Advisory Board

Justine Diamond maintains a strong commitment to racial justice and human rights through her work with nonprofits, small businesses, and community spaces. Throughout the past decade, her work in non-profit organizations has centered around workers’ rights, immigrants’ rights, access to health care, and direct services for unhoused people. During this period she engaged in legislative advocacy, fundraising, educational curricula design, program evaluation, and creating effective organizational systems. Justine has also served as a legal case manager and office manager at a law firm for a number of years, cultivating knowledge of legal processes and management skills. She has worked as a Spanish interpreter, providing services to Spanish speakers in most of her positions. Justine currently manages Maypop Community Herb Shop in New Orleans, a business providing affordable community access to medicinal herbs and herbal knowledge with the belief that healthcare is a human right. She also manages her own business, Elspeth’s Airs Natural Perfumes, which links creativity and beauty with healing and empowerment. Justine also serves on the Racial Equity & Inclusion Committee of Lift Louisiana.

Kytara Epps is a fat, queer Black feminist public health practitioner. She is a graduate of Tulane University’s school of public health. She is interested in all things relating to reproductive health and rights of black women and girls. Her approach to health is through a queer black feminist and fat positivity lens. A native Detroiter, Kytara currently lives in New Orleans. She has worked with Planned Parenthood and served as a presenter and track coordinator at Allied Media Conference for the past 6 years. Kytara also serves on the Racial Equity & Inclusion Committee of Lift Louisiana.

Justin “Jay” Hartley (they/them) is a community and political organizer based out of New Orleans, Louisiana, with additional roots in the Chicagoland area. Their intersectional youth-based activism centers on reproductive, racial, and climate justice, as well as electoral parity for multiply-marginalized communities. These passions are derived from their Black, queer, disabled, and first-generation identities. Justin is heavily involved in the College Democrats of America and currently serves as the President of the College Democrats of Louisiana. Justin has worked with multiple political and issue-based campaigns, candidates, non profits, and individuals to meet their goals and demand justice. They are a fourth-year student at Tulane University pursuing a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and Social Policy and Practice and a certificate in Gender-Based Violence. Justin enjoys exploring local up-and-coming food spots, taking care of their 26 (and counting!) plants, and reading feminist and womanist theory.

Jamila Johnson, JD is the Deputy Director at the Promise of Justice Initiative and is the former Senior Supervising Attorney for Southern Poverty Law Center’s criminal justice work in Louisiana. Her work in Louisiana has focused on reversing the “new Jim Crow” and eliminating the structural racism in the criminal justice system. Prior to coming to work and live in Louisiana, Jamila learned how to “fight like a girl” on the Board of Directors for Legal Voice: a progressive feminist organization using the power of the law to make change in the Pacific Northwest with, and on behalf of, those affected by gender oppression and injustice. Her advocacy against gender oppression began when she chaired a municipal women’s commission driven much by her personal experiences as a single teenaged mother in a low-income community. She believes in the human right to maintain the bodily autonomy that allows people to have children; to not have children; and to parent the children we have.

Nishi Kumar is a civil rights attorney in New Orleans and litigates around various criminal justice issues affecting currently and formerly incarcerated people throughout Louisiana. She most recently went to trial on a federal class action suit on behalf of the 6,000 people incarcerated at Angola prison based on the lack of adequate medical care and accommodations for people with disabilities. She graduated from NYU Law School in 2015, where she was a Hays Civil Liberties fellow, a Notes Editor on the NYU Law Review, and co-chair of the South Asian Law Students Association. After graduation, she clerked for Judge Watford on the Ninth Circuit and Judge Furman on the Southern District of New York. Prior to law school, she was a middle school math teacher in New Orleans.

Geraldine Neville (President) is an advocate for reproductive rights, equity in health care access, and education. A first generation Latine college graduate, she is particularly interested in how these issues affect traditionally marginalized, immigrant, and Spanish speaking communities. She earned a BA in Public Relations with a double minor in Marketing & Small Business Development, and an MPS in Health & Wellness Management, with a concentration in Corporate Wellness & Health Leadership both from Tulane University. She is the Director of Operations, with WAKE (Women’s Alliance for Knowledge Exchange), and prior Senior Administrative Program Coordinator with Tulane University, School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health Sciences.  Her professional journey began as a bilingual Community Liaison with Planned Parenthood of Central New Jersey. Following her 2007 move to New Orleans, she filled a similar role with Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast developing, and delivering culturally competent, reproductive health education in English and Spanish, in clinical and community settings. An alumni of Tulane University Leadership Institute’s first Anti Racism Leadership Program, and former Adjunct Lecturer with Phyllis M. Taylor Center for Social Innovation & Design Thinking at Tulane University, she led a change making, undergraduate career development lab. She is the former Vice President, serving President, and a founding Lift Louisiana Advisory Board member.

Erich Schrader has worked in nonprofit fundraising and campaign organizing since 2014, starting as a street canvasser in New Orleans advocating for marriage equality. Since then, he has overseen canvass offices around the country and has been able to fundraise on behalf of groups like Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union, the Southern Poverty Law Center, the National Audubon Society, and the National LGBTQ Task Force. In addition to fundraising, he has campaigned for progressive candidates, most recently having worked on a campaign to elect Democrats to the Texas State Legislature during to 2018 Midterms.

Ellie Schilling, JD (Ex Officio Member) is an attorney in New Orleans with extensive experience representing health care providers, and is one of the only attorneys in Louisiana who regularly represents reproductive health care providers. She has represented clinics and other health services providers in enforcement proceedings or other disputes against health care regulatory bodies, including wrongful license revocation actions. Ellie also litigates cases in both state and federal court to challenge new laws and regulations that restrict access to health care. She represents physicians in disputes with the disciplinary agencies that regulate the health care profession, and in suits against hospitals for wrongfully suspending hospital privileges. She works closely with local and national advocacy groups, including testifying as an expert at the Louisiana Legislature, to oppose new laws that would damage reproductive health care rights and access, and works to raise public and media awareness surrounding these issues. She also helped to establish the Louisiana Coalition for Reproductive Freedom and serves on its Executive Committee. Ellie received her undergraduate degree in English and German from Colgate University and her law degree from Tulane Law School.  

 


Interested in joining the Advisory Board?

Members advise, oversee policy and direction, and assist with the leadership and general promotion of Lift Louisiana and our programs. Support the organization's mission and needs by becoming a member. If interested, please contact us.