Our Team

Jenn Dye

Jenn Dye
Director
Email: rendalj@ucmail.uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-7467

Community advocate and scholar Jenn Dye is the Theodore M. Berry Director of the Nathaniel R. Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. Dye is a 2009 graduate of Cincinnati Law and also earned a PhD in Political Science in 2015 from the University of Cincinnati. She most recently served as Research Associate and Director of the Human Services Research & Innovation Center for the University of Cincinnati, where she was responsible for cultivating relationships to advance research in ways that increased community impact.

Kathleen Cardwell
Executive Staff Assistant

Kathleen assists the Jones Center in programming, communications support, and event coordination. Kathleen has more than three decades of experience in communications for business and higher education sectors.

Sherry Y. English
Director of College Relations

Sherry is responsible for directing marketing communications for the law school. Sherry has more than 15 years experience in the Cincinnati/Dayton (OH) markets, working for for-profit and not-for-profit organizations.

Founders

Emily M.S. Houh
Jones Center Research Faculty, Co-Founder
Email: emily.houh@ucmail.uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-0108

Emily Houh is the Gustavus Henry Wald Professor of Law and Contracts at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and co-director for the Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. She teaches in the areas of contracts, commercial law, and critical race theory. Her scholarship focuses on the interaction between contract law, critical race theory, and socioeconomic (in)equality.

Kristin Kalsem
Jones Center Research Faculty, Co-Founder

Email: kristin.kalsem@ucmail.uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-1220

Kristin Kalsem is the Charles Hartsock Professor of Law at the University of Cincinnati College of Law and co-director for the Jones Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. She teaches in the areas of commercial law, bankruptcy, feminist legal theory, and law and literature. Her research focuses on intimate partner abuse, commercial law, bankruptcy, feminist legal theory, and law and literature.

Verna Williams
Co-Founder
Email: verna.williams@ucmail.uc.edu
Phone: 513-556-0121

Dean Verna Williams joined the College of Law in 2001 after practicing many years in the areas of civil and women’s rights. Prior to her appointment as Dean, she taught in the areas of family law, gender discrimination, and constitutional law. In addition, she co-directed the College’s Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice with Professors Kristin Kalsem and Emily Houh.

Social Justice Fellows

Sol A. Kersey, MA, (they/them/theirs) is a Social Justice Fellow seeking to create local change for Cincinnati’s low-income queer community. Since coming to UC Law, they have been active with the Legal Aid Society of Greater Cincinnati, assisting in housing and family law matters. Mx. Kersey has served in a wide array of leadership roles at UC Law, including the prior Vice-President of Out & Allies and the current Wellness Chair of the Student Bar Association. They earned their BA in Organizational Leadership from Northern Kentucky University with a minor in Women’s and Gender Studies, producing two capstone works: 1) Trans Workers’ Rights: Protection Doesn’t Cost A Thing; and 2) Who are They? – Has the Queer Community Spurred Widespread Acceptance of the Singular They?. Mx. Kersey earned their MA in Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies from the University of Cincinnati, culminating in a final thesis titled: Complicating the Margins: Demonstrating the Need for a Complex Understanding of Voter Disenfranchisement. Their work utilizes Shelby County v. Holder as both: a) a point of departure for examining the history of Black women’s disenfranchisement; and b) the apex of continued efforts to disenfranchise Black women in the United States. The intentionality of Mx. Kersey’s work is to complicate activists’, academics’, and researchers’ understanding of how Black women in the United States have been and actively are disenfranchised. Complicating the Margins openly acknowledges gender and race as intertwined and compounding oppressions and rejects the idea of gender and race as mere research variables.

Aqdas Khudadad (she/her) graduated from Centre College with a B.A. in Political Science. As a member of the Bonner Program, she was a volunteer at Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) which is when her interest in pursuing law school began. During her undergraduate studies, she was a research fellow with the American Pakistan Foundation and focused her research on reproductive health access in rural Pakistan. During the fellowship, she was also involved in a project regarding access to legal resources in low-income, rural communities. This fellowship solidified her interest in women’s rights and increasing access to legal resources in marginalized communities. After graduation, she was an AmeriCorps VISTA at an environmental nonprofit called Louisville Grows. She also worked with a nonprofit in Pakistan to develop a menstrual health management curriculum based on her fellowship research to be taught to students in a village in Northern Pakistan. She is passionate about addressing issues related to gender-based violence, racial injustice, and Islamophobia. Aqdas pursued the Social Justice Fellowship to shape her career in public interest work through the lenses of race and gender.

