Reggie Shuford became executive director of the ACLU of Pennsylvania in September 2011. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, he served as the director of law and policy at the Equal Justice Society (EJS), a national strategy group heightening consciousness on race in the law and popular discourse. From 1995-2010, Reggie served as senior staff counsel in the national ACLU's Racial Justice Program. During his tenure there, he helped to pioneer legal challenges to racial profiling practices nationwide. He was the ACLU's chief litigator in challenges to racial profiling, leading national litigation efforts and consulting with ACLU state affiliates and others in cases of "driving while black or brown," airport profiling, and profiling related to the war on terror. Reggie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina’s School of Law in Chapel Hill, where he was his graduating class president. In 2009, he received the Law School’s Distinguished Alumnus Award. Reggie is a former Harvard Law School Wasserstein Public Interest Fellow and received the 2014 Minority Business Leader Award from the Philadelphia Business Journal and the 2014 Humanitarian of the Year Award from the William Way LGBT Community Center. In 2015, Reggie was selected as a CBS Philly Game Changer, named Diverse Attorney of the Year by the Legal Intelligencer, and received the Philadelphia Business Journal's LGBT Business Advocate Award. He is the recipient of the 2016 Living Legal Legend Award from Penn State Law's Black Law Students Association and Multicultural Undergraduate Law Association. Reggie also received the 2016 David M. Rosenblum GLBT Public Policy Award from the Pennsylvania Bar Association (PBA) Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender (GLBT) Rights Committee and was named one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans of 2016 and 2017 by the Philadelphia Tribune. In 2017, Reggie was the recipient of the City of Brotherly Love Softball League's Community Service Award and was selected as an Outstanding Voice: the Business of Pride by the Philadelphia Business Journal. In 2018, Reggie was named as one of The Advocate Magazine’s Icons, Innovators, and Disruptors in the category of "Judicial Warrior," recognized again as one of Philadelphia’s Most Influential African Americans of 2018 by the Philadelphia Tribune, and elected as chairperson of the ACLU Executive Directors Council Steering Committee by his peers across the country. Reggie was appointed Chair of the Diversity Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association for 2019 by Chancellor Shelli Fedullo and is a member of the Board of Governors. (Philadelphia)
Rebecca Cusumano-Seidel joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania staff in December of 2017. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, Rebecca was the Coordinator of Alumni Affairs, Development, and Special Events at an independent school in Washington, D.C. where she focused on overseeing and increasing fundraising for the school’s Financial Aid Program. Rebecca brings over 10 years of recruitment, management, and leadership development to the position. Rebecca also coached collegiately for 5 years and earned her master’s degree from Smith College in Exercise and Sports Studies with a focus on coaching pedagogy and transformational leadership.(Philadelphia)
Gloria Ginyard joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania staff in September 2013. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, she was the data coordinator/administrative assistant for the employment and training department of a nonprofit organization that services homeless women and children. She has over five years of experience working in the nonprofit field and over 10 years of administrative experience. She also has a passion for graphic arts and music. (Philadelphia)
Trisha Graham joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania staff in February of 2014. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, she was operations manager for the Greater Philadelphia Coalition Against Hunger. She brings over ten years of diverse nonprofit experience, including management of operations, finance, programs and technology. Trisha is a graduate of Penn State University with a B.S. in recreation and parks management and a minor in business administration. (Philadelphia)
Shannon Parris joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in April 2018. Prior to joining the ACLU-PA, Shannon was the Program Director of a nonprofit animal welfare organization in Pittsburgh where she built and ran a volunteer program for a retail/re-sale fundraising effort. She also provides marketing and administrative support as the Community Manager of a Pittsburgh-based nomadic artisan marketplace. She independently owns and operates a handmade jewelry business. Shannon serves on the Friends Board of a nonprofit supportive housing organization in Clairton, PA. She received her B.S. in Psychology with honors from the University of Pittsburgh. Always eager to understand people, she is most passionate about motivating and engaging others to work for a shared cause. (Pittsburgh)
Jamie Pauls joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in December 2004. Before joining the ACLU-PA she worked as a community organizer for a community-based organization that advocates for low- and moderate- income families. Jamie’s work at the ACLU-PA includes working with the chapters, which are made of volunteers statewide that work towards educating their local communities by hosting events, partnering with other organizations and tabling within their local communities in order to spread the ACLU-PA mission statewide. Jamie also worked closely with the legal team to win the fight against voter ID in Pennsylvania. Jamie is a graduate of Bridgewater College, Va., where she received a degree in political science. (Harrisburg)
