Board of Directors
Frank Askin is Distinguished Professor of Law and Founding Director of the Constitutional Litigation Clinic at Rutgers School of Law-Newark. Professor Askin has been a member of the National Board of the American Civil Liberties Union since 1969, and has been one of the ACLU's four general counsel since 1976. His memoir, Defending Rights: A Life in Law and Politics, was published in 1997 (Prometheus Books). Mr. Askin is listed in Woodward & White's Best Lawyers in America.
Renee Brereton has spent her career working for social and economic justice through faith-based community organizations. Currently the Lead Organizer for the Gamaliel Foundation’s Prince George County affiliate in Maryland, Ms. Brereton is engaged in building a power based organization in a predominately African American county addressing economic/social issues including public safety, housing foreclosures, and inferior schools. Previously she coordinated the national health care campaign for the Gamaliel Foundation. Ms. Brereton’s more than twenty-five years’ experience in the nonprofit world include over 19 years at the Catholic Campaign for Human Development, where she was the grants coordinator at the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' domestic anti-poverty program, and provided leadership around a number of public policy issues important to low-income, immigrant, and underserved communities. Ms. Brereton also brings to Project Vote a passion for, and knowledge of, voter engagement issues, having worked with a number of local, state, and national campaigns. Ms. Brereton lives in Washington, D.C.
Christina Greer is an assistant professor of political science at Fordham University-Lincoln Center campus. Her research and teaching focus on American politics, black ethnic politics, urban politics, quantitative methods, and public opinion. Professor Greer is currently conducting research on the history of African Americans and the executive office in the U.S. Her research interests also include crime and public policy in urban centers. Prof. Greer’s previous work has compared criminal activity and political responses in Boston and Baltimore. She is currently working on a book manuscript, Shared Visions, Different Dreams: Black Ethnic Identity, Participation, and Policy. Prof. Greer received her B. A. from Tufts University, and her M.A., M.Phil., and Ph.D. in Political Science from Columbia University.
Margaret Groarke is an Associate Professor of Government at Manhattan College in the Bronx, New York, where she also directs the college's Peace Studies program. She earned her BA at Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges, and her PhD at the City University of New York. She is co-author, with Frances Fox Piven and Lorraine Minnite, of Keeping Down the Black Vote: Race and the Demobilization of American Voters. She teaches American politics, especially electoral politics, and European politics. She is an active member of the board of the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition, which has engaged in broad-based, membership driven, social justice community organizing in the Northwest Bronx for the last 35 years. She worked as a community organizer for the Coalition in the late 1980s, primarily working on tenant organizing and issues regarding the development of vacant land. Margaret Groarke is also an active member, and current co-chair of, the Peace and Justice Studies Association, a North American organization devoted to bringing together academics, K-12 educators and activists to engage in research and advocacy for a more just, more peaceful world.
Craig Kaplan has been practicing law for more than three decades, and since 2006 has been counsel to Rabinowitz, Boudin, Standard,Krinsky, & Lieberman, P.C., where he represents not-for-profit organizations and specializes in the area of wills, trusts and estates. Mr. Kaplan brings to Project Vote a long history of working to expand the voter franchise, including serving as Counsel to the Voter Protection Project of America's Families United, where he was in the leadership of national voter registration efforts. Mr. Kaplan has taught at New York University and Queens College, served as a member of the faculty of the National Institute of Trial Advocacy, and has served on the board of directors of many not-for-profit organizations and foundations. In 1974, Mr. Kaplan joined the Criminal Defense Division of The Legal Aid Society; in 1978 he was elected president of the Association of Legal Attorneys of the City of New York ("ALAA"), and was instrumental in effectuating the affiliation of the Union into the professional division of the UAW. A 1969 graduate of Boston University, Mr. Kaplan holds a Masters Degree in political science from the Graduate Faculty of The New School for Social Research (1971) and a law degree from the New York University School of Law.
Frances Fox Piven
France Fox Piven is Distinguished Professor of Political Science and Sociology at the Graduate School and University Center, CUNY. Professor Piven'swork reflects a preoccupation with the uses of political science to promote democratic reform. Piven is a scholar-citizen, equally at home in the university and in the world of politics. Her Regulating the Poor, co-authored with Richard Cloward, is a landmark historical and theoretical analysis of the role of welfare policy in the economic and political control of the poor and working class. First published in 1972 and updated in 1993, it is widely acknowledged as a social science classic. She also co-authored Poor Peoples' Movements (1977) which analyzes the political dynamics through which insurgent social movements sometimes compel significant policy reforms. Piven and Cloward's The New Class War (1982, updated 1985), The Mean Season (1987), and The Breaking of the American Social Compact (1997) traced the historical and political underpinnings of the contemporary attack on social and regulatory policy. In Why Americans Don't Vote (1988; updated as Why Americans Still Don't Votein 2000) they analyzed the role of electoral laws and practices in disenfranchising large numbers of working class and poor citizens, and the impact of disenfranchisement on party development. And in 1992, Piven edited Labor Parties in Postindustrial Societies. More recently, in The War at Home, Piven examines the domestic causes and consequences of the foreign wars launched by the Bush administration. Since then, Piven has authored Challenging Authority: How Ordinary People Change America, and, with Lorraine Minnite and Margaret Groarke, Keeping Down the Black Vote.
Michael Slater is the executive director of Project Vote. Find more about Mr. Slater's professional experience here.
For over 30 years, Garland Yates has been a significant figure in mobilizing communities for action and results in communities all across the United States. He is well known for his work in local communities to improve outcomes for families and communities by combating poverty, and racial, economic, and political inequality. Mr. Yates has worked in recent years with key players in several communities across the U. S. and Canada to help make them safe and caring places to live and for children to grow up in. Some notable past efforts include the work he did through the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Rebuilding Communities and Making Connections Community Change Initiatives to build the capacity of local communities to foster long-term positive change. Following the destruction caused by Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Mr. Yates designed a funding strategy for the Louisiana Disaster Recovery Foundation that facilitated direct action by residents in the reconstruction of New Orleans. Garland is currently working with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation in Little Rock, Arkansas and the United Way of Greater Toronto to help strengthen their funding approaches to engage residents in comprehensive community revitalization strategies in communities.
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