B.A. in Psychology from UMSL
J.D. from SLU LAW
Rudy Angulo joined ArchCity Defenders in August 2019 as a Staff Attorney with the Direct Representation team, representing clients on a variety of civil and municipal matters. Rudy interned with ACD during his third year of law school and connected with the values and mission of ACD.
What words would you use to describe ArchCity Defenders?
Dedicated, passionate, and zealous.
I like camping, hiking, and seeing live music.
Legal Studies, St. Louis Community College
BA, Webster University
Shannon was born and raised in St. Louis, and after interning at ACD in the summer of 2017 she knew she wanted to work there full time. Shannon started as a paralegal in March 2018. She admires ACD’s holistic approach to helping clients. Before ACD, Shannon was the Assistant Manager of Rise Coffee and worked in other service industry jobs.
Inez Bordeaux joined ArchCity Defenders in July 2019 as the Manager of Community Collaborations. Inez believes in the holistic legal advocacy work at ACD and over the last 10 years, ACD’s efforts have inspired to want to do more. She first was introduced to ACD in 2013, when she was a going through a challenging time and was made a target of a racist criminal legal system. Inez’s background is in healthcare, and she worked as an LPN for 14 years. In 2018, she spent the last year volunteering as an Organizer for the Close the Workhouse campaign. In her current role, Inez works with partner organizations, advocacy groups, organizers, and activist to build relationships that allow ACD to reach common goals of community well being.
What words would you use to describe ArchCity Defenders?
Determined, Focused and Tireless
I’m kinda obsessed with the Zombie Apocalypse. I’m absolutely prepared and know exactly what to do if it happens. I’m a nurse and the nurse never dies in zombie movies, so stick with me!
Marketing Management, University of Arkansas
JD, St. Louis University, School of Law
Lee joined ACD in 2017 as a Direct Services Attorney focusing on civil-consumer law, landlord-tenant law, and municipal law. In 2020, he rose to the position of Senior Staff Attorney. His legal practice consists of assisting low-income, elderly, and disabled clients in addressing various legal housing needs including increasing access to affordable and federally-subsidized housing, preventing evictions, fighting against housing discrimination, and advocating for those currently experiencing homelessness. Lee also engages in extensive policy and media advocacy focusing on tenants’ rights. As an expert in the area of sub-habitable housing, he has successfully argued on the issue before the Missouri Supreme Court, testified on legislation regarding habitability, and continues to give presentations on the issue throughout Missouri and the country.
In 2019, Lee received the Missouri Lawyers Media Legal Champion award.
“I’m as anti-onion as they come.”
Saint Louis University School of Law, J.D.
Drury University, B.S.
Prior to rejoining the Civil Litigation department at ArchCity Defenders in 2020, Nathaniel worked for a small litigation firm called Keane Law, where he gained jury trial experience and worked on class actions seeking environmental justice for residents living near the radioactive and toxic landfills in Bridgeton and the contaminated Coldwater Creek areas. Nathaniel’s work with ACD’s Civil Litigation department has focused on debtors’ prison class actions against regional towns for their unconstitutional practices.
What words would you use to describe ACD?
I spend most of my free time with my partner and 2 kids, but enjoy writing and recording music for my band, “Nathaniel Carroll & the Party Line”
B.A., Vassar College
J.D., Northwestern University School of Law
Matthew Dollan joined ACD in November 2020 as a Staff Attorney in the Civil Litigation Department. Before coming to ACD, Matt worked as an associate at Thompson Coburn and Willkie Farr & Gallagher, where he represented clients in securities enforcement matters, internal investigations, and complex commercial litigation, in addition to maintaining an active pro bono practice. Matt also served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Jane J. Boyle, (N.D. Tex., 2015‑16). During law school, he externed with the federal public defender’s office and worked as a student attorney in Northwestern’s death penalty appeals and juvenile justice clinics.
Fun Fact(s): I occasionally moonlight as a bassist, and I used to work as a tour guide in the Alaskan rainforest.