Jaclynn Walker joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in March 2017. A city native, Jackie returned to Pittsburgh in 2009 after receiving her B.A. in classical studies from Earlham College in Richmond, Indiana. Prior to joining the ACLU of PA, she was the workshop coordinator for a Jewish service fellowship that focused on food justice and education equity and co-ran an organic meal delivery service. In her spare time, she enjoys developing new recipes and graphic design. (Pittsburgh)
Sara Mullen started at the ACLU of Pennsylvania as a volunteer in its Pittsburgh office in 1997. She joined the staff as the office manager in January 1998 and became assistant director of the Pittsburgh Chapter in 2000. Sara transferred to the Philadelphia office in November 2002. Sara currently serves as the organization's advocacy and policy director. She received her B.A. in Middle Eastern history from the University of Chicago with honors. Prior to joining the ACLU, Sara worked in publishing. (Philadelphia)
Harold Jordan is Senior Policy Advocate for the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania. He is the author of Beyond Zero Tolerance: Discipline and Policing in Pennsylvania Schools and the editor of Know Your Rights: A Handbook for Public School Students in Pennsylvania. Jordan helped plan the 2015 White House Rethink Discipline Summit, served on the coordinating committee for Dignity in Schools from 2009 to 2016, and for 17 years, coordinated a national youth program at the American Friends Service Committee. He has chaired the Board of the Philadelphia Public School Notebook, a nonprofit news service reporting on the city’s public schools. Jordan is the former Executive Director of the Coalition of Education Activists. He is also the recipient of the Education Law Center’s “Education Champion” Award and, most recently, the Marcienne and Herman Mattleman Award for Excellence in Public Education. He holds a degree in social thought and analysis from Washington University in St. Louis. (Philadelphia)
Elizabeth Randol brings a wide range of professional experience in higher education, nonprofits, as well as public and private sector positions. She spent the early part of her career at The University of Scranton teaching in the philosophy and political science departments while serving as the director of the campus Women’s Center. For the past ten years, she has been managing political campaigns as well as advocacy initiatives, including election reform, high quality pre-k, and women’s access to capital.
Naiymah Sanchez joined the ACLU-PA in January 2017 as the transgender advocacy coordinator. She is a proud female of transgender experience and previously worked as the coordinator of the Trans-Health information project for five years providing education and advocacy services for transgender individuals in Philadelphia. Naiymah has worked to help the Philadelphia prison system become more PREA (Prison Rape elimination act) compliant since 2015. Part of Naiymah's initiative is to build coalitions to better serve transgender individuals and the injustice they face. (Philadelphia)
Nyssa Taylor joined the ACLU-PA in 2017 as the organization’s criminal justice policy counsel. She served as an assistant public defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia from 2005 until 2016. At the Defender Association, she engaged in strategic litigation focused on criminal justice reform and was responsible for the appellate briefs that overturned Pennsylvania’s long-time ban on expert witnesses in identification cases. In 2013, the Defender Association awarded Nyssa the Clarence Earl Gideon Award for Outstanding Service and the Pennsylvania Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers awarded her the Bernard L. Siegel Memorial Award for Service. In addition, Nyssa taught trial skills for three years at Temple University, Beasley School of Law, as a trial team coach and adjunct professor. Ms. Taylor earned her Juris Doctor from Temple University, Beasley School of Law in 2005 and a Bachelor of Arts in Religion from Swarthmore College in 2000. (Philadelphia)
Terrell Thomas is the Senior Field Organizer for the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Smart Justice Campaign in Allegheny County. Terrell works to reduce Pennsylvania’s jail and prison population while combating racial disparities in the criminal justice system. He was the Executive Director of The Isaiah Project youth development program which caters to the needs of Pittsburgh area teenagers, emphasizing critical thinking, crisis intervention, life skills, trauma related rehabilitation, gang prevention and mediation. Terrell is the President of Power University, a community awareness program that educates and unifies Pittsburgh residents and organizations through community education initiatives in an effort to address challenges faced by residents that often lead to violence. Terrell was responsible implementing trauma response services, crisis intervention meetings, mediation strategies, workforce development programing, group therapy and life coaching workshops. Terrell created the Peacekeeper pact which works with active gang members or individuals living a high risk lifestyle and helps them to obtain employment and skills needed to become successful. Terrell spearheaded Project LOVE which is