Portia is the Policy Director at the ACLU of Alabama, where she leads the affiliate’s non-litigation advocacy. Her work focuses on how to use research-based and data-driven legislation and policy to best positively impact the lives of Alabamians. She first joined the ACLU family as the Pratt Criminal Justice Transparency Fellow at the ACLU of New Jersey in 2016.
Prior to joining the ACLU, Portia served as an instructor at St. Thomas Aquinas College and at Rutgers University, where she is pursuing a doctorate in sociology. She is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Urban Resource Institute, which provides comprehensive human services programs to empower individuals and families in the New York metropolitan area experiencing domestic violence and homelessness to improve their lives. Portia also served as an inaugural member of the Civilian Complaint Review Board of Newark, New Jersey.
Portia received her B.A. from Wellesley College, an M.A. from Columbia University, and a J.D. from Rutgers University School of Law-Newark. In law school she served on the editorial board of the Women’s Rights Law Reporter. She has received a number of awards and fellowships, including the Deborah T. Poritz Public Interest Fellowship, an Education Pioneers Fellowship, an Equal Justice America Fellowship, and the Social Science Research Council DPDF. She is broadly interested in issues of race, experiences of law, social control, and mobilization and has presented at a number of national conferences on these topics.