FALL 2022 LEAD AND PARKE FELLOWS
Jahmair Stewart is a full-time MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Public Policy Analysis at NYU Wagner. Previously, he received his BA in communications from Georgia State University. As he pursues his Master’s, Jahmair works as a graduate assistant at NYU Tandon, where he supports identity-based programming, co-advises student clubs, and graduate council, as a teacher assistant for the Intro to Public Policy class at NYU Wagner, and as a NYU LEAD Democracy Fellow with Protect the Vote Georgia. His primary initiative is to make an impact in areas of environmental justice, housing inequality, voting rights, and educational equity. Prior to Wagner, Jahmair was a Teach for America Miami-Dade corps member where he embraced the challenges of working in low-income communities of color where insufficient funding, coupled with the environmental challenges of housing inequality, and climate change severely impacted youth across the metro area. Last summer, Jahmair interned with the United States Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions; specifically on issues related to education.
As a LEAD Fellow, Jahmair will be working at Protect the Vote Georgia.
Lia Hansen is an MPA-PNP candidate at NYU Wagner specializing in Policy. Prior to Wagner, Lia attended Macalester College, graduating with a B.A. in Political Science and International Studies. Her professional experience includes work in the international human rights and immigration legal sectors. She is originally from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is very passionate about immigrant rights, gender justice, and civic engagement.
As a LEAD Fellow, Lia will be working with Mi Familia Vota Georgia where she will support the development of voter engagement and education materials, and the development of programs and initiatives for voter education.
Guillermo A. Castillo is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. Prior to Wagner, Guillermo served and worked on various local and state-level political campaigns both in California and New York. Guillermo currently serves as the VP of Events & Operations for the Wagner Student Association. He is passionate about advocating for and helping underrepresented populations across the United States by influencing federal policy.
As a LEAD Fellow, Guillermo is working with One Fair Wage, where he will engage with voter education, canvasser training, and outreach in Michigan and across the country.
Michelle Maita is a Latinx first-generation third-year student at NYU studying Public Policy. Raised in a mixed-status household has shaped her passion for comprehensive immigration reform, and supporting and uplifting the immigrant community. Michelle is returning to the LEAD cohort after a summer working with Mi Familia Vota Texas. Her previous experience also includes interning with the International Rescue Committee's Immigration Department, nonprofit consulting, working under an NJ-based immigration attorney, and currently volunteering at an NYC-based weekly immigration clinic.
As a Fall 2022 LEAD Fellow, Michelle will be working with Pennsylvania Stands Up where she will be supporting their team in their ballot initiative of ending solitary confinement in Lackawanna county.
Nathan Naimark (he/him) is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Policy Analysis at NYU Wagner. Prior to enrolling at Wagner, Nathan worked in policy and compliance at two DC-based nonprofits. As a caseworker in the Office of US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, he developed a love for directly assisting constituents. Originally from Phoenix, AZ, Nathan emphasizes the importance of equitable social and economic policy in his work with a special interest in voting rights and access. Nathan holds a BA in Economics and Public Policy from Sarah Lawrence College.
As a LEAD fellow, Nathan is working with Vote Riders, where he will be setting up automated support systems and assisting in volunteer engagement.
Erin Carden is a mission-driven communicator and advocate pursuing an MA in Media, Culture, and Communication at NYU Steinhardt. Before NYU, Erin’s professional experience was focused in the nonprofit and education sector, her most recent position being the Communications Fellow for PEN America, a human rights and literary nonprofit. Erin is an advocate for many social justice issues including voting rights, housing justice, and education reform. She is most passionate about helping mission-driven institutions create compelling content that increases awareness and incites action around social change causes.
As a LEAD Fellow, Erin will be working with VoteRiders, where she will be supporting the Communications team with various tasks including authoring content for blogs, emails, and social media, drafting volunteer recruitment and update emails, and creating social media content featuring personal storytelling from volunteers and voters.
Niya Ray is a first year MPA-PNP student at NYU Wagner with a specialization in Advocacy and Political Action. She is a graduate of Spelman College where she holds a B.A. in Political Science. During her time at Spelman she was able to work with state and local government, think tanks, and non profit organizations such as The Century Foundation and The Georgia Innocence Project where she was able to help advocate for social justice in various capacities. Niya is extremely passionate about voting rights aiming to ensure that citizens at every level are actively engaged in the political process by helping to expand access to the ballot.
As a LEAD Fellow, Niya will be working at Public Citizen, where she will be supporting their state-based and national voting rights work.
Daisy Fleming is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. Prior to Wagner, Daisy served as Director of Scheduling in the office of Governor Gina Raimondo and as a field organizer for the Rhode Island Democratic Party. Daisy is on the board of Wagner Womxn and the Wagner Advocacy and Political Action Association. She is passionate about electing progressive women.
