Color Of Change is a high-impact, collaborative team of activists committed to making justice real for Black people, and passionate about designing or supporting strategic, creative and winning campaigns.
Gilbert Deans Jr. is the Chief Operating Officer at Color Of Change, where he manages organizational systems including administration, risk management, compliance, legal operations, governance, and security. He is in charge of the implementation of COC’s core business functions and internal operations, in line with the organization’s strategy, values, and in compliance with donor standards and requirements.
Before joining Color of Change, Gilbert served as Director of Finance and Operations at Let’s Get Ready, a non-profit that mentors and tutors high school students through their junior year of college. Prior to that, he served as the Senior Director of Financial Operations at Safe Horizon, the largest non-profit agency that works to prevent violence and advance justice for victims of crime and abuse. Gilbert began his career as an auditor at Deans, Archer & Co., working with a wide array of organizations in education and human services. He has a deep passion for social justice building support systems and services for the underserved.
Gilbert is a graduate of Temple University in Philadelphia. He has a degree in accounting and is a proud member of Phi Beta Sigma. He currently lives in Virginia with his wife.
Uchenna Moka-Solana is the Chief Technology Officer at Color Of Change. She is responsible for building the technology department and developing a clear, strategic vision for the organization’s technology landscape. She leads a team of cross-functional technologists while driving change processes in conjunction with other leaders at the organization. She joins Color Of Change with a dozen years’ experience in technology and management consulting, and organizational transformation — and is passionate about leveraging her experience to catalyze change.
Before joining Color Of Change, she worked with federal, state, and local government agencies to build products, fix technical problems, and improve how the US government serves the public through technology. She was the first African-American woman to serve as acting Executive Director of 18F, a civic digital services consultancy. Prior to that, she worked for global software company ThoughtWorks, helping to launch their Pan Africa operations in South Africa and Uganda. While living in South Africa, she also started the first BlackGirlsCODE chapter in Africa along with a free software development initiative.
Uchenna is a graduate in the field of Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University. She has also done extensive diabetes research at the University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine as she aimed to fight first-world diseases that affected Black and African communities. She currently lives in Chicago, and in her spare time likes to play piano and curate music.
Kelle Rozell is the Chief Marketing & Storytelling Officer at Color Of Change. She leads the team in building narrative power for the racial justice movement, creating tools to hold corporations accountable, and elevating Black voices and communities. She comes to the organization with nearly 20 years’ experience in media and entertainment – working with major record labels and creating award-winning campaigns and content for ABC News, A&E TV, Turner Broadcasting, and Vice Media.
While navigating corporate America, Kelle championed diverse narratives and used her power to advocate for underrepresented voices, pushing for multicultural intern classes and content that reflects America’s true demographics. In 2021, Kelle teamed up with other Black professionals to launch the Black Dollar Index, a consumer advocacy platform that holds corporations accountable for their racial justice pledges to Black America.
Kelle is a Cleveland native turned New Yorker, who lives in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn with her miniature pinscher Darby. When Kelle is not working, she enjoys connecting with her family and friends, listening to a good R&B playlist, and attempting to play golf.
Samantha Phillips is the Senior Director of Talent & Leadership Development at Color Of Change. She leads the organization’s efforts to recruit, develop, and retain a talented, powerful, multiracial team capable of winning real-world change for Black people.
Samantha joined Color Of Change in 2015 when the organization had less than 20 employees. Today Color Of Change is home to a dynamic team of more than 140 people with offices in New York City, Washington D.C., Hollywood, Oakland, California and staff working remotely around the U.S. Samantha’s work is deeply rooted in equity and best practices for attracting and nurturing the best organizers and movement leaders. Samantha is a strategic leader focused on driving Color Of Change’s talent development systems as the organization expands to create ever more powerful Black-led campaigns for justice and accountability.
Samantha graduated with a degree in cultural anthropology from Temple University in Philadelphia. She now lives in New York City, where she loves music and reading Afro-futuristic books.
Sheetal Dhir is the Senior Advisor to Rashad Robinson, the President of Color Of Change. A senior strategist with more than 10 years experience in social justice advocacy, she is a thought partner to the president, working to advance Color Of Change’s vision, impact, and efficiency.
A veteran campaigner and politico, before joining Color Of Change, Sheetal was a vice president at Spitfire Strategies. During the first two years of the Trump Administration, she led crisis response at Amnesty International USA. Sheetal also spent several years at the American Civil Liberties Union, motivating people to take action on racial justice issues including immigration reform, mass incarceration, and prisoner’s rights. She began her career as a news producer, covering domestic politics for ABC, Al Jazeera, Fusion Networks, and NPR. She is a graduate of the Goldman School of Public Policy at U.C. Berkeley and holds a B.S. from the University of Maryland, College Park.
