stetson professor rajni shankar brown
PHOTOS COURTESY RAJNI SHANKAR-BROWN, PH.D. A WHIRLWIND WEEK — The month after assuming the presidency of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Stetson professor Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., spent most of a week in Washington, D.C. She's shown here with Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women.

In May, Stetson University professor and Jessie Ball duPont Endowed Chair of Social Justice Education Rajni Shankar-Brown, Ph.D., became the newly elected president of the National Coalition for the Homeless, the nation’s oldest advocacy and direct service organization supporting people experiencing homelessness and food insecurity.

She is the first woman of color to hold this esteemed national position, according to a university news release.

Shankar-Brown has been part of the NCH in various capacities over the past several years and served in numerous leadership roles over the past decade. She has dedicated her life to promoting human and civil rights, and her commitment and passion for the organization are inspiring, the news release said.

“There are basic human rights that should be guaranteed for all of us, including safe, decent and affordable housing,” Shankar-Brown said in the release. “I am proud to serve in an organization that actively affirms diversity, practices inclusion, and advances equity and social justice.”

Shankar-Brown has not wasted time since her stint as president began. She is a lead member and visionary of Bring America Home Now, a comprehensive grassroots campaign to end homelessness in the U.S. She works with national recovery and homelessness advocate and NCH’s Executive Director Donald H. Whitehead Jr., a military veteran and Emmy Award winner, and Campaign Director Joel Segal, who was a pioneer in the universal health care movement. While serving as a key staffer for U.S. Rep. John Conyers, Segal was a co-writer of the original Medicare for All Bill, which was introduced in Congress in 2003.

“Our campaign has an incredible team of diverse, talented, dedicated experts and amazing human beings,” commented Shankar-Brown, who also serves as chair of the campaign’s racial equity and education pillars of the campaign.

PHOTOS COURTESY RAJNI SHANKAR-BROWN, PH.D.
Shankar-Brown is shown here with Donald Whitehead, a military veteran and executive director of the National Coalition for the Homeless, Rep. Maxine Waters

On June 17 this year, Shankar-Brown helped with a national vigil at the Lincoln Memorial, along with a peaceful NCH protest that gathered people from across the United States to speak up for housing justice.

On June 18, Shankar-Brown was a featured speaker and a key organizer, helping to attract numerous housing justice advocates and organizations, at the Poor People’s Campaign Moral March on Washington.

On June 23, Shankar-Brown spoke at a congressional briefing organized by U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters in coordination with NCH. She urged Congress to invest in comprehensive solutions and long-term infrastructure to solve homelessness and the affordable housing crisis.

Also participating were U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee; Christian Nunes, president of the National Organization for Women; Domingo Garcia, president of the League of United Latin American Citizens; the Rev. Rodney Sadler Jr., director of the Center for Social Justice and Reconciliation; and others.

The National Coalition for the Homeless is a national network of people who are currently experiencing or who have experienced homelessness, activists and advocates, community-based and faith-based service providers, and others committed to a single mission: to end and prevent homelessness while ensuring the immediate needs of those experiencing homelessness are met and their civil rights are respected and protected.

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