Beth Ribet, PhD, JD Co-Director and Co-Founder
Dr. Ribet earned her doctorate from the University of California-Irvine in 2005, in Social Relations (Sociology & Anthropology), and her JD from UCLA Law in 2009, with a concentration in Critical Race Studies. She wrote her doctoral dissertation based on interviews with Jewish daughters of Holocaust survivors in the United States. In addition to her non-profit sector work, Dr. Ribet is a lecturer in Gender Studies and Disability Studies at UCLA, and has taught previously at UCLA Law and Columbia University Law, among other institutions. Virtually all of her research and teaching incorporates some focus on the role of subordination, violence and inequity in creating new disabilities, injuries and illnesses among vulnerable populations. She also speaks publicly as a survivor of violence, and a person with disabilities.
Claudia Pena, JD Co-Director and Co-Founder
Claudia was formerly the Statewide Director of the California Civil Rights Coalition (CCRC) for over five years. While there, Claudia focused on the California budget and progressive taxation policies, voting rights, racial justice, equal opportunity and coordinating ballot initiative efforts. She was previously Equal Justice Society’s Judge Constance Baker Motley Civil Rights Fellow where she researched issues of implicit bias and equal protection cases.
Claudia graduated from UCLA School of Law with a specialization in Critical Race Studies (CRS) and as part of the David J. Epstein Program in Public Interest Law & Policy. While at UCLAw, Claudia served as the Prisoner Reentry Initiative coordinator, which is a collaboration between CRS and A New Way of Life, a non-profit organization in Watts, Calif., providing housing and reentry support to formerly incarcerated women and their children. She has also worked at the Johannesburg, South Africa-based Lawyers for Human Rights and for the Badil Center for Refugee Rights in Bethlehem, Palestine. She received her B.A. in Sociology from Mills College.
Professor Alina Ball directs the Social Enterprise & Economic Empowerment Clinic at the University of California-Hastings. The clinic prepares students for a career in corporate law and provides them an opportunity to critically explore how transactional lawyering can advance issues of economic and social justice.
Prior to joining the faculty at UC Hastings, she was a Clinical Teaching Fellow with the Harrison Institute for Housing and Community Development at Georgetown University Law Center. In that role she worked with low-income residents to preserve affordable housing in the District of Columbia by representing tenant associations in the acquisition of their residential buildings and limited-equity cooperatives in the refinancing and operation of those buildings.
Before her career in academia, Professor Ball was an associate at Morrison & Foerster LLP, in San Francisco and Washington, DC, where her practice focused on representing private and public companies in debt, venture capital, private equity, and mergers and acquisitions transactions. She also advised nonprofit organizations on issues relating to entity formation, regulation of exempt organizations, and corporate governance.
She received her J.D. from UCLA School of Law in 2008, with a specialization in Critical Race Studies, and a B.A. degree from Wellesley College, majoring in Mathematics and Spanish, with a concentration in Latin American Studies.
Christina is an Associate at HCM Strategists which is a public policy and advocacy consulting firm focused on advancing effective solutions in health and education. She serves as a policy lead for Lumina Foundation’s Strategy Labs, providing policy expertise to states in order to reduce equity gaps in higher education attainment. She honed her policy and advocacy skills in a variety of leadership roles in leading public interest organizations such as Amnesty International and Neighborhood Legal Services. Most recently, Christina served as the Education Policy Director at the Alliance for a Better Community (“ABC”), a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting health and educational equity in communities of color.
A native of Peru, Christina entered the U.S. public school system speaking English as a second language and with hearing loss that contributed to learning disabilities. Christina persevered and began her post-secondary education in California’s community college system. She completed her bachelor’s degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), where she graduated with honors, with a triple major in Political Science, History, and International Development Studies. She remained at UCLA for law school, specializing in Public Interest Law & Policy and Critical Race Studies. Christina then traveled east to pursue her master’s degree at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she was awarded a Zuckerman Fellowship by the university’s Center for Public Leadership.
Passionate about community service, Christina helped to develop the Juvenile Justice Project, a collaboration between UCLA and Learning Rights Law Center that focused on the school-to-prison pipeline. A recent cancer survivor, Christina resides in sunny Los Angeles, California, where she practices daily gratitude and enjoys watching lovely sunsets alongside her husband.
Julian is a human rights lawyer working to advance and protect the rights of indigenous peoples across Oceania. Licensed to practice law in Guam, the Republic of Palau, and the Republic of the Marshall Islands, Julian founded Blue Ocean Law, a regional law firm that assists small island states and non-self-governing territories with implementing the normative obligations of international human rights law. An adjunct professor of law in the areas of international law and Pacific Islands legal systems and a United Nations-recognized expert on the international law of self-determination, Julian lectures at academic and civic institutions as well as global justice conferences around the world. Julian has published several books and law articles reframing the grassroots political struggles of indigenous and non-self-governing peoples as international human rights issues whose remedies lie beyond the borders of their enclosing states. In 2011, the Petra Foundation named Julian a national “human rights hero” in recognition of his work defending the human rights of Pacific Island peoples.
Lorraine Bonner was born and raised in New York City. She received her Bachelor’s degree from Harvard University, and a medical degree from Stanford Medical School. After her training she established a primary care practice in Oakland. As her work took her deeper into the experiences of her patients and their illnesses, she began to recognize the impact that a history of exposure to trauma had on physical and psychological functioning.
At the same time, her own trauma history began surfacing, and she turned to sculpture as a way of processing memories and exploring associations between personal and political iterations of violent domination.
Dr. Bonner is now retired after a thirty five year career in medicine, and is devoting her time to her art and writing from her home and studio in Oakland.
