2016 Sat. Policy Plenary: “Racism, Class and Power”
Keynote speakers Ashindi Maxton, Sandy Sorenson and Rev. Michael Neuroth provided policy background and information for EAD’s 2016 Congressional Advocacy Day ask related to restoring the Voting Rights Act and opposing the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
Ashindi Maxton, Independent Strategist in Democracy Reform, Racial Justice and Education
Ashindi Maxton is an independent strategist and donor advisor with extensive work in democracy reform, racial justice, and education. She led the voting rights task force at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and built the first national donor collaborative to invest in voting rights at the Democracy Alliance. She has developed funding strategy informing more than $100 million in investments from some of the largest foundations and individual donors in the United States including the Democracy Alliance, the Ford Foundation, The Women Donors Network, and the Sandler Family Foundation.
In addition to her work in philanthropy, Ashindi has served as the National Policy Director of the NAACP and the National Director of Political Partnerships for SEIU. Prior to this work, Ashindi had an early focus in education which included time as a bilingual fourth and fifth grade teacher in a Title 1 school, a fellow to the United States Senate Subcommittee on Education, the National Policy Director of Teach For America, and the principal of an elementary arts charter school in Washington D.C.
Ashindi been named to the “NAACP Power 40” list of most influential African-Americans under forty. She has also been listed three times to Washington Magazine’s “Young and the Guest List” of “forty and under geniuses, visionaries, crusaders and innovators shaping Washington’s future.” She was also a Fulbright Scholar to the Dominican Republic where she published the first national study on race consciousness among Dominican children.
Ms. Maxton has an International Baccalaureate degree from the United World College of the American West in New Mexico. She graduated magna cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from Vassar College with a degree in Africana Studies and later received a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California, Berkeley.
Sandy Sorenson, Director of Washington Office, Justice and Witness Ministries, The United Church of Christ
Sandy Sorensen currently serves as Director of the United Church of Christ, Justice and Witness Ministries, Washington, D.C. office. Sandy has served in a variety of capacities in over 20 years of experience in the national setting of the United Church of the Christ, including work in communications and policy advocacy on civil rights, justice for women, and media access. Sandy received a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Grinnell College and went on to earn her Master of Divinity degree from Yale University Divinity School in 1990.