Fair Start Movement was formed by a group of individuals and families who care deeply about children, democracy, the natural world, and our future. Like many others, we realize that the short-sighted way we plan our families is deeply flawed, and the fundamental driver of most of our ecological and social crises. We are now working to find and implement solutions, through laws, policy, culturally, and a variety of institutions.
Having published some of the first and most comprehensive analyses of truly human rights-based family planning, Fair Start Movement is dedicated to promoting the Fair Start family planning model as the solution to many of the world’s problems. Real change starts at the source, and begins with speaking truth to power at the most fundamental level.
All of Our People Volunteer or Take a Small Stipend
Ashley has spent over 15 years launching community oriented startups and grassroots organizations. Before making the move to the nonprofit sector, she worked in partnership with numerous causes in support of kids. Driven to affect change on a larger scale, she obtained her MBA from the University of Central Florida in order to better advise mission- driven organizations for success. She has previously worked with Educated Choices Program and Animal Recovery Mission, and is currently advising communications and development for OneProtest as a board member. She spends her spare time managing her rabbit rescue, Space Coast Bunnies and serving as a mentor to teens. Her ultimate goal is to reduce inequity and suffering of all of our planet’s inhabitants by inspiring others to take action.
Sarah Bexell, PhD
Associate, Community Connections
Director of Research
As faculty with the Institute for Humane Education at Antioch University, Nandita teaches a course that she has designed on the intimate links between pronatalism and anthropocentrism, about the pervasive pressure on women to have children, and the resulting impacts on them, their families, non-human animals, as well as the planet. Previously, Nandita worked as a high school physics and math teacher and an administrator in both the public and independent school systems, as well as an engineer at Bombardier Aerospace. She has a B.Eng. (Aerospace Engineering) from Ryerson University, a B.Ed. from University of Toronto, and an M.Ed. in Humane Education from Antioch University. She also serves on the Board of Directors for the Canadian Society for Humane Science.
Courtney Dillard, PhD
Treasurer of the Board of Directors
Courtney is a Continuing Instructor in the Communication & Media Studies Department at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. She received her PhD in Communication Studies from the University of Texas-Austin and her MA from The University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. For over a decade, Courtney’s research agenda has focused on persuasion and social change. In the last several years, she has primarily taught Public Speaking, Mass Media & Persuasion, Political Communication, and Designing Persuasive Campaigns. She has also worked to support the persuasive efforts of nonprofit organizations and state agencies on topics ranging from healthcare to the environment. In 2008, she founded Common Good Persuasion, a communication consulting agency.
Catharina has spent over ten years working with children, from educational settings to child welfare. After six years of clinical work with a non-profit, she pursued her MSW from the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work to address the inequities of the foster care system from a macro perspective. Since then, she has utilized evidence-based practices to create and evaluate curriculums and interventions that positively affect children’s emotional, academic, and biophysical health. Kat is currently working as a research associate at the Burnes Center on Poverty and Homelessness. Creating equity and compassion for the human experience is the highlight of her research. Kat is passionate about social justice, diversity, and ensuring that innovative design is central to the narrative for positive change.
Policy Director and Board of Directors
Carter, author of Justice as a Fair Start in Life, began his career as an Honors Program appointee to the U.S. Department of Justice. He later served as a legal adviser to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, in the national security law division. He wrote his thesis reformulating the right to have children under Jeremy Waldron, his extensive academic work on family planning has been published by Yale, Duke, and Northwestern Universities, as well as in peer-reviewed pieces, and he has served on the Steering Committee of the Population Ethics and Policy Research Project and was a Visiting Scholar at the Uehiro Center, both at the University of Oxford. He has taught at several law schools in the U.S., served as a peer reviewer for the journal Bioethics, and most recently managed an animal protection strategic impact litigation program, with annual resources in excess of five million dollars.
Timothy David Ray
Timothy was born and raised in New Orleans into a family of musicians, teachers, and community activists. In college, he began volunteering to help elect candidates to various elected offices. Finding a passion for public policy and government, he climbed the ranks of political and policy campaigns, serving as Communications Director for several campaigns and eventually as Senior Strategist and Campaign Manager to numerous campaigns.
Timothy David earned his Juris Doctorate degree with an advanced certification in International Law from Loyola University, College of Law. Since 2014, he has served as an Adjunct Professor of Political Science at the University of New Orleans. He also serves on the faculty of the Institut für Anwaltsrecht at Humboldt University in Berlin, Germany, where he teaches courses in Negotiation and Mediation. In 2018, Timothy David made history when he was appointed Clerk of First City Court of New Orleans – becoming the first African-American man to serve in that position.