Alisha joined ArchCity Defenders in July 2017, and works as the Operations Associate at ArchCity Defenders (ACD). Prior to this role, she worked at ACD as an Executive Assistant and Receptionist/Intake Coordinator. Alisha is from St. Louis and has lived in north county for more than 20 years. While living in north county, she has witnessed how the police have targeted black people and the impact that has had on their ability to work, drive and provide for their families and this drew her to ACD.
I love karaoke and cooking.
American Studies and Social Work, Saint Louis University
MSW, Saint Louis University
Z is from Cincinnati and started at ACD in August 2016 because they believe in ACD’s commitment to challenging state violence, racial injustice and criminalization of poor people. As the Communications Director, Z helps people get to know about ACD through social media, news media and alternative media (podcasts, films, etc). Before ACD, they were involved in community organizing, development and media advocacy work.
I used to read the dictionary and learn words for fun. Also used to study/speak Arabic, Spanish, and Haitian Creole.
Political Theory, College of Wooster
JD, Saint Louis University School of Law
Originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan, Maureen came to Missouri for a job in 2008 and later worked at College Bound before going to SLU Law school. Prior to joining ACD as a Staff Attorney, she clerked for a judge on the Missouri Supreme Court. As a Staff Attorney with ACD’s Civil Litigation, Maureen is focused on several cases that span from jail conditions, police brutality and beyond.
I enjoy evangelizing about how everyone should adopt senior rescue dogs.
B.S. in Sociology specializing in Employment Relations, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
M.A. in Sociology, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Joe joined ACD as the Development Director in October of 2020. Prior to ACD Joe was the Regional Chief Development Officer at the Missouri-Arkansans Red Cross in 2019 to 2020. Under Joe’s direction in FY19 and FY20 they exceeded fundraising goals as well as blood collection goals, while simultaneously navigating and optimizing a Beta process for the National RC. Prior to his work at the Red Cross, Joe comes with an extensive Union background and was a National Coordinator for the Service Employees International Union where he had a successful organizing career of 10 years. His career included representational work as well as new organizing with local campaigns including organizing adjunct faculty at Washington University, Saint Louis University, St. Louis Community College, St. Charles Community College and other victories in other states around the country including Hartford University and Fordham University adjuncts to name a few. . Joe also supported organized labor efforts internationally in the Philippines and Morocco. In his time as an organizer he also had successes in political and community organizing. Joe also worked as an investigator with the Missouri Public Defender’s St. Louis County office for 2 years and has taught Sociology as an adjunct at Lewis and Clark Community College.
Fun fact: I enjoy camping and traveling in my free time.
B.A. Global Studies, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
Katrina joined ACD as a member of the Special Projects team in July 2020. Prior to joining ArchCity Defenders, she was practicing in the area of Complex Litigation for a leading plaintiffs’ firm where she was part of a team of attorneys and paralegals working on the national opioid litigation. Katrina began her legal career practicing Civil Litigation first for the St. Louis City Counselor’s Office and then a private defense firm.
During undergrad, I completed a semester-long study abroad in Dakar, Senegal, West Africa and I have a deep adoration for the African continent as well as the Black diaspora. It is my bucket list goal to step foot in every African country during my lifetime.
B.S. in Business Administration, Stevens Institute of Business & Arts
Jessica joined ACD as the Development Associate in May of 2021. Jessica specializes in database management, reporting, and analysis and is responsible for managing ArchCity’s donor database.
Prior to ACD Jessica was the Regional Development Specialist of the Missouri-Arkansas Red Cross Region from 2017 to 2021. She is a two-time nominee and the 2020 Division Winner of the Development Specialist of the year, and the Hustler awards. Jessica has more than ten years of experience in nonprofit development, database management, gift management, and donor relations.
I am probably the only St. Louisan that doesn’t like barbeque sauce.
