President/Executive Director

Philip Tegeler

Philip was appointed as PRRAC’s Executive Director beginning in January of 2004. Mr. Tegeler has worked as a civil rights lawyer for over 30 years, specializing in fair housing and educational equity policy and litigation. At PRRAC, Mr. Tegeler supports our housing policy, Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing, and housing mobility work, and also helps lead the work of the National Coalition on School Diversity, which PRRAC    co-founded in 2009.

Before coming to PRRAC, Philip was an attorney with the Connecticut ACLU, where he also served as Legal Director from 1997-2003. At the ACLU, he litigated cases in federal and state courts involving fair housing, school desegregation, land use law, voting rights, first amendment law, gay rights, prison conditions, criminal justice, and other institutional reform litigation. He has also worked as Legal Projects Director at the Metropolitan Action Institute in New York City (a public interest urban planning organization), and taught for three years in the University of Connecticut School of Law clinical program.

Philip was co-founder and the first board president of the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, served as a member of the Connecticut Housing Coalition Board for nine years, and is currently on the board of the Open Communities Alliance. He is also an active member of the Housing Justice Network and served on the board of Building One America from 2012-2016.

Philip has taught as an adjunct professor at the UConn Law School and at Columbia Law School, and his courses have included “Federal Courts,” “Advanced Civil Procedure: Class Actions,” and “Housing and Civil Rights.” Philip is a graduate of Harvard College and the Columbia Law School and member of the Connecticut and District of Columbia Bar.

Philip’s publications include “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing and the Inclusive Communities Project Case: Bringing the Fair Housing Act into the 21st Century,” in Metzger et al, Facing Segregation: Housing Policy Solutions for a Stronger Society (Oxford University Press, 2018); “Disrupting the reciprocal relationship between housing and school segregation,” in A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality (Joint Center for Housing Studies, 2018) (co-author); “Predicting School Diversity Impacts of State and Local Education Policy: The Role of Title VI,” in Frankenberg et al, School Integration Matters: Research-Based Strategies to Advance Equity (Teachers College Press, 2016); “The ‘Compelling Government Interest’ in School Diversity: Rebuilding the Case for an Affirmative Government Role,” in the University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform (2014); “The Future of Race Conscious Goals in National Housing Policy,” in Public Housing Transformation: Confronting the Legacy of Segregation (The Urban Institute Press, 2009); “Connecting Families to Opportunity: The Next Generation of Housing Mobility Policy,” in Brian Smedley and Alan Jenkins, eds., All Things Being Equal: Instigating Opportunity in an Inequitable Time, (The New Press, 2007); “The Persistence of Segregation in Government Housing Programs,” in Xavier de Souza Briggs, ed., The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (Brookings Institution Press 2005); “Transforming Section 8: Using Federal Housing Subsidies to Promote Individual Housing Choice and Desegregation,” 30 Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review 451 (1995) (co-author with Michael Hanley and Judith Liben); “Housing Segregation and Local Discretion,” 3 Journal of Law and Policy 209 (1994), and Inclusionary Zoning Moves Downtown (coeditor) (Planners Press, 1985). Additional articles have appeared in Clearinghouse Review, Land Use Law, Journal of Legal Education, Journal of Affordable Housing Law, Shelterforce, Poverty & Race, and Planning Magazine.

Deputy Director

Megan Haberle

Megan Haberle is Deputy Director of the Poverty & Race Research Action Council, where she has worked since 2012.  She specializes in policy designs, public education, and technical assistance relating to government programs and civil rights, with a focus on advancing fair housing and environmental justice. She also serves as editor of PRRAC’s quarterly journal, Poverty & Race. Before coming to PRRAC, Megan worked at The Opportunity Agenda, a social justice policy and communications lab, and in private litigation practice in New York. She is a graduate of Columbia Law School, where she was an Executive Editor of the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law, and Swarthmore College, where she studied anthropology. Prior to law school, she worked at the ACLU National Legal Department to support its racial justice litigation, and as an English teacher in South Korea. She is a member of the New York Bar.

