Core Team - Camp Equity

Our Core Team

We created Camp Equity in response to the combined forces of the global pandemic and the current manifestation of the human-rights movement, to give exposure to incredible non profits at the grassroots level and engage groups of diverse young people in conversation about this moment in time. Our founders are passionate leaders and friends with over thirty years of combined experience in youth development and social justice.

Donnie Belcher (she/her),
Co-founder and CEO

Donnie is an educator, founder, philanthropic leader and consultant who was named one of Ebony Magazine’s Ebony Power 100 Honorees in 2016. After spending 12 years in the Chicago Public School System teaching Literature and Writing to students in grades 9-12, Donnie co-founded Art of Culture (AoC), Inc. a nonprofit which cultivates youth’s creative potential through artist & professional development, showcases and workshops. After stepping down as AoC’s Executive Director and moving back to her hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota in 2019, Donnie launched “Work with Donnie” which provides Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI), Communications and Capacity Building services to nonprofits and entrepreneurs. In 2020 Donnie became Program Director at the Ann Bancroft Foundation where she brings her decades of experience supporting underserved communities to create programs which empower girls to imagine something bigger. Donnie’s personal mission is to help others “close the gap between their reality and their dreams.” She has received the Courage Award from NYU’s Hip Hop Education Center, the Deloris Jordan Award for Excellence in Community Leadership, and has been selected as an Echoing Green Fellow and a National Alliance for Media, Arts & Culture Creative Leader. In her free time you can catch Donnie scrapbooking, working on her daily planners, and hanging with her fur baby Muffin.

Lauren Burke (she/her),
Co-founder and COO

Lauren has always been passionate about the power of young people, starting with her first protest in her driveway at the age of nine when her parents wouldn’t let her cut her hair. Since then she’s dedicated her career to creating joyful, liberated and equitable spaces and has held positions at the The Door, The New York Asian Women’s Center (now Womankind), Brooklyn Law School, NYU. Lauren was also the Co-founder and Executive Director of Atlas: DIY from 2011-2016 during which time she raised over $2.5 million dollars, began a youtube channel to teach Dreamers how to file their own DACA applications, and provided support to hundreds of youth monthly out of Atlas’ offices in Sunset Park Brooklyn. In 2017 Lauren spent seven months living in a van providing rapid response immigration support for communities in the wake of the 2016 U.S. Presidential election and she has spent the last four years supporting lived-experience leaders in building organizations of their own. Lauren believes that every white person has a duty to examine the ways in which they contribute to upholding white supremacy and encourages everyone to read Layla Saad’s text “Me and White Supremacy” as a first step in doing so. Lauren holds a BA from Connecticut College, a JD from NYU School of Law, and has received awards and recognition from Forbes 30 Under 30, Echoing Green, Skadden, the Brooklyn DA’s office, the Manhattan Young Democrats, and the New Leader’s Council. She is currently on the board of OkaySO, a queer-led nonprofit connecting young people with experts to answer their questions on identities, relationships, bodies, and health. Lauren lives by a cow farm in Connecticut with her dog Rockstar and cat Pumpkin and loves to live by Emma Goldman’s words “I want freedom, the right to self-expression, everybody’s right to beautiful, radiant things.”

Alex La Torre (she/her),
Chief of Staff

Alex La Torre is a queer, bilingual teaching artist, administrator, and advocate. She was born in Lima, Perú and immigrated to the US as a child. She attended Boston College where she studied Secondary Education, English, and Educational Theatre. Alex spent three years teaching, creating, and supervising programs in McCarter Theatre Center’s Education Department working with students of all ages in a variety of school districts in central New Jersey. Her work has consisted of centering the arts, theatre, and storytelling in the classroom as a way to help students express their voices and tell their own stories. Before joining Camp Equity, Alex freelanced as a project coordinator, working with organizations such as the New York City Arts in Education Roundtable and the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. Alex spends her free time singing, playing her ukulele, and listening to podcasts.

