About Grant-making Panel

Imani Jacqueline Brown

Imani Jacqueline Brown is a New Orleans native, artist, activist, and researcher. She believes that art can drive policy and orients her practice toward the ever-elusive flicker of justice on the horizon, knowing that our world cannot find balance until social, ecological, and economic reparations are won. Imani is Director of Programs at Antenna, a co-founder of Blights Out and a core member of Occupy Museums. Occupy Museums’ project, “Debtfair”, was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial at the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York. In 2015, Imani attended COP 21 as part of a #FossilFreeCulture delegation and there helped to establish the international Museum Liberation Movement. In 2009, she served as Oil and Gas Accountability Campaign Manager for the Gulf Restoration Network. She initiated and is Artistic Director of Fossil Free Fest.

James Burch

James Burch is APTP's policy coordinator. He began fighting for freedom in 2007 at the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) - for two years, James investigated human rights conditions in Georgia and Alabama prisons, jails, and court systems.  James left the SCHR in 2009 to study civil rights law at the Georgetown University Law Center. Upon graduating in 2012, James clerked briefly at the ACLU of Los Angeles before moving to the Bay Area. While in the Bay, James became involved with the Frisco 500 and other local organizing outfits. After working with and alongside the Anti Police Terror Project for several months, James joined the Black Leadership Committee and assumed the role of Policy Coordinator. James focuses on curtailing state violence in all of its many forms on the pathway to liberation. He believes that none of us are free until we are all free.

Melissa Rosario

Melissa Rosario is scholar, radical educator and healer who lives and works in Puerto Rico. She received her PhD in Anthropology and Latinx Studies in 2013 from Cornell University, going on to serve as a postdoctoral fellow at Bowdoin College and visiting assistant professor at Wesleyan University, her alma mater. During that time, she studied social movements and political currents in Puerto Rico, particularly interested in the process through which people transform. Committed to collective methods and dissatisfied with the options available to her in a contracting academic labor market she moved to Puerto Rico in September to launch CEPA—a physical space of praxis which nurtures our collective and individual capacity to heal from the legacies of colonialism and capitalism. CEPA’s purpose is to build an intellectual and political home that honors our earth, ancestors and the differences between us.  It offers a place where Puerto Ricans—from island and diaspora—and their allies can construct an alternative together.

Her first book, under contract with Northwestern University Press, Another Country: A Counter History of Puerto Rico in Crisis is a mashup of social history of contemporary social justice battles over land and education and her own story of return. It offers an alternative accounting of Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis told from the perspective of those trying to think and live their way beyond capitalism and related historical systems of exclusion. Another Country is a hybrid text that grapples with the meaning of freedom, recuperation and invention in America’s oldest colony.


Lilia Rosas

A Chicana queer, lesbiana feminist, revolucionaria, and educator, Lilia Rosas is originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, but has resided in the southside and eastside of Austin, Texas for over two decades.  She is the Executive Director of the nonprofit Red Salmon Arts, which is dedicated to Chican@/x, Latin@/x, and indigenous cultural arts programming and serving the autonomous communities of Austin and Central Texas.  And, this is where she humbly began as a volunteer in 2004 under the direction of poet, teacher, and human rights activist raúlrsalinas. Lilia also holds a Ph.D. in history from the University of Texas at Austin and is a presently an adjunct professor at St. Edward’s University in the Cultural Foundations Program.  Finally, Lilia is one of the caretakers of Resistencia Bookstore, the longest-running, independent Chican@/x, Latin@/x, Native American bookstore in Texas.  


Zakiya Sankara-Jabar

Zakiya Sankara-Jabar is the Co-Founder of Racial Justice NOW! and National Field Director for the Dignity in Schools Campaign. Zakiya came to advocacy, organizing, and policy work as a parent pushing back on the pre-school to prison pipeline. Prior to joining Dignity in Schools Campaign, she co-founded Racial Justice NOW! (RJN!) in Ohio and served as Executive Director for 5 years. During her time at RJN! Zakiya organized Black parents to fight back against schools’ overly harsh discipline policies and practices that are ineffective, unfair and detrimental. Through this advocacy, organizing, and policy work-parents were able to win some significant victories; including a moratorium on out of schools suspensions for PK students and the creation of the ‘office of males of color,’ in the Dayton Public Schools. This work has set the foundation for the Ohio legislature to seriously consider placing a ban on pre-k-3rd-grade suspensions and expulsions for public and charter schools in the State of Ohio.

Zakiya has been featured in publications from the Ohio Education Association (OEA) and presented training's on school climate and culture at the OEA Summer Academy in 2015 & 2016. Additionally, Zakiya was featured in an article on preschool expulsions from the Center for American Progress. Finally, Zakiya has an essay in the upcoming book: 'Lift Us Up! Don't Push Us Out! Voices from the Frontlines of the Educational Justice Movement'  on Beacon Press being release in Summer 2018."