a group of business professionals, non-profit services providers, executive directors, Pittsburgh residents, artists, real estate agents, developers and community activists participating in social lab-based processes that allow the team to identify and address root causes to issues rather than the symptoms of issues that have a systematic effect in our environment. Terrell sits on the board of directors of numerous organizations and is a volunteer for youth sports. Terrell is the mind behind "Steel City Strong" documentary and book that uses the motivational life experiences of people from Pittsburgh to uplift others that may be going through hard times. Terrell is the owner of Last Fix Lawn Care company which hires men and women who were incarcerated and recently released from prison and gives them an employment opportunity at the city's true living wage. Terrell is the CEO of My Brother’s Keeper transitional living facility. Since its inception in 2002, it has worked to help men and women re-entering society become self-sufficient and socially conscious. Terrell was named one of the 40 under 40 by Pittsburgh Magazine in 2016, a Man of Excellence by The New Pittsburgh Courier in 2017, Who’s Who in Black Pittsburgh in 2015, and the Ronald Dillion Man of the Year in 2017. (Pittsburgh)
Julie Zaebst joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in July 2014, bringing more than 10 years of experience as a program manager and advocate. Most recently, she directed the Policy Center at the Coalition Against Hunger, where she led the organization's advocacy initiatives to protect and enhance the federal nutrition programs in Pennsylvania, including food stamps and school meals. Julie also served as interim executive director of the Coalition Against Hunger in 2013. A social worker by training, she previously worked in child welfare and as the associate director of the civic engagement Office at Bryn Mawr College. Julie earned her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Bryn Mawr. (Philadelphia)
Andy Hoover joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in December 2004 as a community organizer, served as legislative director for eight years, and is now the director of communications. Andy’s work at the ACLU-PA has included efforts to protect the right to vote for all Pennsylvania citizens; to reform the state and county prison systems through sentencing and parole reform; and to block efforts to rewrite the state constitution to ban same sex marriage. Andy is a 2008 graduate of the Pennsylvania State University, where he earned a Master of Arts in Community Psychology and Social Change, and a 1995 graduate of the University of Pittsburgh with a Bachelor of Arts in communications. Andy has received numerous honors for his work, including the 2013 Alumni Achievement Award from Penn State Harrisburg and the 2012 “Celebrating woMEN!” award from the Women and Girls Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania. (Harrisburg)
Cambriae Bates has worked in the non-profit sphere since 2013 supporting community initiatives for HIV/AIDS awareness and inner-city youth education and recreational programs. Cambriae worked as the Development Special Events Coordinator for AIDS Services of Austin in Austin, TX, prior to joining the ACLU of Pennsylvania. Preceding her work in Austin, she was the Marketing and Development Coordinator for the Philadelphia youth center Spring Garden Academy. Having earned her Bachelor’s degree in Media Studies and Production from Temple University, Cambriae is passionate about digital media and how it can play a key role in highlighting civil injustices and implementing social reform in the community. She is currently in the process of finishing her Master’s degree in communications through an online program with Syracuse University. When Cambriae is not doing homework, she enjoys a relaxing night of binge-watching Netflix, cooking from recipes found on Pinterest, writing, or reading a good book to her two dogs Hobbes and Nola. (Philadelphia)
Ian Pajer-Rogers has worked on a variety of public policy issues over the past decade in the arenas of communications, grassroots organizing, training, and fundraising. That work has included ensuring the passage of the Affordable Care Act, stopping the construction of a for-profit immigration prisons in Illinois, working to fight illegal foreclosures, lobbying Congress to pass a national pay-stub standard to stem wage theft, and more. In 2015, Ian directed the digital communications team on the historic campaign to elect Jesus "Chuy" Garcia as Mayor of Chicago, which forced the incumbent into an unprecedented runoff before suffering a narrow defeat. Ian recently moved back to Pittsburgh from Chicago. In his spare time, he enjoys reading and writing, going to the movies, watching and playing sports, traveling, hiking with his dog Omar, and playing pinball. (Pittsburgh)
John K. Frisbee arrives at the ACLU of Pennsylvania from Pig Iron Theatre Company, where he served as managing director (and previously as director of development.) During John’s tenure, Pig Iron won two Village Voice OBIE Awards, opened a two-year graduate program for performers in Philadelphia, and saw extraordinary growth, doubling in budget size during this time. He has previously worked at the Walnut Street Theatre and the Rosenbach Museum & Library. John is a member of the Board of Directors of Shakespeare in Clark Park, and has been a grant panelist for the Philadelphia Cultural Fund. He graduated from Haverford College in 2003 with a B.A. in English, and completed the fundraising certificate program at Villanova University.
