Speaker Bios – Power Shift: Casting off racism to create transformative change

There’s a new urgency to the question: How do we advance anti-racist policies and practices when we work within a racist system?

Our first hour will examine how different actors – nonprofits, community-based organizations, government, philanthropy, the courts – have all played roles in creating and sustaining the racist systems within which we work and live.

Jennifer Jones Austin
Moderator, CEO & Executive Director, FPWA
Jennifer Jones Austin, a child and family advocate, is Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director of the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies (FPWA), an anti-poverty, policy and advocacy organization with 170 member human services agencies operating throughout New York City. Mayor de Blasio appointed Ms. Jones Austin as Board Chair in March 2020. She has served as a Board Member since October 2014.
Prior to joining FPWA, Ms. Jones Austin served as Senior Vice President of United Way NYC, Family Services Coordinator for Mayor Bloomberg, Deputy Commissioner for the NYC Administration for Children's Services; Civil Rights Deputy Bureau Chief for Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, and Vice President for LearnNow/Edison Schools Inc. Ms. Jones Austin has chaired and served on several influential boards and commissions, including serving as Co-Chair of NYC Mayor de Blasio's Transition, Chair of the NYC Procurement Policy Board, and Co-Chair of the New York State Supermarket Commission. She currently is a Board Member of the National Action Network, the New York Blood Center, the NYC Board of Correction, and the Fund for Public Housing.
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Deputy Mayor J. Phillip Thompson
Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, City of New York
As Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives, Deputy Mayor Thompson is responsible for spearheading a diverse collection of priority initiatives. This expansive portfolio includes Democracy NYC, the Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprises Program, the Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development, the Office of the Census, and the Young Men’s Initiative.
Additionally, his agency portfolio includes the Department of Youth and Community Development; the Department of Small Business Services; the Commission on Human Rights; the Department of Veterans’ Services; the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs; the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities; and the NYC Public Engagement Unit. Prior to joining the de Blasio administration, Thompson was an Associate Professor of Urban Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is the author of Double Trouble: Black Mayors, Black Communities and the Struggle for Deep Democracy published in 2006 by Oxford University Press. He has also written and worked extensively on community health planning, race and community development, and the politics of black economic advancement. Thompson also has an extensive background in New York City Government. He previously served in the Dinkins Administration as the Deputy General Manager for Operations and Development, and before that served in the Manhattan Borough President’s Office. He received a B.A. in Sociology from Harvard University in 1977, a Masters in Urban Planning from Hunter College in 1986, and a PhD from the City University of New York Graduate Center in 1990.
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Rev. Dr Emma Jordan-Simpson
Executive Director, Fellowship of Reconciliation USA & FPWA Board Member
The Rev. Dr. Emma Jordan-Simpson is the Executive Director of Fellowship of Reconciliation USA, the US branch of the oldest international interfaith peace and justice organization employing the transformative power of nonviolence to resolve human conflict. She is the executive pastor of the Concord Baptist Church of Christ, and President of American Baptist Churches of Metropolitan New York.
Previously, she was Interim Executive Director of Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, Executive Director of Children’s Defense Fund – New York, Executive Director of Girls Inc. of NYC and Executive Vice President of the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation.
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Ana L. Oliveria
President & CEO, The New York Women’s Foundation
Ana Oliveira is President & CEO of The New York Women’s Foundation. Since 2006, Ana has steered the increase of The Foundation’s grantmaking from $1.7 million to $11 million today. In 32 years, The Foundation has distributed $88 million to over 350 organizations working to advance economic, gender and racial justice. Ana serves as a Commissioner for the NYC Commission on Human Rights and sits on the Independent Commission to Study Criminal Justice Reform in NYC.
She also is a member of the Board of Directors of Philanthropy New York. Ana has held key roles as a CEO of the Gay Men’s Health Crisis, and Vice President of Programs at Osborne Association and Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center Substance Abuse Clinic. Ana attained her M.A. in Medical Anthropology and a PhD. (hon) from the New School for Social Research. She was born in Sao Paulo, Brazil, and resides in Manhattan.
