Aviance’s passion for truth-telling led her to become a zealous advocate for civil rights.
She received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UNC-Charlotte, and transitioned directly into law school at North Carolina Central University School of Law where she obtained her Juris Doctorate degree. As a movement lawyer, Aviance has advocated for systemic criminal justice and prison reform. She has done extensive research on the ways in which the criminal legal system preys on communities of color by issuing punitive, excessive and arbitrary court fines and fees both pre and post-conviction.
She has represented clients at the trial and appellate level advocating for the protection of voting rights for communities of color. As an adjunct law professor, Aviance trains future lawyers on the intersection of race and the criminal legal system and implores her students to imagine a true justice system through restorative justice. She believes that one of the most essential traits of a good lawyer is to do deep intrinsic listening to understand communities’ needs. Aviance enjoys crafting and baking with her husband and son.
Patricia (She/Her/Ella) joins CREEC as Development Director with over 16 years of experience fundraising for social justice causes. She manages individual, corporate, and foundation fundraising, helping people support a world where civil liberties are accessible to all. Patricia comes to CREEC after successfully building and diversifying the support of Worker Justice Center of New York, a legal services organization focused on the rights of low-wage and agricultural workers. Patricia has been involved in all aspects of fundraising for small and large progressive nonprofits, including Food & Water Watch, Corporate Accountability, and La Alianza Hispana. She received a Bachelor of Arts in English Rhetoric and a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from SUNY Binghamton.
In 2021 Patricia received her Certified Fund Raising Executive accreditation, the gold standard in ethical fundraising. She is currently studying towards her Master’s in Public Administration from University at Albany (SUNY).
Patricia enjoys hiking, music, cooking, gardening, and spending time with her large extended family. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lauren Deutsch, Esq.
Lauren Deutsch, Esq.
Lauren Deutsch, Esq. (she/ella) is an attorney, and activist, living in Rochester New York with her spouse and three children. Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts from Smith College in 2001, and worked in migrant community health in San Diego, California, prior to law school. She graduated with her Juris Doctor from Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in 2008, and began her legal career in New York City as a Postgraduate Domestic Violence Fellow, before joining the Domestic Violence unit at The Legal Aid Society of Rochester in 2010. She became the Executive Director of a Rochester area reproductive justice organization in 2014, and in 2018 became the Executive Director of a New York statewide non-profit legal services and advocacy organization dedicated to labor justice for migrant farm workers. Lauren’s research interests include racial inequities in legal outcomes, effective social services access for people living with trauma, bruising injuries in victims of color, and the impact of poverty on health equity. Lauren is thrilled to have joined CREEC in 2022, and to be working in Disability Justice to build a powerful and inclusive future.
Manager of Administration and Operations
Ana (she/her) brings the values of service, support and stewardship to her work in administration and operations at CREEC. She has been with CREEC in various roles since 2018 and is passionate about helping CREEC advance its mission by keeping things running smoothly behind the scenes. When not working, Ana enjoys reading, hiking, or cuddling with her dogs.
Al is and has been an attorney, advocate, consultant, educator, and technologist over his more-than twenty-five year career. He fights vigorously to ensure that people with disabilities receive needed accommodations. He has advocated on behalf of the National Federation of the Blind and its members to make sure they have access to technology and other aspects of life in the world and online. He has consulted for the media, businesses, and governments on current and proposed disability-access obligations and best-practices. He has also presented online and given guest lectures on technology access and the law.
As a board member of the National Association of Guide Dog users, Al is a fierce advocate for the right of service-animal users to be accompanied by their service animals wherever their travels may take them. He also holds leadership positions in the Disability Rights Bar Association, the National Association of Blind Lawyers, and the National Federation of the Blind.
For more than seven years, Al has been a litigator primarily representing individuals with disabilities. He began his legal career as the Disability Rights Litigation Fellow at Brown Goldstein & Levy, LLP, and then joined the TRE Legal Practice where he was an attorney before moving to Brooklyn and joining CREEC. Prior to that, Al clerked as an intern for the Honorable Timothy S. Hillman of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts.
