Young People For Team
Joy Lawson is the Director of YP4. Joy began her career as a student organizer at the University of Kansas. There she worked with local organizations to ensure Kansas youth received medically accurate sex education by campaigning local and state school boards. For her work on sex education Joy was awarded Choice USA's Generation-to-Generation Chapter Leadership Award and soon after joined the field staff at Choice USA as a National Field Associate and later as the Midwestern States Field Coordinator. At Choice USA she worked to build a stronger progressive movement by training and developing a diverse base of young reproductive justice leaders.
Joy joined the People For staff in February 2010 as YP4's Advanced Leadership and Alumni Program Manager. Over the past several years Joy has worked to ensure that the relationships and work completed during the YP4 Fellowship are sustained and supported over the long-term. Under her leadership over 60% of the alumni of Young People For have reengaged with the program and the YP4 Alumni Network has become a community of young progressives committed to cultivating and supporting YP4 programs and fellows through mentorship, networking, advanced leadership trainings and much more.
Joy is a Midwest Academy graduate and a 2006 Grassroots Organizing Weekend trainer. She comes to YP4 with training in grassroots organizing, leadership development, and capacity building. Committed to mentorship, Joy currently acts as a coach for the New Leaders Fellowship housed in the Center for Progressive Leadership.
Laura Williamson joined People For the American Way Foundation and the Young People For team in July 2012. As Fellowship Program Manager, she works to develop the newest generations of progressive leaders in the United States through trainings, mentorship, and support of social justice projects. Prior to coming to YP4 she called New Orleans home, where she worked as the Education Outreach Coordinator at Puentes New Orleans, a non-profit organization working with the Latino community to demand the inclusion of Latinos in public, political and socio-economic life. In this role, Laura had the opportunity to learn from and support amazing youth leaders as they organized for language access, curriculum equity, and racial justice in their schools and communities. A native North Carolinian, Laura is a graduate the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she majored in English and International Studies. Laura also spent a year doing graduate coursework in public policy and social planning at La Universidad Nacional de Cuyo in Mendoza, Argentina.
Gabriela De Golia is the Advocacy Associate at YP4. A San Francisco native and recent graduate of Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, she has been involved in grassroots organizing and progressive politics for many years. As an elected member of Middletown's Democratic Town Committee and the Vice President of the Wesleyan Democrats, she registered hundreds of students to vote, fought voter suppression efforts targeted against Wesleyan students, and successfully collaborated with Connecticut legislators to increase the state penalty for voter suppression from a misdemeanor to a felony. She also created and chaired the Student Government's Wesleyan-Middletown Relations committee, and worked as a Peer Advisor to help diverse groups of students navigate the college process. Gabriela earned a dual degree in Wesleyan's Government and Science in Society Programs, and prior to attending university she completed France's national Math and Science Baccalaureate degree.
Andrew Humphrey is a Fellowship Associate at YP4. He hails from Little Rock, Arkansas, where he attended the historic Little Rock Central High School. Andrew is a 2010 graduate of Davidson College in North Carolina, where he majored in Sociology and minored in Chinese, and where he worked to enhance the student experience as the Head Resident Advisor for Diversity Initiatives and as a Senior Admissions Fellow. After graduation, Andrew moved to Beijing, China and worked as Associate Counselor/SAT Prep Coach for Far View Academic Consulting. In 2011, Andrew returned to North Carolina as a Deputy Field Organizer for Organizing for America, through which work he continued his advocacy for inclusive, progressive policies and institutions that honor the diversity and autonomy of our nation’s communities.