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Ronald E. Richter, Esq.
Chief Executive Officer, JCCA
Judge Ronald E. Richter (ret.) became the Chief Executive Officer/Executive Director of JCCA (formerly, Jewish Child Care Association), a nationally-recognized, child welfare organization founded in 1822. He has spent the prior 30 years working as a Legal Aid lawyer, City Hall staffer, Commissioner of NYC’s public child welfare agency and family court judge. Judge Richter was appointed in 2016 by Mayor Bill de Blasio to serve on the Advisory Board of the NYC Children’s Cabinet. He is also a member of the New York State Judicial Commission on Justice for Children and the NYC Bar Association’s Council on Children.
Richter was appointed to the Family Court bench twice by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and sat in a child protective part (January 2009 – August 2011) and family violence/custody part (January 2014 - May 2015) in Queens County, meting out justice for New Yorkers in the City’s most diverse borough, with a dense population of new immigrants who face myriad challenges. In this court alone, over 50 languages are interpreted daily in order for litigants to participate fully in matters that affect the most intimate and important details of their lives, including their relationships with their children.Between 2011 and 2013, Richter led NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS), the $2.8B public agency at the heart of child and youth safety, permanency and well-being – encompassing child welfare, juvenile justice and early care and education. During his tenure at ACS, Richter introduced evidence-based, foster care practice models for the first time, and helped secure flexibility in Federal IV-E funding; led the introduction of evidence-based practice in the child welfare preventive arena; was deeply involved in drafting and implementing Close to Home, the landmark 2011 law that ensures young people remain in their communities, near their families when they have delinquency cases; ensured that parents are offered an advocate prior to the agency deciding whether to remove their children, a national first. The agency experienced a 60% reduction in foster care entries among children who entered care for 10 days or less during his tenure. While at ACS between 2005 and 2007 as a deputy commissioner, Richter led the development of the City’s largest, evidence-based program to divert young people from out-of-home placement on delinquency cases, the Juvenile Justice Initiative (JJI). This program resulted in a 200% reduction in the use of out-of-home placement between 2006 and 2013, a trend that continues today. Prior to working as a judge and for the City, Richter was a lawyer for thirteen years with The Legal Aid Society, serving between 2002 and 2005 as the Deputy Attorney-in-Charge of the Juvenile Rights Practice. He began his career as a staff lawyer with Bedford Stuyvesant Community Legal Services in 1990. Richter earned his B.A. from Tufts University, his Master of Science in Mass Communication from Boston University College of Communications and his J.D. from Boston University School of Law.
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Our second hour will be a lively roundtable conversation with human services nonprofit leaders reflecting on how systemic racism, as discussed by the first panel, play out in the day-to-day practices of human services organizations.

Anne Williams-Isom, Esq.
Moderator, James R. Dumpson Chair, Child Welfare Studies, Fordham University, Graduate School of Social Services
Anne Williams-Isom is the James R. Dumpson Chair in Child Welfare Studies at the Graduate School of Social Service (GSS) at Fordham University. The chair is named for the late James Dumpson, a social worker, professor, and administrator who served as dean of GSS from 1967 to 1974. He began his career as a children’s caseworker and rose to become New York City’s first Black welfare commissioner in 1959. Like Dumpson, Williams-Isom has focused her career on helping children thrive. Anne Williams-Isom was the former chief executive officer for the Harlem Children’s Zone, a nonprofit devoted to breaking the cycle of generational poverty in Central Harlem.
