SUMMER 2022 LEAD AND PARKE FELLOWS
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.
Dimiana Habtemariam is a junior majoring in Public Policy and minoring in Spanish. She passionately advocates for democratic access, just immigration and protecting human rights. Her professional experience thus far has included cybersecurity consulting, working on a congressional campaign, and civic engagement in her community.
As a LEAD Fellow, Dimiana is working with Protect the Vote Georgia. She will be working alongside leadership to implement digital campaigns, conduct research and assist with community outreach and collaboration.
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.
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.
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.
Eleanor Macagba is a rising 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.
Katie Elliott is a recent graduate of NYU Wagner’s MPA-PNP program, with a concentration in advocacy and political action. Katie is an Atlanta native and Georgia State University alumna, who was driven to continue the important work of Southerners advancing social justice and racial equity. A former constituent of the late Rep. John Lewis, she is deeply passionate about expansion of voting rights and access to civic participation. Katie is thrilled to be a part of the LEAD cohort and working on addressing the many intersecting issues that affect our democracy.
As a LEAD Fellow, Katie will be joining One Fair Wage this summer to help advance ballot initiatives to raise the minimum wage in several states including Michigan, Arizona, and Maine.
Mya Strong is a rising 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 this summer 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.
Jose Alfonso Correa-Cabrera is convinced that full political participation should not be a privilege. This conviction explains his interest in democratic theory and practice. He is particularly curious about the compatibility between democratic values and representative government. He is also interested in learning from the democratic alternatives developed in the Global South.Jose Alfonso has participated in research projects on electoral integrity and democratic development at El Colegio de México and FLACSO-Mexico. He graduated from the MA in Interdisciplinary Studies at NYU in May 2022, and he received his BA degrees in Political Science and Philosophy from the National Autonomous University of Mexico.
As a LEAD Fellow, Jose Alfonso Will be working with the Texas Organizing Project, where he will be supporting its campaign planning, strategizing, and research activities. He will also partake in community outreach efforts in order to address the high rate of low-propensity voters of color.
Aiyana Coard is a MS in Global Affairs student at NYU School of Professional Studies with a focus on Human Rights and International Law. She is currently the Director of Political Action for the NYU Black Student Union, as well as the Associate Editor of the Global Affairs Review Journal. Her advocacy work and interests include immigration reform, tribal sovereignty of native and indigenous populations, voter education, international law, peace and security, and women and youth rights. She recently completed work as a Delegation Leader for the Friends Committee on National Legislation, where she lobbied members of Congress to adopt federal immigration and refugee laws that address issues of migratory justice. Aiyana highlights the importance of global awareness, and the fact that there are no borders in her advocacy efforts.
As a LEAD Fellow, Aiyana will be working with One Fair Wage conducting policy research and organizing to raise the minimum wage and to end all subminimum wages for tipped workers, workers with disabilities and youth.
Meagan Pe is a junior from Las Vegas, Nevada, majoring in Politics and minoring in Law and Society at NYU. Meagan has been active in the political sphere since high school, getting her start during the hot Vegas summer by knocking doors for a 2020 Presidential Campaign. Last Spring, she studied away at NYU’s DC campus and interned at the United States Senate, which grew her passion for politics even further. Meagan believes that every voice in the nation deserves to be heard during the political process. She hopes to increase civic engagement and democratic participation as a LEAD Fellow.
As a LEAD Fellow, Meagan will be part of the Voter Engagement team at HeadCount, where she will be performing research on current legislation/issues, improving mechanisms for digital outreach to voters, and registering voters.
Michelle Maita is a Latinx first-generation third year student at NYU studying Public Policy. She is deeply passionate about comprehensive immigration reform and supporting and uplifting the immigrant community. Previously she has interned with the International Rescue Committee's Immigration Department, NJ based immigration attorneys and currently volunteers at a NYC based weekly immigration clinic.
As a LEAD Fellow, Michelle will be working with Mi Familia Vota.
JJ Briscoe is a junior pursuing a B.A. in Global Liberal Studies with a concentration in Politics, Rights, and Human Development and a minor in Social Entrepreneurship. JJ has most recently worked as the chair of the Liberal Studies DEI committee, an economic development researcher with Center for an Urban Future, and as a Civic Influencer, working to get fellow students civically engaged. He has previously interned at the Office of Representative Sharice Davids. Upon graduation, JJ plans to attend law school and dedicate his life's work to the United States finally seeing a true multiracial democracy.
As a LEAD Fellow, JJ will be working at Public Citizen.
Charmaine Gentles is an MPA-PNP candidate at NYU Wagner specializing in Advocacy and Political Action. Prior to Wagner, Charmaine attended The City College of New York (CUNY) where she received a B.A. in Political Science and a Double Minor in Sociology and Community Change Studies. She also serves as a Constituent Board Member at the Sadie Nash Leadership Project. Her most recent professional experience involved working as a Reading/Writing tutor at a Title 1 school in Brooklyn, NY. Charmaine’s passions include: transformative justice and bringing more BIPOC into political spaces.
As a LEAD Fellow, Charmaine will be working with The Center for Popular Democracy where she will support and conduct research for various political meetings and projects within their Civil Engagement division.
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.
Natassia Walker is an immigrant from Jamaica. She is a rising senior at Gallatin where her concentration is Systemic Racism and Economic Development, with a minor in Public Health. She is a GUIDE Scholar and senator for the Gallatin Student Council. She is passionate about social justice and gender and healthcare inequality among minorities. She is also an active member of the Gallatin Affinity Group “Social Justice, Community, and Intersectionality." She hopes to help transform violent social orders and relationships through awareness-raising, civic engagement, organization, and mobilization as a LEAD Fellow.
As a LEAD fellow, I will be working with the Protect the Vote Georgia to assist with the leadership team with social media, digital campaign implementation, research, and community outreach.
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.
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.
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.
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.