Thanks to our hard-working Board members
Rebecca Peatow Nickels (Board Chair)
Rebecca Peatow Nickels, MSW is the Executive Director for the Portland Women’s Crisis Line where she is responsible for the overall programmatic and fiscal health of the organization. She joined PSJ’s board in April of 2012. Having graduated from Portland State University’s Graduate School of Social Work in 2002, Rebecca has made it a goal to provide sound, ethical management for organizations working to end domestic and sexual violence. She has been part of the movement to end violence against women and children since the mid 1990’s and has worked within shelters, staffed various crisis and mental health hotlines, and provided community education on issues from self-defense to affirmative action. In addition to working with the Partnership for Safety and Justice, Rebecca is a member of the Multnomah County Sexual Assault Response Team, the Stalking Committee of the Family Violence Coordinating Council, the Tri-County Domestic & Sexual Violence Network, and the Oregon Alliance to End Violence against Women. Rebecca also enjoys the ups, downs and sideways of co-parenting a toddler with her partner, and she is always on the lookout for a good book.
Kalpana Krishnamurthy (Treasurer)
Kalpana Krishnamurthy joined PSJ’s board in April of 2012. She currently is a Policy Director for Forward Together, a multi-racial organization that works with community leaders and organizations to transform culture and policy to catalyze social change. She previously worked at Western States Center from 2005 to 2013 where she most currently served as the RACE Program Director. She wrote and coordinated Oregon’s 2011 Legislative Report Card on Racial Equity. As the Gender Justice Program Director, she launched the Uniting Communities program and was on the team that created the Uniting Communities Toolkit, which is being used in many grassroots organizations to address LGBTQ issues. From 2002-2005, she was the director of the Third Wave Foundation, which works nationally to support and strengthen the next generation of young women and transgender activists. Prior to Third Wave, Kalpana was an organizer working with youth in Madison as well as on issues of reproductive rights and justice. Kalpana grew up in Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon. Her family includes two fabulous boys, Sachin and Kavi.
Terry has been an active PSJ board member since 2006, having many years of experience working with individuals with multiple barriers to employment. Terry is currently a Supported Employment Specialist at CODA, empowering people with histories of mental health, alcohol or drug problems through meaningful employment. Terry has led people in recovery to making social changes as lead organizer for the Recovery Association Project in 2001. As Director of Central City Concern Portland Metro Worksource from 2003-2009, Terry created pathways to assist formerly incarcerated individuals in finding employment and integrating back into society. Terry is especially passionate about PSJ's Beyond Barriers program, and feels strongly that all people deserve the chance to be tax paying citizens and live their lives with grace and dignity. Terry says that the reason for her interest in the board of the Partnership for Safety and Justice is that the Beyond Barriers, Prison Program and all the other programs fit in line with her own personal and professional goals.
Before joining PSJ’s board in April of 2012, Imran interned with us in 2010 and 2011 as a Research and Policy Associate and is co-author of PSJ’s landmark publication, Misguided Measures: The Outcomes and Impacts of Measure 11 on Oregon's Youth. An Oregon native, he received his B.A. from Reed College in 2004. Imran went on to obtain his M.A. from the University of Chicago in 2008 and his J.D. from from Northwestern University School of Law in Chicago in 2014. He is currently an Assistant Appellate Defender for the Office of the State Appellate Defender in Chicago. Imran also finds time to tutor students in basic reading and writing skills through the Chicago Youth Programs. In addition to his academic achievements, Imran speaks fluent Urdu and is interested in creative writing, Jiu-Jitsu, basketball and yoga.
April has been a PSJ member since 2009. She became involved with us because of personal experience with the criminal justice system when her son was convicted of a Measure 11 offense. April has a Bachelor's Degree in Social Science from Portland State University and volunteered for three years as a victim advocate in the Marion County District Attorney's Office. She joined our board in June of 2012.
Dana Hepper works for the Children's Institute where she has been the Director of Policy & Program since 2013. She previously worked for nine years at Stand for Children, where her most recent position was as National Director of Policy Development. Before that, she was Stand's Advocacy Director and played a leading role in winning several key pieces of legislation to improve Oregon schools; she also was a community organizer for that group. Dana started her career as an elementary school teacher and pre-K teacher. She graduated Barnard College with a BA in Political Science and a minor in Elementary Education.
Jamie joined PSJ’s board in June of 2015. She is the Development Director for Grist, a source of intelligent, irreverent environmental news that covers climate, energy, food, cities, politics, business, green living, and the occasional adorable baby animal, where she oversees Grist’s fundraising and development efforts. Jamie has dedicated her career to fundraising on behalf of nonprofit organizations and universities, most recently serving as a Major Gift Officer with Environmental Defense Fund. When not raising money for good causes she is usually trying to keep up with her two boys, Phoenix and Miles. A native Californian with a BA from Pitzer College, she’s excited to call Portland home.
Iris Maria Chávez
Iris Maria Chávez is an education advocate and communications consultant, currently working with national and Oregon focused organizations to advance equity by supporting the creation of sound, just policies that better communities in Oregon and across the nation. Iris Maria has lived in Portland for just over a year and came to the Pacific Northwest from Washington, D.C., where she worked for over a decade in education policy and advocacy for civil rights and advocacy organizations such as the Education Trust and the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC). Iris Maria's volunteer work has also focused on community engagement, she served as the Board Chair for the DC Police Complaints Board which oversees the quasi-independent DC Office for Police Complaints. She also co-founded the Columbia Heights Day Initiative, a 501c3 organization whose mission is to enrich the quality of life in the Columbia Heights neighborhood by creating local events where residents and visitors can connect and celebrate their community. Iris Maria earned a BA in History, Sociology & African Diaspora Studies from Tulane University in New Orleans and a MA in Social Policy from the University of Chicago.
Debbie has worked professionally for over 35 years in Human Resources in high technology, and she recently retired. As an Executive Vice President for the past 12 years, she was a member of the senior staffs of a $400M and a $900M company and was involved in overall corporate policy and strategy for the two multinational companies. She has worked overseas extensively, mostly in SE Asia, and had longer term expat assignments in Israel and Malaysia.
In addition, she served on the board of Basic Rights Oregon as a board member and on the executive committee for 13 years, stepping down just recently. Basic Rights Oregon is a state-wide organization dedicated to ensuring that all LGBTQ Oregonians experience equality by building a politically powerful movement, and achieving policy victories. While on the Basic Rights Oregon board, Debbie helped the organization through many transitions, often providing HR and Organizational Development consulting. She really values the opportunity she had at BRO as they grew significantly and were influential in driving historical change in the movement. She currently volunteers as a facilitator for Girls Inc. whose mission is to inspire all girls to be strong, smart and bold. In the past she volunteered as a Long Term Care Ombudsman, advocating for elderly people in long term care facilities.
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