Cecelia (CeCe) Thomas is Senior Government Relations Manager at Trust for America’s Health. In this role, Cecelia leads TFAH’s advocacy around infectious disease and other public health issues, including funding for prevention. Most recently, Cecelia served as Manager of Legislative Affairs for Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and Planned Parenthood Action Fund. In that capacity, Cecelia advocated to protect federal funding for health centers, implemented PPFA’s legislative strategy and co-led the National Sex Education Coalition. Prior to her time with PPFA, Cecelia was a senior advisor in the U.S House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform and the Associate Director of Oversight at the U.S. Department of Commerce Office of the Secretary. She has also served on the staff of the U.S. House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs and the Office of Senator Bernie Sanders. Cecelia received her J.D. from the Fordham University School of Law and graduated cum laude from University of Michigan with a degree in political science.
Rashida is a performing artist, arts administrator and fundraising professional with over 12 years of experience in non-profit development and external relations. She currently serves as the Manager of Annual Giving at the Land Trust Alliance in DC. Rashida has contributed to the success of fundraising campaigns and initiatives at various organizations in her home state of Texas and Washington D.C., including theaters, museums, higher education and conservation institutions.
As a strategist, change-maker and forward-thinking arts leader, Rashida values and respects the arts as powerful and creative pathways to transcend historical and contemporary societal boundaries and advance peacebuilding, justice, empathy, dialogue and intercultural exchange, both locally and globally. Rashida holds a Master of Arts in Arts Leadership from the University of Houston and a Bachelors of Arts degree in Applied Music from Baylor University.
Ellys Abrams serves as the Director of Customer Service for Democracy Engine LLC, a donation processing platform, supporting nonprofits, professional fundraisers, and candidates at all levels. Her true passion is theatre and has a decade of experience in nonprofit management, most recently, as the General Manager for Theater Alliance and prior to that, Ringleader for Organizational Advancement for dog & pony dc. Ellys is currently pursuing her Master’s degree in Nonprofit Management from Johns Hopkins University and holds a B.A. from Smith College. When she’s not working or studying, you can find her walking her dog, Gherkin, through the streets of Shaw, or learning to crochet and weld.
Born in Rockville MD and a life-long resident of Washington DC, Liz has seen the DC region grow & change throughout her time exploring the region. A student of Psychology and American History, Liz has been able to employ her advanced skills as a real estate agent. Liz now lives in Chevy Chase, DC with her fantastic husband George Ho and their 15-year-old ragdoll cat Mortimer Clyde. When she’s not working, you’ll find her cooking big meals for friends, on the hunt for the perfect Christmas gifts for family, and active in entrepreneurship & feminist communities.
Carla is an artist and a leader, working in and between education, theater and museum spaces. Early in her career she served as the Living History Project Coordinator for The Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History, producing dramatizations of 20th century historical events.
In the DC area, she worked as a directing fellow and project manager for Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. Working with one of DC’s first charter schools, she pioneered an arts integration curriculum and drama program. At the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture she has served in several roles, including fundraising, donor stewardship and council (advisory board) management. Currently, she serves as the Assistant Director of Council Operations and Museum Initiatives.