S. Mandisa Moore-O’Neal, Executive Director, is a Black feminist civil rights attorney, a trained facilitator, and a cultural and political strategist based in New Orleans. Prior to joining CHLP as Executive Director, she founded The Moore-O’Neal Law Group, a law and policy practice focused on litigation, education, and advocacy on HIV decriminalization, family law, employment, and public accommodations discrimination, and police accountability issues. At its core, her legal work is best defined as using a Black feminist and abolitionist framework to craft legal strategies that move us closer to liberation. Moore-O’Neal is a founding member of the Louisiana Coalition on Criminalization and Health.
Catherine Hanssens, Chief Strategy Advisor, has been active in HIV legal and policy issues since 1984. Hanssens founded CHLP and served as Executive Director for 16 years, she now serves as an advisor on the organization's legal and policy programs and strategies. Previously, she was AIDS Project Director at Lambda Legal, where she led Lambda's HIV-related litigation and policy work. She also worked with the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania, where she created and managed one of the first medical-legal partnerships in the country, with on-site HIV legal services in several hospitals and clinics. While a staff attorney at the New Jersey Department of the Public Advocate, Catherine successfully litigated the state's first cases on involuntary HIV testing, a class action challenge to segregation and mistreatment of prisoners with HIV in the New Jersey state prison system, and the only federal appeals court case recognizing the right of incarcerated women to funded elective abortions. She also has been a visiting clinical professor at Rutgers University Law School-Newark and director of the law school's Women and AIDS Clinic.
Jada Hicks, Staff Attorney, earned her Juris Doctor from North Carolina Central University School of Law. While at NCCU she was certified in Civil Rights and Constitutional Law. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Criminology from North Carolina State University. Prior to joining CHLP, she served as an inaugural Judicial Fellow for the Administrative Office of the Courts. While there she provided independent and confidential legal research and writing support to the more than 370 judges in North Carolina’s Superior and District Courts. Previously, she worked as an Assistant District Attorney for the Pitt County District Attorney’s Office. She prosecuted cases ranging from drug offenses to DWIs.
Kae Greenberg, Staff Attorney, previously worked as a supervising attorney in the Housing Unit at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia. His practice focused on providing legal representation to indigent tenants facing eviction and helping them maintain housing. Prior to CLS, he was an assistant defender at the Defender Association of Philadelphia as a member of the Juvenile Unit. Among other honors, Kae was a Beasley Scholar at Temple University Beasley School of Law, from which he graduated in 2011. His published work includes, “Still Hidden in the Closet: Trans Women and Domestic Violence,” in the Berkeley Journal of Gender, Law, and Justice, and “Best Practices in Policing,” in the book Transgender Intimate Partner Violence. In his past life, Kae worked as a theater electrician and lighting designer in NYC.
Amir Sadeghi, National Policy and Partner Strategist, earned his Master of Arts in Philosophy from the New School for Social Research. While at NSSR, he focused on political theory, social upheavals, and stages where biopower and state violence clashed. He earned his Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy from the University of Central Florida. Prior to joining CHLP, he worked as an Assistant to Dr. Chiara Bottici, Associate Professor of Philosophy at NSSR. He continues to teach debate and public speaking with the Rikers Debate Project at detention facilities on Rikers Island, New York. He is an advocate for people who are incarcerated and answering the severe social costs to the criminal punishment system.
Dalene Davenport-Canty, Program Associate, supports the organization, executive, and program staff. Based in Atlanta, Dalene comes to CHLP with more than six years of experience with Southerners on New Ground (SONG). As Executive Assistant, Dalene was a valued collaborator and manager-of-all-things providing critical assistance to SONG’s Co-Director and working with the Operations Director on timely, organized compliance of organizational responsibilities. Then as Facilities Director, she built and led a team by developing processes and structures that emphasized collaborative work with other departments and directors to ensure team priorities were in alignment with SONG’s strategic plan. Dalene’s interest in social justice work supports the operations management of organization building and is grounded in a desire to make our liberation movements more sustainable.
D. Reznik, Communications Consultant, creates the organization's communications content, including media relations and information design for CHLP digital and print assets. As a Brooklyn-based design creative and consultant, she has extensive experience working to enhance visual communications for primarily mission-driven LGBTQ+, civil rights, and social justice organizations. Prior to moving into this consulting role with non-profit organizations and institutions of higher education, D. worked in public education and communications at Lambda Legal and Columbia University. www.dpi.nyc
Matt Blinstrubas, Development Consultant, has more than 15 years of experience in LGBTQIA+ and HIV activism, nonprofit administration, and philanthropy. For the last two years, he has run a small consulting practice that supports social justice organizations in fundraising, strategic planning, and project management. Prior to that, he worked as a community organizer and HIV community outreach specialist. Most recently, Matt spent 10 years working at the Elton John AIDS Foundation managing their U.S. grant-making program. Deeply committed to justice and liberation, Matt is thrilled to be working with CHLP to enhance their fundraising capacity in the months and years ahead.
Stephen Williams, Program Consultant, supports CHLP's legal and policy work with research in areas of concern, media tracking, and resource and data updates to CHLP's website and online policy resource center. He previously served as an HIV criminalization outreach specialist with CHLP. Stephen previously worked as an outreach worker and a case manager with the national organization Volunteers of America DV. This work included collaboration with advocates and organizations focused on HIV/AIDS prevention and the provision of assistance for PLHIV. As a social services coordinator, he planned and implemented free services with local, county, and state agencies. Stephen earned a Bachelor of Science in Liberal Studies from the University of the State of New York (now Excelsior University) in Albany.
Message Agency, Digital Strategy Consultant, designed and developed CHLP's website and content-management system. A Philadelphia-based digital agency that works exclusively with nonprofits, foundations, universities, governments, and mission-driven enterprises, Message Agency helps clients plan, implement, and maintain compelling brands, strategies, websites, and web applications. www.messageagency.com