STAFF & BOARD
megan j. peterson executive director
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Megan J. Peterson joined Gender Justice in 2016 bringing her many years of experience in progressive social justice causes, in particular reproductive rights and justice. As Deputy Director for the National Network of Abortion Funds (NNAF), Megan helped lead the organization through a period of significant growth and increased impact by expanding and strengthening its network of grassroots abortion funds and increasing its donor and foundation funding. Megan was instrumental in NNAF's founding leadership in All* Above All, a national campaign to repeal the Hyde Amendment.
Prior to her nine years with NNAF, Megan served as Director of Development and Communications for Pro-Choice Resources (now called Our Justice) in Minneapolis and as a patient advocate at Planned Parenthood in St. Paul. In college she worked with the National Organization for Women in Washington, DC, and the NOW Legal Defense and Education Fund (now called Legal Momentum).
Erin maye Quade Advocacy Director
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Erin Maye Quade is the Advocacy Director at Gender Justice where she works to advance gender justice through public education, legislative outreach, strategic partnerships and coalition-building.
Former Rep. Erin Maye Quade was first elected to the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016. She quickly established herself as a fierce advocate for working families championing paid family leave; expanding access to affordable child care; ending childhood hunger; eliminating gun violence; and investing in treatment for mental health and substance abuse issues. In 2018, Rep. Maye Quade founded the Childhood Hunger Caucus, a coalition of businesses, nonprofits and policymakers dedicated to ending childhood hunger in Minnesota.
After legislation to prevent gun violence was stopped by Republican lawmakers, Rep. Maye Quade held a 24-hour sit-in on the House floor to protest Republican inaction to prevent gun violence and shared stories of victims and survivors of gun violence. In June 2018, Rep. Erin Maye Quade was endorsed as the DFL candidate for Lt. Governor.
Jess Braverman Legal Director
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Jess Braverman is the legal director at Gender Justice, where she ensures that our litigation strategy not only promotes the dignity of our clients but also advances our mission of removing barriers to gender equity.
Jess came to Gender Justice from the Hennepin County Public Defender’s office. After representing hundreds of clients in felony matters in the Fourth District, she spearheaded the office’s Special Litigation Unit, where she focused on racial profiling in policing. Jess developed litigation that challenged racially discriminatory undercover marijuana sting operations, which brought about an end to the practice and the dismissal of dozens of wrongful charges.
Jess attended NYU Law School, where she was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellow with a focus on LGBT civil rights. She worked with organizations dedicated to LGBT and gender civil rights advocacy, access to health care, immigration advocacy and workers rights, including the Silvia Rivera Law Project and the Transgender Legal Defense Fund. After graduating, Jess worked at the Legal Aid Society’s Juvenile Rights Project, representing young people in delinquency and child protection cases in Brooklyn, New York.
Christy Hall Senior Staff Attorney
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Christy Hall is a staff attorney at Gender Justice who represents clients challenging gender discrimination. She practices in both state and federal court, and has argued before the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals and the Minnesota Court of Appeals. Christy litigates cases involving discrimination in employment, housing, health care, and education. She has a particular interest in representing clients who have experienced trauma.
Christy graduated magna cum laude from the University of Minnesota Law School and joined Gender Justice in 2011 as a Robina Public Interest Scholars Fellow, a prestigious legal fellowship. Christy has worked for the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office on sexual assault and domestic violence cases. She has also volunteered for anti-domestic violence organizations the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women and Praxis International. Prior to becoming an attorney, Christy worked as a computer programmer.
Dee Baskin Operations manager
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Dee Baskin is a writer, speaker, and leader with over a decade of administrative support experience. She is passionate about gender equity and reproductive justice, with a particular interest in the complexities that impact communities of color, low-income populations, and LGBTQ people. Dee also believes in empowerment through education, and participates in projects as both a teacher and a learner.
Dee completed an Associate’s in Computer Information Systems from Ivy Tech Community College of Indiana, a Bachelor’s in English and Public Relations from the University of Indianapolis, and a JD from the University of Minnesota Law School.
