Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion; Supervising Professor, The Bronx Defenders Holistic Defense Externship at Columbia Law School; Staff Attorney contact
Shannon serves on the Executive Management Team as the Director of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), developing and executing DEI strategic planning and overseeing office-wide Race, Class, Power & Privilege (RCPP) initiatives. Shannon’s work includes but is not limited to developing and overseeing the implementation of equitable policies and practices designed to promote diversity and inclusion through recruiting, hiring, mentorship, advancement, and retention, as well as developing RCPP training curricula. She facilitates a series of workshops for office leadership, staff, interns and community members year round.
Shannon continues to oversee all hiring policies and processes for staff, interns and students at The Bronx Defenders in addition to supervising The Bronx Defenders Holistic Externship at Columbia Law. As Director of Hiring, Diversity & Community Engagement, Shannon revamped and instituted new recruiting and hiring infrastructures designed to promote diversity, equity and inclusion, and continues to oversee the operation of our comprehensive Summer Internship Program; this includes the Intern of Color Mentoring Program, which Shannon created to offer discussion-based RCPP sessions and one-on-one mentorship to interns from marginalized and underrepresented racial and ethnic backgrounds. Shannon also supervised the founding and operation of the Robert. P. Patterson Jr. Holistic Youth Mentoring Program and supervised the Community Organizing Practice.
As an attorney in the Criminal Defense Practice, Shannon worked on an interdisciplinary team of attorneys and advocates to represent clients in misdemeanor and felony cases, and collaborated in the supervision of The Bronx Defenders’ Desk Appearance Ticket Project, through which she trained and supervised law firm associates in arraigning clients in criminal court while collecting data on the enmeshed consequences of each arrest.
Shannon received her J.D. from New York University School of Law where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Scholar for Public Service. While at NYU Law, Shannon worked on the School to Prison Pipeline through the ACLU Racial Justice Clinic and participated in the Juvenile Defender Clinic, representing youth in delinquency proceedings at the Legal Aid Society. Shannon interned at the Public Defender Service of the District of Columbia, The Office of Child Advocate Attorneys in Atlanta, GA, was an extern at The Public Defender’s Office—Atlanta Judicial Circuit, and at the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office. Shannon received her B.A. in English from Spelman College, where she served on the Board of Trustees and graduated Phi Beta Kappa and magna cum laude.
DEI Associate, Diversity, Equity & Inclusioncontact
Violeta, a Brooklyn native, earned her B.A. in Criminology from SUNY Cortland and her Master of Social Work from Columbia University. During her time at Columbia, Violeta interned at Make the Road NY, where she worked on a program to improve safety in Bedford-Stuyvesant and help prevent evictions. Through her efforts, she was able to help stop numerous evictions and arrange repairs for several buildings. Violeta also interned at Human Rights First, where she engaged directly with clients by co-ordinating biweekly sessions for men and women. More recently, Violeta returned from a tour of Jordan, where she examined social work practices and investigated legal issues regarding refugees and displaced individuals.
Lecelott (She, her, hers), graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and minor in Italian from Lehman College. She has more than 5 years of experience in human resources performing the duties of human resources assistant, human resource coordinator, and benefits assistant. She is fluent in Spanish.