Prisma Herrera (she/her),
Co-founder

Prisma is a born and raised New Yorker. She attended Scripps College in Claremont, California, where she graduated with a dual major in Chicanx/Latinx Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. Prisma has worked with young people in various capacities for the past 7 years and really enjoys being able to spend time with them, learn from them, and be in community together. Her work has consisted of creating and writing curriculums, being a camp counselor, a high school college counselor and a residential advisor while in undergrad. She is currently a graduate student at the University of Maryland- College Park in the American Studies department as well a young alum trustee on her alma mater’s board. Prisma enjoys listening to podcasts, trying new foods, reading and dancing.

Advisory Board

Story Goldman (she/her)

I am passionate about social justice issues, specifically educating others to end systemic racism. I believe that my passions and experience of being a leader - co-founding my high school's Gender Sexuality Alliance, being a Peace First Ambassador and being a leader within my community - will help me be part of the positive change the world needs to see.

Mandy Bynum (she/her)

Mandy is the CEO and Co-Founder of The Race Equ(al)ity Project; CEO and Principal of Mandy Bynum Consulting, Inc. Working within fast-growing tech startups her entire career, Mandy’s unique approach in engaging leadership teams in inclusivity and diversity as core components of profitability sets her apart. She has been through two IPO’s with Yelp and SurveyMonkey. While her corporate career has been mostly in Sales leadership roles, the most recent position was Global Head of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion at New Relic, an industry leading Application Performance Monitoring Saas company. Having experience in both People (Learning & Organizational Development), and Revenue (Sales and Marketing) sides of the global tech industry, Mandy uses her unique experience and perspective to help influence team leaders, founders, and individual contributors within organizations and professional networks through consulting, speaking, facilitation, and career coaching.

Mandy currently serves on the Board of Directors for Edify, a technology based onboarding platform designed just for engineering teams.

Mahalia Phillips (she/her)

Hi! I'm Mahalia. I am an 11th grader in California who is very enthusiastic about aeronautics, social justice, and equality. Ultimately, I would like to become an astronaut. I know kids say they want to be an astronaut when they're younger, but I really want to become an astronaut ;). I am a full IB student. I fly once a week with an instructor and do ground school in my free time. While I love aeronautics and aviation, I also love discussing social injustice, inequality and finding ways to bridge the gaps. As an aspiring astronaut, I hope to one day influence people who want to be in the aeronautics/aviation field, but also inspire change in the world here and how we treat our planet and one another.

Kaia Hitzeman (she/her)

Hello, I am Kaia Hitzeman (she/her/hers) and I am beyond thrilled and excited to be an Honorary Member of the Camp Equity Board. Currently, I am a 9th Grade student at the Natomas Charter School Performing & Fine Arts Academy. On-campus, I am a member of the Rotary Club (community service) and the Ecology Task Force (ensuring environmental safety and awareness). Off-campus, I participate in gymnastics and take piano lessons. In my free time, I enjoy playing Just Dance and watching Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum PI. My ultimate goal on the Camp Equity Board is to use my experience from the past sessions to help guide decision-making, planning for future sessions, and developing awesome new swag. I will do my best to engage campers, create and maintain strong bonds, and provide space for them to find peace within their community. We all deserve to live on this Earth harmoniously, and with equity, willpower, patience, and passion, we can accomplish anything, together.

Joseph Fenning (he/him)

Joseph Fenning is a Public Accountant and a former staff member of Pricewaterthouse Coopers. Was also a member of Ithaca College's Institutional Effectiveness and Budget Committee (IEBC) for 2019 to 2019 academic year. And now a board member for Ithaca Colleges Business Advisory Committee (BAC).

He is now a founding member and partner two Real estate startups (Fenning Property Group and Normandy Group Inc.) and a Real estate fund.

Marissa Comart (she/her)

Marissa is a former first grade special education teacher who loves working with young people and is passionate about education and social justice. She went to law school at NYU, where she dedicated her time to working with children and parents in the child welfare system, undocumented minors facing deportation, and public school students in need of special education services. She continued her advocacy work as a pro bono counsel while working as a law firm associate, and is currently an employment lawyer in Brooklyn where she lives with her husband and the cutest future Camp Equity camper (her son, born January 2020).

Erin Miles Cloud (she/her)

Erin Miles Cloud is the co-director/co-founder of Movement for Family Power, and a former family defense public defender. She is Baltimore born, and Bronx living. She is mama of two beautiful children.

Scroll to Top