Who We Are
The Seattle Human Rights Commission consists of 16 representative residents of Seattle appointed to serve in an advisory capacity to the Mayor, City Council, Seattle Office for Civil Rights, and other Seattle City departments in matters affecting human rights. Seven commissioners are appointed by the Mayor and seven appointments are made by the City Council. The Commission appoints the 15th member. Commissioners are appointed to a two year term of office and serve without pay. A 16th member joins the Commission each year through Get Engaged, a leadership development program for 18-29 year olds.
The Seattle Office for Civil Rights provides staff and support to the Commission.
Meet Our Commissioners
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Alice Serko is an attorney for Sedgwick LLP in Seattle, where she handles civil litigation matters for both private and public entities. She has substantial experience in labor and employment law and has created and presented legal education courses on several topics, including social media policy, management of public records requests and strategic policy and public relations statements for public entities. While in law school at the University of Washington School of Law, she was a Washington State Association for Justice Women in Litigation Scholar and was a student advocate in the Tulalip Trial Courts Public Defense Clinic, where she provided pro bono criminal defense. Alice is currently a member of Washington Women Lawyers and volunteers as an alumni advisory board member at the University of Washington School of Law and with the Lifelong AIDS Alliance.
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Ashley Miller is a Seattle-area native and graduate of the University of Washington, where she discovered her passion for community organizing and social justice. She seeks to be a force for change by actively building her skills as a servant-leader and creating spaces and opportunity for community empowerment. Ashley has spent her career in youth development, serving as the Executive Director of the Service Board from 2008-2014. She currently manages the community giving and volunteer programs for evo.
Through this work, she has supported collective impact efforts and sought to build trust and accountability in the nonprofit sector. She has served on several advisory boards, currently working with FEEST, the United Way of King County's Youth Impact Council and the HUB Leadership Board at the University of Washington. Ashley is excited to work with the Seattle Human Rights Commission to evaluate and influence policies that ensure our city is meeting Human Rights Standards.
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Danielle Wallace is a human rights advocate with a focus in economic and social rights, specifically those related to housing, homelessness, urban planning, labor, and economic development. Danielle's professional experiences have included policy analysis related to social justice and racial equity, leading workforce development implementation, supporting recently resettled refugees, and engaging undergraduates in leadership and service. Currently, Danielle works as a Project Manager with a focus on policy at the Workforce Development Council of Seattle-King County. Danielle holds a Master of Public Administration from the University of Washington Evans School of Public Policy and Governance and Bachelors of Arts in International Affairs and Political Science from the University of Georgia.
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Edlira became interested in human rights during the Ethnic Albanian Genocide, while working as an interpreter for refugees from Kosovo. Her local involvement in human rights has been through both, direct service and policy work. Edlira currently works in Government & Community Relations at Vulcan Inc. Most recently, she worked at the Washington State Legislature, serving as staff in the State Senate and House of Representatives.
Prior to her work in government, Edlira spent nine years working with various local non-profits. While working as a Housing Counselor for Solid Ground, she developed an advocacy curriculum for formerly incarcerated adults to self-organize, in advocating for the Jobs Assistance Ordinance, addressing some of the barriers to employment rights for those with previous conviction and arrest records in the City of Seattle.
Edlira graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in International Studies and a minor in French. She also serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA), for youth in foster care, with the King County Superior Court. Edlira looks forward to serving on the Commission, where she will focus primarily on addressing human rights violations in immigrant detention centers, youth violence prevention, forced labor and human trafficking, and incarceration rates in minority populations.
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Fekadu Shibeshi is a human rights advocate with a focus on immigrant and refugee rights. As an immigrant himself, Fekadu works closely with the East African communities in Seattle to advocate the advancement of civil, economic, social, and political rights of all people without discrimination of any kind.
Fekadu earned a Masters degree in Law from University of Washington and an LL.B degree from Haramaya University (HU), in Ethiopia. As a law student he traveled to Nigeria and Denmark representing his county in international human rights moot court competitions. After graduating with great distinction from HU, he taught International and African Human Rights laws in two different universities in Ethiopia. He also served as a director of HU's Advocacy Skills Center, where he helped students become socially involved.
Currently, Fekadu practices law in Seattle as a solo practitioner with a specialization on Immigration Law. Fekadu is determined to promote equal rights and justice as part of the Seattle Human Right Commission.
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Jeremy Wood joined the Human Rights Commission in order to advocate for tribal and native interests in our municipal governance.
While in law school at the University of Washington, he externed for the Honorable John C. Coughenour, District Court Judge for the Western District of Washington, and clerked for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Solicitor of the Interior's Office, two Seattle firms focused on tribal representation, the Tulalip Tribal Public Defense Clinic, and served as the Vice President of the Native American Law Students Association. He graduated from law school with honors and received the Dean's Medal and election to the Order of Barristers.
Before beginning a career in law, Jeremy worked as a care advocate for youth living with HIV and taught English in Israel/Palestine.
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Lara currently serves as Chair of the Appeals Committee for the SHRC. With a background in international economic development, she is keenly interested in issues of social justice and equity affecting Seattle neighborhoods and constituents even as they experience tremendous growth opportunities. She works for Catholic Relief Services to attract foundation and corporate financial support for overseas relief and development activities. She holds a BA in International Relations from Grinnell College and a combined MA/MBA from Yale University. She recently obtained a certificate in Rental Housing Development Finance.