Amy Herlich joined the ACLU of PA in December 2017, arriving most recently from the University of Pittsburgh where she served as the Director of Constituent Relations at the School of Information Sciences (now School of Computing and Information). She brings more than 11 years of fundraising and nonprofit experience in national and international organizations. Amy earned her MPA from The George Washington University and a BA from the University of Pittsburgh. She serves on the Community Relations Council Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, is a member of/volunteers with the National Council of Jewish Women, and teaches Hebrew School at Beth El Congregation. Amy enjoys Latin social dance and making jewelry.
Jenna McElroy, has been involved in nonprofit development work since 2010 and worked in the corporate event planning world prior to that. She came to the ACLU from San Francisco, where she worked as the Development Director with Jamestown Community Center. Her development experience includes working with The Gubbio Project, San Francisco Baykeeper, Code Tenderloin, Bissap Baobab, School of the Americas Watch, and as a consultant for other nonprofits. Jenna has been involved in many projects along the US-Mexico border and throughout the US and Latin America, documenting human rights abuses and aiding in migrant support work. She graduated with her Masters in Law & Social Policy and Masters in Social Work from Bryn Mawr College. (Philadelphia)
Samantha Jeune joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in November 2018. Prior to joining the ACLU of PA, Samantha was the Development and Events Coordinator at Maternity Care Coalition, where she managed the volunteer program, provided ongoing support with fundraising, event logistics, database management, and coordinated a large-scale in-kind donation drive and matching program during the holiday season. She has a background in research, program/volunteer management, donor services, and working with vulnerable populations. Samantha graduated from West Chester University with a Bachelor’s degree in Women’s and Gender Studies and a minor in Peace and Conflict Studies. She currently serves as a mentor with Big Brothers Big Sisters and is a member of the Womanist Working Collective and the Young Women’s Initiative at Women’s Way. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, dancing her heart out, exploring the city, and connecting with family and friends.
Witold "Vic" Walczak, has litigated civil rights case for more than 30 years, the past 25 with the ACLU. Since 2004, Walczak has served as the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Legal Director, overseeing litigation statewide. Walczak has personally handled many nationally significant cases, including Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, the first case successfully challenging the teaching in public schools of "intelligent design" creationism; Lozano v. Hazleton, the first case successfully challenging a municipality's misguided attempt to exclude undocumented immigrants; Applewhite v. Commonwealth, which overturned Pennsylvania’s restrictive Voter ID law; and Whitewood v. Wolf, which in 2014 reversed Pennsylvania’s ban on marriages by same-sex couples. In the mid-1990’s Walczak handled major police misconduct cases against the City of Pittsburgh that paved the way for the first ever intervention by the U.S. Department of Justice to overhaul a major city police department. In the early 2000’s, he led a nationwide ACLU effort to challenge and ultimately stop the use by President Bush of “protest zones,” which unconstitutionally restricted protesters to faraway locations. In the past two years, Walczak settled a class action lawsuit against the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services challenging lengthy delays in transferring mentally incompetent criminal defendants from jail to mental hospitals and won a preliminary injunction ordering the Lancaster School District to stop discriminating against refugee students and provide them equal educational opportunities, a decision the U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed in January 2017. Prior to joining the ACLU, Walczak spent five years handling prisoners’ rights cases for the Maryland Legal Aid Bureau. Walczak is a member of the American College of Trial Lawyers and has received many professional awards. He is a graduate of Colgate University and Boston College Law School. He and his wife have been together for over 30 years and have three grown children. Walczak is a lifelong soccer player, avid biker, photographer and huge Bruce Springsteen fan.(Pittsburgh)
Mary Catherine Roper is the deputy legal director at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, where she coordinates litigation on a broad range of civil liberties issues, including freedom of speech, religious liberty, racial and ethnic justice, equality for lesbians and gay men, student rights, privacy, prisoners’ rights, and police misconduct. Prior to joining the ACLU, Mary Catherine was a partner in the firm of Drinker Biddle and Reath, where she was well known for her commitment to pro bono work. Mary Catherine is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania Law School. After law school, she clerked for the Honorable Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and served a year with the Disabilities Law Project as the first recipient of the Philadelphia Bar Foundation Public Interest Fellowship. (Philadelphia)
