2020 Board of Directors
Board members serve for three year terms with a normal limit of two terms. Board members are volunteers and receive no financial remuneration for their service.
Roni Jo Draper (President) - Roni is a professor in the Department of Teacher Education of the McKay School of Education at Brigham Young University. Recently, she has turned to queer pedagogical approaches to her work with teachers to help them rethink their taken-for-granted notions about teaching, learning, literacies, and the children and families they serve in schools. In addition to her university work, Roni Jo works as an advocate in the LDS LGBTQ community and serves as the vice-president of the Utah County chapter of PFLAG. She is a former high school mathematics teacher who worked primarily with adolescents at risk of not completing high school. Roni Jo earned her Bachelors of Science, masters, and doctoral degrees from the University of Nevada, Reno. She joined the Board in 2017.
Heidi Chamorro (Vice President) - Heidi graduated from the S.J. Quinney College of Law in 2015 and is a California barred attorney who currently works in a compliance position for Goldman Sachs. She served as an intern for the ACLU of Utah in 2012 in a project, in conjunction with several community groups, which helped disseminate information and make resources available for undocumented youth to apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”). In 2014 she joined the board for the ACLU.
Robert Wood (Treasurer) - Robert runs his own financial consulting business. Through his more than thirty-five years of business experience, Robert has been involved in business start-ups, mergers, acquisitions, and organizational restructuring. He has served on the Board of Directors of Rowland Hall-St Mark’s School and the Salt Lake Legal Aid Society. Robert joined the Board in 2001 and served as President from 2009 to 2013. After a leave of absence in 2014, Robert rejoined the Board in May 2016.
Suresh Venkatasubramanian (Secretary) - Suresh has worked as an Associate Professor at the University of Utah, since 2007. He completed his undergraduate work in India and his Ph.D at Stanford University. Suresh’s background is in theoretical computer science: the study of the intrinsic complexity of computations, with an interest in problems of data analysis. Suresh, as a sci-fi fan, has spent many years reading and studying about the possibilities of our machine-enhanced future - living in a world where our decisions are controlled (or nudged) by algorithms that learn things about us. He realizes that we’re barreling into a future driven by algorithms that aren’t that smart, and aren’t particularly fair, and is interested in finding out how we might fix this. Suresh joined the Board in 2017.
Chelsie Acosta - Chelsie is an educator in the Salt Lake City School District where she teaches English Language Development and Latinos In Action. She currently serves on the Utah National Association Multicultural Education (NAME) Board and the Salt Lake Education Association Executive Board. Chelsie is the National Education Association (NEA) Social Justice in Education blogger and the NEA Hispanic Caucus Secretary. In 2017, she was a finalist for the NEA Social Justice Activist Educator of the Year. Chelsie is currently a graduate student at the University of Utah in the Department of Education, Culture and Society. Her activism is centered, but not limited to; racial justice, the protection of the undocumented community, LGBTQIA+ issues and the School to Prison Pipeline. She joined the Board in 2018.
Christine Arthur - Christine has over 25 years of experience as a certified public accountant and is an audit partner at Larson & Company, PC, helping both nonprofits and businesses with their external financial reporting and regulatory compliance. She is a passionate volunteer and advocate for nonprofits and their constituents through service to a variety of organizations including; YWCA Utah, Utah Women’s Forum, Utah State Bar, Torrey House Press, United Way of Salt Lake, Utah Nonprofits Association and the Nonprofit Academy of Excellence, University of Utah. Christine received a B.S. in Accounting from the University of Utah. She joined the board in 2019.
Stephanie Burdick - Stephanie, a survivor of a traumatic brain injury (TBI), is finishing her degree at BYU in public health, with research focused on the health equity in communities. She is deeply interested in exploring the relationship between the criminal justice system, homelessness, and access to healthcare. Seeking to use her personal experience of living with a TBI, she sits on the Board of the Disability Law Center, the Advisory Board of the Department of Health’s TBI Fund, and works alongside other healthcare advocates. Additionally, she is a part of the Mormon Women for Ethical Government Leadership Team where she has helped organize events on environmental health, immigration, and voter turnout. Stephanie joined the board in 2019.
Forrest Crawford - Forrest has served Weber State University in various capacities since 1977 including Assistant to the President for Diversity for 17 years. He is a co-founder of several organizations including the Utah Martin Luther King Jr. Human Rights Commission and the Utah Black Education Forum. Forrest has received numerous awards for his civic engagement like the NAACP’s Medgar Evers Medal of Freedom, the Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Civil Rights Award and Pete Suazo Memorial Award for Life-Time Community Service. He has chaired and served on many boards and commissions including the Utah Disability Law Center and Northern Utah Coalition for HIV/AIDS Education. He has received a B.S. from Weber State College, a Masters Degree from the University of Utah, and a Doctorate from BYU. Forrest joined the Board in 2015.
Judge Mark DeCaria - Judge DeCaria was appointed to the Second District Court in March 2009 by Governor Jon M. Huntsman, Jr. He served Davis, Morgan, and Weber counties until his retirement from the bench in April 2019. DeCaria graduated from the University of Utah and received his law degree from the Hamline University School of Law in Minnesota. Prior to becoming a judge, DeCaria served as Weber County Attorney for 15 years, worked as Deputy County Attorney, Ogden City prosecutor, and in private practice prior to these positions. He is a founding member of the Weber Morgan Domestic Violence Coalition and a member of the committee that created the Weber County Drug Court.
