The Steering Committee directs all FBC programmatic efforts and is made up of both individual and organizational members.
Doni is a Policy Analyst at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute, a non-profit organization that promotes budget choices that address DC’s racial and economic inequities through independent research and policy. She is passionate about amplifying and addressing the ways in which racist public policies and private actions created residential segregation and the current socioeconomic conditions in Black and Brown communities throughout the country. Doni is originally from Pittsburgh and enjoys a good book, political TV dramas and scrolling through Twitter.
Nikita is the Policy Attorney for the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence. She has years of experience working in the domestic violence community and began her work almost 20 years ago, in Michigan, as a domestic violence shelter volunteer and court advocate. She has represented domestic violence survivors in court and has also done legal work/research in Namibia, Italy, Myanmar and Haiti. When she is not working, Nikita is blasting old soul and R&B music at home and in her car.
Leonard J. Edwards
Leonard is originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He is also a father of three. After his United States Marine Corp active duty service ended, he moved to Washington, DC in 1984 and worked at FBI headquarters. He later worked for a patent and trademark law firm until 2002. After 9/11 he left the field and could not find work. He started to have health issues and a friend suggested that Edwards go to Bread for the City, an organization that helps DC residents access the material resources they need for survival and growth, and for the prosperity of their social, emotional and spiritual lives. He started as a client, then became a client leader and subsequently a member of BFC’s Housing Advocacy Department. He currently sits on the BFC Board of Directors. With the help of BFC, he also started a non-profit called Connection COREE, which helps returning citizens transition back to civilian life.
Betty works on health, behavioral health, senior services and workforce development policy as the Senior Advocacy & Community Engagement Specialist at SOME, Inc. The most important part of her job is working with D.C. residents most affected by long-lasting issues in the city to help uncover and recapture their power so they can rise to become advocacy and organizing leaders. Betty became interested in this type of work while in law school when she realized that many of the people who found themselves in the criminal system were there because of systemic issues stemming from poverty, racism and/or classism. Betty is a proud (most days) native Arkansan (yes, there are Black people in Arkansas), so she loves to travel home when she can—despite the nearest airport being two hours from her hometown.
Amber W. Harding is a lawyer at the Washington Legal Clinic for the Homeless. While she was doing her senior thesis on travel culture and bias against people who are homeless, she spent many hours interviewing homeless youth who told her horrific stories of police abuse and discrimination. Eventually she decided that becoming a lawyer would be a good way to bring power to people who are homeless, so she moved to Washington, DC to attend law school at Georgetown. She has worked on civil rights and economic justice with people experiencing homelessness in DC ever since. Her job is perfect in nearly every way, but on bad days her non-lawyer dream (because everyone has one) is to open a candy store.
Constituent Leadership Program Graduate
Troy Hawkins is originally from Anchorage, Alaska but grew up in the Petworth area of Washington, DC. He has a BA in Economics, an MBA in Finance, and 25-plus years experience in corporate and federal government sector financial management, analysis and consulting. Today, he devotes most of his time performing advocacy and service work in the areas of ending chronic homelessness, job training for the under-served, community safety and addiction treatment and counseling.
Damon is the Senior Policy Advocate for the Legal Aid Society of DC, working with Legal Aid attorneys across the organization’s housing, public benefits, family law and consumer law units as they work to create a more just DC for people living in poverty. Damon’s own advocacy over the years has covered issues including child welfare and foster care, TANF reform, homeless services and early childhood programming. In his downtime, you can usually find Damon cooking or tending a jungle-like apartment garden that he fears may one day take on a mind of its own and blanket the neighborhood with mint and hot pepper plants.
As senior DC organizer at JUFJ, Sarah is a professional nudger and meeting planner and facilitator. She loves eating, dressing up in inappropriate political costumes and filling out doodle polls. If Sarah were a potato preparation, she would be a latke with apple sauce on it (because she’s lactose intolerant and can’t eat sour cream).
Aja is the Advocacy Director at Bread for the City, where she has the pleasure of training the next wave of badass homegrown organizers: people impacted by racist and classist policies. She helps them weaponize their stories to shift the narrative around Black folks on low incomes. In her spare time, Aja loves to travel to places that are hot and sunny with blue water, facilitate all sorts of mischief and organizational transformation, and make pina coladas.