Justice in Action Conference Presenters
Dasha Kelly Hamilton is a writer, performance artist, curator and facilitator. Ultimately, she’s a creative change agent, leveraging the creative process toward human and social wellness.
Dasha has written for national, regional and local magazines; produced three collections of poetry; recorded four spoken word CDs; published two novels; been included in several anthologies; and performed in the last season of HBO’s Def Poetry Jam. Her nonprofit, Still Waters Collective, initiated literary arts programming for 20 years, creating platforms for thousands of voices to be honored and heard. Through the organization, she still partners on impact projects and manages a creative leadership fellowship.
Dasha served as an Arts Envoy for the U.S. Embassy to teach, perform and facilitate community building initiatives in Botswana and the island of Mauritius. She was also an artist in residence in Beirut. Dasha has been an adjunct professor at Mount Mary University, Alverno College, Bryant & Stratton and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She holds an MFA in Creative Writing from Antioch University and an MA in Marketing Communications from Roosevelt University.
A collection of her micro stories, DashNettes: Life, in Short, was released in fall 2020. Her stage production, Makin’ Cake, will tour nationally beginning in 2021. A former Artist of the Year for the City of Milwaukee, Dasha is the city’s 11th Poet Laureate.
Jasmine Babineaux is a graduate student in the Master of Education for Student Affairs in Higher Education and holds the current graduate assistantship for Peer Engagement Programs in the Center for Engagement and Inclusion.
Kendall Bennett (she/they) is a Milwaukee Area Campus Organizer at Leaders Igniting Transformation. In her role, she works with other organizers to cultivate and manage LIT’s college programming. Her favorite part of the job is managing their fellowship program; a program for current students to develop organizing skills and knowledge to effectively build true student power on campus. Before LIT, Kendall was on the team that successfully organized the passage of Ranked Choice Voting in New York City. She holds a bachelor's degree in Political Science and Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies from Fordham University.
Mr. Antonio Butts is the Executive Director of Walnut Way, whose motto is “Lead from where you live.” He is a catalytic leader who is passionate about transforming economically excluded communities into neighborhoods of health and prosperity. Growing up in the Lindsay Heights neighborhood fueled his drive to be a leader. Antonio’s leadership at Walnut Way is marked by his collaborative leadership style and ability to create social enterprise for economic and social impact. He strives to create sustainable spaces where residents can influence and create wealth-building opportunities in the community." Walnut Way Conservation Corp. is a nonprofit organization on Milwaukee’s near Northside in the Lindsay Heights Neighborhood. It is committed to sustaining an economically diverse and abundant community through civic engagement, environmental stewardship, and creating venues for prosperity. Chartered by neighborhood residents in 2000, Walnut Way challenges the cycle of disinvestment by engaging and employing community members to take leadership roles in comprehensive revitalization strategies emphasizing wellness, work, and wealth.
Adam Carr is an independent based in Milwaukee, WI, who works at the intersection of community and communication. Carr’s work ranges from writing to media, public art to in-depth tours. He was co-chair for the Coordinating Committee of March On Milwaukee 50th, which commemorated Milwaukee’s Open Housing Marches with a 200 Nights of Freedom in 2017-2018. In 2016, he authored the children’s book Explore MKE: Your Neighborhood, Our City, working with five 3rd grade classrooms throughout Milwaukee and SHARP Literacy. He has collaborated on neighborhood-based public art projects in Milwaukee, including Listening to Mitchell in 2014 with artist Sonja Thomsen and TypeFace in 2013 with artist Reginald Baylor. Carr has been on staff at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service since 2012 and was the producer at 88Nine Radio Milwaukee from 2008-2011.
Tomás Clasen. As Community Engagement Manager, Tomás promotes and protects the civil liberties and civil rights of all residents of Wisconsin through education, outreach, advocacy, organizing, direct action, and programming for adults and youth. He works on several issues, including police, prisons, criminal law reform, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, and public education. Before joining the ACLU, Tomás worked as an attorney at a large Milwaukee area law firm. In law school, he served as the Editor-in-Chief of the Wisconsin Law Review and as a member of the Moot Court Board. Before law school, he participated in Teach For America and spent four years helping raise the student achievement rates within New York public schools.
Dr. Joya Crear has been the Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Marquette for the past three years and has worked with counseling and diversity programs on campus as well.
Anna Denucci is the current Graduate Assistant for Leadership Programs in the OEI and is in her first year of working to get her Master of Education for Student Affairs in Higher Education.
Bridgeman Flowers is currently a first year student at Marquette University and wasted no time getting involved on campus, especially with the Marquette University Student Government.
Dr. Simon Howard is an assistant professor of Psychology and director of the Psychological Social Inquiry (PSI) Lab at Marquette.
