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 leaders are passionate leaders and friends with over thirty years of combined experience in youth development and social justice.
Mandy Bynum Mc Laughlin is an entrepreneur, investor, and founder of The Race Equ(al)ity Project, a mission-driven innovation studio that builds solutions to drive approachable, transparent, and actionable accountability for equity, inclusion, and social responsibility.
Mandy is a well-known thought leader and influencer within the Silicon Valley tech/startup ecosystem and partners with high-scale growth companies to design strategies for equity, inclusion, and social responsibility. She is a board member and advisor for early-stage startups in the future-of-work technology space.
In 2020, Mandy co-founded The Race Equ(al)ity Project with Dion McKenzie to design a comprehensive Index for companies to measure and benchmark their diversity, equity, and inclusion practices. The Race Equ(al)ity Index has helped teams throughout tech as a tool to hold their leadership team accountable for funding and resourcing important changes within their organization.
Prior to Camp Equity, Mandy served as the organization’s Chair of the Board. Throughout the last 18 months, she has seen how Camp Equity has changed the lives of hundreds of students by using age-appropriate language and frameworks to change their view of social justice, anti-racism, and how they become active participants in dismantling the structures that perpetuate inequities and white supremacy in our society. Moreover how many campers transformed the perspective of their parents/caregivers, and immediate friend groups. She is thrilled to be serving as the organization’s interim CEO as the organization grows!
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 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.
Hiya, I'm Gabriela Luna (she/her), I'm 14 years old, and I'm from the Bay Area, in California! A little about me is that I have participated in track and field for the past 3 years. I'm a part of an orchestra ensemble and play the viola. I'm very passionate about helping Camp Equity alongside other youth board members. At my previous school, I've joined multiple leadership programs that have helped teens transition into middle school. Another program I've participated in is Tupe. Tupe is a program that helps teens understand how important it is not to vape or smoke. I enjoy Camp Equity because it gives kids a safe place to talk about issues in today's society.
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.
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.
Additional Founding Team Members
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.
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.