Young Professional Network

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. If you are interested in joining the YPB, click here to download the application.

If you are interested in getting more involved with UJC, but don't currently have the time to join the YPB, you may be right for our Young Professional Advocates. The YPA has a smaller time commitment, but still offers critical support to the work of the Urban Justice Center. To join, fill out and return this application to gwagnernealon [at] urbanjustice.org.
 

All members of the YPN receive advance invitation to our ongoing YPN Speakers Series, which brings a wide variety of activists and thought leaders together to discuss issues related to the work of the Urban Justice Center. As well, YPN members can take advantage of exclusive volunteer opportunities, event discounts, and other benefits.

Current Members:

  • Godfrey Mutoro Bakuli 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.

  • Deanna Cohen is a Practice Assistant at New York law firm Kirkland & Ellis LLP. She has held business development and marketing roles in various industries, including politics, education and youth development, food and hospitality, She most enjoys working with people, but is also a visual thinker with 15 years of classical art training, as well as modern photography and design. Deanna graduated from New York University with an individualized study in The Perspectives of Public Policy, and a minor in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Studies.  While Deanna was an undergraduate student, she had the opportunity to intern with the UJC. After graduating, the Young Professional Board seemed like a perfect way to continue to contribute to the meaningful work of the organization. 

  • Katherine Corwin 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.

  • Laura Diamond is a psychotherapist in New York City. She received her Masters of Education in Psychological Counseling as well as her Masters of Arts in Mental Health Counseling from Teachers College, Columbia University. She received her undergraduate degree from Bucknell University in Psychology. Laura has conducted clinical research at various institutions including The Global Institute of Public Health at New York University, Mount Sinai Medical School, Columbia University Medical Center, The New York-Presbyterian Hospital, Teachers College at Columbia University and Bucknell University. She currently serves as the Secretary for the YPB and is excited to utilize her background in psychological research and public health to aid the UJC in continuing their efforts to provide legal representation, advocacy, education and counseling for all.

  • Eric Lipkind works at Bloomberg LP in business development, working to increase the firm’s market share by driving sales and new application development. He graduated from Tulane University in 2011 with a degree in Finance. Between New Orleans and New York, he has gained insight into how different cities treat their vulnerable citizens. He is seeking to join the YPB to materially support the Urban Justice Center’s legal services, systematic advocacy, community education, and political organizing. He enjoys practicing Spanish, running, and weight training.

  • Andrea Park graduated from Williams College in 2010 and received her master's degree in broadcast journalism from Columbia in 2011. She has worked at ABC News, CNN, Metro newspaper and now works at CBSNews.com, running the entertainment section. In her current role, Andrea enjoys talking to celebrities like Cedric the Entertainer and Lucy Liu. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with her dog, cooking and practicing yoga. 

  • Craig Reilly is the current Chair of the YPB. He is an associate in the State and Local Tax Practice at the law firm Hodgson Russ LLP, where he counsels businesses and individuals in a range of state and local tax issues. Craig received his J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and his Bachelor of Arts in History from Princeton University. Craig has lived in New York City since graduating from college and joined the YPB to help support the UJC's mission and goals. Craig believes that access to able legal representation is an essential right in any just society and is proud to support an organization that offers exactly that--to almost 50,000 vulnerable New Yorkers every year. 

  • Jasmine Smith, a native New Yorker and passionate human rights advocate has spent much of her professional career aiming to help disenfranchised communities.  Her past experience includes working as a Consultant for the Center for Economic and Social Rights where she managed the development of a framework for a portal, which created improved mechanisms for measuring government compliance by ensuring that economic, social and cultural rights are upheld.  In Jinja, Uganda, she worked for Slum Women’s Initiative for Development in an effort to establish a dialogue between women residing in the Walukuba Masese Division and local government officials.  She succeeded in facilitating discussion, which addressed concerns of land security, high unemployment and HIV/AIDS education. She also advocated for the economic empowerment of women by helping them to obtain access to credit, which aimed to create/improve businesses and/or purchase land. Jasmine has a M.A. in International Affairs from the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy.  It is with intense dedication and enthusiasm that she support New York City's most vulnerable residents.  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.

  • Eric Weiss is a first year MBA candidate at the NYU Stern School of Business.  Prior to Stern, Eric was an associate with Megalith Capital Management, a residential real estate owner and developer headquartered in New York City, where he was responsible for underwriting new investment opportunities, building Megalith's strategic models and developing deal structures.  Before joining Megalith, Eric worked at O'Neill Properties Group. Eric graduated from Duke University in 2010 with a B. SC. in economics.  While in college, Eric served on the executive board of Ignite National, a grassroots non-profit organization devoted to curbing Big Tobacco lobbying efforts.

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