2021 Leadership Fellows
Maria Abando is the Development Manager for Seattle based voting justice and civic action organization, Common Power. Since the organization was formed in 2018, Maria has led multiple teams of volunteers from the greater Seattle area to register and catalyze voters in key states across the nation and continues to build community and action opportunities remotely for the 2020 election. She is a Tacoma native, who is motivated by dismantling institutional racism in our education and healthcare systems, economic and environmental justice, and the liberation of marginalized communities everywhere. Maria began organizing for the 2017 King County “Access for All” ballot initiative with Cultural Access Washington, then went on to assist in development work and the launch of the state’s Center for Washington Cultural Traditions at Humanities Washington. Maria draws from her perspective as both a Black and Filipino woman to explore intersections of identities, ideas, and experiences with others, and collaborate to find solutions for systemic inequities. She currently serves on the University of Washington’s Minority Community Advisory Committee, to continue to push for progress at her alma mater after graduating in 2017 with a B.S in Biology. Maria is also a visual artist and puts creativity and connections to people at the center of all her work.
Amaury Lateef Chumani Ávalos is an Afro-Indigenous Latinx man, born and raised in New York City. He is a Planning & Development Specialist for the City of Seattle Human Services Department (HSD), focused on their food access portfolio. He is the lead planner on the 2020 Sweetened Beverage Tax Public Awareness & Counter-Marketing Campaign, better known as the “Be Ready, Be Hydrated” campaign. Amaury currently serves as a representative of HSD on the Seattle Foundation’s Neighbor to Neighbor advisory board. He is committed to racial justice and being an amplifier for community voice. Amaury spent the last decade as a freelance writer, journalist, and organizer in New York City, working intimately with the 2011 Occupy Wall Street movement, as well as the 2014 Black Lives Matter uprising. He is the elected co-chair of the City of Seattle Human Services Department African Descent Caucus, a body of African descended HSD staff advocates and organizers, who work in conjunction with Citywide racial caucuses to center racial justice in all City of Seattle policy. In his spare time, Amaury volunteers at Yes Farm, a black founded and owned farm in Seattle. He also supports the coordination of mutual aid efforts throughout Seattle, in response to the COVID-19 outbreak. To decompress, Amaury enjoys the meditative practice of running, and he also trains in Muay Thai, as part of the Muay Thai Iyarin team. As a member of the Afro-Indigenous Latinx diaspora, he stays connected to his ancestors through the exploration of non-Western spiritual practices that he views as his birthright. He also engages his creative side through poetry, prose, and as a contributing editor for London based music publication, Brick Magazine.
Jed Bradley is the Director of Policy, Planning & State Operations at the University of Washington’s Office of Planning & Budgeting, where his work advances the teaching, research, and public service missions of the University through resource allocation and state government relations. Previously, he served as a legislative assistant to a member of the Washington State House of Representatives, and as staff in the UW Faculty Senate Office. Jed is passionate about higher education access and affordability, accountable government, conserving our natural environment for future generations, racial justice and equity, and voting fairness and access. Jed is a proud “double-Dawg,” having earned both a bachelor’s degree and Master of Education in Higher Education Leadership and Policy Studies from the University of Washington. In his free time, he enjoys running, backpacking and hiking in Washington’s beautiful outdoors (especially the Alpine Lakes Wilderness), kayaking, making sourdough bread, and home brewing.
Justin Eckstein is an Assistant Professor of Communication and Civic Engagement at Pacific Lutheran University. He is a Teacher-Scholar that believes argument is the lifeblood of democracy because it supplies citizens with the power of reason to mediate disagreement. He teaches classes in Argumentation & Advocacy, Communication Inquiry, and Cultivating Civic Engagement. He is also an award winning, internationally recognized researcher in an area known as multimodal argumentation, he has published a book, and appeared in numerous journals, book chapters, and conference proceedings. For his scholarship, Justin won the National Communication Association 2020 early career award. He is an active member in the community, volunteering as the chair of operations for the Washington State Debate Coalition, a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to enhancing deliberative opportunities for everyone in the state of Washington. Justin holds a BA in International Studies from the University of Denver, an MA in Rhetoric from the University of Las Vegas, Nevada, and a PhD in Rhetoric and Communication Ethics from the University of Denver.
Adrienne Hampton grew up in Washington D.C. and has lived in the greater Seattle area since 2011. Her passion for advocacy and amplifying Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) voices stems from her grandmother who was involved in community organizing and activism during the civil rights movement in upstate New York. Adrienne works at the nexus of collaborative governance and climate justice, mindful that procedural equity and community participatory processes are critical to inclusive policy shaping. She resolves to work towards employing a cross-cultural understanding of human identity in conjunction with a loving of the land and waters. Adrienne has worked with the Washington State Department of Ecology in the Office of the Chehalis Basin, she has been a fellow with the Future Earth and Global Sustainability Scholars program and has also served in positions focused on developing new partnerships to advance equitable frameworks for programs, research and change management initiatives. In addition, her experience working with the Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program, the Mount St. Helens Institute, the Hille Ris Lambers (HRL) Lab at UW and the Seattle Aquarium as a Washington Sea Grant Keystone Fellow has equipped her with a wide aperture of understanding for a career dedicated to environmental protection and intergroup relations. She is now the Climate Policy and Engagement Manager with the Duwamish River Cleanup Coalition. Adrienne holds a Masters in Public Administration.
