Ryan (He, his, him) is a progressive communications professional committed to lifting up the voices of directly impacted communities and designing communications campaigns that support and amplify litigation and advocacy priorities. Prior to joining the Bronx Defenders, Ryan was with the American Civil Liberties Union, where he was most recently the communications strategist for the Campaign for Smart Justice, a 50-state campaign aimed at ending the nation’s mass incarceration crisis. In this role, he worked on a multitude of different criminal justice reform priorities, including prosecutorial reform and the movement to end the cash bail system. At the ACLU, Ryan also executed the media and digital content strategy around nationally significant LGBT rights cases, including Gavin Grimm’s landmark transgender rights case that briefly made it to the Supreme Court; the Supreme Court case Masterpiece Cakeshop vs. Colorado Civil Rights Commission in which the ACLU represented the same-sex couple refused service while trying to purchase a wedding cake; the successful effort to marshal public pressure and secure clemency for Chelsea Manning; and the ACLU’s lawsuit challenging the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender military service members. Ryan has also worked at communications agencies where he supported clients seeking to bring greater equity to the K-12 education system. He received a B.A. in World Politics from Hamilton College.
Esther is an active participant in grassroots organizing around Asian American and Pacific Islander issues; specifically, as it relates to sex workers’ rights and anti-gentrification efforts in Chinatowns. She is an organizer with Red Canary Song – an Asian-American sex workers and allies lead group focusing on migrant massage parlor workers outreach. With RCS, she is working to pass the DecrimNY Bill, in coalition with Chinatowns across the U.S. to build political lines, and does public education. She’s spoken at the University of Chicago, U Mich Law, and Columbia University around anti-trafficking laws and sex workers’ rights.
Prior to RCS, she interned for Rahm Emanuel for the City of Chicago’s Press Office and, during her time in Illinois, worked on anti-trafficking issues. She received both her B. A., with a double major in English and Philosophy, and a Journalism Certificate from Wheaton College (IL). During her time in college, she studied abroad at the University of Oxford under Dr. Emma Plaskitt and Dr. Richard Lawes.