Rejecting the Pale, Male and Stale Leadership Pipeline: A Roadmap to Building Inclusive Organizations

Rejecting the Pale, Male and Stale Leadership Pipeline: A Roadmap to Building Inclusive Organizations

Session Type(s): Panel

Starts: Saturday, Jul. 16 2:30 PM (Eastern)

Ends: Saturday, Jul. 16 3:45 PM (Eastern)

It’s not good enough to have all cis-white male leadership in organizations that do social justice work. Many youth organizations have figured out how to center people of color, queer folks and women who are directly affected by the issues we work on as leaders, volunteers and staff. While some organizations have gone through elaborate processes to achieve equity and inclusion, others have centered their core mission and values to uplift the new American majority and have successfully grown their membership. Join this workshop to hear best practices around our approach to changing organizational culture, leadership and membership to reflect the people we serve.



Hemly Ordonez

Hemly Ordonez

Hemly specializes in working with non-profits across the US and around the world to bridge emerging technologies to challenge inequality and positively impact local communities. She has led engagement strategies that center communities of color and low income communities to meet them at the intersections of their lives both online and offline for over 10 years.

Prior to joining Fission, Hemly was the State Strategies Manager at Advocates for Youth. She worked with local, state-based, and national organizations mobilizing the rising American electorate across digital platforms to advocate for cultural and policy changes that improve and value young people’s sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Hemly is originally from Carson, California and proudly represents South Los Angeles in the fight for health, dignity, and justice.

Other sessions: Wise Latinxs: How to Build Power for 2016 and Beyond, Letting Members Lead: The Mess and Magic of Distributed Organizing, Chewbacca Mom Takeover: The Future of Online Organizing

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Angela Peoples

Angela Peoples

Angela Peoples is a strategist, trainer, and social justice economists focused on building movements for gender justice and Black liberation. Born and raised in Ypsilanti, MI, Angela started organizing in 2006 as a student activists with the USSA. She is CoFounder of the South — a brand where unapologetic Black culture defines political power. She is also Principal Strategist of MsPeoples and has worked on campaigns like No Justice, No Pride, #ForUsNotAmazon, and with organizations like The Groundwork Collaborative, and All Above All.

The subject of the “Don’t forget: White Women Voted for Trump” viral photo, Angela believes direct action as a platform for art and creative expression to engage uncomfortable truths and challenge systematic oppression.

Catalina Velasquez

Catalina Velasquez

Catalina Velasquez is the President and founder of Consult Catalina, a premier strategic policy, communications and diversity firm.

Fluent in English, Spanish, and Italian, Catalina is an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she majored in International Politics: International Law, Norms, & Institutions with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies. Her thesis was titled “Immigrant Women: the Documented, the Undocumented, and the Invisible; The Female Face of Immigration.”

Catalina has extended consulting and speaking engagement services for over a dacade, and she recently finished her latest contract with People for the American Way leading their youth arm: Young People For (YP4). In this position, she created a policy shop and a public affairs communications department as well as restructure their training curriculum to meet the most cutting edge needs of an interconnected world and global economy. Among many of the organizations that Catalina has worked and consulted on strategic messaging and policy are the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, the AFL-CIO, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

Catalina is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Award from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and was awarded the title of Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace.

Catalina is the first transgender immigrant Latina appointed as a Commissioner for the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs since 2013 and was hand picked by the 2016 Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign to join the Vermont U.S. Senator’s LGBT Policy team. After the campaign, Catalina joined the legacy organization Our Revolution as Board Vice-Chair. Recently, Catalina was named one of RollingStone’s “16 Young Americans Shaping the 2016 Election” and one of Mitu’s “Young Latinos that are Leaving a Footprint in Politics.”

Catalina also serves on the Board of Directors of Megaphone Strategies a strategic communication national nonprofit and GetEqual a national LGBTQ grassroots organization. She is also part of the Board of the first bipartisan Transgender PAC: Trans United Fund and in the Board of Inclusv a diversity employment initiative to diversify the political and policy fields. Catalina is also on the Advisory Boards of United We DREAM’s Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project at the largest run and led immigrant youth organization in the United States.

Currently, Catalina volunteers at Casa Ruby, working with transgender and immigrant populations experiencing homelessness, preparing referrals and assisting people with inconsistent housing with emergency resources such as shelter, health insurance enrollment, and legal services. In addition, while at Casa Ruby, Catalina periodically runs needs assessment surveys to shift the organization’s resources into the most needful demographics. Catalina also supports the Executive Director, Ruby Corado, with grant writing, policy analysis, communications strategies and how to tailor programs for homeless LGBTQ youth, adult and senior populations in the District of Columbia.

In March 2012, Catalina co-authored with the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement (LCLAA) a lengthy and detailed human rights report titled: “Trabajadoras: Challenges and Conditions of Latina Workers in the United States.”

In her earlier career, Catalina worked as a research assistant for Georgetown’s Women and Gender Studies department, and she was the personal research associate to former U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands: Cynthia Schneider. With the U.S. Ambassador, Catalina worked on cultural diplomacy to support civil society in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and Egypt. In her tenure at the hilltop, Catalina also worked as Chief of Staff Intern for the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.

Contact Catalina at

Other sessions: Wise Latinxs: How to Build Power for 2016 and Beyond

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Jamal Watkins

Jamal Watkins

Jamal R. Watkins currently serves as Senior Vice President of Strategy and Advancement at the NAACP. Jamal previously led the Association’s efforts to maximize the African-American community’s participation and representation in our democracy as the Vice President of Civic Engagement at the NAACP.

Mr. Watkins previously served as National Outreach Director for the AFL-CIO. In this role, he was responsible for strengthening and growing national strategic partnerships with the labor movement across a range of priority campaigns and program work.

Prior to joining the AFL-CIO, Mr. Watkins held leadership positions in a number of organizations dedicated to community organizing and civil and human rights. These include Deputy National Political Director at Service Employees International Union; Chief of Staff at the Center for Social Inclusion; Managing Director for Campaigns for Amnesty International, the world’s largest grassroots human rights organization; and, Deputy Director and Interim Executive Director of City Year Los Angeles, a national non-profit AmeriCorps organization.

Mr. Watkins has worked in several distinct arenas, including politics, campaigns, communications, education, human resources, and fundraising. He played key roles as a National Recruiter for the DNC, Fundraising Canvass Director for Grassroots Campaign, Florida State Director of the Young Voter Alliance during the 2004 Presidential Election, Regional Coordinator on the “Yes on Proposition 79” Campaign for Health Access of California, and most recently developing a voter mobilization and engagement field strategy for the 2014 mid-term election cycle.

A native of California and a resident of Washington, D.C., Mr. Watkins earned his B.A. in Philosophy, with a minor in Political Science, at Stanford University and completed graduate-level work at New York University for Speech and Interpersonal Communication. As a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc., his motto is “onward and upward.”