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Shakya Cherry-Donaldson
Shakya Cherry-Donaldson
Founder and Executive Director

A community organizer, constituency mobilizer and movement builder, Shakya’s mission and ministry is to build the “beloved community.” She has worked on issue-based and candidate campaigns in 13 states including as Statewide Deputy Field Director for Stacey Abrams 2018 gubernatorial run in Georgia. Since she founded 1000 Women Strong in 2020, Shakya has cultivated the grassroots and political power of Black women and their allies through year-round field and relational organizing across the country, empowering them to have an impact on the issues that affect their lives.

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Lilli Jackson
Chief Program Officer

With more than 10 years of strategic partnership building, community engagement and project management, Lilli’s specialty is fostering strong relationships and creating networks of changemakers. At 1000 Women Strong, she analyzes cultural, social and demographic data to develop unique programming and drive civic engagement in key states across the country. She is formerly the partnerships and technology manager for Fair Count Inc., the Georgia Democratic Party’s deputy field director for national volunteers and regional field director for the historic Stacey Abrams campaign in 2018.

Aja Gaddie
National Organizing and Outreach Director

With more than a decade of political organizing experience, Aja is a dynamic connector of people and experiences. Passionate about community, she leads 1000 Women Strong's organizing and outreach work, finding Black women in their respective spaces and amplifying their collective power. She has organized for the Energy Justice Network, the For our Future Fund, Emanuel Pleitez's Los Angeles mayoral campaign and President Obama's Organizing for America post-election organization. Aja was previously the finance assistant for the Gainey for Mayor campaign in Pittsburgh, director of the Nashville and Pittsburgh field offices for the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign, and the Hispanic Heritage Foundation's Innovation & Technology Program Manager.

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Jennifer Smiley
State Director, Georgia

Jennifer is a native of Stewart County in rural Georgia. She currently serves as 1000 Women Strong’s State Organizing Lead in Georgia, focused on building community in the grassroots. She has been involved in organizing and field work since 2016, with the mission of making a difference in the lives of those in our southern rural communities.

Organizing Fellows

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Gabriel Gray


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Jamiya Smiley


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Mckenzie Watson

North Carolina and South Carolina

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Kennedy Stone


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Brianna Jackson



Ernestine Lyons


Board Members

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