Vidushani Jayalal is a Fellowship Associate at YP4. A recent graduate from the University of Maryland, Vidushani's passion for community based social change was cultivated and nurtured by mentors and in both academic and community spaces. During her time at UMD, Vidushani served in various roles in service-learning programs focused on engaging UMD students in direct service and reflective dialogue. Her most formative experience was providing support and training to student leaders advocating for their communities, experiences she looks forward to incorporating in her new position at YP4. After graduating, Vidushani was the Health Advocacy Fellow at The League of United Latin American Citizens. Her work was focused on supporting and advocating with local communities on different health topics ranging from: Latinos Living Healthy, the Affordable Care Act's importance to underserved communities and the overuse of antibiotics on industrial farms. Vidushani brings with her skills in curriculum development, grassroots organizing and mentorship and is very enthusiastic to be at YP4!
Advanced Leadership Department
Anthony Stevens serves as YP4’s (www.youngpeoplefor.org) Advanced Leadership Coordinator. Anthony V. Stevens is a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Charlotte where he majored in Africana Studies. He also attended North Carolina Agricultural & Technical University an HBCU where he studied International Affairs. He has since begun graduate coursework in the field of Public Policy and Political Management.
A native Washingtonian with over 5 years’ experience in Leadership Development and political campaigning, Anthony most recently worked as a scheduler for a nation-wide bus tour aimed at combating youth gun violence. The 1911 United tour was titled: Love and Protect Our Children, Chicago 30 for 30. In celebration of America’s 150th Anniversary of the Emancipation Proclamation, 1911 United connected local and national organizations to people in their respective communities, asking for all to Love & Protect Our Children across the US. With an extra emphasis on Chicago, Illinois, the tour bus stopped in major areas of needed concentration to alert the community that 1911 United, its core partnerships, and all of its supporters are here to Love and Protect Our Children. This was done in an uncharacteristic political campaign way that proved to be highly beneficial to the organization's programming goals of getting over 3200 people to commit to continue the work.
Prior to that, he served as Deputy Regional GOTV Director for a closely run congressional campaign in South Carolina. In 2012, he served as a Field Organizer for OFA-NC where he and his volunteer teams increased voter turnout by nearly 10% in Edgecombe County, rural North Carolina. Right after the campaign, he served as a Volunteer Captain for the Presidential Inaugural Committee. He is also an alumnus of the Congressional Black Caucus Foundations’ Emerging Leaders program.
Chagan Sanathu is the Alumni Program Coordinator with YP4. As a former Fellowship Associate and a 2010 YP4 Fellow, she has a long history of engagement with the YP4 Program. A recent graduate of Goshen College, where she graduated with a degree in Business and Public Relations, she has held numerous leadership positions, including serving as a Senate chair and the International Student Club leader at her school. Last summer, Chagan was selected to participate in the New Leaders Internship program with the Center for Progressive Leadership, where she developed skills to be a part of the progressive movement. Before joining staff, Chagan interned at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, researching the effects of child tax credit and earned income tax credit on low-income communities, especially on women who survived domestic violence. Most of her work and focus has been in women’s issues and raising awareness of domestic violence and sexually abused women in South Asian communities. She is also a Board member for National Asia Pacific American Women's Forum- DC Chapter, where she works on fundraising to continue to help the chapter work on immigration reform, reproductive justice and any other issues the API community faces.
Verone Bernard is a current YP4 Fellow and an intern in the Fellowship Department. She is a sophomore at Howard University where she is majoring in Political Science. Her passions lie in education and poverty policy reform. Verone and her sister founded the non-profit youth led organization,SPARK the Truth, which promotes civic engagement and nonviolence in the city of Boston through the South African proverb of Ubuntu, which translates to “I am because you are.” Ubuntu is Verone’s guiding principle; it gives her hope for a better world. She is a member of Alpha Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated; the Charles Houston Hamilton Pre-Law Society; and the Golden Key International Honor Society. She plans to attend law school after graduating from Howard.
Brian Clark is the Alumni Programs Intern at YP4. He is currently a junior at The Catholic University of America, where he’s majoring in Psychology with a double minor in Spanish and Philosophy. He’s very excited to help advance progressive issues, and is particularly passionate about promoting mental healthcare policy, safe schools, and human rights. He plans to pursue a PhD and/or JD in the future.