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Introducing Our 2022-2023 Transportation Justice Fellows

Oct 21, 2022

Meet 12 individuals from across the country shaping a more equitable transportation system.

NACTO and the Better Bike Share Partnership (BBSP) are proud to announce the 2022-2023 cohort of the Transportation Justice Fellowship.

The Fellowship, which runs from November 2022 to June 2023, is designed for US-based early- and mid-career professionals who identify as people of color and are engaged in embedding mobility justice in transportation agencies and beyond.

To identify this cohort of Fellows, NACTO and BBSP narrowed down nearly 70 applications to a final group whose backgrounds and skillsets reflect communities with the greatest mobility needs in the United States. The Fellows work in all sectors of the transportation sector, from government and nonprofits to bikeshare operators and advocacy organizations. They hail from all regions of the U.S., and each brings a unique biography as well as a diverse collection of hard and soft skills to share with the group. NACTO’s hope is that by creating community, our fellows will be better able to tackle some of the toughest transportation challenges facing our country today.

Fellows will participate in eight months of training, developing their individual and institutional capacities to create a more just and equitable mobility field. Through skills-building sessions, one-on-one coaching, special trainer visits and structured collaboration, Fellows will receive deep support as they advance professionally and work on tangible ways to improve mobility for communities of color. Robin Wright-Pierce and Balpreet Kaur from the Wright Institute for Transformative Change will partner with NACTO Senior Program Manager Aminah Ricks to oversee the cohort.

“Our goal in connecting this new cohort to dynamic facilitators, expert trainers, and personalized one-on-one coaching is that each Fellow gains the tools and support they need to succeed in advancing their vision of justice,” says Ricks.  “We’re placing an emphasis on creating community, not only amongst the Fellows’ colleagues and the residents they serve, but also within the Fellowship cohort itself, which we hope will live on beyond the eight months they spend together.”

Learn more about the Transportation Justice Fellowship. >>

Elese Daniel is a bicyclist and bikeshare conspirator. She is returning to her position as Education & Outreach Manager for Red Bike, the bikeshare system serving Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, with a network of 60+ stations and 500+ classic and electric bikes. Her work in the micromobility field has focused on improving equity and access within station-based bikeshare by prioritizing people and partnerships.

Elese created the nationally recognized Red Bike Go program, a discounted pass and outreach initiative for people living with lower-incomes in Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky, as well as the Art, Books, & Bikes for All program, in partnership with Nashville Public Library and the Arts and Business Council of Greater Nashville. The program provides free bikeshare passes and helmets across all 21 library branches, community bike routes created by local bicyclists, and art bikes designed by local artists. For the past year, Elese served as the General Manager for Nashville BCycle.

Elese believes in active transportation. She believes that bicycling and bikeshare are reliable, sustainable, and joyful ways to connect people to places and each other.

Will Ethridge is currently a Community Planner for the Baltimore City Department of Transportation. He joined BCDOT in 2020 and just recently celebrated his 2nd year with the City. Prior to joining BCDOT Mr. Ethridge was Director of Planning in Westtown Township, PA, an Emergency Preparedness Planner for the Delaware Division of Public Health, and a Zoning Analyst for Anne Arundel Co. Md. He started his career as a Planning Intern in Stafford Co., VA in 2001. He earned a B.S. in GIS from James Madison University in 2002 and an M.S. in Public Administration from Wilmington University in 2017. In his spare time he and his wife Alyssa enjoy travel and dining activities.

Hailing from one of America’s oldest cities, Richmond native Barry Greene continues to share his desire for better transit, complete streets, and equitable neighborhoods for all. After stints in Brooklyn, NY, and Charlotte, NC; navigating in both car-free and car-dependent cities promoted a curiosity to be a part of the solution of ridding more people of the burden of owning a vehicle.  

Prior to his commitment to community advocacy, Barry merged his entrepreneurial mindset and decade of retail background to open a houseplant boutique shop. Through his time with his shop, he learned what it really meant to be people-oriented and to serve his community. Nowadays, you can catch Barry commuting by Brompton, bus, or in conjunction with one another exploring his hometown like never before. Barry’s ultimate goal is to help Richmond return to its glory days of leading the industry in public transportation.