BS, Political Science, The University of Utah
Dom joined ArchCity Defenders in July 2020 as a Civil Advocate and Paralegal. Born and raised in Utah, Dom graduated from the University of Utah, and studied Political Science, Ethnic Studies, and Gender Studies. Prior to joining the ArchCity team, they served as an AmeriCorps Vista at Pro Bono Net from 2019-2020 developing a manual and project to connect rural, underserved, and marginalized communities to pro bono legal assistance. Dom’s commitments to social and racial equity and legal advocacy brought them to ArchCity after having a formative intern experience there in 2018. Dom is passionate about ArchCity’s commitments to community-informed movement activism and abolishing laws, mechanisms, and institutions that perpetuate marginalization, oppression, and violence in our communities.
Dom is an avid baker and peanut butter and chocolate enthusiast, consuming various combinations of the two almost exclusively in their daily diet.
B.A., Morehouse College
J.D., University of Illinois College of Law
Brandon joins ACD as a Staff Attorney on the Special Projects team. Before coming to ACD, Brandon was a complex litigation Associate at Brown & Crouppen Law Firm, where his practice was devoted solely to protecting the rights of injured victims. He also maintained a substantial pro bono practice, serving as board member and Chair of the Young Friends of ArchCity Defenders. He received a pro bono notation in law school for his work in the schools’ community development law clinic, and currently serves as the Chair of the Minorities in Legal Service committee of the Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis. Brandon recently received the 2021 Roy F. Essen Memorial Award for Outstanding Work as a Young Lawyer from the St. Louis County Bar Association.
I like music, reading and podcasts.
BA Political Science, BA Religious Studies, and BJ Journalism (News Editorial Sequence), University of Missouri-Columbia
JD, University of Missouri-Columbia School of Law
Jacki joined ArchCity Defenders as Director of Advocacy in January 2017. In that role, she supervises the organization’s legal staff and works to identify and pursue advocacy strategies via direct representation, systemic litigation, media and policy advocacy, and through community collaborations.
Previously, Jacki served as a staff attorney in Legal Services of Eastern Missouri’s Housing Law Program since 2006 where she represented low-income tenants in state and federal court; worked with individuals experiencing homelessness to provide legal assistance to remove barriers to housing and employment; advocated for the rights of utility customers; and spoke extensively on landlord-tenant law, fair housing, and the housing rights of domestic violence survivors. There she also provided legal assistance in municipal, housing, consumer, and family matters through the organization’s youth and family advocacy program to families and youth under 21 in St. Louis County and she served as the organization’s Ferguson-North St. Louis County Stabilization Initiative Project Coordinator
She has received the 2013 Missouri Lawyers’ Media Women’s Justice Rising Star Award and the 2017 Missouri Lawyers’ Media Up & Coming Lawyer Award.
I’m a certified yoga teacher.
Business and Administration, Fontbonne University
Sharon was born and raised in St. Louis and joined ACD in April of 2019 because she wanted to work for an organization that provides direct services for African Americans in need. Sharon currently processes phone calls and intake applications for services. Before ACD, she spent 11 years working for the federal government and 14 years working for a mental health nonprofit.
I have good personal memories of Florida beaches. I spent many summers in Florida as a kid and my son got married 13 years ago on a Florida beach.
Certificate in Secretarial Studies
Theresa was born in St. Louis and was inspired by the passion of the founders of ACD, and joined in 2012. She received her certificate in secretarial studies in 1987 and began her career in the legal field in 1997. She is currently a paralegal for three attorneys.
I collect anything “Lucy”.
Latin American Studies, University of California-Berkeley
MSW, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
Mykael is from Northern California and joined ACD in July 2017 because her beliefs aligned with ACD’s holistic work. Mykael’s background is in mental health, financial coaching, immigration and somatic healing practices. As ACD’s Grants and Program Associate, Mykael led and developed the Social Work program, assisting clients with getting basic services and resources such as housing, employment, and education. In 2020, Mykael was promoted to Grants and Program Manager, and her work has expanded to training, development strategy as well as grant writing and compliance.
Ask me sometime.