Kass Harstad - Kass is a partner with Strindberg & Scholnick, LLC, a boutique law firm located in Salt Lake City that specializes in plaintiff-side employment law. Kass obtained her B.A. from Oberlin College in 1994, and she graduated from the University of Minnesota College of Law in 2000. Before joining Strindberg & Scholnick, Kass spent two years working with migrant farm laborers, did individual projects for the Jalisco State Commission for Human Rights in Mexico and Minnesota Advocates for Human Rights, and spent five years working for a large law firm in Chicago. In Salt Lake City, she has represented numerous plaintiffs in employment discrimination cases, and she especially enjoys multi-plaintiff cases. Kass joined the Board in May 2018.
Sophia Hawes-Tingey - Sophia has been an advocate for the LGBTQ Community and her local communities for a number of years, particularly the transgender community, which lacks representation in a number of areas. She is currently the Chair of the Transgender Inclusion Project and the Midvale Community Council, in addition to serving on the board of the Utah Stonewall Democrats and acting as Legislative Liaison to the Utah LGBTQ Chamber of Commerce. She also currently serves as the Policy Chair for the Women's State Legislative Council of Utah, having previously served as the Director of the judiciary legislative study committee and co-chair of the business and labor legislative study committee. Sophia also has the distinction of being the first openly transgender person to appear on a public ballot when she ran for Midvale City Council in 2015, and in 2016, becoming the first transgender national convention delegate for a major party in Utah.
Danielle Hawkes - Danielle is a founding partner of The Salt Lake Lawyers and focuses on family law litigation. 100% of her pro bono work is done in the LGBT community. Danielle received her law degree in 2010 from the University of Utah. After graduating, Danielle served a fellowship in Washington DC with Georgetown Law and the Law Students for Reproductive Justice working in women’s and immigrants’ rights with the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health. In 2014, she was named best lawyer by QSaltLake and in 2016 she was named to Utah’s Legal Elite by Utah Business Magazine as well as a Mountain States Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine in 2016 and 2017. Danielle joined the Board in 2015.
Nasir Khan - Nasir is the past president of the Utah Islamic Center, and past member of the board of directors for the Islamic Society of Greater Salt Lake. He has worked with many local nonprofit organizations to provide opportunities for refugees to be involved in healthy life activities. In the 1980s, Nasir founded the Salt Lake Cricket Union, which now includes nine teams. He currently serves as president of the Union, which is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit and was recently selected as the South East regional manager of the International Cricket Council as the representative from Utah.
Brian King - Brian has served Utah House District 28 since 2008, currently as House Minority Leader. When not at the legislature, Brian is a practicing attorney who focuses on plaintiffs who were improperly denied health, life or disability insurance. He is also a past president of the Utah Association for Justice (formerly Utah Trial Lawyers Association). Brian and his wife have raised four daughters in the Salt Lake Valley and have loved every minute of it. Their family continues to be involved in church, school and community service. Brian joined the Board in 2017.
Kathryn Lindquist - Kathryn earned a BA and MA in English and PhD in American Studies from the University of Utah. A retired University of Utah Professor, she previously directed the Bachelor of University Studies program and taught humanities courses. Kathryn is incredibly generous with her time and serves on a number of advisory boards and committees at Weber State University and the University of Utah. She is also a trustee for The Nature Conservancy’s Utah chapter. She is married to Jim Moore, a retired environmental attorney. Kathryn joined the Board in 2018.
Charlene Lui - Charlene is currently the Director of Educational Equity for Granite School District. She began her educational career teaching high school, while also serving as an Assistant Principal at Eisenhower Junior High School and Copper Hills Elementary, and Principal at Monroe Elementary—all within the Granite District. Charlene is a strong advocate for equity and the advancement of multicultural education. She was a two-year member of the Utah State Board of Education and past chair for CMAC (Coalition of Minorities Advisory Committee appointed by the Utah State Board of Education). Charlene is a nationally certified senior level REACH (Respecting Ethnic and Cultural Heritage) trainer, treasurer for the National Association of Multicultural Education (NAME), Ex-Officio of Utah NAME, Immediate Past President of the Mainland Council for Hawaiian Civic Clubs and has served for several years as a member of the Pacific Islander Advisory Committee. Charlene Lui has a M.Ed. in Educational Leadership and completed doctoral courses in multicultural education and English as a second language. Charlene was married to the late Sione Kaisa Lui; they have six children and nine grandchildren.
Richard Van Wagoner (Legal Panel Representative) - Richard graduated from Weber State in 1982 with a B.S. in English and from The University of Utah College of Law in 1985. He has been with the law firm of Snow Christensen & Martineau since 1986. His practice areas focuses on criminal defense, commercial litigation and First Amendment. He has served as a volunteer cooperating attorney on ACLU of Utah cases including Weaver v. Nebo School District (1998) and East High School PRISM Club v. Cynthia L. Seidel (2000). Richard previously served on the ACLU of Utah board from 2009-2011 and rejoined the Board in 2018.
Sarah Vaughn - Sarah is a transplant from the Sunshine State of Florida. She arrived in Utah in 2010 to attend the University of Utah, where she attained a B.S. in Communication with a minor in Political Science. She later attended graduate school at the U., receiving a Master’s in Public Administration (MPA). Since deciding to make Utah her home, Sarah has made extensive efforts to be involved in her community. She has volunteered with the Utah Black Chamber, the ACLU of Utah, and serves as an executive member of the Salt Lake County Black Democrats and the county organization’s executive committee. Sarah’s focus for the past two years has been helping marginalized groups in her community and finding ways for them to get a seat at the table. Sarah is also the Founder and CEO of Melanin Squad, LLC, which was created in August and will have its official launch this October. The mission of Melanin Squad is to create safe spaces and connections for women of color living and thriving in Utah. In her leisure time, Sarah enjoys brunching, exercising, traveling, learning more about her Jamaican heritage, and spending time with friends and family.