Latrina Kelly-James has 20 years of experience building and advocating for marginalized communities.
Latrina brings a commitment to driving equity from spaces of liberation; building and centering the power of voices of Black and Brown communities; and driving liberation as a collective community and organizational practice across differences. With equity at the center, she has provided strategic leadership and capacity building to forge collaborative community and institutional partnerships, utilize data and community voice to drive policies to reduce harm, reallocate resources to communities, and support community access to and sustainability of funding.
She is currently the Director of Training and Technical Assistance for the Community Based Public Safety Collective, a national collective that builds neighborhood leadership to advance safety, and preserve the integrity and tradition of Black and Brown community interventionist work. She leads the Collective’s work to ensure equity in access to public funding through rapidly building the infrastructure, capacity and support needed to scale, and educating on the necessity of Black, Brown and Indigenous-led safety.
She is also Principal of Oya Strategies, a liberation-centered equity consulting and capacity building firm. She recently served as Chief of Equity & Racial Justice at the Center for Popular Democracy, building the organization’s internal equity culture, and shaping its voice around racial justice. Latrina served as a Director of Training and Capacity Building with Equal Justice USA, creating racial equity for Black and Brown survivors of violence through building community organizations’ capacity to access federal and other sources of funding to advance their healing. She is former Director of the Charlotte Mecklenburg Drug Free Coalition and formerly served as the Deputy Director and interim Executive Director for Junta for Progressive Action in New Haven, CT, where she led coalition-building and advocacy strategies around ending oppressive federal immigration policies, and pushed against racial profiling in local police departments .
She is on the board of CHEER Institute, whose mission is to eradicate the impact of racial and ethnic discrimination and injustice through community education and community building. Latrina is a past Fellow with the Justice Policy Network, a Washington DC-based leadership program. Latrina lives in Charlotte, NC with her husband and two children. She does this work for her ancestors and her children.