International Relations, Pomona College
Madison is from Nashville, TN and joined ArchCity Defenders as a Fellow, working in Community Collaborations. After moving to St. Louis in August 2018 to participate in a service year program, she got very involved with grassroots efforts like the Close the Workhouse campaign, and was introduced to ACD and partner groups. Madison is passionate about supporting ACD’s mission through her day to day work. In 2020, Madison stepped into the role as ACD’s Community Collaborations Associate, where she serves as a lead organizer for the Close the Workhouse campaign, and works with partners to advance issues central to ACD clients, like housing and environmental justice.
Fun/personal fact: I am an avid hockey fan and have seen my favorite team, the Nashville Predators, play in four different cities.
Marketing, Washington University in St. Louis
Symone is from St. Louis and joined ACD in April 2019 as a Digital Media Associate. Symone believes that ACD’s holistic approach has strengthened the voices of folks that have been historically silenced and oppressed. The role as Digital Media Associate allows Symone to fight against the corrupt legal system, right in her hometown. She creates visual content and supportive materials for communications through print, web, and social media. Outside of ACD, Symone runs her own freelance business, Designs By Monie.
I tend to keep myself busy with learning new things. Right now, I’m teaching myself how to DJ with my new controller and I’m also learning how to code with the intent to apply my skills to web development and design.
B. S. in Marketing and Communications, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
Estelle was raised in sunny Southern California. Since graduating from college in 2016 Estelle has built a strong professional profile, her experience has ranged from human resources, program development in the non-profit sector, and event and strategic planning in higher education. Prior to coming to ACD, Estelle worked as a career development instructor at a higher education institution. Estelle has also started her own events and marketing company in which she plays an integral role in curating events for the STL metropolitan area ranging from the social to the political sector.
Estelle was drawn to the Executive Assistant position at ACD because by taking on this role she is able to do something that she is good at which is organizational structure, whilst being able to do something that she is passionate about which is contributing towards human service. Her values align with ACD’s vision to see a society liberated from systems of oppression.
Fun Fact: I eat food for fun. I like to take photos of food. I like to have discussions about food. I am a foodie. I frequent restaurants often. Some would call it greed or gluttony—I’d like to think of it as a necessity. Food is our common ground, a universal experience.
J.D., Harvard Law School
B.S., Business Administration, University of Southern California
Originally from Liberty and Greenville, Mississippi, Emanuel joined ArchCity Defenders in September 2020 as a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney. In this role, Emanuel’s work focuses on providing legal support to the families of people killed by police or who died while in state custody.
As a law student inspired by ACD’s holistic legal advocacy model, Emanuel first worked at ACD as a legal intern in the summers of 2017 and 2018. Prior to law school, he worked as a strategy and design consultant, helping nonprofits and philanthropists design projects and investments focused on addressing inequities in education, public health, economic development and in addressing anti-Black racism.
I grew up singing in my church choir and served as the president of my university gospel choir.
MSW, Washington University
BA Legal Studies, Webster University
Madeleine joined ArchCity Defenders in October 2020 and was thrilled to join a team that provides holistic services in line with her own values. Before coming to ACD, Madeleine worked as a case manager and mental health therapist for individuals, families, and groups involved in the criminal legal system in St. Louis and beyond. As the Social Work Pilot Coordinator, Madeleine works with ACD’s clients and local professionals to design and implement a comprehensive social work program that reimagines public safety through a racial justice lens while creating pathways for individual self-determination and community empowerment.
I’m happiest when I’m kneading bread dough and checking my plants for new growth.
Political Science and Philosophy, Bradley University
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
While in school, Brittany has had a variety of legal internships at the federal, state, and local level. After law school, Brittany started her own firm in partnership with other attorneys from the Westside Justice Center in Chicago. During the pandemic, Brittany served as a VISTA attorney with First Defense Legal Aid, coordinating client communications and engaging in pro bono litigation in the Civil Rights Legal Aid Program (CRLAP).
