Our Team

  • Alec Karakatsanis

    Alec is the founder and executive director of Civil Rights Corps. Before founding Civil Rights Corps, Alec was a civil rights lawyer and public defender .

  • Claudia A. Withers

    Claudia is the Chief Operating Officer for Civil Rights Corps. Prior to her arrival at CRC, she was the Chief Operating Officer for the NAACP.

  • Ryan Downer

    Ryan joined Civil Rights Corps after a decade of litigating civil rights cases at both Relman, Dane & Colfax, PLLC in Washington, D.C. and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, Inc. (LDF) in New York.

  • Cheryl Bonacci

    Cheryl is the Director of Storytelling for Civil Rights Corps. In collaboration with all CRC departments, Cheryl and the Storytelling team guide the organization’s narrative strategies and campaigns helping to highlight the human toll the criminal system takes on our communities.

  • Elizabeth Rossi

    Elizabeth Rossi investigates and litigates cases challenging money bail, debtors' prisons, and private probation. She is a central part of the team that won a preliminary injunction striking down the money bail system in Harris County, Texas, in the first lawsuit to subject a wealth-based pretrial system to the scrutiny of actual evidence in open court.

  • Thea Sebastian

    Thea is the Director of Policy for Civil Rights Corps. In this role, she oversees a range of initiatives that include policy changes.

  • Jeffrey Stein

    Jeff joined Civil Rights Corps after eight years as a Trial Attorney and Supervising Attorney at the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. While there, Jeff represented juveniles and adults charged with serious crimes, including complex homicides.

  • Bina Ahmad

    Bina Ahmad is a social justice attorney, making the choice to become a lawyer to help dismantle and push back against the crushing might of the government.

  • Brittany Francis

    Brittany leads the Police Abuse Project at Civil Rights Corps. Her work aims to hold police accountable for abusive conduct while building shared community and power among advocates and survivors.

  • Cornelia Carter-Sykes

    Cornelia joins Civil Rights Corps with twenty years of non-profit administrative and management experience.

  • Tehra Coles

    Tehra joined Civil Rights Corps as policy counsel after 10 years as a family defense attorney, litigation and government affairs supervisor, and advocate.

  • Cody Cutting

    Cody is an attorney with Civil Rights Corps, where his work focuses on litigation and advocacy challenging money bail, private probation, and police abuse. Prior to joining CRC, Cody was an Equal Justice Works Fellow with the Southern Center for Human Rights (SCHR) in Atlanta, Georgia.

  • Kiah Duggins

    Kiah’s work focuses on using movement lawyering and the redistribution of power and resources to challenge policing and the criminalization of poverty.

  • Quinita Ennis

    Quinita is the Senior Operations Coordinator for Civil Rights Corps. As a formerly incarcerated person, she has first-hand experience dealing with America's criminal legal system.

  • Carson White

    Carson is a staff attorney at Civil Rights Corps where raises systemic challenges to the criminalization of poverty. She is currently challenging wealth-based pretrial detention in California and North Carolina.

  • Katherine Hubbard

    Katherine’s work focuses on litigation challenging the criminalization of poverty, particularly debtor’s prisons and wealth-based pretrial detention. Katherine coordinates CRC’s bail reform efforts in several states across the country including California

  • Ellora Israni

    Ellora holds a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. During law school, she served as the Managing Editor of the Harvard Law Review, where she supervised the production of a special issue on prison abolition.

  • Cole Lautermilch

    Cole is an Investigator working with several litigation teams at Civil Rights Corps. Prior to joining Civil Rights Corps, Cole worked as a Paralegal at the Federal Public Defender for the District of Columbia.

  • Marco Lopez

    Marco works to stop state and local governments (and the occasional private company) from jailing people for lack of money. He spends a lot of time trying to convince federal courts that they can do something about this.

  • Leo Laurenceau

    Leo is a Senior Attorney at Civil Rights Corps whose work focuses on dismantling systems that criminalize poverty and unjustly target people of color.

  • Ben Perelmuter

    Ben is an Investigative Fellow at Civil Rights Corps, where he works on projects related to cash bail, private probation, and policing.

  • Nathan Poland

    Nathan graduated summa cum laude from Princeton University with a degree in African American Studies as well as minors in Latin American studies and Statistics and Machine Learning.

  • Salil Dudani

    Salil is an attorney at Civil Rights Corps who litigates money bail and other abuses in the criminal punishment system. His work includes challenging pretrial detention in California, where he is based.

  • Sumayya Saleh

    Sumayya joined Civil Rights Corps after working at the Southern Poverty Law Center in her home state of Florida.

  • Peter Santina

    Peter is the Managing Attorney of the Prosecutorial Accountability Project. His work is focused on designing and implementing creative approaches to curb the problem of prosecutorial misconduct.

  • Priyanka Shetty

    Priyanka works as an investigative fellow in Civil Rights Corps, assisting attorneys on several cases, including bail litigation in Texas and pretrial diversion in Arizona.

  • Sam Washington

    Sam supports the policy team in designing and advocating for policies that decarcerate the U.S. criminal-legal system, deconstruct systemic racism, and support movement organizers.