In her previous post, as the organization’s chief operating officer, she oversaw all the programs in its cradle-through-college pipeline, including Promise Academy I and II; led a staff of more than 2,000; and strengthened the organization’s use of data to improve services and outcomes for its 25,000 children and families. Williams-Isom earned a bachelor’s degree from Fordham University, after which she began working in community affairs for the New York Police Department. As a student at Columbia Law School, she discovered her passion for advocacy work and came to appreciate the critical role played by communities in finding lasting solutions to social problems. After receiving her J.D., she practiced law for five years at two prestigious firms in New York before joining the city’s Administration for Children’s Services, concluding her 13-year tenure there as deputy commissioner of the Division of Community and Government Affairs. Williams-Isom serves on the advisory council of the recently created My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, inspired by former President Barack Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper initiative, as well as on Fordham University’s President’s Council. In 2016, she was appointed by New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio to his Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board and was selected to be a member of the spring 2016 cohort of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship. She serves on the board of directors of Child Trends, a nonprofit research organization, and the board of trustees of the Central Park Conservancy. Regularly sought after for her expert guidance on child welfare and community development, Williams-Isom has been featured in The New York Times, Barron’s, Crain’s New York, The Chronicle of Philanthropy, and Essence, as well as on WABC’s Here and Now and CUNY-TV’s Black America.
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Jess Dannhauser
President & CEO, Graham Windham
Jess Dannhauser is the President and CEO of Graham Windham, a mission-driven organization focused on building the foundation for success in life with NYC children and youth, in close partnership with families and communities. Graham Windham serves approximately 4,500 children and their families each year. Graham, including the affiliated Greenburgh Graham UFSD, is focused on achieving its vision where each of its children has a safe loving permanent family and a living-wage career, no matter the challenges of their early life. The Graham team is employing evidence-informed practices and curricula, integrating its programs to create a holistic and continuous community of care, and innovating to provide opportunity to thrive for kids and families.
Mr. Dannhauser earned his MSW at University of California, Berkeley and his BA at Duke University. He is married to the Rev. Adrian Dannhauser. Adrian and Jess are the proud parents of their lovely daughter, Callaway.
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Felipe A. Franco
Senior Fellow for Young Adult Practice, The Annie E. Casey Foundation
Felipe Franco is the Senior Fellow for Young Adult Practice with the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiatives at The Annie E. Casey Foundation. His work at the foundation focuses on identifying and supporting best national practices to support system involved young adults transition successfully to adulthood. He most recently held the position of Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Youth and Family Justice within the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (ACS). Under his tenure at ACS, the number of youth in detention has decreased by over 45%, and the number of youth in placement has decreased by close to 65%. While Juvenile crime is at its lowest ever.
ACS led the full implementation of the Raise the Age legislation where all 16 and 17 year olds were moved out of Riker’s Island. Under Deputy Commissioner Franco’s direction the NYC Close to Home program has become a national and international juvenile justice model by demonstrating that it is possible to safely support youth in the community. Prior to overseeing juvenile justice in New York City Franco served as Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Juvenile Justice and Opportunities for Youth at the New York State Office of Children and Family Services where he oversaw the full juvenile justice continuum of care and implemented reforms that lead to the closure of 26 youth prisons. Previously, Felipe served as Director of Juvenile Justice at the Children’s Aid Society; taught at New York University; worked at the NYPD as Coordinator of Community Police Partnerships; served as a Research Associate at the Vera Institute of Justice; and provided clinical services to youth and families at the Gouverneur Hospital, Roberto Clemente Family Guidance Center.
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Keith Little
President & CEO, SCO Family of Services
Keith Little was appointed President & CEO of SCO Family of Services on January 1, 2018. In this role, he assumes oversight of the agency’s extensive continuum of residential and community-based child welfare, early childhood, youth development, family support, special needs, and homeless services. Keith joined SCO in September 2017 as Deputy Executive Director. A hands-on leader with over 30 years of experience at state, city, and nonprofit organizations, Mr. Little brings considerable expertise in the provision of mental health, health care, child welfare, and juvenile justice programs. He has been a tireless advocate for children, youth, and families throughout the metropolitan area.
