Michelle joined Astraea in December 2021 as the Assistant Controller. She brings over 20 years of accounting experience in the proprietary software industry. Prior to Astraea, Michelle worked as a Senior Accountant for SS&C Technologies, managing multiple multi-million dollar portfolios, providing insight and support to external auditors up to and including generation of the financial statements.
Michelle has a BS in Finance from Central Connecticut State University and a MBA – Accounting from Ellis College of New York Institute of Technology. When not working, she enjoys weightlifting, Tang Soo Do martial arts, reading and spending time with family and friends.
Zakiya Robinson, a graduate of Bethel University, is a first-generation Barbadian American. Passionate about creating nuanced opportunities for Black and Brown communities, they previously served as the Director of Policy and Programs for the NYC Unity Project—NYC’s policy and programming office dedicated to supporting LGBTQ New Yorkers. In this role, Zakiya worked to connect community and government to create pathways towards equity for LGBTQ folx.
Their most recent work has included promoting the health and safety needs for sex workers, launching Unity Works, the country’s largest and most comprehensive workforce development program ever created for LGBTQIA communities, and spearheading a mutual aid fund for TGNCNB New Yorkers.
Throughout their career, Zakiya has intentionally worked to connect vulnerable communities to resources and designed impactful programs that facilitate lasting communal change. Serving as an organizer and program developer, she is passionate about bringing the folx doing the work on the ground to the table to advocate for themselves–employing the philosophy that folx most impacted by policies should be at the table as primary decision makers. In their spare time, Zakiya facilitates a community tax clinic providing low-income communities with access to free financial literacy and tax prep. Zakiya is a native New Yorker, aspiring master chef, and lover of all things Queer and Black.
Sakinaa is a black femme Muslim facilitator and researcher, raised in the south, residing on Lenape and Nanticoke lands. They hold a Bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from William & Mary. Currently, they are pursuing a Master of Social Service (MSW equivalent) at Bryn Mawr College. They are dedicated to imagining and exploring liberatory practices rooted in transformation, healing, hope, collectivity, and love. In their free time, they enjoy relaxing in nature, making herbal tinctures, and building community with other LGBTQI Muslims.
Allie Phillips-Shinn grew up queer in Oklahoma, and it is her experience struggling to thrive in the U.S. bible belt that has continued to drive her activism today. With over 15 years experience in progressive movements, Allie’s work is driven by the core belief that it is our communities, not our systems, that can and will create the radical future we deserve. It is that guiding principle that draws her to the Southern Anchors Fund now.
In addition to her professional activism, Allie is a photographer, almost always found with a camera or two on hand. In her free time she reads, camps, grows food, and spends time with her artist wife, her five step children, and her big, beautiful, extremely queer family of choice, all of whom are working in some way to build a better world.
Joy L. Chia is the Executive Director of the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice, a public foundation rooted in LGBTQI communities and movements working globally to advance the rights of LGBTQI people and communities. Astraea endeavors to mobilize and distribute resources so as to reach the activists and communities who need them most and who are best positioned to make transformational impact over time.
Joy comes to Astraea from the Open Society Foundations (OSF), where she was the Team Manager with the Women’s Rights Program and led its work on “Power of the Collective” which supports feminist activism, community mobilization and advocacy to be more independent, resilient, vibrant, and inclusive. From 2012-2018, Joy was the OSF East Asia program officer and led the program’s grant-making portfolios on equality and human rights in China. She has also held fellowships and taught international human rights law and practice at institutions, such as the Chinese University of Hong Kong, University of Hong Kong and at Fordham Law School. Joy is a graduate of Yale University and Columbia University School of Law.
Daniel was born in Harlem, New York with a heart of helping for the greater good. He graduated from Bloomfield College in 2012 with a BA in Accounting. Shortly after completing his studies, he worked as a Staff Accountant at Youth Consultation Service in Newark, NJ. His next position several years later was a Grant Accountant at Hudson County Community College in Jersey City, NJ. Throughout his adult life, he always loved participating in various community services whether soup kitchens, walks, or donations towards the community. Outside of work, Daniel loves being in the gym, writing, meditating, reading, graphic design, and DJ’ing. Daniel believes in equality & change for the better, so he hopes the time he works at this company will leave a lasting impression.
Amanda is a Queens native and recent graduate of Queens College, majoring in Environmental Studies. She’s joining Astraea with several years of Human Resources experience and a passion for giving a voice to those who have to shout to be heard. Amanda advocates for the protection of animals and the environment whenever and wherever possible. In her spare time you’ll find Amanda reading non-fiction and murder mysteries, watching documentaries, and writing essays about her travel adventures.
Poppy is a queer feminist activist born in Tbilisi, Georgia. They majored in film and worked as a scriptwriter at the Georgian Public Broadcaster for little over 8 years. Their activism started with an Independent Group of Feminists, an autonomous group of activists in Tbilisi, and continued with the Georgian Public Broadcaster as a Chair of the Labor Rights Committee. After moving to the U.S., Poppy continued their activism through their work with The Public Outreach Fundraising and the Foundation for a Just Society which led them to work with Astraea. Other than their work and activism, Poppy enjoys playing musical instruments, watching anime, playing video games and snuggling with their cats.
Rebecca Fox is Astraea’s VP, Programs and has been a long-time supporter of Astraea and grassroots, feminist LBTQI movements. In her previous role, Rebecca was the Senior Program Officer on the SOGIE team at Wellspring Philanthropic Fund. In that position, she coordinated grantmaking on a variety of issues related to increasing the rights of and improving the lived experiences of LGBTI people. Formerly, she was Executive Director of the National Coalition for LGBT Health and an adjunct professor of human sexuality at George Washington University. Rebecca currently serves on the Steering Committee on the International Trans Fund and was previously board chair at Funders for LGBTQ Issues. Rebecca’s other board membership experiences include those of Choice USA, Generations Ahead, and Jews for Racial and Economic Justice. She lives in Brooklyn, NY with her partner, Meghan, and her not quite feral cat, Birdie Noodle. She is a women’s record holder for powerlifting in New York State.