Staff

  • Danielle Atkinson-Founding Director

    Danielle Atkinson is the Founding Director of Mothering Justice, a statewide organization working to improve the lives of Michigan families by equipping the next generation of mother activists. Atkinson has extensive experience as a church based, electoral, and community organizer. She has worked with such organizations as America Votes, State Voices, Population Connection and ACORN. In 2012, Ms. Atkinson founded Mothering Justice, a leadership development and advocacy organization. To date, Mothering Justice has trained more than 300 women, reached more than 50,000 mothers in voter engagement efforts, led Mama Conversations around Michigan, and drafted the Mamas’ Agenda, a policy priority plan addressing financial stability issues of mothers in Michigan. Ms. Atkinson help lead organizing effort to raise the minimum wage in both Florida and most recently Michigan. Ms. Atkinson’s work organizing mothers won her the 2013 Michigan Organizer of the Year Award.
    Ms. Atkinson received her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science and Sociology from Pfeiffer University and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband Frank and their five children.

     

  • Phyllis Jacob-Director of Leadership and Advocary

    ​Phyllis Jacob is the Director Of Leadership And Advocacy for Mothering Justice. Phyllis Jacob received her Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with honors from the University of Michigan Dearborn in 2010. While attending the University of Michigan Dearborn she was the Director at The Learning Tree Daycare Center. Phyllis Jacob decided it was time for a career change after working many years in the field of early childhood education. In November 2014, Phyllis Jacob, was in the first graduating class of (EJAM) which stands for the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan, where she was trained in Community Organizing and strategically learned how to build power and impact in low income and working-class communities across the state of Michigan. Phyllis Jacob currently resides in Oak Park Michigan with her husband Baiil, they have been married for over 30 years and have three adult children and two grandchildren. Phyllis is trained in Mental Health First Aid to provide help to people experiencing mental health problems such as depression, anxiety disorders, psychosis and substance use disorders. Phyllis Jacob was a panelist for Black Women and Education at The State of Black Women in Michigan in 2015.

  • Staci Lowry-Director of Action and Organizing

    Staci Lowry is the Director of Action and Organizing for Mothering Justice. She graduated from Heart Academy in 2002 as the decorated Valedictorian. She volunteers her time to the Souls at War group as their Communication Advisor. Most recently, she has been named a constituent of the MI Now Conference Panel 2016. She currently resides in Detroit with her three beautiful children. Her mothering nature encouraged her to become an active component of Detroit Public Schools Parental Association. She’s been recognized as a Louis Pasteur member for that faction. She’s also a secretary for Health Occupations Students of America or H.O.S.A. Her complimentary interests include motivational speaking and activism. You can witness her talents by viewing “Fox 2 Let it Rip” in reference to “Earned Sick Days”.

  • Tomicka Robinson-Director of Communications

    Tomicka Robinson is the Director of Communications for Mothering Justice. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Fashion Design and Merchandising from Wayne State University, in 2007. She has a vast background in social media management, communications, community building, researching, event planning and a host of other beneficial skills. She’s a graduate of the Mothering Justice Movement Fellowship Class of 2016. She also completed an extensive Organizer Training with Wellstone Action in June 2017. Her interests include activism, grassroots organizing, freelance writing and volunteering. She is honored to have the opportunity to use her skill set in such a rewarding and empowering way. She resides in Warren with her husband of six years and their daughter, Ava.  A new addition to the family is estimated to arrive January 30, 2018.

  • Danielle Atkinson-Founding Director

  • Phyllis Jacob-Director of Leadership and Advocary

  • Staci Lowry-Director of Action and Organizing

  • Tomicka Robinson-Director of Communications

Board of Directors

  • Dr. Alicia Renee Farris State Director of Restaurant Opportunities

    Dr. Alicia Renee Farris has devoted her life's mission and professional career to the promotion of social and economic justice and currently serves as the State Director of Restaurant Opportunities Center of Michigan. Alicia views Mothering Justice as the "most crucial element to building a just society" and instilled this value in her two adult sons, Cedric, James and grandmother Deja Iman Farris, all of whom are committed champions for justice.