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Marcel finished his Masters of Public Administration at the Evans School of Public Policy and Governance, with a concentration in Metropolitan and Regional Policy. He has professional training in data analysis, policy and program implementation, as well as leadership and stakeholder management. He further developed these skillsets through a recent internship with the King County Executive Office of Performance, Strategy, and Budget.
As the Policy/Data Analyst Intern, he served on the Recidivism Reduction and Reentry policy team. I drafted evidentiary reports, facilitated a countywide Reentry symposium, evaluated King County's adult detention programs, and co-developed an offender Risk-Need-Responsivity tool for correctional treatment-matching. He also led interdepartmental meetings with DAJD directors, DOC staff members, university professors, district court judges, and attorneys.
He currently serves as a Co-Chair on the Seattle Human Rights Commission, where he lead taskforces, draft letters, and support resolutions, specifically community-led initiatives to reduce juvenile detention and improve reentry services in Seattle. Through his recent educational and professional experiences, he brings a thorough understanding of how Seattle and King County's policies can assist the HRC in achieving its mission of eliminating discrimination and promoting human rights.
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Pauline Alvarado is a Filipino-American immigrant from Makati, Philippines who proudly resides in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Seattle.
At the Council of State Governments Justice Center, Pauline currently works to optimize the efforts of the Justice Reinvestment Program-which provides practical, nonpartisan advice and evidence-based, consensus-driven strategies to all branches of government at the state level-in the operational capacity especially the areas of information systems management, grants and ethics compliance, and special data visualization projects.
Previously, Pauline worked in: labor-employer relations for the Service Employees International Union; large-scale community organizing campaigns within battleground jurisdictions and communities of color across in California, Washington, Ohio, and Colorado; and finance for a Silicon Valley firm that specializes in alternative asset funds and the National Opera in Washington, D.C.
Pauline earned a BA in mass communications with a minor in French from the University of California, Berkeley and volunteers on the Board of Directors of the Cal Alumni Association of Puget Sound.
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Sarah is a human rights advocate whose focus includes local, state and international human rights policy. Sarah became involved in human rights issues while a student at Oberlin College, where she graduated in 2007 with a B.A. in Political Science. She has served as a community organizer for OneAmerica, working with immigrants who experienced racial profiling on Washington's border with Canada, and engaging youth to speak with their elected representatives. Prior to OneAmerica, she spent two years in El Salvador coordinating human rights advocacy in response to increased violence toward local activists and community leaders. Currently, Sarah works at the Pipeline Project at the University of Washington. There, she brings her passion for education access and community partnerships to connect undergraduate students with service opportunities in Seattle schools. Sarah is delighted to promote equal opportunity and justice as part of the Seattle Human Right Commission.
Tammy J. Morales
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Tammy Morales has always been drawn to work that increases power for struggling individuals and families. Whether advocating for increased affordable housing or assisting immigrant grocers to build their businesses, Tammy is committed to supporting the economic right of everyone to live a life of dignity. For 10 years she was the principal and founder of Urban Food Link, a food policy firm that connected communities to healthy food. She currently is a community organizer at UFCW 21, Washington's largest private sector union where she advocates for the rights of workers and their families.
Tammy's other community advocacy includes serving as the vice-chair of the board for the South Seattle Women's Health Foundation, a board member for Rainier Beach Action Coalition, and a contributor to South Seattle Emerald. She is thrilled to join the commission in keeping human rights at the forefront of policy decisions made by our city council.
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William (Bill) is an attorney for Osborn Machler, a Seattle plaintiff-side civil litigation law firm specializing in personal injury, medical malpractice, and consumer law. He recently graduated from Seattle University School of Law magna cum laude and was a member of the school's Law Review. While in law school, Bill volunteered regularly for school's chapter of the Street Youth Legal Advocates of Washington and mentored incarcerated youth in the King County Juvenile Detention Facility. He also externed for King County Superior Court and U.S. District Court judges.
Bill previously worked for former Seattle City Councilmember Nick Licata as both an intern and legislative aide. He hopes to bring both his legal and government experience to better the lives of all Seattle residents and workers as a member of the Commission.
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Yasmin Christopher is currently a Legislative Aide to Washington State Senator Pramila Jayapal. She is a graduate of Seattle University Law, and a recent member of the Washington State Bar.
While in Law School she was a Spring 2014 Legal Extern with the Honorable Justice Mary Yu, during her final months in King County Superior Court, a Fall 2013 law clerk with the U.S. Attorney's Office and Summer 2013 policy fellow at the Polaris Project, an organization that takes a comprehensive approach to human trafficking, based in Washington D.C.
She also is currently the Vice Chair of the OneAmerica (501c3) Board of Directors and a member of the OneAmerica Votes (501c4) Board of Directors, where the mission is to build power in immigrant communities through grassroots organizing and public policy.
Yasmin has also lent her voice and personal family history to raise awareness about human trafficking. She was a part of a King County Metro Bus public service announcement campaign in 2013 and has traveled the state giving lectures at various colleges on her family's experience and possible public policy improvements on the issue. In addition, Yasmin has donated her time and artwork to various fundraising events through her collaboration with the Refugee Women's Alliance and the International Rescue Commission that work to provide direct services to trafficking survivors here and abroad.