Our members are an inspiring body of over 500 organizers, families, workers, advocates, students, and residents fighting to ensure grassroots power citywide. Collectively we organize in defense of public resources, in support of transformed democratic process, and for people-first representation in municipal elections. We strive to be unbought and unbossed. Interested in becoming a member? Learn more!
Our Volunteer Staff
Richmond For All’s work is supported through the invested capacity of approximately 100 incredible volunteer staff members. All of our staffers commit to collective organizing through one meeting a month and 4 hours of dedicated time and work between meetings.
Our 2021-2024 Governing Board
Brionna Nomi (she/her, Board Chair) was born, and spent half of her childhood, in southern California, but moved to the east coast, Northern Virginia specifically, during elementary school. She and her siblings attended and graduated from Fairfax County Public Schools, and in 2001, Brionna moved to Richmond to attend college at the University of Richmond where she received her teacher licensure. She taught in Richmond Public Schools for a decade, during which time she established strong relationships in the community and across school buildings and began developing her skills as a teacher activist. Ultimately, her advocacy led to her being bullied out of the profession by the district and building administrators. Brionna left teaching and entered a doctoral program at Virginia Commonwealth University where she reinvigorated Richmond Teachers for Social Justice by taking on Mayor Stoney’s Education Compact, endorsing in local elections, and organizing among RPS teachers and VCU faculty. Brionna’s academic research focused on challenging privatization in public schools and exploring teacher professionalism in democratic spaces. She continues to engage with these issues as co-chair of Richmond For All’s Public Education Campaign Committee and in both local and statewide coalitions. Brionna is proud to have served as the Chair of RFA’s Interim Governing Board for the past six months. In her time outside of organizing, Brionna is most likely watching random YouTube videos with her almost-five-year-old son, Maverick, or planning a getaway beach vacation with her husband, Mickael.
Ben Himmelfarb (he/him) was born and raised outside of Albany in upstate New York. He is a public librarian, historian, and musician, as well as an animal and nature lover. He has been part of various campaigns, including Bernie Sanders for President (2016 and 2020) and the ongoing fight for Medicare For All (NNU and DSA). He was Team Lead on Stephanie Rizzi’s successful school board campaign. He was a Shop Steward in the NYS Civil Service Employees Association (CSEA), a public sector union. Some of his first political experiences were in fights for trans rights and sexual health advocacy. He is committed to justice and liberation for all, and enjoys working in multiracial, multigenerational, working class-based organizing projects that have strong, critical analyses of class, race, power, gender, capitalism, and imperialism. He strongly believes in the dignity, agency, intellectual capacity and political power of all people. As a public librarian and public historian, he believes it is important to communicate big ideas and important stories in a simple way that brings together as many folks as possible into solidarity and collective action. He lives in the Museum District with his partner, Carolyn, and two cats, Leo and Lily. He grows some vegetables and flowers on his porch. He reads novels, mysteries, historical fictions and lots of non-fiction about politics, history, and spirituality. He likes to go hiking and camping in the woods and learning about edible plants you can forage.
Emily Robinson (she/they) is an organizer and musician with a background in youth empowerment, working class organizing, and arts-based political education. She is Development and Outreach Coordinator for the Virginia Sexual and Domestic Violence Action Alliance, serves on the Caucus Advisory Council of the Girls Rock Camp Alliance (representing the Poor and Working Class Caucus), and is a member of the Richmond branches of IWW and DSA in addition to Richmond For All.
Gary Broderick (he/him) was born in Milwaukee, grew up mainly in Highland Park, NJ, and lived in Philadelphia for most of his adult life. His Mom, a nursing assistant, was active in efforts to desegregate Milwaukee Public Schools. His Dad worked at Briggs & Stratton factory and was active in efforts to build his labor union. His family moved to New Jersey, after Kindergarten. Both Gary’s parents had been raised religiously Catholic and Jewish respectively. Gary’s Mom couldn’t tell her family about Gary who was only half Jewish until after her father passed. Gary’s search for acceptance would lead to serious drug use, and ultimately growth as he figured out how to pull himself out of that world, joining the basketball and football teams and finding real friendships even though he wasn’t good. Gary enjoyed high school, but not homework and would ultimately be kicked out, a move his classmates rebutted by voting him “Most likely to succeed.” He started waiting tables at 18 yrs old, and fell in love with education at New Jersey City University. In 2006, after getting a job as a server at the Hyatt in Philadelphia, he would have his most formative organizing experience building a hotel workers union. He loves stand up comedy, films of all types, and goes back and forth between Jay-Z and Black Thought as the best MC of all time. He is sweetie pie and comrade to Kristin Reed, and the two of them together played a leadership role in founding Richmond For All.
