Who We Are

The Urban Justice Center’s Young Professional Network (YPN) is a community of progressive minded individuals who work as advocates and amplifiers for the work of the UJC. The YPN offers two levels of involvement for young professionals eager to support New York City & the UJC: the Young Professional Board (YPB) and the Young Professional Advocates (YPA) 

The Young Professional Board provides critical support and input on matters ranging from events to direct mailings to communicating the organizational mission. This Board of approximately 25 people meets monthly to volunteer, assist in fundraising, and plan new ways to spread the word about our work. They also help to select the topics for our quarterly YPN Speaker Series, which brings together great minds from around the country to discuss timely issues that are pertinent to our work. 

 

How to Join

The Young Professional Network is currently accepting new members. If you're interested in being apart of the Board or Advocates, click here to download the application.

 
 

Meet Our Members

 
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Co-chair

Jasmine Smith

Jasmine is the development coordinator at the Joyful Heart Foundation, which works to change society’s response to sexual assault, domestic violence, and child abuse. She has nearly 10 years experience working for the nonprofit sector, where she has consistently and passionately advocated for the rights of vulnerable populations and helped to build and improve pivotal programs for the benefit of our global human community. Previously as an outreach specialist at the 92nd Street Y, she acted as a philanthropic facilitator and ideation leader for the #GivingTuesday initiative. At Research to Prevent Blindness as program assistant, she effectively aided in the creation and execution of organizational grants management processes. In Jinja, Uganda, she worked with Slum Women’s Initiative for Development where she facilitated a discussion with local leaders to establish program priorities, which addressed the needs of women in the local communities. Jasmine is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on the Young Professional Board and looks forward to advancing the mission of the Urban Justice Center.

Education

MILANO SCHOOL OF INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS
International Affairs

PACE UNIVERSITY
B.A., Communications & Theater Arts

 

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Co-Chair

Leslie Elizabeth Ray

Originally from Laguna Beach, California, Elizabeth has been passionate involved in community development and alleviating social inequity since she was a teenager. Elizabeth studied International Relations at American University of Rome (Italy) and attained her B.A. from Richmond, the International University in London (UK). Since moving to New York in 2015, Elizabeth has worked with iMentor where she participates in their mentorship program, Planned Parenthood of New York City where she sits on their Political Action Group of their Activist Council, New York Cares where she serves as a Team Leader in programs dealing with underserved communities, and Ansonia Independent Democrats Club where she works with the Director of Communications on community and strategic partnerships. Elizabeth currently works for Centerbridge Partners where she recently joined with Centerbridge Foundation team. Elizabeth joined the Young Professional Board in 2016 and was voted Co-Chair in 2017.

Education

THE INTERNATIONAL UNIVERSITY IN LONDON
B.A. International Relations

AMERICAN UNIVERSITY OF ROME (ITALY)

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Godfrey Mutoro Bakuli

Godfrey is the Managing Partner and Chief Investment Officer of The Mutoro Group, a privately held investment company. He served previously as an investment professional at Sageview Capital, a US$1 billion fund investing in the public and private markets, researching investments across a diverse range of industries and geographies, including consumer, media, and technology. Prior to that, Godfrey was an investment banker at Morgan Stanley in New York, advising corporate clients in the transportation and infrastructure industries on financial and strategic activities. Some of his advisory work included the merger of United Airlines and Continental Airlines, the sale of a 19% interest in JetBlue Airlines to Lufthansa AG, and the IPO of Spirit Airlines. Godfrey graduated from Williams College, earning a bachelor’s degree in Economics and History. He serves on the young professional board of the Urban Justice Center, a non-profit providing free civil legal representation and advocacy on behalf of some of New York’s most vulnerable residents. He is an avid photographer and fan of English Premier League soccer (Arsenal F.C.). A naturalized citizen of the United States of America, Godfrey was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and resides in New York City.

Education

WILLIAMS COLLEGE
B.A., Economics & History

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Katherine Corwin

Katherine was born and raised in New York City. She attended Riverdale Country School in the Bronx, where she developed a love of history. She graduated from Colorado College with a degree in history. Katherine studied abroad in Athens, Greece, which ignited her interest in Greek and Turkish relations and prompted her to write a thesis on Greek and Turkish relations in Cyprus in the 1950’s-1970’s in the wake of the Red Scare. After college Katherine worked for College Year in Athens, a study abroad program she attended before pursuing a career in admissions. After working at a school in Dayton, Ohio for 1 year, Katherine is happy to be back in New York City working in the Admissions Department at her alma mater, Riverdale.

Education

WILLIAMS COLLEGE
B.A., Economics & History

 
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BOARD MEMBER

Olivia Hu

Olivia Hu is a Senior Marketing Associate at UBS Investment Bank. Previously, she was a Senior Analyst at Nielsen, consulting on high-profile product launches for a number of Fortune 500 companies in the CPG space (e.g. L’Oreal, Mondelēz, Hershey). In 2015, she graduated magna cum laude from the NYU Stern School of Business with a degree in Business Administration and Sociology. Her Honors thesis, entitled “Gender, Marital Status, and Hiring Practices in the United States”, explores the ways in which a job candidate’s gender and presumed marital status may affect how s/he is perceived by recruiters. While not a student currently, Olivia is passionate about research and enjoys attending lectures throughout the tri-state area. In addition to serving on the Young Professional Board at the Urban Justice Center, she also tutors through New York Cares. Her hobbies include traveling, cooking, piano, fitness, reading, and writing.