Stephanie Shea Communications & Engagement Manager
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Stephanie Shea is project-oriented creative who, after working with Gender Justice in a contractor capacity through the Minnesotans for Trust, Respect, Access, and Keep Birth Control Co-Pay Free campaigns, joined the organization as Communications and Engagement Manager in December 2018. She has a Master of Fine Arts in Media Design and brings with her a broad set of skills including graphic design, print and digital advertising, digital media strategy, event planning, public engagement, and program management.
Stephanie is also on the board of Our Justice, the local Twin Cities-based abortion fund, and spent seven years at Whole Woman’s Health, a national independent abortion provider and lead plaintiff in the landmark Supreme Court case, Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt.
abigail hencheck saeks public interest residency fellow
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Abigail Hencheck is a third-year University of Minnesota law student and Saeks Public Interest Residency Fellow at Gender Justice. She is passionate about litigation, particularly in the area of civil sexual assault and harassment, gender violence, and international human rights. She has worked as a Student Certified Attorney the Southern Minnesota Regional Legal Services where she helped our most vulnerable community members stay in their homes through litigation and advocacy. She also spent time as Student Certified Attorney at Gender Justice advocating for the rights of victims of sexual assault.
Abigail serves as a Benjamin B. Ferencz Fellow of Human Rights and Law at World Without Genocide. In law school Abigail Co-Founded and served as Executive Board Member for the Human Rights Advocacy Project.
ashlynn kendzior robina post-graduate fellow
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Ashlynn Kendzior is a 2018 graduate of the University of Minnesota Law School and is joining Gender Justice as a Robina Public Interest Scholar Post-Graduate Fellow. She is passionate about policy advocacy, reproductive rights, and international human rights. Her experience includes researching international law and counterterrorism regimes for Professor Fionnuala Ní Aoláin, as well as representing asylum seekers and victims of human trafficking with the University of MN Immigration and Human Rights Clinic.
Ashlynn graduated cum laude from the University of Minnesota's Honors Program in 2014 and holds a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish Studies.
LUCIE GULINO Jill Gaulding Law Student Fellowship for Gender and LGBTQ Justice
It is an honor and privilege to receive the Jill Gaulding Fellowship, and to work at Gender Justice this summer. As a queer woman of color, Gender Justice's mission to fight discrimination based on sex, gender, and sexual orientation resonates with me on a deeply personal level. Our legal system continuously legitimizes violence against queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people by upholding queer and transphobic laws.
The Jill Gaulding Fellowship at Gender Justice not only gives me an opportunity to combat the structures that reproduce this violence, but also illustrates Gender Justice's commitment to the material redistribution of power to queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Debra Fitzpatrick, Chair
Amanda Furst, Vice Chair
Anthony Tovar, Treasurer
Susan Coler, Legal Advisory Committee Chair
Tiffini Flynn Forslund
Sasha Houston Brown
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Jill Gaulding began her career at MIT, obtaining undergraduate and graduate degrees in Cognitive Science. She then pursued public interest law and has focused her legal career on understanding and eliminating gender barriers. She has done international research on gender stereotypes and family leave policies, as well as taught law at the University of Iowa with a focus on global feminist strategy.
Both as a professor and as a practicing lawyer, Jill has worked to modernize the legal system to better reflect what cognitive science has taught us about implicit bias. Seven years after co-founding Gender Justice, Jill accepted a call to pursue a Masters of Divinity at Harvard. She transitioned out of her role at Gender Justice in June of 2017.
Established in 2017, the Jill Gualding Law Student Fellowship offers second- or third-year LGBTQ and/or BIPOC laws students the invaluable opportunity to work in a social justice, public interest legal and policy advocacy nonprofit dedicated to fighting gender inequality. The Fellowship is currently accepting applications for summer 2019 - click here to learn more.
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As an attorney, Lisa Stratton specializes in gender discrimination cases. She began her career at the University of Minnesota Law School, where she later joined the faculty as a professor and director of the Workers' Rights Clinic. She has won noteworthy federal cases on behalf of undocumented immigrant workers and women trailblazing in male-dominated industries, such as paper mills and processing plants.
In 2014, she was a key advocate at the Minnesota legislature. As part of her work leading Gender Justice's policy program, she lobbied for the progressive public policy changes in Minnesota's groundbreaking Women's Economic Security Act.
In June 2018, Lisa transitioned out of her role at Gender Justice and is now in private practice.