Sara J. Rose is a staff attorney in the organization's Pittsburgh office. Before joining the ACLU of Pennsylvania in 2006, she was a legal fellow with Americans United for Separation of Church and State. She received her law degree from the Georgetown University Law Center and her undergraduate degree in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park. She worked as the publications coordinator for the Student Press Law Center for two years before attending law school. (Pittsburgh)
Molly Tack-Hooper started at the ACLU of Pennsylvania as a legal fellow in 2010-2011 and returned in 2013 as a staff attorney. She engages in litigation and advocacy on a wide range of civil liberties issues, including immigrants’ rights, LGBTQ rights, and freedom of speech. Molly obtained her law degree in 2009 from the NYU School of Law and her undergraduate degree in 2002 from Brown University. For her dedication to civil liberties, Molly received an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellowship and the John Perry Prize from NYU Law. In 2009-2010, she clerked for the Honorable Michael H. Dolinger, U.S. Magistrate Judge in the Southern District of New York. From 2011 to 2013, she represented plaintiffs in complex class action suits as an associate at Berger & Montague. Molly is an active member of the Philadelphia Bar Association, serving as co-chair of the Civil Rights Committee since 2015, vice-chair of the Public Interest Section in 2016, chair of the Public Interest Section in 2017, and the public interest representative to the Board of Governors in 2018. From 2015-2018, Molly served as a Barrister in the University of Pennsylvania Law School American Inn of Court, and in 2018, joined the inaugural American Inn of Court at Drexel Kline School of Law as a Master. (Philadelphia)
Andrea C. Anastasi serves as the Legal Intake Manager at the ACLU of Pennsylvania, where she oversees all of the organization's legal intake, which includes coordinating a phenomenal team of intake volunteers, screening requests from Pennsylvanians for legal assistance, identifying cases suitable for ACLU legal action, and supporting ACLU-PA's legal department with case preparation. Prior to joining the ACLU, Andrea worked at both the policy level and in direct legal services advocating with and on behalf of underrepresented individuals and communities. Andrea obtained her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2014 and her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 2010. She has received several distinctions for her commitment to public interest law.
Andrew Christy is the Criminal Justice and Poverty Attorney working on debtors’ prison issues out of the ACLU of Pennsylvania’s Philadelphia office. He is a 2012 graduate of the Georgetown University Law Center, and his undergraduate degree is in political science and women’s studies from the University of Delaware. After law school, Andrew clerked for a state court judge in northern Virginia and a federal magistrate judge in Washington, D.C. From 2014-2016, he was a fellow at the Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law, where he worked on a variety of disability rights issues. From 2016-2018, he worked as the ACLU of Pennsylvania's Independence Foundation Fellow before completing his fellowship and taking on his new title. (Philadelphia)
Hayden Nelson-Major is an Independence Foundation Fellow working to reduce pretrial detention by reducing Pennsylvania county courts' use of cash bail. She graduated first in her class from the Temple University Beasley School of Law in 2014 and has an undergraduate degree from Vassar College. Prior to law school, Hayden worked at the National Clearinghouse for the Defense of Battered Women and the Capital Habeas Unit of the Federal Community Defender Office. From 2014-2017, she clerked for the Honorable Mitchell S. Goldberg, United States District Court Judge in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. (Philadelphia)
Golnaz Fakhimi joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in 2017 as an Immigrants' Rights Attorney. She obtained her law degree from the City University of New York School of Law and her undergraduate degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. She previously held staff attorney positions in New York City at the International Justice Network (IJN), The Bronx Defenders (BXD), and Appellate Advocates. With IJN, Golnaz fought for the release of non-citizens tortured and imprisoned abroad by the U.S. military for years without charge or trial. With BXD, Golnaz defended non-citizens against deportation and prolonged immigration detention and advised community members about their eligibility for immigration benefits and the immigration risks of open criminal cases or prior convictions. With Appellate Advocates, Golnaz defended non-citizens in criminal appeals and post-conviction proceedings. Golnaz has been humbled to work alongside and for non-citizens across a wide spectrum and is thrilled to keep doing so with the ACLU of PA.
Vanessa Stine joined the ACLU of Pennsylvania in September 2018 as the immigrants’ rights legal fellow. Prior to joining ACLU-PA, Vanessa was a staff attorney at Justice at Work (formerly Friends of Farmworkers), where she represented immigrant workers in employment and immigration matters. Vanessa started her legal career with a two year Equal Justice Works Fellowship to provide free civil legal aid to victims of immigration services fraud through Justice at Work. She graduated Order of the Coif from Villanova University School of Law, where she was a Public Interest Scholar. Vanessa also holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology/anthropology from Lewis & Clark College.