Sujatha Jesudason, PhD Executive Director
Sujatha Jesudason, Ph.D. As founder and Executive Director, Sujatha brings her expertise in social justice, community organizing and historically marginalized groups to all of Generations Ahead’s efforts. From examining the fault lines in efforts to curtail sex selection to exposing attempts to pit reproductive rights against disability rights, Sujatha works to forge unlikely collaborations and look past forced simplifications. With over 20 years as an advocate for women’s rights, Sujatha has worked at Asian Communities for Reproductive Justice, 9to5 National Association of Working Women and the Center for Genetics and Society. As Board Chair of National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and having served on the Management Circle of SisterSong, Sujatha is a key leader in the field of reproductive justice. She works at the intersection of issues too often considered separately: economic inequality, domestic violence, cultural norms, discrimination, and gender roles. In this, Sujatha merges not only topics but methods, from rigorous academic research to on the ground movement building, and from legislative education to media advocacy. A leading voice on the ethics of genetic innovations, women’s rights and racial justice, Sujatha holds a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.
Marina Ortega Managing Director
Marina joined Generations Ahead in 2008 and brings a strong background in business management, particularly project management, critical thinking and systems analysis, and strategic management. She has worked with various nonprofit organizations focused on Latino issues including homelessness, computer training, and economic security. Prior to working in the nonprofit sector, Marina worked in the Silicon Valley’s high tech industry, focused on semiconductor life-cycle management.
Susannah Baruch, JD Policy Director and Consultant
Susannah directs the organization’s policy work in Washington, DC. She brings more than 15 years of experience in federal policy and advocacy, specializing in women’s health and reproductive genetics. Most recently she served as Law and Policy Director at the Genetics and Public Policy Center at Johns Hopkins University. Previously, she advocated for genetic non-discrimination and women’s reproductive health at the National Partnership for Women and Families, and worked on Capitol Hill for Nita Lowey (D-NY).
Purvi Shah Consultant
Purvi Shah is a content expert in issues related to violence against women, language access, policy advocacy, and media including non-profit film and website communications. For nearly eight years, Purvi served as the Executive Director of Sakhi for South Asian Women, a community-based anti-domestic violence organization. She has been a board member for the New York Women’s Foundation as well as an instructor on South Asian and American literature university courses. Her debut book of poetry, Terrain Tracks (New Rivers Press 2006), garnered the Many Voices Project prize.
Crystal Plati (chair) - Formerly with ChoiceUSA
Firmly committed since the beginning of her career to social justice, grassroots movements, and progressive politics, Crystal is a dynamic national leader who has helped give voice to thousands of young people, progressives, and women through her experience as an executive and leadership consultant. Before joining 21st Century Democrats as Executive Director, Crystal ran her own consulting business where she supported clients with leadership development and capacity building programs, executive coaching, and organizational planning. She built her considerable experience at Choice USA where, as Executive Director, she helped transform the group into the vibrant, inter-generational, sustainable, effective organization it is today. She also has extensive experience building partnerships and networks.
Alison Kafer Assistant Professor of Feminist Studies - Southwestern University
Alison Kafer is Associate Professor and Chair of Feminist Studies at Southwestern University. She has served on the board of the Society for Disability Studies and is co-editor, with Susan Burch, of Deaf and Disability Studies: Interdisciplinary Perspectives (Gallaudet, 2010). Her work on gender, sexuality, and disability has been published in several journals and anthologies, and she is currently working on a manuscript on feminist queer crip futures.
Le'a Malia Kanehe, JD Attorney - Indigenous People's Council of Biocolonialism
Le’a is a Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) attorney from Honolulu, Hawai’i, who is currently a lecturer in Hawaiian Studies at University of Hawai’i-Leeward Community College. Her background includes advocacy at the international level for the rights of Indigenous peoples at the UN human rights Working Group on Indigenous Populations, the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, the Convention on Biological Diversity and the World Intellectual Property Organization. She worked for five years as a legal analyst for the Indigenous Peoples’ Council on Biocolonialism, a Native American non-profit organization, evaluating international environmental, intellectual property, and human rights law for Indigenous peoples facing impacts from genetic research and technologies.
Jackie Payne Principal - The Raben Group
Jackie is a Principal at the Raben Group, bringing over a decade of experience in law and public policy gained at the state, national, and international level. Jackie possesses a wealth of knowledge on matters related to gender equality, civil rights, and social justice. She has held positions at the Legal Assistance Foundation of Chicago, NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and as an adjunct professor at Georgetown University, teaching classes on Gender, Equality, and the Law.
Dorothy Roberts Professor - Northwestern University
Dorothy has written and lectured extensively on the interplay of gender, race, and class in legal issues concerning reproduction, bioethics, and child welfare. She is the author of Killing the Black Body: Race, Reproduction, and the Meaning of Liberty (Pantheon, 1997), and Shattered Bonds: The Color of Child Welfare (Basic Books, 2002). She serves as a member of the board of directors of the Black Women’s Health Imperative and the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform.
Silvia Yee Attorney - Disability Rights Education and Defense Fund (DREDF)
Silvia is the staff attorney working on national litigation and policy at DREDF. She has worked in private commercial practice, and with the Health Law Institute at the University of Alberta in Canada, where she published on the topics of Canadian Health Care Standards and the extent of the nursing profession’s legal authority. She received her LL.B. from the University of Alberta, and clerked with the Honorable Justice William Stevenson at the Alberta Court of Appeal. She is particularly interested in issues raised by the comparison of different models of equality and justice underlying disability anti-discrimination laws, and in the applicability to disability discrimination of historically evolving social-psychological theories of prejudice.
Miriam W. Yeung, MPA Executive Director - NAPAWF
Miriam is the Executive Director of the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum (NAPAWF). NAPAWF is a national grassroots organization with a mission to forge a progressive movement for the social and economic justice and political empowerment of APA women and girls. Prior to this position, Miriam had a ten year career at the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center in New York City where she was the Director of Public Policy Government Relations and responsible for the advocacy, community education, and government relations work of the Center including Promote the Vote and Causes in Common, building working alliances between the reproductive rights and LGBT liberation movements.