Her publications include “Fair Housing and Environmental Justice: New Strategies and Challenges,” Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law;  “Stacking the Deck: The Regulatory Accountability Act’s Threat to Civil Rights,” The American Prospect; “How Attacks on the Administrative State Can Be Attacks on the Most Vulnerable,” Spotlight on Poverty; the PRRAC report “Accessing Opportunity: Recommendations for Marketing and Tenant Selection in LIHTC and Other Housing Programs” (with Ebony Gayles and Philip Tegeler); “Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing in HUD Housing Programs: A First Term Report Card,” Journal of Affordable Housing & Community Development Law (with Philip Tegeler and Ebony Gayles); “Introducing HUD’s Implementation of the Fair Housing Act’s Discriminatory Effects Standard,” Clearinghouse Review; the Kirwan Institute, PRRAC, and Opportunity Agenda report, “Opportunity and Location in Federally Subsidized Housing Programs: A New Look at HUD’s Site & Neighborhood Standards As Applied to the Low Income Housing Tax Credit” (with Philip Tegeler, Henry Korman, and Jason Reece); the American Constitution Society Issue Brief, “Promoting Opportunity through Impact Statements: A Tool for Policymakers to Assess Equity” (with Alan Jenkins, Juhu Thukral, Nerissa Kunakemakorn, and Kevin Hsu); and “Human Rights in the State Courts,” Clearinghouse Review (a joint publication of The Opportunity Agenda’s Law & Policy team).

Director, NCSD

Gina Chirichigno

Gina Chirichigno specializes in education policy and organizing. She serves as Outreach Coordinator for the National Coalition on School Diversity, and is also Co-Director of One Nation Indivisible, a documentation and organizing project co-sponsored by the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School. Ms. Chirichigno previously worked at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute at Harvard Law School. She is a graduate of Howard University Law School (Member of the Massachusetts Bar, inactive status)

Communications & Partnerships Manager

Michael Mouton

Michael Mouton is PRRAC’s Communications & Partnerships Manager. He previously worked as a strategic communications consultant and served as Communications Director for Congressman Al Green (D-TX). He is a graduate of Cornell University, where he was Features Editor of the Cornell Progressive.

 

Senior Research Associate

Brian Knudsen

Brian Knudsen is Senior Research Associate, supporting PRRAC with quantitative data analysis, GIS mapping, and tracking of academic literature relevant to PRRAC’s ongoing advocacy work. Brian previously served as a research analyst at the National Association of Counties. He received his B.S. and Ph. D. from Carnegie Mellon University.

Law & Policy Associate

Peter Kye

Peter Kye is a Law and Policy Associate at PRRAC focusing on housing and environmental justice issues. Prior to joining PRRAC, he worked as a legal fellow and Associate Counsel at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. Mr. Kye earned his J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law in 2016. During law school, he received the Mortimer Caplin Public Service Award and interned at the Legal Aid Justice Center, Community Legal Services of Philadelphia, and the New York Legal Assistance Group.  Mr. Kye received his B.A. from the College of William & Mary in 2013, where he studied Government and Sociology. He is a member of the New York State Bar.

Outreach Coordinator,NCSD

Tyler Barbarin

Tyler Barbarin is a recent graduate of the University of Richmond with a major in Leadership Studies and minor in Rhetoric and Communication Studies and Sociology; and a concentration in Social Justice. After graduation, she served as an AmeriCorps VISTA in Washington, DC at Covenant House Washington, implementing a leadership development program for disconnected youth ages 16-24, from 2014-15. She is currently a member of the National Cathedral Gun Violence Prevention Group. At the Poverty and Race Research Action Council Tyler works as the administrative and research assistant. Her research interestes focus on intersectionality and equity in education.

Administrative & Program Assistant

Heidi Kurniawan

Heidi Kurniawan is a 2017 graduate of Michigan State University, where she majored in Social Relations and Policy, with a focus on civil rights history. Prior to coming to PRRAC, Heidi interned at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan.