Morgan Mitchell (she/her) is in the joint degree program, currently pursuing an MA in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and a JD in Law. Her thesis is on the intersection of labor, immigration, and capitalist politics and how it uniquely impacts women migrant farmworkers in Yakima, Washington. She was an intern writer for Newsweek Magazine where she wrote articles on social justice topics including LGBTQ discrimination at religious schools, masculinity and body image, and the harmful effects of positive psychology. Morgan also worked for NARAL Pro-Choice California in Orange County, where she organized events to educate college students on fake women’s health clinics and gathered petition signatures in support of pro-choice legislation. During her first year at UC, Morgan worked at the UC Women’s Center as a graduate assistant where she organized events to promote justice, action, and connection for women on campus and to educate students on feminism and women’s rights. She also guest lectured for Dr. Olga Sanmiguel-Valderrama’s Women, Gender, and the Law course. She is passionate about labor rights, prison abolition, and immigrant rights. As a Social Justice Fellow, Morgan hopes to connect with and join other activists in the UC community.

Ashley Nkadi (she/her) graduated from the University of Cincinnati (UC) in 2016 with a B.S. in Neuroscience. Ashley’s interest in social justice catalyzed when she co-founded The Irate 8, a student-activist movement, on UC’s campus in response to the fatal police shooting of Samuel Dubose. After graduation, Ashley worked and organized at BYP100 as a Communications Manager and at the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL) as a Digital Organizer & Strategist. During this time, she proudly served as the digital lead on the BREATHE Act, a visionary, modern-day Civil Rights Act. After graduation, Ashley’s writing career also blossomed. She has written about social justice, identity, race, and politics for publications such as GQ, Playboy, Teen Vogue, The Root, and Essence Magazine — she also covers the State of the Union addresses annually as a part of Rep. Maxine Waters’ Millennial Media Row. Ashley pursued a Social Justice Fellowship in order to ensure that her law study would include a grounding education in the way that law intersects with race, class, and gender.

Anisha Rakhra (she/her) graduated from Villanova University in 2015 with a B.A. in Humanities. After graduation, she worked as a social worker for a foster care agency in the Bronx, NY for two years before starting a Master’s of Social Work program at NYU.  It was during her time as a forensic social work intern at a federal defense office in NYC, that Anisha developed a passion for public interest law, specifically defense work, and decided to pursue law school. The opportunity to be a Social Justice Fellow was a main reason Anisha chose to attend UC Law. Anisha wanted to have a law school experience driven by social justice values that explore how the law impacts various communities through an intersectional lens. In the future she hopes to utilize this lens in legal defense and to work to dismantle oppressive systems.  

Inma Sumaita (she/her/they/them) graduated cum laude from Miami University in 2018 with a double major in International Studies and English Literature and a double minor in Economics and French. After graduating, she spent two years working as a paralegal in Immigration and Corporate Acquisitions and Transactions. As an immigrant herself, Inma has seen firsthand how resolving language barriers and acknowledging how a person’s nationality can impact how they are perceived in matters of immigration. Her professional experience and volunteer in immigration has equipped her to recognize and respond to the importance of familiarity and understanding. Inma is a board member of the Intercommunity Justice and Peace Center(IJPC), which is a grassroots organization based in Cincinnati that works on matters of peace and equity. As a Social Justice Fellow Inma will explore the ways in which she can use her legal education to be an advocate in her community specially with immigrants and incarcerated people. She is committed to ensuring her work in social justice is intersectional and equitable. Inma believes that social justice measures the success of a society, in terms of how it treats ins most vulnerable citizens, rather than by its gross domestic product.

Janelle Thompson (she/her) graduated from Penn State with a B.S. in BioRenewable Systems and a minor in Sustainability Leadership. Her focus at Penn State was to combine principles of sustainable development with environmental justice to alleviate the disproportional burdens of environmental degradation. She is also passionate about increasing the representation of people of color in the legal field and in other traditionally inaccessible professions. During her undergraduate years, she served as the  co-chair of the Diversity Subcommittee for the Student Sustainability Advisory Council (SSAC), became a peer mentor for the Social Justice Fellowship Program, and collaborated with a faculty member to be the first environmental justice intern at the Penn State Sustainability Institute. Janelle wanted to become a Social Justice Fellow to experience her legal education through a critical lens and to learn how to navigate the legal field as a Black woman. Since becoming a fellow, her interests grew to include how contractual and real estate relationships intersect with social justice. She is currently the president of BLSA (Black Law Students Association).

Apply to be a Social Justice Fellow

%d bloggers like this: