Staff



Deborah Robinson, the founder and executive director of IPU, is a Californian native. Before founding IPU in 1997, Robinson worked at the World Council of Churchesí Program to Combat Racism, in Geneva, Switzerland. While there, she worked with churches, ecumenical organizations and movement groups on issues of racism and minority group rights from around the world. She was responsible for organizing a major joint World Council of Churches/National Council of Churches initiative in the United States on Racism as a Violation of Human Rights. During that campaign, hearings were held in seven cities and more than 200 people testified on a variety of human rights violations occurring in the United States. In 1995, a delegation from the United States presented the findings to the UN Commission on Human Rights. Robinsonís last major project at the WCC was a covert fact-finding trip to Nigeria that resulted in the report entitled, Ogoni: The Struggle Continues.

Robinson has traveled to more than 40 countries and has been involved in a wide variety of social justice issues. She has visited, worked with and produced educational materials on the Dalit Liberation Movement in India, the FLNKS liberation movement in New Caledonia, and the Polisario liberation movement of the Western Sahara. From 1985-1991, she created and ran the South African Political Prisoner Bracelet Program. The program involved people wearing a bracelet in solidarity with one of the then life prisoners in South Africa until he/she was released and writing to their families.

Robinson received her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan in social psychology. She taught at Howard University and currently speaks and writes extensively on the related issues of environmental racism, economic globalization and human rights.

 

Walter Mosley, an IPU technical consultant and former intern, has a bachelorís degree in computer engineering from the University of Michigan College of Engineering as well as a masterís in information policy from the University of Michigan School of Information. He holds the distinction of Intel Fellow, Intel Scholar, Hewlett-Packard Foundation Research Fellow, and GEM Fellow. Walterís main research interest includes developing the legal, regulatory, and policy frameworks and strategies for the use of information and communication technologies (ICTs) for profitable participation by developing Sub-Saharan African countries in the Global Information Society / Global Information Infrastructure (GIS/GII).  At IPU, he is currently working on building a policy collaboratory for civic participation in development processes by the global South. Walter also has worked for two multi-national corporations, Procter and Gamble Corporation in sales (96, 97) and Intel Corporation in software engineering (98, 99, 00).  He is currently attending Harvard Law School.


Amara Okoroafor is a consultant with IPU. Her work has consisted of lobbying at the UN Commission on Human Rights and focusing on the youth agenda of the World Conference Against Racism. Amara played a major role in organizing the National Black Environmental Justice Network when she was a program assistant with the Preamble Center. She has been a part of numerous national and international forums dealing with issues of environmental justice, alternative economics, civic inclusion and participation in decision-making. She earned her bachelorís degree in psychology with a minor in political science from Wheaton College. Her goal is to work towards the development of her native country, Nigeria. Currently she is the Eastern Region Coordinator of the African Christian Fellowship.
Blessing Okoroafor, an IPU intern, is pursuing a bachelor's degree in Government and Politics with a minor in African American studies at the University of Maryland. Blessing has been actively involved with the African and African- American community on campus, by helping to reconstruct the Campus Mentoring Bigs Program that was created to help acclimate minority students to college life. Currently she is vice president of social and political action of the NAACP-UMCPchapter, and vice president of public relations of the Black Government and Politics Society. She is also a photographer for a campus newspaper, The Eclipse. Blessing has been working at IPU since July 2001, during which time she has helped with office management.
Shani O'Neal is the Project Director of IPUís Young Adult Human Rights Initiative and a recipient of the Academy for Educational Developmentís New Voices fellowship. She is a proud graduate of Spelman College and holds a Masters degree in African Diaspora Cultural Studies from UCLA. Shani has visited or lived in more than 20 countries; including a year spent volunteering with the International Foundation for Education and Self Help in Gabon, Central Africa, where she co-sponsored an international book drive to found a school library. In 2000, she was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship that allowed her to spend a year in Jamaica and Trinidad researching womenís activism.

A poet and essayist who has performed in North and South America, Africa, and countries throughout the Caribbean, Shaniís publishing credits include contributions to The Encyclopedia of Sociology and the anthology Colonize This! Young Women of Color and Todayís Feminism. Her work with the United Nations has taken her from the 2001 World Conference Against Racism in South Africa, where she served as a youth delegate, to Geneva where she delivered speeches about the impact of racism on youth on the floor of the 2003 Commission on Human Rights. In preparation for her current project using hip hop culture to teach HBCU students about Black activism in an intergenerational and international context, she received certification from the prestigious International Institute for Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. Artist, academic, and activist, Shaniís drive is to reach and reflect her people.
Jennifer Green , has volunteered at IPU since January 2003. When not at IPU she can be found rushing around campus at Howard and Southeastern Universities. She gained her activist nature from her parents who instilled in her a love of justice and social integrity from birth. She hopes to contribute greatly to the IPU dream of a world free from the shackles of oppression and racism. Jenniferís goal is to become a world citizen and travel extensively, discovering for herself the beauty of earthís people and cultures, and catalyzing positive change while working on her tan.

 

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