Chair

Olati Johnson

Olati Johnson is the Jerome B. Sherman Professor of Law at Columbia Law School, where she teaches legislation and civil procedure and writes about modern civil rights legislation, congressional power, and innovations to address discrimination and inequality in the United States. Johnson clerked for David Tatel on the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia and for Justice John Paul Stevens on the Supreme Court. From 2001 to 2003, Johnson served as constitutional and civil rights counsel to Sen. Edward M. Kennedy on the Senate Judiciary Committee. Prior to that, Professor Johnson worked at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (LDF), where she conducted trial and appellate level litigation to promote racial and ethnic equity in employment, health, and higher education. Professor Johnson graduated in 1995 from Stanford Law School where she was Order of the Coif, and received her B.A. in Literature Cum Laude from Yale University in 1989.

Vice-Chair

José Padilla

José Padilla is Executive Director of California Rural Legal Assistance and where he has been for more than 25 years. He received his law degree from UC-Berkeley and his undergraduate degree from Stanford. Among his special interests bilingual and migrant education and farm worker legal services. The Mexican government presented him with the prestigious Ohtli Award for his service to Mexican citizens in the United States. www.crla.org

Secretary

john a. powell

john a. powell is Professor of Law and Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at UC-Berkeley. He formerly was Legal Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, Adjunct Professor at Columbia Law School, Executive Director of Greater Miami Legal Services and on the staff of Evergreen Legal Services. His undergraduate degree is from Stanford, and his law degree is from UC-Berkeley.

Treasurer

Brian Smedley

Board Member

Justin Steil

Justin Steil is an Assistant Professor of Law and Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His research focuses on the intersection of civil rights, land use, and local government law. He is a co-editor of Searching for the Just City: Debates in Urban Theory and Practice (Routledge, 2009) and The Dream Revisited: Segregation and Opportunity in the Twenty-first Century (Columbia, forthcoming).

Board Member

Theodore M. Shaw

Theodore M. Shaw is the Julius Chambers Professor of Law at the University of North Carolina and Director of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. He was formerly Associate Director-Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund in NYC and previously was Western Regional Counsel in the Fund’s Los Angeles office. He formerly was on the faculty of the Univ. of Michigan Law School, where he taught civil rights, constitutional law and civil procedure, and served in the Civil Rights Division of the US Dept. of Justice. His undergraduate degree is from Wesleyan, and his law degree is from Columbia.

Board Member

Gabriela Sandoval

Gabriela Sandoval is Director of Research for The Utility Reform Network. Prior to joining TURN, she was Research Director with The Insight Center for Community and Economic Development and was a member of the faculty in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Cruz, where she taught courses in race and ethnicity and urban sociology.

Board Member

Dennis Parker

Dennis Parker is Director of the Racial Justice Program at the American Civil Liberties Union. Prior to joining the ACLU, Dennis was Chief of the Civil Rights Bureau in the Office of New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer where he oversaw the enforcement of anti-discrimination laws in housing, employment, voting, public accommodations and credit. He is also a 14 year veteran of the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund, where he supervised the litigation of scores of school desegregation cases, as well as cases involving affirmative action in higher education.

Board Member

S.M. (Mike) Miller

S.M. (Mike) Miller, an economic sociologist/activist theoretician, is director of the Project on Inequality and Poverrty at the Commonwealth Institute, Cambridge, MA. and former chair of the sociology deparrtment at Boston University. He has a B.A. in economics from Brooklyn College, a M.A. in economics from Columbia, a M.A. in economics from Princeton and a Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton. He has taught at NYU, Syracuse, Brooklyn College, Rutgers and in labor programs at Cornell, Michigan, Rutgers, University of Massachusetts. He was an advisor on poverty at the Ford Foundation where he initiated its Latino and Native American programs and served on the executive committee of the Field Foundation. He was co-founder and first president of the Research Committee on Poverty and Social Welfare of the International Sociological Association. He is a co-founder of United for a Fair Economy. His most recent book is Respect and Rights. His current project is on long-term economic and political directions and strategies.