Zhaleh Boyd began volunteering in anti-trafficking in 1997 in Atlanta, continuing this work in Washington, DC and Seoul. While volunteering with trafficked brides in Seoul, she decided to work full time in anti-trafficking. In 2012, Zhaleh earned a Masters in Public Diplomacy with a focus in Human Trafficking from University of Southern California under the US Department of State Pickering Diplomatic Fellowship. While at USC, she served as Graduate Research Fellow in the Technology & Trafficking in Persons Initiative at the Annenberg Center on Communication Leadership & Policy. Her masters research explored shifting notions of coercion and consent in various trafficking contexts, and she conducted field research with sex trafficking survivors in Vietnam and labor trafficking survivors in Sierra Leone's diamond industry. During this time, she also worked as Director of Communications at Shine On Sierra Leone, an LA-based organization that partners with villages in the diamondiferous Kono region of Sierra Leone on development projects. Zhaleh is currently pursuing a PhD in Contemporary Slavery at Wilberforce Institute for the study of Slavery and Emancipation (WISE), where her doctoral thesis establishes a theoretical framework for contextualizing types of relationships between traffickers and victims. Zhaleh also is an Associate Fellow at University College of London's Institute for Commonwealth Studies and conducts human trafficking research and intervention design as an independent consultant.
Kelsey Bulkin is a musical recording artist. She is one-half of the duo that is Made in Heights, a Los-Angeles based band whose music can be described as experimental R & B. Together they released two albums. The debut album was in 2012 and is self-titled. The second, “Without My Enemy What Would I Do”, came out in 2015. As a singer/ songwriter, Bulkin orients towards her craft as healing. She thinks deeply about race, gender and the privilege of some over others and so hopes to provide honest intervention in what she perceives as unnecessary distinctions between one another. She is currently pursuing a solo project.
Before committing full-time to music, Bulkin studied Civil & Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley where she earned a B.S. Upon graduation, she worked as a high school teacher in Mathematics in Northern California. She went on to pursue a Masters in Urban Design from University of Pennsylvania. While in Philadelphia, she decided to follow her calling in music and thus, Made in Heights was born.
On any given night, Bulkin might be found watching movies like Bladerunner, reading books like To Kill a Mocking Bird or rollerskating to disco/funk and R & B music. She is married and lives in Los Angeles with her husband and their cat Goomba.
OF COUNSEL TO REPAIR
A professor of law and women's studies, Chris has taught at UCLA since 1983. Her primary research field is feminist legal theory, and she has led courses in employment discrimination, critical race theory, disability rights and sexual orientation. She helped develop the UCLA School of Law's policies and procedures on accommodations for students with disabilities, and has served on faculty advisory committees for the Women's Law Journal and for UCLA's Critical Race Studies program and Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation and Law.
Professor Littleton joined UCLA after serving as law clerk to Judge Warren J. Ferguson of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She began teaching in the women's studies interdepartmental program in 1985 and served as chair for several terms. Since 2008, she has served as founding chair of the Department of Women's Studies, where she has taught undergraduate and graduate courses. She also was interim director of the Center for the Study of Women from 2003 to 2006.
Professor Littleton has served on Chancellor's advisory committees on the gay and lesbian community, on working groups and task forces on disability issues, and on the recent Academic Programs Task Force. She also has been active in the community as a founding member of the Board of the California Women's Law Center and a volunteer attorney for several nonprofit civil rights organizations. She has conducted or overseen investigations for the university and the City of Los Angeles involving allegations of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, religion and disability, has conducted trainings on sex and sexual orientation discrimination and served as special master or consultant for major settlements in cases brought by the U.S. Department of Justice concerning housing and public accommodations discrimination. She earned a bachelor's degree with highest distinction in secondary education and communications from Pennsylvania State University and a J.D. from Harvard University.
Nana Ama Sarfo
Ama is a legal writer and editor who currently works for legal services giant Thomson Reuters as an Associate Editor within its Practical Law division. Before joining Thomson Reuters, Ama was a senior tax reporter for Law360, a New York City-based legal newswire. At Law360, Ama covered a broad range of federal, international and state tax matters, including tax policy, litigation, and regulation. As part of her beat, Ama routinely traveled between New York City and Washington D.C., interviewing high level government officials and top tax practitioners at elite law firms and accounting firms. She also covered breaking tax news coming out of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. Congress, the Internal Revenue Service and the U.S. Tax Court.
Aside from writing, Ama is passionate about social justice and interned with several nonprofits in law school and college, including the International Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) Ghana, the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts (NY) and New York PBS station WNET/Thirteen, which is one of the largest producers of educational content in the PBS system.
In her spare time, Ama is currently developing a digital magazine for young black women and teens named paprikah magazine, which is intended to fill a current void in the media market and uplift, inspire and entertain women of color during an often exciting, but uncertain, period of their lives. Ama received her J.D. in 2012 from Columbia University. She received her B.A. with honors in 2009 from the University of Pittsburgh with a triple major in Africana Studies, English Writing and History.
Lisa Concoff Kronbeck
Lisa Concoff Kronbeck graduated from UCLA School of Law in June 2010 and was admitted to the California State Bar later that year. She also holds a master's degree in public policy from the UCLA School of Public Affairs, with a concentration in health and social policy. Following law school, Lisa worked for two years as a staff attorney in the public benefits unit at Disability Rights California, assisting clients primarily with benefits linked to disability, including Medi-Cal, Supplemental Security Income, Social Security Disability Insurance, and In-Home Supportive Services. At present, Lisa is the primary caretaker for her tiniest client thus far: her daughter, who was born with Down Syndrome and Type A esophageal atresia.