During law school, Al worked in the Massachusetts Office of the Attorney General, Civil Rights Division, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Civil Division. He also worked for the Centre for Disability Law and Policy in Galway, Ireland, where he assisted an international disability rights advocacy group in comparing the development of technology access law in the United States and the European Union.
Before law school, Al had a successful career as a consultant and software developer. He served as a senior technical consultant at KPMG in The Hague, Netherlands, then returned to the United States to direct the development of patient-care and other software products for a medical research company. After that and throughout law school, he assisted the Director of Intellectual Property at Harvard Business School Publishing in developing and teaching a Harvard intellectual property course.
- Northeastern University School of Law, J.D., 2014
- Harvard University, A.B., 1996
- District of Columbia
- United States District Courts for the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Massachusetts
- United States Courts of Appeals for the Fourth and D.C. Circuits
Alicia Laurel (she/her/ella) is a wife and mother of three amazing young adults, one with a disability. She was born and raised in Laredo, TX, and is proud of being first generation Mexican American. Alicia began her legal career in August 2005 and received her paralegal certification in 2018 from the Texas A&M International University. She has worked as a Paralegal in both private law firms and government agencies, and is passionate about helping people and making a difference.
Cynthia L. Rice
Cynthia L. Rice
Cynthia L. Rice was born and raised in Colorado where most of her immediate family still lives She received her B.A. from the University of Colorado in 1976 and moved to California to attend law school at Santa Clara University School of Law, where she received her J.D. in 1979. She was admitted to the California Bar in 1979 and to the Hawaii Bar in 1995.
Ms. Rice has specialized in Labor and Employment rights and Education Advocacy in private practice and as a legal aid attorney for Community Legal Services (now Legal Services of Santa Clara County) Marin County Legal Aid and CRLA. Most recently she served as a Director of Litigation, Advocacy and Training for California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) and a part-time project director for the California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation Labor and Civil Rights Litigation Project.
Rice has represented hundreds of workers in administrative and court proceedings involving labor and employment rights. Her work in education focuses on advocacy on behalf of English Learners, Migrant students and students of color, and has resulted in landmark settlements compelling school districts to affirmatively address discriminatory discipline policies. Additionally, she has successfully litigated cases against a variety of state agencies, including the California Department of Education, California’s Unemployment Insurance agencies: the California Employment Development Department and the California Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board, and the California Labor Commissioner.
She has appeared before the California Supreme Court on behalf of claimants before the Unemployment Insurance Appeals Board and the Labor Commissioner. She has testified before various legislative committees and administrative boards, and provided technical assistance to lobbyists and legislators on a variety of education, civil rights and labor bills including California’s Labor Law Private Attorney General Act (PAGA), and SB 1818 which provided protections for immigrants under Labor Code § 1171.5 and related sections.
Rice has been actively involved in developing litigation strategies under state and federal laws for the enforcement of education, labor and employment and civil rights for California low wage families since 1979.
K. Morgan Stockman
K. Morgan Stockman
Morgan (they/she) is passionate about non-exploitative storytelling and disability justice, especially as it relates to their intersections of queerness, Jewishness, and disability.
Prior to CREEC, they worked with the Creative Arts Team (an arts-in-education nonprofit) for nearly six years as both a program manager and development professional. Morgan holds a B.A. in English Literature and Secondary Education/Special Education from Rider University and an M.A. in Applied Theatre: Drama in Educational, Community & Social Contexts from Goldsmiths, University of London.
Outside of working hours you can find Morgan playing roller derby or at the gym training their Olympic lifts (and whatever else their latest athletic interest is).
Kate (she/ella) began her legal career as a Staff Attorney and Justice Catalyst Fellow at Orleans Public Defenders. She came to CREEC after working as an Equal Justice Works Disaster Resilience Fellow at Disability Rights Louisiana. She is particularly passionate about work at the intersection of disability, disaster, and Environmental Justice. As a member of the American Bar Association’s Disaster Legal Services Team, she works to address inequities in disaster preparedness and response through a disability justice lens. Her other areas of interest include the political economies of health and caregiving. She earned her B.A. from Dartmouth College and her J.D. from New York University School of Law.
Outside of work, Kate is a naturalist and urban gardener with a passion for food justice as a means of community resilience. She is admitted to practice in Louisiana, where she spends as much time outside as possible.