Sheetal is from Washington, D.C. and now lives in Brooklyn. An avid traveler, when Sheetal is not on the road she spends her time cooking, laughing, and hanging out at Prospect Park.
Jade Magnus Ogunnaike is the Senior Director of the Media, Culture, and Economic Justice team at Color of Change. Jade initially joined Color Of Change as a campaign manager — creating winning initiatives like the Black women’s brunches which brought thousands of women across the country to organize for racial justice, and our three-year campaign to get R. Kelly dropped from RCA Records for his abuse of women and girls. Jade also led #QuitTheCouncil, convincing so many corporate executives to refuse to sit on Trump’s business council that he had to disband it, and our campaign persuading wedding planning sites to stop romanticizing and promoting plantations as wedding sites.
In 2020, in the wake of George Floyd’s murder, Jade created #BeyondTheStatement, a set of steps corporations can take to translate their verbal and symbolic support for Black people into real action. Before coming to Color of Change, Jade worked for SEIU organizing nursing home workers, home healthcare aides, and adjunct professors. She is a Los Angeles native, Howard University graduate, and founding member of the Black Youth Project 100. In her spare time, she enjoys design, cooking, and spending time with her husband and daughter Sloane.
Jennifer Edwards is the Senior Director of Digital Engagement and Democracy at Color Of Change. Her focus is on finding innovative ways to activate Black communities online and increase voter participation on issues affecting Black people.
Jennifer joined Color Of Change in 2016. Before that, she advised nonprofits and candidates on how to run effective digital programs in Central Asia, the Caribbean and the US. She comes to the organization with expertise in online fundraising, media relations, digital advertising, branding, and online engagement.
A native New Yorker, Jennifer has spent more than a decade working on the nation’s most influential campaigns at the Sierra Club, Purpose, UnidosUS, and Barack Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign.
Sakira Cook is the Senior Director of Government Affairs at Color Of Change. She helps lead the organization’s policy and government affairs team, its work to overhaul the criminal justice system and safeguard democracy. She is in charge of advocacy strategies aimed at government officials – leveraging the power of Color Of Change members to win real-world change for Black people.
Throughout her career, Sakira has fought for transformative policy solutions to advance civil rights in the United States, working to eliminate inequity and injustice in policing, pre-trial detention, sentencing and reentry. Before joining Color Of Change, Sakira was the Senior Director of the Justice Program at The Leadership Conference on Civil & Human Rights and The Leadership Conference Education Fund. There, she oversaw the justice reform agenda and conducted advocacy at the United Nations, promoting U.S. ratification of important human rights treaties and helped establish the Permanent Forum on People of African Descent. She also led several public education campaigns such as Vision for Justice and Vote for Justice, and work that led to the passage of The First Step Act and The Fair Chance Act to name a few. Prior to that, she served as a legal and research fellow at the Open Society Policy Center, focusing on criminal, civil, and racial justice reform.
Sakira attended Howard University where she earned a B.A. in International Business and Management, and then Wayne State University Law School where she earned her J.D. She currently lives in Washington D.C. and likes to travel with family and friends in her free time.
Shannon Talbert is the Senior Director of Movement Building at Color Of Change. Since 2016, she has guided our work to engage members in Color Of Change campaigns by scaling programs that elevate Black Joy. Shannon is committed to exploring new, innovative pathways to bring Color Of Change members deeper into the movement for racial justice. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shannon skillfully adapted Color Of Change’s in-person organizing into a virtual model that enabled Black people and their allies to build community, develop their leadership skills and secure accountability.
Prior to joining Color Of Change, Shannon spent five years working on women’s and girls’ education in the the United Arab Emirates. She began her career as an organizer on Barack Obama’s 2007 primary campaign in South Carolina focused on increasing Black voter participation.
Shannon studied government and politics at the University of Maryland, College Park. She is a native of Atlanta, Georgia and currently lives in Northeast Washington, D.C. In her spare time she enjoys gardening, cycling, and reading.
Amity Paye is Interim Director of Storytelling & Marketing and the Senior Director of Communications at Color Of Change. She oversees the organization’s media strategy, social media, design, production and partnerships to make Color Of Change a household name. Her team uses media coverage, social media, design and video production to add pressure during campaigns and publicize some of the organization’s most important victories on tech accountability, transforming entertainment industries, and criminal justice reform.
Before joining Color Of Change in early 2020, Amity led strategic communications at the labor union 32BJ SEIU, supported media relations for the Black Youth Project 100, and spent a decade as a journalist reporting on Black youth and social justice for The Nation, NBC, The Root, Jet Magazine and the Amsterdam News. Amity serves on the board of Samara Collective, a women-led communications coop. She is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. She currently lives in upstate New York on land she and her husband are turning into a communal gardening and artist space.