Board Member

Demetria McCain

Demetria McCain is President of the Inclusive Communities Project in Dallas. Ms. McCain previously held positions at Neighborhood Legal Services in Washington, D.C. and at the National Housing Law Project.

Board Member

Elizabeth (Betsy) Julian

Elizabeth (Betsy) Julian is Founder/Senior Counsel of the Dallas-based Inclusive Communities Project. From 1990 to 1994, she worked as Deputy General Counsel for Civil Rights & Litigation, later as Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development. Her pre-HUD experience includes 20 years of practice of poverty and civil rights law in Texas, where she represented primarily low-income clients in cases involving housing discrimination, voting rights, municipal services discrimination and indigent health care. From 1988-90 she was executive director of Legal Services of North Texas, and helped found the Texas Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law.

Board Member

Camille Holmes

Camille Holmes is an independent civil rights consultant, who worked most recently as Senior Staff at the National Legal Aid and Defender Association. She previously worked with the Center for Law & Social Policy as Co-Director of its Project for the Future of Equal Justice. In 2002, she helped form the Mississippi Center for Social Justice, a collaborative racial and economic justice law firm that practices community problem-solving approaches. Ms. Wood has also served as Executive Director of the Southern Africa Legal Service & Legal Education Project. A graduate of Harvard/Radcliffe Colleges and the Harvard Law School, she clerked for Sixth Circuit Judge Damon Keith.

Board Member

David Hinojosa

David Hinojosa is the National Director of Policy for the Intercultural Development Research Association, based in San Antonio, Texas. Mr. David Hinojosa was formerly the Southwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), with a focus on educational civil rights impact litigation on behalf of Latinos. At MALDEF, Mr. Hinojosa served as MALDEF’s lead counsel in Edgewood v. Williams, where he represented low income and English Language Learner (ELL) students and property-poor school districts. He also represented Latino parents and students in a forty-year old class action school desegregation case, Morales v. Shannon, and in a federal court class action against Texas’ programs for ELL students in US/LULAC v. Texas. He has also represented Latino amici students and organizations defending the University of Texas at Austin’s diversity admissions plan in Fisher v. Texas, where he most recently co-authored a Supreme Court amicus brief on behalf of several national Latino civil rights organizations. David earned his Bachelor’s degree from New Mexico State University and his J.D from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Board Member

Damon Hewitt

Damon Hewitt is a Senior Advisor at the Open Society Foundation and Former Director of Education Practice at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Mr. Hewitt founded LDF’s “Dismantling the School-to-Prison Slime Tube” initiative, and has also coordinated LDF’s post-Hurricane Katrina litigation and advocacy efforts. A native of New Orleans, Mr. Hewitt attended Louisiana State University and the University of Pennsylvania Law School.

Board Member

Rachel Godsil

Rachel Godsil is the Eleanor Bontecou Professor of Law at Seton Hall University School of Law and a co-founder and Director of Research for the Perception Institute, a national consortium of social scientists, advocates, and educators dedicated to using the insights from the mind sciences to address the role of implicit bias and racial anxiety on culture, public policy, and institutional structures. She focuses her teaching and scholarship on issues of Race, Property, Constitutional Law, and Environmental Justice, and has authored numerous articles and book chapters as well as co-editing Awakening from the Dream: Civil Rights Under Siege and the New Struggle for Equal Justice (2005). She is a former Associate Counsel with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and continues to write amicus briefs to the Supreme Court including representing LDF in Wood v. Moss, Research Psychologists in Fisher v. University of Texas, and the National Parent Teacher Association in Parents Involved in Community Schools v. Seattle School District.

Board Member

Craig Flournoy

Craig Flournoy is an Assistant Professor of Journalism at University of Cincinnati. For over a decade, he was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News where he won a Pulitzer Prize (among many other awards) for his investigative reporting, including “Separate and Unequal,” a series on racial discrimination and segregation in HUD’s low-income housing programs throughout the country. His undergraduate degree is from the University of New Orleans, and he holds a Masters from SMU, a doctorate from Louisiana State University.

