of Louisiana's Incarcerated Children (FFLIC), a statewide membership-based organization dedicated to creating a better life for all of Louisiana's youth, especially those who are involved or at risk of becoming involved in the juvenile justice system. Gina was born and raised in Louisiana, and she has worked on children's issues for more than 24 years, training hundreds of parents to be advocates for their children and develop leadership skills. She also currently serves as the vice-chair of the Louisiana Juvenile Justice Reform Act Implementation Commission; a member of the Louisiana Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board; a member of Louisiana’s Governor’s Advisory Council of the Office of Juvenile Justice Delinquency and Prevention Act; the chair of the Louisiana Advisory Council on Student Behavior and Discipline; a member of New Orleans Children’s Youth and Planning Board; and on a host of other statewide and national task forces that focus on juvenile justice.
Strategic Data Project: Pulling together a comprehensive data resource to calculate the economic and social costs of youth in Louisiana being entangled in the criminal-legal system
You're invited to the 2023 National Equity Atlas Fellowship Showcase!
Join us for a four-part virtual lunchtime series showcasing our inaugural cohort of fellows and their bold ideas for advancing racial and economic equity in their communities. During each session, you’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the data products they developed during the year-long program and gain valuable insights for creating your own similar projects.
Partners and Funders
The National Equity Atlas Fellowship is possible thanks to the investment of the Tableau Foundation, the Salesforce Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The program is facilitated by the National Equity Atlas research partnership, a collaboration between PolicyLink and the USC Equity Research Institute.