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Storm Hurwitz

Storm joined the Young Professionals Board at the Urban Justice Center in the Summer of 2016. Outside of his work with the Board, Storm works as an Analyst, Data & Analysis at DigitasLBi doing marketing acquisition analytics and strategy for Under Armour's e-commerce and retail businesses. Prior to DigitasLBi, he worked at The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender Community Center (The Center) as the Health Campaigns Specialist, overseeing mobile messaging campaigns and social media for a coalition of over 50 LGBT organizations across New York State. Storm's professional background includes work with DoSomething.org and internships at The United States Mission to the United Nations, New York City Criminal Court, GMHC and Children's Rights. Storm holds a Bachelor's degree from The New School with a major in Global Studies and minor in Journalism + Design.

Education

THE NEW SCHOOL
B.A., Global Studies

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Emma Javits

Emma studied psychology as an undergraduate student at Boston University. After college she worked at Bonhams Auctioneers in their Client Services and as their Manager of Business Development. She traveled around the country organizing appraisal events and worked with numerous financial, non-profit, educational, and arts-related organizations to host and execute their fundraising events. She currently works in residential real estate at Stribling & Associates. She volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line, a text-based hotline services for those in crises and is an active member of the ALS Young Professionals Group of New York.

Education

BOSTON UNIVERSITY
B.A., Psychology

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Benjamin Loffredo

Benjamin is currently an investment professional at Otter Media, a joint venture between The Chernin Group and AT&T with a mandate to build, acquire, and make strategic investments in digital content and OTT video businesses.  He previously served as an investment banker at Guggenheim Partners in New York, where he advised clients on M&A transactions in the Technology, Media, and Telecom sectors.  He was born and raised in New York, attending high school at the Fieldston School in the Bronx and graduating from Yale College in 2012 with a degree in Philosophy.  He first became involved with the UJC as a summer intern in 2008 and is eager to continue contributing to all aspects of UJC’s mission.

Education

YALE UNIVERSITY
B.A., Philosophy, 2012

 

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BOARD MEMBER

James Rex

James is currently an Associate in the investment banking division of Goldman, Sachs & Co. He has spent the entirety of his career focusing on mergers and acquisitions and corporate finance activities for industrial companies. In addition to serving on the Young Professional Board, James is also an avid support of FARA, an organization dedicated to curing Friedreich’s ataxia, a Robin Hood Foundation P.Y.T., a Junior Associate at the Museum of Modern Art, and a long distance runner and cyclist. James graduated, cum laude, from Wake Forest University, earning a bachelor’s of science degree in Finance and Economics. James was raised in Windermere, FL, and currently resides in New York City.

Education

WAKE FOREST UNIVERSITY
B.A., Finance & Economics

 

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BOARD MEMBER

Michal Miernowski

Michal is a private equity associate at Onex Partners in New York. He previously served as an analyst at Goldman Sachs, where he focused on providing mergers and acquisition and other corporate finance advice to various financial institutions. Besides serving on the Young Professional Board, Michal is also involved with the Thomas Hardin Scholarship Fund, which provides college scholarships to high school students from the Madison, Wisconsin area. Michal graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a bachelor of arts in Economics (Honors) and French. In his free time, he enjoys running, skiing and reading history books.

Education

UNIVERSITY OF WISCONSIN-MADISON
B.A., Economics & French

 

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BOARD MEMBER

ASHLEE SCHUPPIUS

Ashlee is an events coordinator for Crain’s New York Business, a local weekly business news magazine, producing 25-30 business events in the NYC area, curated by the CNYB newsroom. Prior to Crain’s, she worked as a marketing coordinator for Harlem One Stop, a Harlem community-based destination marketing non-profit organization - committed to the preservation of Harlem's cultural and historic assets while contributing to the economic development of the area. Ashlee graduated from City College of New York with a BA in Sociology and minor in Economics, winning the Guylay Award for achievements as Business Manager/Advertising Director for the award-winning City College News Magazine, The Campus. Ashlee joined the Young Professional Board in 2018 and is excited to further the powerful mission of the Urban Justice Center. 

Education

CITY COLLEGE OF NEW YORK, CUNY
B.A., Sociology & Economics

 

 

BOARD MEMBER

Jacqueline Scott-Douglas

Jacqueline is a political and corporate strategist at Benenson Strategy Group, where she works on behalf of progressive candidates, institutions, and corporations. In addition to her work with the Young Professional Board,Jacqueline is also a mentor with the Opportunity Network, which aims to give low-income students in New York City education-to-career guidance. Jacqueline joined the Young Professional Board in 2016. 

Education

CAMBRIDGE UNIVERSITY
M.A., Political Economy

MCGILL UNIVERSITY
B.A. Political Science & History