Board Member

Kristen Clarke

Kristen Clarke is president & executive director of the national Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (Lawyers’ Committee). The Lawyers’ Committee, one of the original founders of PRRAC, works to promote fair housing and community development, equal employment opportunity, voting rights, equal educational opportunity, criminal justice, and judicial diversity. Clarke formerly served as the head of the Civil Rights Bureau for New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, where she led broad civil rights enforcement on matters including criminal justice issues, education and housing discrimination, fair lending, barriers to reentry, voting rights, immigrants’ rights, gender inequality, disability rights, reproductive access and LGBT issues. Clarke also worked as a litigator at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc. (LDF) and in the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division. Clarke has also written numerous articles and books including Barack Obama and African American Empowerment: The Rise of Black America’s New Leadership (co-edited with Dr. Manning Marable). She received her J.D. from the Columbia Law School and received the school’s Paul Robeson Distinguished Alumni Award from in 2010

Board Member

Sheryll Cashin

Sheryll Cashin is a Professor of Law at Georgetown University, where she specializes in Administrative Law, Constitutional Law, Local Government Law, and Race and American Law. Professor CashinÂ’s publications include The Failures of Integration: How Race and Class are Undermining the American Dream (Public Affairs, 2004) and The Agitator’s Daughter: A Memoir of Four Generations of One Extraordinary African-American Family (Public Affairs, 2008). Prior to joining the Georgetown faculty, Professor Cashin was Director of Community Development for the National Economic Council at the White House, where she managed interagency policy development processes for urban policy and community development initiatives. Professor Cashin was law clerk to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall and Judge Abner Mikva of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. She received her BA from Vanderbilt University in 1984, a MasterÂ’s in English Law from Oxford University in J.D. from Harvard Law School, where she was a member of the Harvard Law Review.

Board Member

John Brittain

John Brittain is a professor of law at the University of the District of Columbia. He previously served as General Counsel and Senior Deputy Director at the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law. As Chief Counsel, he was responsible for determining civil rights litigation strategies and public policy issues. He assisted in filing numerous amicus briefs in the Supreme Court and many other federal and state courts. Prior to his work at the Lawyer’s Committee, Brittain was a law professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law in Hartford, and Dean of the Thurgood Marshall School of Law in Houston. Professor Brittain is a school desegregation specialist and was one of the lawyers who filed the landmark Sheff v. O’Neill school desegregation case in 1989. This lawsuit challenged the racial, economic, and educational segregation between Hartford and the surrounding school districts as a denial of a student’s fundamental right to an equal education under the Connecticut Constitution. In 1993, the NAACP awarded Professor Brittain the coveted William Robert Ming Advocacy Award for legal service to the NAACP without a fee. Brittain earned his B.A. and J.D degrees from Howard University and specializes in civil rights litigation theories in education, voting rights, affirmative action, affordable housing, and police misconduct.

Board Member

John Charles Boger

John Charles Boger is professor and former Dean at the Univ. of North Carolina Law School and cofounder of the UNC Center for Civil Rights. He holds both a Masters of Divinity from Yale and a law degree from UNC. From 1978-90 he was with the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, both as Director of their Poverty & Justice Project and as Director of their Capital Punishment Project.  www.law.unc.edu

Board Member

Anurima Bhargava

Anurima Bhargava is currently a fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School Institute of Politics. She served as the Chief of the Educational Opportunities Section of the Civil Rights Division at the U.S. Department of Justice during the Obama Administration, and was previously Director of the Education Practice at the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, where she was actively engaged in litigation and advocacy to expand educational access and opportunities for students of color. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a Truman National Security Fellow; and has produced and regularly consults on films. Bhargava is a graduate of the Columbia Law School was born and raised on the south side of Chicago.

Treasurer

Brian Smedley