Angela Lang was born and raised in the heart of Milwaukee. She has an extensive background in community organizing. In the past, Angela served as both an organizer and State Council Director for the Service Employees International Union, working on such campaigns as the Fight for 15. Before joining BLOC's team as Executive Director, Angela was the Political Director with For Our Future Wisconsin. She is a graduate of Emerge Wisconsin and has had the pleasure of being the featured trainer for Emerge's Diversity Weekend. She currently sits on the board of the ACLU of Wisconsin and Diverse and Resilient, a non profit organization that supports the LGBTQ community in Wisconsin. Angela is motivated by making substantial and transformative change in her community while developing young, local leaders of color. Her journey in organizing hasn't always been easy, but through it all she has remained a fierce advocate for securing more seats at the table for those who represent the New American Majority
Jordan Roman is a Sr. Operations Manager in the health care industry. He has held leadership positions in both public and private arenas, non-profit management, and corporate private corporations and organizations. He is the Immediate- Past President, current Treasurer and Political Advocacy Chair for the Milwaukee Urban League Young Professionals where he brings his excitement and passion for community advocacy, civic engagement, and personal empowerment to the work he does inside and out of the community. He prides himself on hard work, service, engaging others and developing dynamic leaders. Jordan is a native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin and a proud product of Milwaukee Public Schools. He is a graduate of the University of Minnesota- Morris where he received his Bachelors of Science in Sociology and Spanish Language Studies and his Master’s degrees in Urban Studies and Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Luke Rosynek is the Quality Assurance and Strategy Coordinator for the Housing Division of the Department of Health and Human Services for Milwaukee County. In 2015, they began the Housing First Initiative to End Chronic Homelessness. Milwaukee County DHHS and the Housing Division continue to implement new public health initiatives to combat community issues. Racism, Eviction, and COVID-19 are major public health crises facing Milwaukeeans. How will we respond to these crises? How can Engagement create a healthier community? How you can help?
Marycruz Sanchez (she/her) is a Marquette University 2020 graduate with a degree in Psychology and Social Welfare & Justice. She was a Peacemaking Fellow during the Summer of 2020 and interned with Catholic Charities Refugee and Immigration Services. Marycruz is currently a Public Allies Milwaukee AmeriCorps member and is serving with the Milwaukee Justice Center’s Mobile Legal Clinic.
Erika Sanders (she/her) is Director of Program Services for the Metropolitan Milwaukee Fair Housing Council (MMFHC). Ms. Sanders has been employed with MMFHC since 1998, and supervises its statewide Outreach and Education Program, ensuring that comprehensive information about fair housing rights is available to residents of Wisconsin. Ms. Sanders designs outreach campaigns that support Wisconsin communities’ efforts to combat illegal housing discrimination and to create and maintain racially and economically integrated housing patterns. As part of MMFHC outreach and education campaigns, she conducts presentations directly to housing consumers, social service agencies, community groups and faith-based organizations, and provides fair housing training to owners and managers of rental housing. She holds degrees from the University of Wisconsin – Madison and Oberlin College.
Breckin Sargeant (she/her) is a UW-LaCrosse sophomore and LIT college fellow majoring in psychology and double minoring in ethnic and racial studies as well as social justice. Social justice and art are passions of hers and have been since she was young. This led to her interest in social activism. Breckin joined LIT in February of 2020 and has loved every second of her work with them. “Everyone I’ve worked with has been so inspiring and motivating to be surrounded by people who share my passion. I’ve learned so many organizing, leadership, and social activism skills. I’ve been able to work on campaigns like divesting from campus police, GOTV efforts, and art activism.”
Dr. Robert S. Smith is the Harry G. John Professor of History and the Director of the Center for Urban Research, Teaching & Outreach at Marquette University. His research and teaching interests include African American history, civil rights history, and exploring the intersections of race and law. Dr. Smith is the author of Race, Labor & Civil Rights; Griggs v. Duke Power and the Struggle for Equal Employment Opportunity. Prior to joining Marquette University, Dr. Smith served as the Associate Vice Chancellor for Global Inclusion & Engagement and Director of the Cultures & Communities Program at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Dr. Smith also volunteers as the resident historian for America’s Black Holocaust Museum in Milwaukee, WI. And, Rob is the proud father of Henderson Marcellus Smith.
Allie Weis is a junior at Marquette University studying accounting. She holds a position as a Program Intern for Leadership Outreach in the Office of Engagement and Inclusion.
Sean Wilson is the Smart Justice Campaign manager for the ACLU of Wisconsin working to reduce Wisconsin’s prison population while fighting racism in the criminal legal system. He is an activist who grew up in Milwaukee's 53206 zip code. Prior to coming to the ACLU, he worked for Youth Justice Milwaukee and mentored Milwaukee area youth. As someone that has lived experiences with the criminal justice system in this state, I feel that my path has ultimately placed me in a unique position to help others and make progress for real reform,” Sean said. “I am an advocate for change and because I have endured struggles, I want my presence to be a liberating encounter for youth and all who feel they have no options." Sean is also a Commissioner on the Governor's Juvenile Justice Commission, a State Advisory Group (SAG) that advises the DOJ on its juvenile justice programs and funding decisions and serves as an independent forum to discuss juvenile justice policy issues.