Born & raised in the San Francisco Bay Area on Ohlone Land, Julia Jannon-Shields become highly aware of the range of detrimental impacts that rapid development poses on underrepresented communities & the surrounding environment. This influenced her path as a community planner working towards an equitable, sustainable future by centering minoritized experiences in governance, planning, & development. Julia now lives in Duwamish territory (Seattle, WA) serving the region as a Community Engagement & Co-Creation Program Lead for King County’s Office of Equity & Social Justice.

Jeremiah Jones is passionate about reclaiming cities for residents in a way that centers voices on the margins in determining the future of their neighborhoods. Equity and justice-centered practices are at the core of his work. It is his belief that communities are built best by listening, partnering, and liberating the capacities of its residents.

He desires to improve communities by altering policy and infrastructure to create better outcomes for people across the socioeconomic spectrum. One of his interests is studying the economic impacts of an interconnected city due to multi-modal transportation.

Jeremiah has a background in urban studies and a Master of Divinity with a concentration in Community Development. His experience in various settings, from federal to nonprofit to ministry in urban cities, has developed him into a well-rounded professional.

You can often find him at a park near you, experiencing the outdoors, or sporting events with family and friends.

Bryan Lopez is an alumnus of the NCSU School of Engineering and the UMN School of Public Affairs, and now serves as the Regional Planning Manager for North Carolina DOT’s Integrated Mobility Division supporting a variety of programs related to multimodal planning and safety. More recently, he is helping IMD develop resources and metrics exploring the state’s trnasportation justice context. When not at the office, he loves a good backpacking getaway to the mountains, or simply staying home to play boardgames.

Nikki Navio‘s days are dedicated to working with communities and planning for better regional transportation and mobility in Utah’s Wasatch Front as a transportation planner. She strives to be a life-long learner and is passionate about understanding innovative transportation access and solutions which uplift diverse communities. Nikki currently serves as vice-chair on the board of Bike Utah, whose mission is making Utah a better place to ride. She is a co-founder and organizer of Radical Adventure Riders in Salt Lake City. Nikki holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Alaska Fairbanks and a master’s degree in City and Regional Planning from Clemson University.

Anne Phillips combines her background as an historian and professional planning experience to champion equitable approaches to transportation planning, community engagement, and communication. Anne is currently a FUSE executive fellow at the City of Durham. As a FUSE fellow, Anne is working to introduce a job quality framework in Durham and collaborating with the resident-led Racial Equity Commission to implement recommendations from the 2020 report of the Durham Racial Equity Task Force, “An Urgent and Loving Call to Action.” Prior to her FUSE fellowship, Anne was a principal transportation planner at the Durham-Chapel Hill-Carrboro Metropolitan Planning Organization.

Anne has taught history and interdisciplinary courses at Duke University and Dartmouth College. She has a BA in history and sociology from Florida State University, and a MA and PhD in history from Duke University.

Xao Posadas has spent the last 7 years supporting students in the Safe Routes to School program in the Portland metro area. As a youth advocate, she believes youth empowerment and leadership in community engagement is essential for creating the world we want to see. Xao is excited to bring this topic into transportation equity spaces to better serve this population of historically underrepresented transportation users. Xao is looking forward to bringing her lived and professional experience to this cohort. 

Alvan-Bidal Sanchez, AICP is a senior transportation planner with the Denver Regional Council of Governments, a planning organization covering 10 counties and home to 3.4 million people. He assists in the development and maintenance of the Metro Vision Regional Transportation Plan, which sets the Denver region’s long-range vision and investment framework for the multimodal transportation system. He also leads DRCOG’s federal performance management efforts and nondiscrimination program.

Kevin X. Shen is a Policy Analyst/Advocate at the Union of Concerned Scientists, where he fights for a clean and just transportation system in states from Maine to Virginia. He supports campaigns in truck and bus electrification, transit access, and disproportionate transportation-related air pollution in low-income communities and communities of color. In his previous chapter, he focused on injustice in job accessibility, new transportation technologies, and participatory planning with MIT’s Work of the Future Task Force. At home, he loves to make food for others, immerse in nature, and spend time with his partner and community.

Manali Sheth is an urban planner and storyteller who is passionate about designing better cities and systems for people. Her work has intersected with a range of modes from freight vehicles to shared-use vehicles. She has a growing interest in the principles of UX Design and is interested in designing good experiences for the end user in her projects.