Spotlight on NAN’s Washington D.C. Bureau
Featuring Ebonie Riley, NAN DC Bureau Chief; Kyra Stephenson-Valley, Policy Advisor and Cessation Coordinator; Tylik McMillian, NAN’s Tech and Telecoms Fellow; and Erika Owens, Bureau Office Manager.
National Action Network’s DC Bureau was established in 2011 and has since housed the youngest policy staff of any civil rights organization in the country. The Bureau moves the organization from demonstration to concrete and enduring legislative solutions. Bureau staff is responsible for maintaining relationships with like-minded organizations in the pursuit of a modern civil rights agenda as well as advocating for civil rights on Capitol Hill, the White House and Federal Agencies. Additionally, the DC Bureau is charged with keeping the members of NAN’s 100+ chapters informed of proposed policies that will impact the communities NAN serves — as such, the bureau releases action alerts, develops and circulates policy scorecards, and hosts an annual Legislative and Policy Conference.
NAN DC Bureau staff are NAN’s policy experts who advance the organization’s goals through speaking on panels, submitting expert testimony to federal, state and local legislators, weighing in on the presidential candidates’ Policy Proposals, and providing feedback on legislation.
This week is the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation’s Annual Legislative Conference where NAN DC Bureau staff will participate on Black Women’s Roundtable, The Millennial Awakening, and the 2020 Vision for Black Millennials Panels, as well as facilitate Mrs. Gwen Carr’s participation on the House judiciary committee’s “Policing Practices: The Continuing Search for Reform and Accountability” panel. Reverend Sharpton will be honored at the Phoenix Awards Dinner and the Bureau is working with partners at the Humanity of Connection to host a reception in his honor.
On September 12, ABC will host the 3rd presidential Debate. The DC Bureau will cover the debate to track the candidates’ mention policy plans to create a scorecard to circulate with our membership. The Bureau will also cover the debate on socials.
The DC Bureau is led by Ebonie Riley, NAN DC Bureau Chief who is the youngest Bureau Chief in Washington DC. She is supported by Kyra Stephenson-Valley, Policy Advisor and Cessation Coordinator; Tylik McMillian, NAN’s Tech and Telecoms Fellow; and Erika Owens, Bureau Office Manager.
(36 years old)
Ebonie Riley currently serves as DC Bureau Chief of National Action Network’s Washington, DC Bureau. She is the only woman and the youngest Bureau Chief of any civil rights organization’s Washington Bureau. In this capacity, Ms. Riley serves as a conduit for information about what is happening in the halls of Congress, in the office and administration of the President and in the chamber of the United States Supreme Court. Moreover, she and her team work to educate lawmakers and other stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities facing our communities, by advocating for more resources and policies that help invest and advance economic and social equality in our communities.
Ebonie’s government affairs portfolio includes criminal justice, telecom policy, diversity and inclusion, federal sentencing reform, ending racial profiling, equal employment protection, access to comprehensive healthcare, immigration, access to quality education, women’s rights, environmental justice, voting rights protection, housing, among other various issues that impact social and economic status, mobility, prosperity and empowerment of urban and underserved communities.
Prior to this role, she served as the Bureau’s Research and Policy Associate, analyzing legislation, drafts advocacy strategies, develops policy recommendations and monitors policy developments related to federal, state and local legislation while co-managing NAN’s Social Media.
As an organizer/activist she has helped organized several events and marches including coordinating/managing NAN’s 2015-2018 National Convention, NAN’s events in Baltimore, MD after the death of Freddie Gray, the Justice For All March in December 2014, NAN’s Legislative & Policy Conferences in 2014-2018, the National Action to Realize the Dream Rally and March in celebration of the 50th Anniversary of the March on Washington with over 200,000 people in attendance and Justice For Trayvon 100 City Vigil in Washington, D.C. both in 2013, and the 1,000 Ministers March For Justice where over 3,000 faith leaders marched to recommit their dedication to protecting civil rights in August 2017.
Born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Severn, Maryland, Ms. Riley graduated from Ft. Meade Senior High School. As a teen mom she put herself through school attending Howard County Community College then transferring to UMBC (University of Maryland, Baltimore County) where she graduated with Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and minor in History. While at UMBC; she served as President of Africana Studies Council of Majors while sitting on several academic research teams that focused on civil rights, voting rights, political behavior and attitudes, identity politics, race and representation, Congress, and elections. Specific interests include political engagement, civil rights law, voter turnout, voter suppression, and identity group politics.
(25 years old)
Kyra Stephenson-Valley is a public policy and government relations professional. She holds a B.A. in Politics and an M.A. in International Relations with a concentration in International Law from New York University. Kyra’s dedication to advocacy is well documented. From her previous role as a Legislative Fellow in the U.S. House of Representatives to her current positions as Policy Advisor with the National Action Network, Managing Director for The Kenneth Cyril Valley Foundation, and the youngest Commissioner on the D.C. Mayor’s Advisory Board for Caribbean Community Affairs, Kyra’s commitment to identifying sustainable solutions to disparities in development across the Black diaspora remains at the forefront of all she does.
Kyra is an award-winning member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., and has been named “5 under 25” by Women Everywhere Believe and has been recognized as a 30 Under 30 Caribbean-American Leader.
(23 years old)
Tylik M. McMillan, a native of Lawrenceville Virginia, by way of Harrisburg Pennsylvania is a recent graduate of North Carolina A&T State University where he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Political Science. At 23 years old Tylik McMillan knows how to make change in the world. Since the age of 13, under the leadership of Rev. Al Sharpton, Tylik has served as the National Youth Leader for the South Eastern Region and current Washington D.C. Bureau Policy Advisor of National Action Network which is one of the nation’s leading civil rights organizations in the Nation with chapters throughout the entire United States.
In his current capacity, while co-managing NAN’s social media, Tylik works alongside the DC Bureau Chief serving a conduit for information about what is happening in the halls of Congress, in the office and administration of the President and in the chamber of the United States Supreme Court. Moreover, he works to educate lawmakers and other stakeholders on the challenges and opportunities facing our communities, by advocating for more resources and policies that help invest and advance economic and social equality in our communities.
Prior to this role, he spent his summer interning for the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation in the office of Congressman Marc Veasey (TX-33). In his undergraduate tenure at North Carolina A&T he served as Student Government Association Attorney General and member of the University February One Planning, Judicial Tribunal and Preeminence 2020 Strategic Planning Committee appointed by the chancellor. Tylik is also a Spring 18 initiate into the Eta chapter of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity Inc.