As a LEAD Fellow, Daisy will be working at the Public Citizen.
Eleanor Macagba is a sophomore at Gallatin studying environmental justice and post-colonial studies. Raised in Brooklyn, they do most of their advocacy work in the city, from working on The Literacy Review’s editorial board, a publication made up of submissions by adult learners in NYC, to working as Vice President of NYU’s Two Birds One Stone, an organization reducing food waste and food insecurity in Greenwich Village. They are particularly interested in economic justice in terms of worker exploitation and wage gaps, both as a food service worker themself and as someone passionate about worker’s rights.
As a LEAD Fellow, Eleanor will be working with One Fair Wage, doing on-the-ground outreach and organizing in Detroit to get a $15 minimum wage on the ballot, and then continuing this advocacy work remotely.
Asli Ali is finishing a master's in public administration, specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. She has always been very passionate about voting equity. She believes a government that is not representative of the people does not represent the people. As part of the LEAD fellowship, she is working with the Ohio Organizing Collaborative on redistricting and voter engagement issues.
As a LEAD Fellow, Asli is working with the Ohio Organizing Collaborative's Ohio Student Association program and their Equal Districts Initiative. One of the main priorities with the students is to complete a series of direct action initiatives over the summer. Regarding the Equal Districts initiative, she is working with the Policy and Advocacy Director to organize a program that will award mini-grants to select nonprofit organizations. She is also organizing a voting rights rally in August to commemorate the anniversary of the Voting Rights Act and push for the passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Act.
Mya Strong is a junior from Conyers, Georgia double majoring in Public Policy and Africana Studies and minoring in Spanish at the College of Arts and Science and New York University. She is excited that through her work with The Worker’s Circle she will be able to encourage those in her community to exercise their right to vote while informing them of their rights.
As a Lead Fellow, Mya will be working with The Workers Circle where she will be connecting Workers Circle activists with other voting rights groups such as Black Voters Matter and League of Women Voters. In this role, she will also be assisting with the preparation of voting rights educational materials and legislative advocacy.
Tony Hemphill is entering his second year at NYU Wagner in the MPA-PNP program with a specialization in advocacy and political action. He was born and raised on the seacoast of New Hampshire, and it remains one of his favorite places. He first became interested in voting rights after the Shelby County v. Holder Supreme Court decision that gutted the Voting Rights Act. When he was a senior undergraduate, he conducted independent research into the implications of that decision, and the results he uncovered serve as a catalyst for his interest in voting rights work.
As a LEAD Fellow, Tony is working with the Environmental Voter Project to help organize volunteers for the upcoming midterm elections. He will be focusing on the organization’s postcarding campaign which involves training and organizing volunteers in outreach prospective voters.
Blake Lapin pursues a Masters of Public Administration specializing in Advocacy & Political action at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. A 2019-2020 Fulbright Fellowship brought him to Malang, Indonesia, where he taught English. NYU’s College of Arts and Science employs him as a Graduate Assistant, for which he copy edits the 2022-2024 Bulletin. He’s interested in how political structures affect economic realities and daily lives.
As a LEAD Fellow, Blake will be working with the American Association of People with Disabilities, where he will update its REV UP Voting Campaign guidance material, among other responsibilities.
Julia Spector is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Advocacy and Political Action at NYU Wagner. She is passionate about economic equality and civil and political rights. Julia has spent the last six years working for an NYC nonprofit providing educational opportunities and poverty alleviation programs. Most recently, she led the organization’s development, finance, and COVID-19 response efforts. Julia previously interned for New York Public Interest Research Group and led her chapter of Amnesty International at SU. She holds a BA from Syracuse University where she studied Political Science and Public Advocacy at the Maxwell School.
As a Parke Fellow, Julia will be working with the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Hanna Johnson is an MPA-PNP candidate specializing in Public Policy Analysis. Prior to Wagner, she spent three years at the ACLU as a communications strategist fighting to end mass incarceration, immigration detention, and the death penalty. She serves as the Co-Chair of the Wagner City Gov student group and is an active member of her Brooklyn neighborhood’s mutual aid group. Hanna graduated with a degree in journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.
As a Parke Fellow, Hanna will be working with the Voting Rights Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.
Zahnay Gates is an MPA-PNP student at NYU Wagner, specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. She is passionate about criminal justice, voting rights, and redistricting reform. Before Wagner, Zahnay worked within the legal field and volunteered for various social justice organizations in Tampa Bay, Florida. She received her BA in Criminal Justice from The University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, with minors in Women Studies and Cyber Criminology.
As a Parke Fellow, Zahnay will be working with the Redistricting Program at the Brennan Center for Justice.