MEET THE TEAM

NUPOL KIAZOLU

PRESIDENT

HEADSHOT

NUPOL KIAZOLU is a powerhouse in the field of activism, from being on front lines of the Charlottesville protests to taping "Do I look suspicious?" behind her hoodie in the wake of Travyon Martin's death.
 
Nupol Kiazolu is the President of Black Lives Matter Greater New York, Miss Liberia USA, Founder/CEO of her national campaign Vote 2000 and Star-Cast member of BET's hit docu-series CopWatch America. The Brooklyn-native has been a leading voice among Generation Z focusing on civil rights, domestic and sexual violence, and youth homelessness.
 
When Nupol is not at Hampton University, striving to obtain her BA in Political Science, she is being recognized by Teen Vogue, Dosomething.org, Princeton University, and delivering speeches all around the world. Nupol is also the first HBCU student to be a part of Teen Vogue's 21 under 21 list. She plans to become a Civil Rights Attorney and Elected Official!

HAWK NEWSOME

CHAIRPERSON

HAWK NEWSOME is an activist at the forefront of the New Civil Rights Movement. He has dedicated his adult life to the betterment of his community & our nation as a whole. The Bronx native was raised in a devout Christian household. As a youth, Hawk succumbed to the temptations of his environment and dropped out of high school.  With the love and support of his family, mentors and athletic ability he was able to push forward and obtain a GED, Bachelors of Science, and law degree.

 

After graduating from Concordia College, Hawkworked for the Honorable Robert T. Johnson at the Bronx County Office of the District Attorney, as a paralegal, then as Special Projects Coordinator. As the DA’s liaison to the community, he worked with N.Y.C.H.A tenants’ associations and social service organizations throughout the Bronx. In his spare time, he organized drives to send medical supplies to Haiti and the Dominican Republic.

 

Hawk joined Wilson Elser Moskowitz Edelman & Dicker LLP as a project manager overseeing efforts in the law firm’s 22 national and international offices. During this period, Hawkfounded the Bronx Sharks an athletic club that has sent numerous at risk youths to college on scholarship. Hawk went on to follow his childhood dream of attending law school. Hawkattended the prestigious Howard University Law School in Washington, DC. and completed his Jurist Doctorate at Touro Law School in Long Island, NY. After which he ran for City Council for the Bronx district where he grew up.

 

Throughout his life Hawk has engaged in protests and activities to combat injustice. Over the past few years, he has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of those slain by overzealous police officers. Hawk a founding BLMgreaterNY. The organization is one of the most disruptive groups in the country and are continuously fighting against anti-blackness. Not only has he helped victims of police brutality, he works with members of LGBT community, victims of the human trafficking, the mental health community, founded Black Lives Caucus. The caucus was the first group in NYC to endorse Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. Hawk has been quoted in the NYTimes and The Wall Street Journal.

CHIVONA R. NEWSOME

CO-FOUNDER

CHIVONA HAS STEPPED DOWN FROM HER ROLE IN THE ORGANIZATION TO RUN FOR CONGRESS IN THE SOUTH BRONX NY15

CHIVONA RENEE NEWSOME, the Co-Founder of Black Lives Matter Greater NY and Candidate for US Congress (NY15) is a civil rights leader at the forefront of the New Civil Rights Movement and former Financial Advisor at New York Life. She has dedicated her adult life to the betterment of her community & our nation as a whole. 

 

Her parents actually met at a civil rights rally in the 1960’s, so you can say that she was born into this fight. The Bronx native was raised in a devout Christian household. As a youth, Chivona’s father became very ill and she became his advocate, learning early on how to negotiate for health care with insurance companies and the local pharmacy.  

She attended pre-K through college in The Bronx. The one year she chose to study out of state at the prestigious Howard University in Washington, DC., her political action was noticed by then Senator Barack Obama’s campaign staff, and she was asked to be a part of the 2008 Presidential Inaugural Committee.

As a financial advisor, Chivona served her community. She worked on the $50 Billion Dollar challenge which created college savings, retirement plans, and generational wealth for over 300 black and brown residents of New York. Since then she has engaged in protests and activities to combat financial injustice. 

Over the past few years, Chivona has worked tirelessly leading protests and seeking justice for the families of police brutality, she works with members of LGBT community, victims of human trafficking, the mental health community, women’s reproductive rights organizations, and housing justice advocates. She co-founded Black Lives Caucus, lectured students and expanded Black Lives Matter Greater NY to multiple New York City charter schools. She is also the producer of Black Lives Matter with Chivona on WBAI 99.5.

TIMOTHY RUFFIN

YOUTH EDUCATION SPECIALIST

TIMOTHY RUFFIN is an educational activist that advocates on the behalf of educational causes that strive to liberate communities of color. Originally from Newark, NJ, Timothy is a graduate from Rutgers University and holds two master’s degrees and is currently pursuing a doctorate degree in adult education.

 

In college, Timothy was part of many undergraduate groups (including Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.) that fought for equality on the college campus which has carried over into his professional life as an educator. While working for various non-profit organizations in NYC, Timothy has always tried to use education as a vehicle for improving a student’s self – image which would have a profound effect on their “options” in life and the betterment of their community.

 

As a student of “Garveyism”, one of Timothy’s favorite quotes by Marcus Garvey is, “if you have no confidence in self, you are twice defeated in the race of life” because although people of color have had traumatic experiences in this world, it is through increased self –awareness and action that they will regain their glorious past.

 

Presently, Timothy supports educational initiatives that allow people of color to pursue their own destiny and is a “fierce opponent” of policies that keep people of color in subordinate or dependent conditions in society. Carter G. Woodson once said, “If the Negro in the ghetto must eternally be fed by the hand that pushes him into the ghetto, he will never become strong enough to get out of the ghetto.”

MARIO BENABE

EDUCATIONAL DIRECTOR

MARIO BENABE is an Ethno-Mathematician and initiator of “Do-The-Right-Thing Pedagogy”, a framework for teaching and learning that decolonizes STEM education. Mr. Benabe holds a M.S.T in Special Education from Fordham University, a B.A. in Anthropology from John Jay College of Criminal Justice, and an Association Montessori Internationale Primary Education degree from the Indigenous Montessori Institute.

LINDA CHERRY

DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS

GLENN CONTALVE

© 2020 by Black Lives Matter of Greater NY

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