Timothy David Ray is a proud and active board member of the Alliance for Affordable Energy, the American Federation of Musicians Local #174-496, and the Greater New Orleans AFL-CIO, Central Labor Council. He is the immediate Past-President and current board member of the New Orleans Coalition, and serves as Legal Counsel for the Kyler Cares Foundation.
Communications Lead and Social Media
Cassie King is the Communications Director for the international animal rights network Direct Action Everywhere (DxE), based in Berkeley, California. After graduating from UC Berkeley, she became a full-time activist. She lives in Berkeley with two bunnies who were rescued from slaughter.
Maureen Cohen Harrington
Special Projects Manager
Maureen Cohen Harrington is Vice President of the Congressional Vegetarian Staff Association, a member of the Committee of 100 on the Federal City, and on the boards of Washington Area Lawyers for the Arts and Washington Area Roadskaters. As Special Projects Manager at Fair Start Movement, she is organizing a forum at George Washington University, “Tackling the Population Taboo: Creating a Sustainable Future for Children” (April 9, 2019). In her day job, she is Senior Counsel at the Library of Congress Office of the General Counsel. She shares a home with two feline Louisiana flood refugees.
Kirsten has worked for over two decades for nonprofit organizations focusing on conserving wildlife, challenging extractive industries on public lands, and defending the integrity of regulatory science. She has published research on the impacts of livestock grazing on fire ecology and ecosystem health in the American west, and has a Master’s degree in Conservation Biology from Columbia University and a Bachelor’s in Earth Systems from Stanford University. She has volunteered internationally and domestically in wildlife rescue and rehabilitation, and is an active foster and volunteer in animal rescue in and around the Washington, DC metro area. Kirsten operates a holistic dog grooming business and plays percussion with a Medieval band and a Grateful Dead cover band.
Caitlin is an attorney who advocates for animals and the environment. She currently serves as counsel for the PETA Foundation. Prior to her current position, Caitlin served as a staff attorney for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, providing research and recommendations to judges on how to decide cases. Before working at the Court, Caitlin was a legal fellow at the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit that advocates for sustainable food and agricultural practices. She also worked for Meyer, Glitzenstein & Crystal, a public interest law firm in Washington D.C. that represented various environmental and animal protection organizations. Caitlin currently lives in the Bay Area.
Katie is a professional writer and editor who works in content marketing. Before that, she spent a decade as a journalist, working as a copy editor, wire editor, and online news editor at newspapers in Florida and Arkansas. She holds a bachelor’s degree in news-editorial journalism from the Missouri School of Journalism at the University of Missouri in Columbia, Missouri, where she currently lives. When she’s not working, she’s testing out new recipes, baking cookies, reading nonfiction, watching documentaries, and pursuing happiness offline. You can find her on Twitter @kaytaybaylay.
Social Media Manager
Sunitha is the owner of Sunitha Lea, LLC, where she helps small businesses and non-profit organizations elevate their marketing efforts. Sunitha received a master’s degree in clinical mental health counseling at Stephens College and has a bachelor’s degree in public relations and marketing from Missouri State University. When it’s time to unwind, you will find Sunitha traveling the globe, reading nonfiction books, watching documentaries, or searching for the best nachos.
Secretary of the Board of Directors
Seeta Begui is a Licensed Practical Nurse, and author. living with her husband in Melbourne, Florida. She is the proud mother of four grown children. Active in politics, she promotes social justice, prevention of domestic abuse, and the empowerment of women. Seeta is an experienced CEO with a demonstrated history of working in the publishing industry, with nonprofit organizations, operations management, coaching, activism, and editing. She attended attended Pleasantville Senior comprehensive high school in Trinidad and Tobago.
Dr. Betty Martin-Finneran
Dr. Betty Martin-Finneran completed her Ph.D. in Interdisciplinary Studies at The Union Institute & University Graduate College in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her area of concentration was Transformative Learning with a strong Jungian transpersonal psychology emphasis—sacred psychology. She completed her Master of Science Degree in Information Management Technology at Grantham University in Kansas City, Missouri. Currently, Dr. Martin-Finneran works as an Instructional Associate at Berryessa Union School District in San Jose, California. In addition, she is an online and face-to-face ESL instructor at Techworld Language Solutions of Troy, Michigan.