Sonya Childress has positioned film as a tool to inspire action, shift narratives and support social justice movement building for over 15 years. Sonya serves as the Director of Partnerships and Engagement for Firelight Media, where she leads impact campaigns for Stanley Nelson's films and directs the Impact Producer fellowship, a training program for impact producers of color. She led the impact campaigns for The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Freedom Summer, Freedom Riders, andHip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes; and has contributed to numerous others including, Dolores, Strong Island, The Interrupters, Favela Rising, Farmingville andThe New Americans. A graduate of the University of California-Berkeley, she is a frequent speaker and was an inaugural 2015 Rockwood JustFilms fellow. Sonya also serves on the board of the The Whitman Institute. Of Puerto Rican and African American descent, Sonya resides with her family in her hometown, Los Angeles.
Jamira Burley is a White House Champion of Change and Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree. For over a decade she’s worked as a strategist for both private and public entities, creating solutions at intersection of youth, policy and social good. Her expertise, has enabled her to develop and implementing community engagement strategies on issues like global education, criminal justice reform, gun violence prevention and workforce development. Currently, Jamira is the Head of Youth Engagement and Skills for the Global Business Coalition for Education, helping to ensure a collaborative relationship between youth and business leaders; to enable innovative ways to educate, engage and activate young people around the world. Prior to joining the Global Business Coalition for Education, Jamira was the National Deputy Millennial Vote Director at Hillary for America.
Dave Palmer is Deputy Director & General Counsel at ROC United. He was recently General Counsel; Vice President and National Director of Advocacy at the Roosevelt Institute. From 2013-15, Dave spearheaded a strategic restructuring of the Roosevelt Institute think tank, with a focus on increasing impact. Before that, Dave was the Executive Director of the Center for Working Families, the nonprofit think- and do-tank allied with the NY Working Families Party. There he led the effort to pass the Green Jobs–Green NY Act and companion utility bill financing legislation. He also served as campaign manager for the Fair Elections NY campaign for public financing of elections. Prior to that, Dave was an Equal Justice Works Fellow and Staff Attorney at New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, where he represented community-based organizations working to address contaminated school sites. He successfully sued the City of New York to strengthen the school-site review process. Dave began his career in 1997 as an organizer and lobbyist for the New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG), focusing on higher education, government reform and environmental justice. From 2001-2003, Dave led the successful campaign to pass the Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention Act in the NYC Council. He holds a JD from the City University of New York School of Law. In addition to Million Hoodies, Dave sits on the CUNY Law School Board of Visitors.
Jason Pollock is a filmmaker, writer and Founder of Boom Content. Boom Content is Pollock’s creative agency, which operates in NYC, LA, and DC. Pollock has worked as a producer/creative director for major celebrities and brands including Ashton Kutcher, Michael Moore, Oprah Winfrey’s Harpo Productions, David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants, Rock The Vote and the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park.
As a filmmaker, Pollock’s first feature documentary film, ‘The Youngest Candidate,’ follows four teens running for public office in America. The film was co-produced by Oscar winner Lawrence Bender and David Letterman’s Worldwide Pants. ‘The Youngest Candidate’ had its world premiere in 2009 at the Los Angeles Film Festival and then it's TV premiere on the Documentary Channel in 2010.
Nick Rathod is the founder and Executive Director of the State Innovation Exchange (SiX). In 2014, Nick successfully worked with staff and partners to merge several organizations together to form SiX, including Progressive States Network, Center on State Innovation, and the American Legislative Issues and Campaign Exchange (ALICE). Prior to SiX, Nick served as Special Assistant to the President and Deputy Director for Intergovernmental Affairs at the White House and Director of Intergovernmental Affairs for the Obama-Biden Transition Team. In these roles, Nick served as President Obama’s liaison to states and U.S. territories. Nick also worked with Senator Elizabeth Warren to help with the building and establishment of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), serving as the Bureau’s Assistant Director, in charge of Intergovernmental and International Affairs.
Nick has also served as a Senior Advisor to former New York Governor Eliot Spitzer, Senior Manager of State and Regional Affairs at the Center for American Progress, and Director of State Campaigns for Mayor Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety. A lawyer by training, Nick has also worked as a civil rights attorney and community organizer, with a focus on language access, housing discrimination, and immigrant rights issues. He is a founding member and former Chairman of the Board of Directors of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), a national nonprofit dedicated to empowering the South Asian community. You can follow Nick on Twitter at @nick_rathod.
Elle Hearns is a organizer, speaker, strategist, and writer. She is a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter network (formerly affiliated) an organization formed with multiple local chapters as a political project in the wake of the murder of Michael Brown Jr. Currently, Elle currently is the founding Executive Director of The Marsha P. Johnson Institute an organization dedicated to protecting and defending the human rights of transgender and gender non conforming people in the US. Elle’s work has been featured and published by The CUNY Law Review and Ebony magazine. Her work has been honored by Essence Magazine, and she was named one of the 100 Most influential African American's of 2017 by The Root.
Dorian T. Warren is President of the Center for Community Change Action (CCCA) and Vice-President of the Center for Community Change (CCC). He is also a Fellow at the Roosevelt Institute and Co-Chair of the Economic Security Project.
A progressive scholar, organizer and media personality, Warren has worked to advance racial, economic and social justice for over two decades. He previously taught for over a decade at the University of Chicago and Columbia University, where he was Co-Director of the Columbia University Program on Labor Law and Policy. Warren also worked at MSNBC where he was a Contributor, fill-in host for Melissa Harris Perry and Now with Alex Wagner, and Host and Executive Producer of Nerding Out on MSNBC’s digital platform.
He currently serves on several boards including Working Partnerships USA, the Workers Lab, the National Employment Law Project, Capital & Main and The Nation Magazine Editorial Board. As a commentator on public affairs, Warren has appeared regularly on television and radio including NBC Nightly News, ABC, MSNBC, CNN, CNBC, BET, BBC, NPR, Bloomberg, & NY1, among other outlets. He has also written for The Nation, Huffington Post, Newsweek, Salon, Washington Post, New York Times, Medium, Ebony, and Boston Review.
Warren is co-author of The Hidden Rules of Race: Barriers to an Inclusive Economy (Cambridge University Press) and co-editor of Race and American Political Development (Routledge). In 2013, he was included on the list of NBC’s theGrio’s 100 people making history today. After growing up on the South Side of Chicago, Warren received his B.A. from the University of Illinois and his M.A. and Ph.D. in political science from Yale University. Twitter: @dorianwarren