NCSD 2020 Workshops

Kristal Knight is the Political Director for Priorities USA, the largest Democratic super PAC in the country.  In this work she engages democratic organizations across the country preparing them for the 2020 presidential election.  Most immediately she served as the first Executive Director for Emerge Tennessee, a state affiliate of Emerge America, a program that seeks to increase the number of Democratic women leaders from diverse backgrounds in public office through recruitment, training and providing a powerful network.  Under her leadership, she grew the statewide program, graduating 3 full 70-hour training cohorts and 2 boot camp training cohorts.  During the 2018 cycle the program had a 40%-win rate, electing 14 of 35 women to various local and state seats across Tennessee.  For the 2019 cycle, she helped elect 10 out of 15 women run and win elected offices in Nashville, Tullahoma, Memphis and Knoxville.

During the 2018 cycle Kristal worked on the Bredesen for U.S. Senate campaign, where she served as the Statewide Political Director and the Co-Director for Women United for Bredesen. Through her efforts the state experienced an increase in democratic turnout and women engagement.

Nationally Kristal trains on behalf of the Emerge America network on fundraising and diversity, having trained in several affiliate states.  Through these trainings, she helps women understand the need for diversity on boards and women understand the sensitivity diversity holds within the political arena. She also works as a national consultant for Faith in Action with their LIVE FREE social justice division training cohorts on political fundraising and how candidates can prepare to run for office.

She also has presidential and campaign experience under her belt. She began her political career as a Field Organizer for Mayor Adrian Fenty’s Washington, D.C. reelection campaign.  From there she went on to serve as a Regional Field Director for the reelection of President Barack Obama in 2012 in Philadelphia, PA and returned to DC to serve on his Presidential Inaugural Committee in 2013.  Most recently she worked on the Hillary Clinton campaign in 2016.

She is passionate about expanding the opportunities for women and people of color in politics and currently serves as a board member for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi, TN Advocates for Planned Parenthood, The Mary Parish Center, The Equity Alliance Fund and is a 2019 member of Leadership Middle Tennessee. A native of Memphis, TN Kristal holds a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Howard University and a Masters in International Public Policy from University College London in the UK.

A director in The Raben Group’s media & communications practice, Christopher Gray leverages his extensive experience in communications, progressive politics, corporate social responsibility, and grassroots public advocacy campaigns to help clients secure impactful media coverage and elevate the public conversation around social and environmental justice issues. He specializes in wholistic communications campaigns encompassing narrative development, media relations, and brand strategy. Over the course of his career, Christopher has helped everyone from large multinational corporations, to academic think-tanks, grassroots organizations and major national and international non-profits come up with the kinds of impactful communications strategies needed to reach their goals. Prior to joining Raben, Christopher served as the communications director for the State Energy & Environmental Impact Center at NYU School of Law, where he served as the official spokesperson for a former Deputy Secretary of the Interior and worked with state attorneys general offices across the United States to fight back against federal environmental and public health rollbacks. Prior to that, Christopher worked for Gensler, the world’s largest architecture and design firm, where he served as the executive communications manager for the firm’s Co-CEO and helped launch its ongoing global campaign to address the climate crisis. Other experiences include the U.S. Green Building Council, where he led several award-winning public relations campaigns for the sustainable transformation of the global built environment; Population Action International, where he promoted access to reproductive health care; and the Sierra Club’s Virginia Chapter, where he served as a campaign director. Christopher has been cited in The Wall Street Journal, ThinkProgress, the Minnesota Star Tribune, E&E News, the Washington Examiner, and Climate Liability News, and he has written or placed editorials in the L.A. Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Hill, Forbes, Big Think, and Slate.

Dr. Susan Eaton is Professor of Practice in Social Policy and Director of the Sillerman Center for the Advancement of Philanthropy at the Heller School. At the Sillerman Center, Susan and her colleagues engage funders and their advisors, socially concerned scholars and non-profit practitioners to increase and enhance grantmaking to social justice causes. Susan is an author, most recently, of the book, Integration Nation: Immigrants, Refugees and America at Its Best (The New Press, 2016), about myriad efforts that welcome and incorporate immigrants into their new communities across the United States. She also is the author of the critically acclaimed, The Children In Room E4: American Education on Trial (Algonquin, 2007), which chronicles a landmark civil rights case and life in a classroom and neighborhood in Hartford, Connecticut and The Other Boston Busing Story: What’s Won and Lost Across the Boundary Line (Yale, 2001), a qualitative interview study of the adult lives of African Americans who had participated in a voluntary school desegregation effort in suburban Boston. She is co-author, with Gary Orfield, of Dismantling Desegregation: The Quiet Reversal of Brown v. Board of Education. (New Press, 1996). Prior to her appointment at Heller in 2015, Susan was research director at the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School.