Kenya Gibson (she/her) is a champion of public education and a parent of two students in Richmond Public Schools. She served as Vice President of the Parent Teacher Association at Linwood Holton Elementary School and as the 3rd District School Board representative since December, 2017. Kenya attended the College of William and Mary and graduated with a double concentration in Economics and Fine Art. She lived in Richmond while applying to graduate school and went on to obtain a Master’s in Architecture from Yale University.
Kenya returned to Richmond in 2006 after the birth of her daughter to be closer to family. She is passionate about the value of school integration and has been active in local efforts to increase funding for city schools. She appreciates the complexities of education policy and has an eye on long-term goals. As a parent and advocate, she’s done her homework. She’s read the Regulations Governing Special Education Programs for Children with Disabilities in Virginia, pored over SOL data and submitted Freedom of Information Act requests to become informed. She thrives in the company of others who share her passion for public education and is eager to grow the network of community advocates to change student equity in the city.
Laura McCann (she/they) is a nonfiction film producer and political organizer who grew up in Bedford County, Virginia and found home in Richmond in 2010. She previously served in leadership as a founding member and co-chair of the Richmond chapter of Democratic Socialists of America. She met the team that would become the founders of Richmond For All while volunteering on Gary Broderick’s school board campaign, and joined RFA as a volunteer staff member in 2019 after being inspired by the strong leadership and strategy behind Gary’s campaign. She was one of the team leads for Joseph Rogers’ 2020 campaign for City Council, and she has been serving on the RFA Interim Governing Board and as co-chair of the Shared Governance committee since September 2020. Laura lives in Richmond’s 3rd district with her partner Dave and their 3 cats.
Quinton Robbins (he/him) grew up in Richmond, is an 8th district resident, and currently serves as the Director of Operations for Richmond for All. His background is in running analytics for state level Democratic campaigns where primarily he analyzed campaign finance data to improve fundraising outcomes for progressive candidates. He joined Richmond for All in 2019 to aid in the fight against the “Navy Hill” redevelopment because he has repeatedly seen our city’s leadership attempt to sell our city to corporate interests.
Richmond For All is a progressive political home; our movement is an organizing family of choice.
We launched publicly in opposition to the proposal of a TIF district in Richmond’s city center in December, 2018. The developers were corporate giants in the fossil fuel, banking, and tobacco industries. Our coalition was made of public school teachers, public housing advocates, anti-pipeline organizers, and grassroots advocates for change. They represent the old “Virginia way;” we are determined to build a better future.
The people who stood with us in City Council that December had mobilized together before to fight public school privatization, to elect a member of our own ranks to the school board, to oppose systemic disinvestment in public housing stock, and to demand an end to environmental racism in our state. Members of that coalition had a history of collective wins: a school board election, the firing of the CEO of our housing authority, revoked permits for pipeline construction.
Over 20 organizations acted in solidarity in opposition to the transfer of public wealth to private investors. Over 100 people signed on to our statement in the first few days it was live. In a moment when our mayor was taking residents to court to deny them access to the details of the TIF district, we won: both in court and in city council. The documents were released to the public, and a citizens’ commission was established to vet the deal.
Our co-founders are the people who acted in solidarity that December to organize the actions that launched our organization (Emma Clark, Omari Al-Qadaffi, Kenya Gibson, Thomas Burkett, Jasmine Leeward, Gary Broderick, and Kristin Reed) and the people who later joined our inaugural governing teams (Whitney Whiting, Wyatt Rolla, Brionna Nomi, Anneliese Grant, Quinton Robbins, and Charlie Schmidt).
Today Richmond For All is a member-funded and member-governed organizing community. We don’t live single-issue lives and we don’t pick single-issue fights. Through collectivized resources we have power to choose the fights that represent our lived experiences. We launched our formal membership program in September 2019, hosted our first all-member meeting in January of 2020, and our first Board elections in January of 2021.
We rise together.