Kristin is a New York-based advocate, attorney, and strategist who is energized by organizations focused on supporting their communities and making a long-term tangible impact. She is inspired by Sundara's mission to provide funding and resources to women who are innovating within their communities, providing them with individualized support and the tools needed to grow and thrive.
"Where did you first learn about RISE by Sundara?"
Erin, RSE by Sundara's founder, spoke at one of my favorite events - the Let's Talk series, where attorneys at my prior law firm interviewed amazing women about the bold choices they'd made in their lives and careers. From there, I became a huge fan of Sundara's mission, and RISE in particular.
"Why did you want to join RISE by Sundara’s board/ Why is RISE by Sundara important to you?"
I love that RISE seeks to build community, not only for its global fellows, but also for its RISE 100 members. I appreciate RISE's focus on sustainable projects that are transformative. RISE is most important to me because it provides support and resources to its fellows while still making sure that they have full control over how they effectuate their vision, since the fellows are the ones who have the expertise and insight into how to best benefit their communities.
"What does life look like for you outside of RISE by Sundara?"
I am the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel of the Urban Justice Center, which works to fuel social change through innovative projects that combine direct legal and social services, policy advocacy, and community education. I also serve on the board of the Bronx Documentary Center, which seeks to increase representation in the journalism and documentary filmmaking industries, and to provide resources and support for the South Bronx community. In my free time, I write holiday rom-com scripts and take (currently virtual) boxing classes. "What is your purpose in life?"
I strive to make people's lives easier through resourcefulness and sheer enthusiasm. "What is something most people don’t know about you - but should if they really want to understand you?"
I think my considerable boxing skills are something people might not expect, and are a sign of my dual nature - I'm a friendly and gentle person at heart, but I can fight hard when I absolutely need to, be it through advocacy or, I guess, with my fists. "What has been one of the biggest highlights of your life?"
Being an aunt - I have a niece and two nephews who are all so different and so awesome. Watching them figure out what they love and seeing them do great things in the world has been incredibly cool.
"Which aspect of being on the board are you most excited about?"
I can't wait to help RISE 100 members figure out how they can apply the things that excite them most towards supporting our amazing RISE fellows. "Who do you admire and look up to, and why?"
I'm a huge admirer of Stacey Abrams - I love how she brings her full self to everything she does. She can be practical and realistic while seeking to enact tangible change on the ground with respect to voting rights, but those qualities don't stop her from inspiring people to work with fierce hope towards huge shifts in what could be. She also is not afraid to share her pop-culture love with the world as a sci-fi expert, a thriller and romance author, and a vocal fan of television, movies, and music. It's truly exciting to watch great leaders show up as their genuine selves. "What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten in your career?"
You have to define success on your own terms - even if it involves walking away from something that seems perfect on paper. We are all in charge of our own careers, and we have to make sure that what we're building is something that we find satisfying, even if it's not a traditional or easily understood path. "Summarize your life motto in one sentence."
"I guess I just like liking things." (A quote from Danny Pudi's character Abed on Community.) I try to focus on lifting things up and cheering people on as much as I can, because I think there's true power in encouragement and support.