Jean Y. Kang is an Associate at Bullivant Houser Bailey and handles a wide range of complex litigation. Prior to civil work, Jean served as a criminal deputy prosecuting attorney in Cowlitz County and King County. Jean was elected to the Washington State Bar Association Board of Governors to represent District 7 South in September 2018. She also serves on the state board for Washington Women Lawyers as co-chair for the judicial evaluation committee, and previously served on the board for the Korean American Bar Association and Washington Initiative for Diversity. Dedicated to issues around diversity, equity, and inclusion, she was previously a member of the 2017 class of the Washington Leadership Institute, 2019 class of the Judicial Institute, and is in the current class of the Ladder Down Program. She speaks Korean fluently and volunteers in the Korean American community. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of Washington and her law degree from Seattle University School of Law.
Alexis Mercedes Rinck (she/her) is committed to transforming the field of public policy to embrace and adopt anti-racist and feminist approaches. Alexis joined Sound Cities Association (SCA) as a Policy Analyst in August of 2019. In her work with SCA, she provides staffing for 12 different regional boards and committees primarily focused on human services, and manages the organization’s new Racial Equity and Justice Series. Prior to joining SCA, she worked as an intern with the City of Lakewood while also serving tables at Agave Cocina and Tequilas. As a Graduate student consultant for the Washington State Department of Commerce, she conducted analysis on State and local fiscal tools for affordable housing. She also organizes the Seattle Chapter of Veggie Mijas, a national plant-based people of color collective that builds community and takes action on a number of social justice issues. Alexis has Bachelors of Arts degrees in Political Science and in Sociology in addition to certificates in Spanish, and Women and Gender Studies from Syracuse University. She received her Masters of Public Administration from the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance at the University of Washington in 2019. Originally from the San Francisco Bay, Alexis is loving the Seattle life from her quarantine apartment and is in good company with her partner and two cats. She enjoys running Greenlake, taking care of her growing plant collection, learning new vegan recipes, and attempting tiktok dances.
Jamie Stroble works for King County’s Climate Action Team as the lead for climate equity and community partnerships across all county agencies, working to integrate equity and community leadership into regional climate policymaking. She created and currently facilitates the new Climate Equity Community Task Force that co-developed a Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) community-driven climate justice framework as a new section of the County’s 2020 Strategic Climate Action Plan. She brings over a decade of experience in environmental justice-related fields, including experience in youth and adult leadership development, intergenerational programming with immigrants & refugee communities, planning, affordable housing, food access, and air quality & environmental health. She is actively involved in community work, serving on the API (Asian Pacific Islander) Coalition Advocating Together For Health board, the Climate Justice Committee of Got Green, the University of Washington EarthLab Advisory Board, the Healthy King County Coalition Built Environment workgroup, as co-chair of the Housing & Neighborhoods Committee of the Seattle Planning Commission, and was a founding Community Partner Steering Committee member for the City of Seattle’s Environment & Equity Initiative. Originally from Hawai’i, Jamie has been a Seattle resident since 2004, and is a University of Washington graduate. She stays rooted as a coach for her Hawaiian outrigger canoe club, and in 2019 led an all women outrigger canoe team from Washington state to compete in the prestigious Na Wahine o Ke Kai race between Moloka’i and O’ahu.
Keelcy Perez Woolley focuses her personal and professional efforts on immigration advocacy. She currently works for Salesforce as a Senior Specialist, managing the mobility and immigration program for Salesforce’s 5,000+ interns and new graduates worldwide. Prior to Salesforce, she was an Immigration Specialist for Slalom Consulting and a Consultant for the City of Seattle’s Office of Immigrant and Refugee Affairs. In her free time, she serves on several boards and advisory councils that include Keep Washington Working Advisory Group, Latino Community Fund of Washington State, Tableau Foundation Community Council, King County Young Democrats, and Institute for a Democratic Future. She was recently elected as the Precinct Committee Officer (PCO) Seattle’s 36-1812 precinct. Keelcy received a Master of Jurisprudence from the University of Washington School of Law, with a concentration on business immigration. Originally from Eastern Washington, she attended the University of Idaho and completed undergraduate degrees in Political Science, Spanish, and International Studies. Keelcy lives in Seattle with her husband where she enjoys cycling and spending time with friends (virtually!).