An avid gardener since 2018, I can only seem to grow sunflowers, tomatoes, and squash, although many other things have been planted. I love the planet Saturn.
Sociology, Psychology, & Art, Hampshire College in Western Massachusetts
MSW, Brown School at Washington University
ilia (pronounced eye-lee-uh) joined the ACD team in June 2020 and jumped at the opportunity to be part of an organization so closely aligned with their personal beliefs. Originally from the DC Metropolitan Area, ilia came to St. Louis to earn a Master’s degree in Social Work and knew immediately that they wanted to stay in the Midwest. Prior to moving, ilia worked in reentry case management and served women returning to the community after incarceration. As a Housing Case Manager, ilia is excited to manifest ACD’s core values and mission into everyday supportive services.
They once had to climb into a ceiling to rescue a kitten. It’s a wild story for another time.
Bachelors, Social Work, Southeast Missouri State University
MSW, Brown School at Washington University in St. Louis
Kimyatta is a native of the St. Louis region and joined ArchCity Defenders as the Social Work Program Manager in October 2020. Kimyatta has over eight years of nonprofit management experience. Her experiences range from program development, program evaluation, staff supervision, streamlining operations, volunteer and board cultivation, public speaking, to fundraising. She holds a Masters of Social Work from Washington University in St. Louis Brown School of Social Work with an emphasis on social and economic development –policy and an undergraduate degree in social work from Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
Kimyatta’s drive to work collaboratively with underserved communities is rooted in her firm belief that equity, inclusion, and antiracism are non-negotiable in any segment of society. This value made her the ideal candidate to take the helm at LinkStL (2018), a nonprofit in the North Saint Louis neighborhood of Hyde Park. At LinkStL and other regional nonprofits, Kimyatta has overseen the development, evaluation, and implementation of various programs and services to improve the quality of life for individuals living in communities disproportionately affected by educational inequalities, homelessness, mass incarceration, etc. As ACD’s social work manager, Kimyatta is committed to supporting policies and programming that reduce racial inequity and end oppressive systems that target poor and working-class people.
My favorite poem is The Rose that Grew Through Concrete by Tupac Shakur. To me, the poem represents the ways that someone can become something great coming from places that are not always recognized as great.
International Economics and Spanish, University of Arkansas-Fayetteville
JD, Harvard Law School
Blake Strode is the Executive Director of ArchCity Defenders, a nonprofit civil rights law firm in St. Louis, Missouri providing holistic legal advocacy and combating the criminalization of poverty and state violence against poor people and people of color. Blake is a native of the St. Louis region and joined ArchCity as a Skadden Fellow and Staff Attorney following his graduation from Harvard Law School in 2015. Blake attended the University of Arkansas and majored in International Economics and Spanish.
Blake helped to establish the Civil Rights Litigation unit at ArchCity, which has brought challenges to a variety of unlawful and predatory practices including debtors’ prisons, police misconduct, and inhumane jail conditions, among others. In the past few years, Blake and his colleagues have filed more than 50 civil rights cases in state and federal court, impacting upwards of 40,000 people in the St. Louis region. Blake also played a significant role in the class-action debtors’ prison case against the City of Jennings, Missouri that reached final settlement in December 2016. The landmark case provides a blueprint for permanent legal reform in the region’s courts and afforded monetary relief to hundreds of individuals who were jailed because of their inability to pay court debts.
As Executive Director, Blake manages ACD’s growing and talented staff; explores new opportunities for advocacy and systemic litigation; communicates the work and mission of ACD to students, supporters, fellow advocates, and media; and works with the Board and leadership to set the strategic direction for the organization. He is responsible for making sure that the dedicated team at ACD has everything it needs to provide the best holistic advocacy possible for our clients.
