2016 Communications Institute
During the Communications Institute we worked with the Fellows on framing the criminal justice and immigration discourse in a way that tells a larger story, while allowing them to speak specifically to their own issues, such as racial profiling, human rights abuses along the US-Mexico border, the criminalization of young people in schools, immigrant detention, and gender and sexuality concerns. Past Institutes have focused on immigration; home opportunity; and race, gender, and economic opportunity.
The 2016 Communications Institute was made possible, in part, by the generous contributions of Atlantic Philanthropies, the Ford Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, the Libra Foundation, the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, The JPB Foundation, and individual donors.
Meet the 2016 Fellows
Mizue AizekiDeputy Director, Immigrant Defense Project
Mizue Aizeki is Deputy Director at the Immigrant Defense Project where she focuses on ending injustices related to the entanglement of the criminal and immigration systems, including criminalization, imprisonment, and exile due to criminal convictions. Mizue has organized around racial justice, workers’ rights, and the policing and deportation of immigrants...Get To know Mizue
Ronald Bey-SimpsonAlumni Associate, JustLeadershipUSA
Ronald D. Simpson-Bey is the Alumni Associate for JustLeadershipUSA (JLUSA) and a 2015 Leading with Conviction Fellow with JLUSA. He serves on the steering team of the Michigan Collaborative to End Mass Incarceration (MI-CEMI), a former Program Associate with American Friends Service Committee (AFSC), and Research Assistant at the University...Get To know Ronald
Janaé BonsuNational Public Policy Chair, Black Youth Project 100
Janaé Bonsu is a Black queer feminist activist-scholar and organizer with over five years of policy research and advocacy experience. She currently serves as the National Public Policy Chair of Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), an activist member-led organization of Black 18- to 35-year-olds dedicated to creating justice and freedom...Get To know Janaé
Danny CendejasOrganizing Director, Detention Watch Network
Danny Cendejas joined Detention Watch Network as Organizing Director in 2016. Previously, Danny organized with Texas Organizing Project. While with Texas Organizing Project, Danny drove the immigrants' rights campaign in Dallas and then statewide as Immigration Campaign Field Director. Danny graduated from the University of Virginia in 2011 with a...Get To know Danny
Astrid DominguezAdvocacy Coordinator, ACLU of Texas
Astrid Dominguez joined the ACLU of Texas in May 2012 as a Border Rights Fellow coordinating the U.S.-Mexico Binational Abuse Documentation Project at the Texas border. She later transitioned to the position of Advocacy Coordinator for the Lower Rio Grande Valley office. Astrid has focused her work in the Rio...Get To know Astrid
Vicki GaubecaDirector, ACLU-New Mexico Regional Center for Border Rights
In 2009, Vicki Gaubeca became the director of the ACLU-New Mexico (ACLU-NM) Regional Center for Border Rights, based in Las Cruces, where she has helped develop and implement its mission of addressing civil and human rights violations that stem from border-specific immigration policy and enforcement. The Center stands with border...Get To know Vicki
Andi GentileYouth Justice Policy Strategist, Impact Justice’s Center on Youth Registration Reform
Andi is the Youth Justice Policy Strategist for the Center on Youth Registration Reform (CYRR) at Impact Justice in Oakland, CA. Before joining the CYRR, Andi was a community organizer in worker-justice and queer and trans youth organizations in New York City and Austin. She also worked with the Texas...Get To know Andi
Kimberly GonzalezMiami Coordinator, Dream Defenders
Kimberly Gonzalez is a 30-year-old queer Latina and Miami native by way of Cuba and Puerto Rico. She joined the Dream Defenders in July of 2012 and has participated in various campaigns including the 2012 Freedom Fall campaign, the Dream Era campaign that launched on the first day of the...Get To know Kimberly
Shena GutierrezCo-Founding Member, Border Patrol Victims Network
Shena Gutierrez has dedicated her life to advocating for social change and laying the foundation to shift America’s conversation about law enforcement, in particular holding Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the largest law-enforcement agency in the nation, accountable. On March 30, 2011, Shena’s husband, José Gutierrez, was brutally beaten by...Get To know Shena
Dr. James A. KirkProfessor, Columbia University
Dr. James has over a decade of leadership experience in various social service fields. He is a well-respected writer, educator, clinician, and speaker on issues pertaining to social justice. His primary research focuses on deconstructing issues of mass incarceration — specifically as it pertains to trauma, cognitive development, culpability, and...Get To know Dr. James A.