  • ​Nadia El-Zein TonovaDirector of National Network

    ​Nadia El-Zein Tonova serves as the Director of the National Network for Arab American Communities, a program of ACCESS that builds the capacity of community based organizations and addresses issues important to Arab Americans on the national level. She is also a mom to three beautiful, young kids, who keep her and her husband busy and happy!

  • Carmen WargelLicensed Master Social Worker (LMSW)

    Carmen Wargel, is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW), ia community organizer and educator on the topic of domestic and sexual violence. In addition to her volunteer work with Mothering Justice, she serves on the Royal Oak School District's Sexual Health Advisory Committee.

  • Mykale (Kelly) GarretMayor Pro tem of Lathrup Village

    Mykale (Kelly) Garrett currently serves as Mayor Pro tem of Lathrup Village, making her the first African American woman in the position. She was selected unanimously from her peers in 2013. Ms. Garrett led the fight for earned paid sick days straight to the Michigan State House of Representatives to testify as to why earn paid sick days are not a luxury but a sincere need for Michiganders. In addition to her many charitable and legislative commitments, her biggest accomplishment is she is a mother of a 16 years old son.

Mama's University Instructors

  • Rebecca Thompson

    Rebecca's mission (and life’s work) is to change the face of power by informing, inspiring, and supporting black women to run for elected office so they can fulfill their purpose and change the world.  She has traveled the world training candidates to run for elected office and is a graduate of the Women’s Campaign School at Yale, EMILY’S List, The White House Project and numerous other leadership programs. Rebecca is a national trainer for VoteRunLead and ElectHer, which trains young women to run for elected office. She also serves on the National Leadership Team of Political Parity, a bipartisan group of national women’s organizations dedicated to getting more women elected to office.  Rebecca was inspired to create Changing the Face of Power - the first and only podcast in the country dedicated to inspiring black women to run for office - after losing her election for state representative by just 6 votes on Election Day. She wants to teach women candidates everything she learned the hard way so they can run and win the first time.  Rebecca is also a digital nomad who is spending a year traveling the world living in 12 countries across Asia, Europe, and South America in 12 months.

  • Erin Dale Byrd

    Erin is currently the Executive Director of Blueprint NC.  She currently resides in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina area.  She's the mother of one son named Hausson and has five siblings.  Her areas of expertise include but aren't limited to: civic engagement, community organizing, grass roots advocacy, social justice and organization development.  She's passionate about arts- literary, community development, entrepreneurship and parenting.  She's won countless awards for her work such as Business and Professional Women's Young Careerist Award, NC NAACP Political Trailblazer Award and Youth Organizing Institute Ella Baker Award.

  • Denise Diaz

    Originally from Puerto Rico, Denise's parents raised her and her brother on the northwest side of Chicago. Her parents worked hard in the airline catering industry and as union members to provide a better life for their children. Denise Diaz received her BA in Political Science from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Her activism began in organizing on the South Side of Chicago.  She later became a tenant right and organizer in immigrant communities outside of D.C.  In 2007, Denise moved to the Sunshine state to raise her two children and continue community organizing on worker rights issues. From informational picketing in front of major employers to community meeting on racial profiling, you'll find Denise and her family. Denise has been the Executive Director of Central Florida Jobs with Justice for 10 years now.  She is also a National Jobs with Justice board member and Trainer. When she is not organizing, Denise is spending time enjoying yoga, hanging out with her awesome family, and reading. Central Florida Jobs with Justice is a coalition of unions, community based groups, faith based and student groups that work together on economic justice campaigns.  The coalition is based out of Orlando, and is made up of over 25 organizations.

  • Trina Greene Brown

    Trina Greene Brown has worked in violence prevention for the past 15 years, managing multiple local and national initiatives. She launched Parenting for Liberation as a space for parents of Black children to envision a world where our children are cultivated to be their most liberated selves.  Before creating Parenting for Liberation, Trina engaged leaders within the violence against women's movement to build an inclusive gender and racial justice movement via her role as Outreach and Engagement Manager at Move to End Violence, a ten-year initiative of the NoVo Foundation. She also served as a Director for the YMCA, incorporating violence prevention education focusing on resiliency in the Department of Youth Development. Formerly a Manager at Peace Over Violence, a social service agency dedicated to the elimination of sexual and domestic violence and all forms of interpersonal violence, Trina co-authored a female empowerment curriculum, Be Strong: From The Inside Out and contributed to the second revision of In Touch With Teens, a nationally recognized relationship violence prevention curriculum. She is the proud to co-parent of two African American children, whom she raises with her husband in California to reach for the stars.