Keith joins SCO from his recent position as Executive Director at Edwin Gould Services for Children and Families, where he was credited with building organizational capacity, external collaborations, and financial sustainability. He has held senior organizational and program leadership positions at the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH) for two decades. He last served as Associate Commissioner and Deputy Director at OMH, where he was responsible for the direction and oversight of State Operations, including 13 statewide child and adolescent psychiatric centers/units; the coordination of state-local services via regional OMH field offices; and oversight of Division State Operations budget and spending plans. His vast experience includes posts at the Jewish Board of Family and Children’s Services and the New York City Department of Health. Keith earned an MPA from Baruch College, City University of New York, and a bachelor’s degree from University of Bridgeport. He currently sits on the Boards of Directors of COFCCA and the Collaboration of Children and Families (CCF), the Priority and Strategy Council for the Human Services Council, and is a lead member of the Black Agency Executives.
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Dr. Danielle R. Moss
Chief Executive Officer, Oliver Scholars
Dr. Danielle R. Moss brings over 20 years of experience in college access and education to Oliver Scholars, a 35-year-old educational nonprofit that identifies high-achieving Black and Latinx students for admission to selective independent day and boarding schools and supports them through graduation from competitive colleges. A vocal proponent of expanded educational access for underserved communities, she previously served as the Inaugural Chief of Staff of the New York Civil Liberties Union, as the second Black woman to serve as President and CEO of the YWCA of the City of New York in its 150+ history. and as the award-winning CEO of the Harlem Educational Activities Fund for ten years.
She was appointed by Mayor DeBlasio to New York City’s Commission on Gender Equity and serves on the Board of Directors of The New York Women’s Foundation. Her contributions to education and the social sector have been recognized by the New York State Education Department and The New York City Comptroller’s Office, among others. In 2015 The Network Journal named her one of the 25 Most Influential Black Women in Business. In the summer of 2016, she was featured in The New York Times’ Corner Office column and in Crain’s New York. Dr. Moss has contributed to The Daily Beast, The Huffington Post, Edutopia, The Amsterdam News, and City Limits Magazine. Her 2018 TED Talk on student potential has garnered over 1.9M views. She holds M.A. and Ed.M. degrees from Teachers College Columbia University, where she also completed her Doctorate in Organization and Leadership with a focus on Education Administration. She received her B.A. from Swarthmore College with a degree in both English Literature and History with a concentration in Black Studies.
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Dr. Jocelynne Rainey
President & CEO, Getting Out and Staying Out
Dr. Jocelynne Rainey is a seasoned executive with over 20 years of management experience and a leader in the workforce development sector in New York City. As CEO and President of Getting Out and Staying Out (GOSO), a leading citywide non-profit serving justice-individuals, Dr. Rainey oversees programming which has helped more than 10,000 young men access education, achieve emotional well-being and secure meaningful employment since it’s advent 15 years ago. GOSO’s innovative workforce development program, GOSO Works, has placed hundreds of justice-involved young men in paid internships and internship-to-employment placements in fields including non-profits, food service, construction and building maintenance—growth industries in the metropolitan area.
Before coming to GOSO, Dr. Rainey was Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer for the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation (BNYDC), leading workforce development, administration, security and human resource strategies for the organization. She established impactful partnerships in order to connect the underserved community in Brooklyn with career opportunities in the Yard’s growing industries, eliminating barriers to employment for disadvantaged populations and increased placements of formerly incarcerated individuals to 20 percent and total workforce placements from 100 to over 500 in eight years. Prior to her tenure at BNYDC, she was the Human Resources Director for specialty food retailer Agata and Valentina. Dr. Rainey also has held senior positions at Independent Living Association, Home Depot and Boar’s Head. A graduate of Southern Connecticut State University, Dr. Rainey holds a master’s in administration from Metropolitan College and a doctorate in Leadership from St. John Fisher College. She is a member of the New York City Workforce Development Board, a trustee of the New York College of Technology Foundation Board and trustee of the Brooklyn Children Museum Board. Dr, Rainey is the recipient of several prestigious honors including being named one Network Journal’s 25 Influential Black Women in Businesses in 2016.Dr. Rainey resides in Brooklyn with her husband Dr. Perry Rainey, a high school principal, and has two adult sons.
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