Janaé Bonsu, National Public Policy Chair
Janaé Bonsu is the National Public Policy Chair of the Black Youth Project 100 (BYP100), a collective of 18 to 35 year old Black activists and organizers dedicated to creating justice and freedom for all Black people. Janaé has co-led BYP100’s anti-criminalization and police accountability campaigns, and co-authored the organization’s policy platforms, the Agenda to Keep Us Safe and the Agenda to Build Black Futures. She is also a first-year doctoral student at Jane Addams College of Social Work whose research interests center on participatory action with criminalized Black women and girls.
Asha Ransby-Sporn, National Organizing Chair
Asha Rosa Ransby-Sporn is a Black queer writer, student, and organizer currently serving as a National Organizing Co Chair for Black Youth Project 100. She was part of the We Charge Genocide youth delegation to the United Nations in 2014 where she testified on police violence in Chicago and was one of the lead organizers of Columbia Prison Divest, the first successful campaign to get a U.S. university to financially divest from the private prison industry. Asha is committed to movements that embrace transformative potential of a radical/Black/queer imagination towards the abolition of police and prisons.
Fresco Steez, Digital Strategist
Fresco Steez is a community organizer, educator, and aesthetic designer born and raised on the south side of Chicago. She is honored to be an organizer for Black Youth Project 100. She has fought for freedom with young Black people for nearly a decade. Fresco organizes for liberation through a Black Queer feminist lens and is committed to dismantling anti-Blackness through a systemic approach to the issues that impact Black communities. She’s worked on campaigns to end mass incarceration and the prison industrial complex. She deeply believes in practicing alternatives to punitive justice such as restorative and transformative justice, and she fights to dismantle the school to prison pipeline to reimagine the education system for young Black people. Fresco has served as a youth legal advocate for the Know Your Rights Project, a Junior Grant Officer for the Chicago Crossroads Fund, and a coder and analytics scientist with Code for Progress. Fresco is inspired by unapologetically Black political heroes like Assata Shakur, Ella Baker, Audre Lorde, and Harriet Tubman. She is rooted in the fight for Black Liberation and freedom for all oppressed people and provides an intersectional young, Black, queer, analysis to the struggle for justice in local and national political climates. Her relentless passion for transformative justice guides her work towards decriminalizing Blackness in America. She currently creates as the Digital Strategist for BYP100.
L’lerrét Jazelle Ailith, Communications Manager
L’lerrét Jazelle Ailith is a non-binary trans femme devoted to utilizing multiple media platforms as vehicles for community mobilization and restorative justice. She attended Xavier University of Louisiana and received her Bachelor’s in Chemistry with a minor in Women’s Studies. It was through her collegiate experience that she developed her passion for online communications, as it was a tool that has been integral in building connections between folks of marginalized communities all over the world and contributes to the most transformative active politicization processes. Through working as a content writer for ELIXHER Magazine and a strategist through the Trans Women of Color Collective (no longer affiliated), she has been able to develop strategies for brand building, community outreach, and cooperative economics all through online channels. She is committed to bringing this framework into organizing and to challenge public policy. She is devoted to building solidarity, contributing to trauma healing initiatives, improving public health, and developing/fostering community social awareness and critical analysis.
Executive Assistant to the National Director
Tasha Viets-VanLear is a poet, singer, dancer, and activist from Chicago, Illinois. This past May she graduated from St. Olaf College with a self-created major entitled Black Expression & Artistic Performance, a course of study highlighting the political and social ideologies of Black performers throughout history and today. She currently acts as Executive Assistant to Charlene Carruthers of BYP100, and has been a member of the organization since summer of 2015. In addition to her work with BYP100, Tasha is a founding member of Lifted Voices, a Chicago-based organization dedicated to strengthening the political and personal self-defense of women and non-binary people of color, and co-facilitates restorative justice peace circles for women of color on the north side of Chicago. She continues to perform her poetry and dance at open mics and local artist showcases, and is in the midst of recording her debut EP to be released in March of 2016.