  • Tameka Ramsey

    Tameka is the Founder and Principal Associate at T. Ramsey & Associates, a consulting firm specializing in training, branding and empowering nonprofits and small business. She is also the Director of Leadership Development at the Economic Justice Alliance of Michigan, a state non-partisan nonprofit that is an alliance of grassroots organizations committed to building power in low-wage and working class communities to advance economic justice and racial equity in our state and local cities. A native of Pontiac, Michigan, Tameka has an Associates Degree in Mental Health/Social Work from Oakland Community College; a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work from Wayne State University and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a dual concentration of Local Government and Nonprofit Management from Oakland University. In addition to her formal education, Tameka has over 12 years of experience in community organizing, advocacy and leadership development. She has received training from Neighbor Works America, Center for Progressive Leadership, Midwest Academy, the Gamaliel Organization and others. Tameka is married to Michael, an auto worker for GM and they have three children.

  • Jacqueline Roebuck Sakho

    Jacqueline understands #BlackActivistMothering as critical community work that is beyond the biological function of labor. Black Activist Mothering seeks to center the wisdom of Black mothers as a community approach to igniting activism in urban spaces. As a Black Activist Mother herself, Jacqueline has birthed 6 children and enjoyed three homebirths. She reclaims her communal labor as an independent scholar-practitioner specializing in designing culturally responsive restorative justice processes in urban school spaces. Dr. Roebuck Sakho sits on the Center for Justice and Peacebuilding Advisory Board at Eastern Mennonite University and has consulted with community and school leaders in Oakland, CA; Memphis, TN; Nashville, TN, Oklahoma City, OK and Pittsburgh, PA. Jacqueline has been trailblazing in the fields of Restorative Justice and community-based urban educational leadership for over 10 years and of course, radical mothering for over 20 years! Specifically, her work focuses on assisting community-centered organizations operating at the grassroots level to (a) engage vulnerable and/or destabilized school communities in a deep ecological model of systems change and (b) build their capacity to be active participants in improvement processes alongside schools and researchers.

  • Danielle Slaughter

    Danielle Slaughter is a doctoral student in the Rhetoric and Composition program at Georgia State University. She is passionate about the intersections of social justice advocacy and parenting. Danielle shares her experiences navigating motherhood while finding her place in the academy on her blog, Mamademics. Mamademics also houses her popular blog series, Raising an Advocate. In the summer of 2016, she launched her first online class, RaA 101: Exposing the Three Ps - Prejudice, Privilege, and Pride. This self-paced class helps parents looking to pinpoint the ways privilege and prejudice factor into their parenting and provides a community for working through making changes. In January of 2017, Danielle launched Black History is American History, a monthly download for parents looking to add more Black History to their children’s educational experience. Danielle’s ability to turn complicated discussions into everyday conversations has caused her close friends to dub her an Educational Diversity Consultant. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and son, crocheting, watching Shonda Rhimes shows, and reading non-dissertation related books.

  • Anika Fassia

    Anika Fassia has worked at the local, state and national level as a policy analyst, communication strategist and trainer since 2008. She has worked with hundreds of advocates, elected officials, students and community organizers to advance the role of the public sector in racial justice. Anika recently became a registered nurse and works as a critical care pediatric nurse. She is also a consultant at the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and a part of the training team at Beyond the Choir. Previously, Anika was the Director of Outreach at Public Works and an inaugural policy fellow with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

Movement Fellowship Class of 2017

  • Dana Hill-Belton

  • Priscilla Jackson

  • Temnit Hood

  • Nikki Curry

  • Nicole Banks

  • Claretta Duckett-Freeman

  • Mikea Beatty

  • Joyce Cade-Hitchye

  • Crystal Hull