Blake regularly speaks at conferences and panels throughout the country and has authored columns and essays for publication on issues of race, policing, and criminal justice. He and Kayla Reed (Director of Action St. Louis) co-host a podcast called “Under the Arch,” which discusses the issues impacting community and the people working to change them. Blake’s leadership has garnered several accolades including the 2020 Missouri Lawyers Media Legal Champion, Harvard Law School’s Bellow-Charn Championship of Justice Emerging Leader Award in 2019 as well as the “Emerging Leaders Award by Focus St. Louis’s What’s Right with the Region.”
I’m a Cubs fan in Cardinals land. I know more about the Golden Girls than you do.
Master’s in Public Policy Administration and Graduate Certificate in Nonprofit Management & Leadership, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Ericka joined in April 2018 and in her role she manages finances and Human Resources, in addition to supporting IT needs. She was drawn to this role because of her belief in ACD’s mission and work. Before starting at ACD, she worked in the private sector building and managing databases and providing training and job support across the country. Ericka has spent over a decade providing development, program management, and strategic planning support to nonprofits throughout St. Louis.
I have three spoiled dogs, Little Bit, Dude, and Chip. They can do exactly as they please because they know who’s in charge.
Philosophy and Psychology, University of Missouri-St. Louis
Cognitive Science, Washington University in St. Louis
JD, Saint Louis University School of Law
Erich has lived in St. Louis his whole life and works as co-counsel with ACD on several class action cases. He assists with litigation by helping to strategize, drafting filings, researching and working to serve as a resource for the various attorneys on staff. Erich is a Professor at St. Louis University School of Law and an Adjunct Professor at Bahcesehir University, Istanbul, Turkey.
I have two wonderful daughters, aged 18 and 20. I have long worked as a musician and still do this occasionally. I am an exhibiting photographer – my favorite types of photos are portraits and Urban Exploration.
Photography and Art History, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Masters in Library and Information Science, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
Michael-John Voss is the Co-Founder and Director of Operations at ACD. He is the co-author of the White Paper on St. Louis County’s municipal court system, a paper that brought context to underlying factors in the protests following the killing of Mike Brown in Ferguson. His work has been featured in the Washington Post, National Public Radio, Democracy Now, MSNBC, CBS, Business Week, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal. He was recently awarded Trial Lawyer of the Year, along with a team of attorneys, by Public Justice Institute in Washington D.C. He has also been awarded the Spirit of Justice Award in 2012, the Atticus Finch Award in 2013, and the New Leaders in Advocacy Defender Award in 2014.
Father of twins who are as old as this organization!
Art History, Criticism and Conversation, Fordham University
J.D., Saint Louis University School of Law
Jack is from Omaha, NE and works as a Staff Attorney in the Civil Litigation department. Jack credits volunteering at ACD as inspiring him to go to law school so he could do the work. After graduating from law school in 2017, Jack started in the Civil Litigation department at ACD, with a focus on combatting systemic abuses ranging from police misconduct to debtors’ prison claims. Between college and ACD, Jack worked as a case manager at The Center for Community Alternatives, as a math teacher in New Orleans, and as an English teacher in St. Louis.
I was the intramural ping pong champion of my high school.
Philosophy, University of Wisconsin-Madison
MSW, Washington University in St. Louis
J.D., Washington University in St. Louis School of Law
William is from Milwaukee and joined ACD in Spring 2015. He joined because he wanted to practice holistic criminal defense in the context of movement lawyering and impact litigation. As the Managing Attorney for the Direct Representation team, William represents individual clients (primarily in criminal and municipal contexts), supervises the staff attorneys engaged in direct representation, and develops and implements guidelines and expectations regarding holistic legal services. Prior to ACD, William was an Assistant Public Defender in the St. Louis City Trial Office.
Qiana Williams is a long-time resident of the Midwest. She began working at ArchCity Defenders in 2016 as a Civil Advocate and Paralegal. She has an extensive background in education and is a civil advocacy powerhouse. Qiana has been invited to speak about the injustices of debtors’ prisons on 30+ various platforms including the White House. She has inspired many to come forward and challenge the practices of the region’s municipal courts and jails.
I am unapologetically insistent on fulfilling my unique duty of having an ultimate human experience.