David Hinojosa is the Director of the Educational Opportunities Project at the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights where he spearheads the organization’s systemic work in guaranteeing that all students receive equal educational opportunities in public schools and institutions of higher education. David is recognized as a national leading litigator and advocate in the area of civil rights, specializing in educational impact litigation and policy. Previously, David served over eleven years as an attorney and Southwest Regional Counsel for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF). For over three years, David served as the Intercultural Development and Research Association’s (IDRA) National Director of Policy and Director of the Region II regional equity assistance center, where he and his team provided equity-based technical assistance to schools across the American South in issues involving race, national origin, sex/gender, and religion discrimination. Mr. Hinojosa’s cutting-edge litigation, policy work and technical assistance has resulted in: racially desegregating schools; improving state school finance systems for underserved children and property-poor districts; decreasing student discipline referrals; increasing teacher diversity; cultivating quality programs for English learners; preserving the Texas DREAM Act and affirmative action in higher education; stopping workplace discrimination; and securing driver’s license access for immigrants. He has argued impact cases before the Supreme Courts of Colorado and Texas and the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, among other courts. A proud graduate of Edgewood High School in San Antonio, David earned his B.A. from New Mexico State University in 1997 and his J.D. from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law in 2000.

Michael R. Noveck, Esq., is an attorney at Gibbons P.C. in Newark, N.J., where he serves as a Gibbons Fellow in Public Interest & Constitutional Law for the 2019-2021 term. The Gibbons Fellowship program litigates cutting-edge civil rights and civil liberties cases, including Latino Action Network v. State of New Jersey, which seeks a declaration that New Jersey’s public school system is unconstitutionally segregated and an order requiring the State to establish and implement remedial measures. Prior to joining Gibbons, Mr. Noveck was a Staff Attorney at Northeast New Jersey Legal Services, where he represented low-income clients in housing-related matters, and an associate at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton LLP in New York. Mr. Noveck also served as law clerk to Chief Justice Stuart Rabner of the New Jersey Supreme Court and to Judge Victor Marrero of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

Cara McClellan is Assistant Counsel at the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she works primarily on education access and ending the criminalization of youth of color. She is a co-author of the report Our Girls, Our Future: Investing in Opportunity and Reducing Reliance on the Criminal Justice System in Baltimore and counsel on lawsuits including SFFA v. Harvard, Robinson v. Wentzell, Bradford v. Maryland State Board of Education, and I.S. v. Binghamton School District. She has published in the Columbia Journal of Race & Law, Yale Law & Policy Review Inter Alia, The Hill, and the Huffington Post. Prior to joining LDF, Cara was a law clerk on the United States District Court for the District of Delaware and the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. Cara graduated with honors from Yale College, received an M.S.Ed. from Penn Graduate School of Education and a J.D. from Yale Law School. She previously taught middle school with Teach for America in Philadelphia.

Daniel R. Shulman is an attorney in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  He has been a practicing trial lawyer for 50 years, specializing in complex commercial and civil rights litigation. He is at present a Staff Attorney at the Minnesota ACLU, and Of Counsel with the Minneapolis law firm Shulman & Buske PLLC. He was admitted to practice in Minnesota in 1970 and has tried lawsuits in state and federal courts in Minnesota and numerous other states. He is a member of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers and the American College of Trial Lawyers. He was named a Minnesota Lawyer of the Year for 2012 and 2018. He obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree cum laude from Harvard College (1965), a Master’s Degree in English Literature from Yale University (1967), and a Juris Doctor degree with honors from Harvard Law School (1970).  He is the lead lawyer for the plaintiffs in Cruz-Guzman v. State of Minnesota, 916 N.W.2d 1 (2018), seeking to remedy segregation and educational inadequacy in the Minneapolis and St. Paul School Districts.