Faces of Advancement Project - Advancement Project - Advancement Project

Faces of Advancement Project

This holiday season we wanted to give our supporters and allies an opportunity to get to know our staff members, their stories, and why they do the work they do. Read the profiles below and check back here in the future for updates. With your support, we can continue working towards a just democracy. 


Ashley Carter, Staff Attorney, Justice Project


You may want to ask Ashley for luggage packing tips because she’s always on the go, offering her litigation experience to partners on the ground in the name of racial justice and dismantling oppressive systems of mass incarceration and policing. You may catch her in New Orleans, Milwaukee or her beloved hometown, Detroit, where she has been working on busting myths in Michigan related to disenfranchisement for people with criminal convictions. She knew she wanted to be part of Advancement Project’s national office team because of the opportunity to work around the country supporting grassroots organizations and directly impacted individuals as they combat inequality and fight for social justice in their communities. 

Andrew R. Hairston, Staff Attorney

Though he could have gone into radio with his baritone voice, Andrew Hairston opted to use his voice to amplify the disparities in our education system and uphold the fundamental right to vote - particularly for people of color. Originally from the South, Andrew continues to be connected to the region, having recently presented at Netroots Nation 2018 in New Orleans and working with Advancement Project national office partners in Georgia and Louisiana. This proud Howard University alumnus was named American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division Scholarship for 2018-19! We can’t wait to see what’s next!


Zerline Hughes Spruill, Managing Director of Communications


Formerly a journalist, Zerline decided that being an unbiased reporter didn’t allow her to advocate for the communities she connected with. Now, Zerline lives her work. The mother of two teenagers, she sees first-hand how the education and criminal justice system target Black young people. As Advancement Project national office Managing Director of Communications, Zerline feels like she can now effectively advocate for the racial justice issues that impact her, her children and the community at large. She leads our communications team in changing the narrative around youth criminalization, empowering people to take action, and amplifying messages to help get us toward a free and safe society for all.


Advancement Project National Office Applauds Senate Confirmation of Kristen Clarke as Assistant Attorney General for the Department of Justice

Clarke Becomes First Woman of color to lead the Department’s Civil Rights Division

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How Organizing Saved My Life: My Road to Racial Healing

By Chris Bufford, Campaign Strategist I was 14 years old when I learned first-hand how the existence of Black youth is criminalized. I was walking home late at night and a police officer pulled up alongside of me. He asked me where I was headed. I told him, “I’m heading home from a friend’s house.” He continued to follow me down the street, watching me from his car. It made me nervous. Had I done something wrong? Did I fit the description of a suspect? Was he going to stop me for curfew? After about half a block I asked,…

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Healing Communities of Color Beyond Wellness

By Flavia Jimenez, Managing Director of Organizational Development & Leadership We are our only relevant hope We are our only possible medicine –what is unveiled? the founding wound  by Adrienne Maree Brown When organizations discuss plans to address the impact that systemic racism and the violence of white supremacy have on staff, we often lack the language to openly discuss viable options. Perhaps it is because the wounds are too deep and too raw. Where do we even begin to bring a framework to folks who live and work with the pain? What do we do about…

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Leading Civil Rights & Racial Justice Organizations Observe the National Day of Racial Healing

Leading racial equity organizations will pause to participate in the 5th Annual W.K. Kellogg National Day of Racial Healing (#NDORH) on January 19, 2020.

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Advancement Project National Office Applauds Nomination of Civil Rights Leaders to Biden-Harris U.S. Department of Justice

“Vanita Gupta and Kristen Clarke are formative civil rights leaders with decades of experience fighting discrimination, ensuring equity and safeguarding all Americans."

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Voting in the 2020 Election

We know that voting is an important way to advance our fight against systemic racism. But the ongoing pandemic has created significant challenges in getting out the vote—challenges made even worse by opportunistic and racist government officials who are leveraging this crisis to make voting more complicated and less accessible to Black and Brown people. That’s where you come in. Voters need help understanding how to vote during a pandemic. Here you can find: Scripts to make online videos Memes and gifs to share on social media Messaging guides GOTV Graphics Videos to share…

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Advance The Ball

Stand Up and VOTE Advancement Project National Office and the Washington Football Team are working together to advance racial justice and equality in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. By encouraging civic engagement and providing mutual aid, we can help to build the power of Black and Brown communities. Together, we’re giving the DMV a playbook for making their vote count. Voter education is particularly important this year, when so many people will be voting by mail for the first time. The deadline to register to vote is Tuesday, October 13 in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Go to…

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Civil Rights Organizations Debunk Myths of No COVID-19 Cases in East Baton Rouge Parish Prison

Impacted people behind bars share harrowing stories of coronavirus outbreaks, unsanitary conditions Baton Rouge, LA – Last night, several civil rights and racial justice organizations pushed back on efforts by the Sheriff and Warden of the East Baton Rouge Parish Prison to silence the detainees trapped inside the facility and to hide from community members and taxpayers what the organizations say is really happening in the jail.  The Sheriff and Warden, defendants in a federal lawsuit filed by the advocates, claim that the jail has the coronavirus pandemic under control, but the plaintiffs and…

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Women Did That! 100 Years of the 19th Amendment

One hundred years ago today, the 19th amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote was ratified. Women’s suffrage was a century-long fight achieved through protest, advocacy and the legendary work of trailblazing women of color including Sojourner Truth, Mary Church Terrell and Ida B. Wells. These women organized to combat racist policies, elect people of color to public office and create community institutions that provided mutual aid to their communities. Today, the nation cannot deny that women of color are a “…

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