Introducing the Leaders of Color National Advisory Board!

Leaders of Color
2 min readApr 19, 2021

Written by Michael Bland, National Director, Leaders of Color

We pride ourselves on providing three components to our fellows and alumni: The knowledge they use to understand civic and political leadership. The know-how to navigate their community’s political, civic, and cultural systems. And, a strong network to leverage as they work to make change.

The last piece — the network — is a key part of the magic in our program. For far too long, leaders of color around the country have lacked the necessary network to achieve real equity and opportunities in their respective communities. To change that, we are humbled to onboard 17 leaders of color to our newly formed National Advisory Board. These leaders represent a variety of sectors including education reform, social justice, environmental justice, political sourcing and entertainment. Together, our alumni, current fellows, leaders of color staff, and our new board will work to truly achieve equitable and quality outcomes for the future of this country.

Meet our National Advisory Board:

Benjamin Branch, Former Executive Director, Congressional Black Caucus PAC

Leonard Brooks, Founder & CEO, Taste Music Group & Meshach Management

Tonio Burgos, CEO, Tonio Burgos & Associates

Addisu Demissie, Executive Director at More Than A Vote

Scot Esdaile, NAACP President, Connecticut, National Social Justice Chair (NAACP)

Judith Fenelus, Chief of Staff to Assemblywoman Shavonda E. Sumter

Chris James, East Orange Council President, Former NJ Executive Director of NJ State Democratic Party

Frankie Miranda, President and CEO of the Hispanic Federation

Regina Montoya, CEO & Chairperson of Regina T. Montoya PLLC, National Co-Chair, Women’s Leadership Forum (WLF) at Democratic National Committee

Terence Patterson, CEO Memphis Education Fund

Marisa Rivera, President, Mpowerment Works, LLC

Chuck Rocha, Author, Founder and President, Solidarity Strategies

Naomi Shelton, Chief Executive Officer at National Charter Collaborative

Anthony Smith, Vice President of Project Management, Prudential

DeJuana Thompson, Founder Woke Vote / Interim President, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute

Jonae Wartel, VP, Elections & Advocacy at More than a Vote

Gabrielle Wyatt, Founder, The Highland Project



Leaders of Color

We identify, train, and support Black and Hispanic civic leaders.