Shriver Center’s Racial Justice Institute Announces 29 New Fellows 

Innovative program celebrates 10th anniversary of training anti-poverty advocates in racial equity.


Dawn Raftery 

Chicago — The Shriver Center on Poverty Law today announced 29 Fellows for its 2023 Racial Justice Institute (RJI). Now in its 10th year, the innovative leadership program brings together anti-poverty advocates from around the country to learn new tools to advance racial equity.   

This year’s RJI Fellows include a diverse group of public interest lawyers, legal aid attorneys, executive leaders, communication and policy professionals, and paralegals. They come from seven organizations advancing justice in five states.  

“Fighting inequity is key to achieving real change in communities of color and communities with low income,” said Janerick Holmes, director of the Racial Justice Institute and Network. “I’m thrilled about the diverse experience and expertise of this year’s cohort of Fellows. Together, we will reimagine justice by breaking down barriers and opening up more opportunities.”  

The 2023 Fellows have experience in a range of advocacy areas, including economic justice, civil rights, housing justice, climate change, elder law, affordable housing/homelessness and child welfare. During an intensive program that begins this month, Fellows learn a core set of racial equity concepts and tools for their work with low-income communities and communities of color. Following seven months of intensive training, they join a growing national network of more than 408 alumni from 122 organizations advancing racial equity across the country.  

This year, the Racial Justice Institute celebrates its 10th anniversary with a special convening of network members on July 13-14, 2023 in Chicago.   

“Since 2014, our innovative leadership program has played an instrumental role in transforming how advocates approach legal services,” said Audra Wilson, president and CEO of the Shriver Center on Poverty Law. “We are excited to convene with the Racial Justice Network, celebrate 10 years of success and collaborate on another decade of impact.”  

The full list of 2023 RJI Fellows:  

Empire Justice Center 

  • Jim Dukette 
  • Lisa Milas 
  • Yversha Roman 

Kentucky Equal Justice Center 

  • Chloe Atwater 
  • Raaziq El-Amin 
  • Ebony Lee 

Legal Action Chicago 

  • Nicole Camargo Almeida 
  • Brigid Carmichael 
  • Daniel Schneider 
  • Lawrence Wood 

Legal Services of North Florida 

  • Alice Batts 
  • Carrie Cromey 
  • Kristin Northrup 
  • Melissa Onacki 
  • Musur Wallace 

Nevada Legal Services 

  • Alex Cherup 
  • Heidi Foreman-Toney  
  • Brittany Johnson 

New York Legal Assistance Group 

  • Shani Adess 
  • Maya Grosz 
  • Genesis Miranda 
  • Molly Rugg 
  • Danielle Tarantolo 

Shriver Center on Poverty Law 

  • Dawn Raftery 
  • Paula Roa 
  • Joerika Stitt 
  • Daniela Velez-Clucas 
  • Jennifer Wagner 
  • Vanessa Y. White 


About the Shriver Center on Poverty Law 

The Shriver Center on Poverty Law fights for economic and racial justice. Over our 50-year history, we have secured hundreds of victories with and for people living in poverty in Illinois and across the country. Today, we litigate, shape policy, and train and convene multi-state networks of lawyers, community leaders and activists nationwide. Together, we are building a future where all people have equal dignity, respect and power under the law. Join the fight at

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