Chavi Khanna Koneru (she, her)
Executive Director, Chavi@ncaatogether.org
Chavi Khanna Koneru is co-founder and Executive Director of North Carolina Asian Americans Together (NCAAT). Koneru moved to North Carolina in 1989 and has spent the majority of her life living in the state, including attending college and law school locally at the University of North Carolina. This has allowed her to gain a deep, personal understanding of what it means to be Asian American in the South. Additionally, her legal background in voting rights law has given her the opportunity to interpret and enforce laws impacting the Asian American community, including during her time in the Voting Section at the U.S. Department of Justice, where she focused on language access for Asian American voters.
Youth Engagement Director, Danica@ncaatogether.org
Danica grew up in rural North Carolina and is energized by the ever-increasing activism in Asian American communities across the state. At Appalachian State University she studied Anthropology and Biology; focusing on the intersection of environment and society and the disproportionate effects of climate change on communities of color. Her interest in NCAAT grew from her time in community organizing and student of color advocacy spaces. She is dedicated to engaging with communities across North Carolina for social equity, youth empowerment, and access to culturally competent education. In her free time, she likes to make and eat spicy noodle dishes.
Ricky Leung (he, him)
Senior Director of Programs, Ricky@ncaatogether.org
Ricky is co-founder and Senior Director of Programs at NCAAT. Ricky grew up in Greensboro, North Carolina, and studied journalism and mass communication at UNC-Chapel Hill, concentrating in visual communication and design. He began his career in DC at National Geographic and at the Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, where he became more involved with Asian American grassroots organizers. Ricky returned to North Carolina in 2010 in hopes of bringing that Asian Amerian experience to his home state and worked at NC Policy Watch, a project of the North Carolina Justice Center, before joining NCAAT fulltime. In his free time, he snuggles with his puppy Charlie.
Phian Tran (she, they)
Community Engagement Director, Phian@ncaatogether.org
Phian is an NC State alum from Raleigh with a background in coalition building and community engagement. As an event curator, she specialized in combining efforts of young creatives, activists, and local organizations to propel collaborative initiatives for social equity. She went on to be the campaign manager for Zainab4Raleigh during the 2019 mayoral election, where her dedication to youth and BIPOC voter engagement grew. In her free time, she likes to play music and go to concerts.
Payton McGarry (he, him)
Data and Field Director, Payton@ncaatogether.org
A North Carolina native, Payton grew up in a small town outside of Wilson, NC, before attending the University of North Carolina at Greensboro for college. At UNCG he attained a BS in Economics and a MA in Peace and Conflict Studies, focusing on restorative and transitional justice practices. While he was in college, Payton became a plaintiff against the notorious House Bill 2 and has committed himself fully towards fighting for justice for marginalized groups in the South ever since. In his free time, Payton loves to play trumpet and get into shenanigans with his partner, Nicole, and their dogs, Ava and Noodle.
Shruti Parikh (she, her)
Voter Engagement Director, Shruti@ncaatogether.org
Shruti was born in India, but immigrated to the US at a young age and grew up in the Midwest. She attended the University of Michigan, where she studied Mathematics and Art History and received her MS in Management from NC State. She has been an active volunteer in the Triangle community since moving to North Carolina in 1993. After the 2016 election, Shruti was inspired to become more involved in voter outreach and engagement specifically in the Asian community. As a mother of three young adults, Shruti enjoys cooking and sharing Indian food and culture.
Olivia Zalecki (she, her)
Youth Engagement Director, Olivia@ncaatogether.org
Olivia grew up in Charlotte, North Carolina, and attended North Carolina State University where she double majored in Political Science and Foreign Languages and Literature with a concentration in Mandarin. Olivia’s passion for advocacy started when she had the opportunity to work with various Asian American organizations including the Triangle Asian American Student Conference and OCA National-Asian Pacific American Advocates. Doing so gave her insight into the collective power of community. In her free time, Olivia loves trying all the amazing restaurants the Triangle area has to offer!
Dan Tews (he, him)
Field Coordinator, Dan@ncaatogether.org
As Field Coordinator at NCAAT, Dan helps to create and manage data systems, engages with staff in community outreach and voter registration efforts, and provides consultation drawing on his experience in grassroots fieldwork. He has worked for over a decade as an activist for social justice and environmental causes, with a special passion for working with those who are disenfranchised and historically underrepresented politically. He studied English Literature at The College of New Jersey. He lives in Raleigh with his rescue dog, Percy.
Outreach Lead, Keven@ncaatogether.org
Keven White (he/him/his) is from Winston-Salem, NC and went to Appalachian State University for a BA in Religious Studies and minors in Nonprofit Management, Social Work, and Political Science. While at App State, he became connected with student and community activists and found an interest in anti-poverty work, community organizing, and political advocacy. After six years in Boone, Keven relocated to Raleigh to study social work at UNC-Chapel Hill. He hopes to pursue a career in macro social work around anti-poverty community organizing and policy analysis/advocacy. Keven has worked with NCAAT in the past and is excited to work with them again — he is especially looking forward to connecting with API community members in preparation for the 2020 election. In his free time, Keven likes to play tennis, ride his bike, watch Star Wars movies, and listen to “sad boy” music.
Alyanna Ridimann (they, them)
Outreach Coordinator, Alyanna@ncaatogether.org
Gerry Lor (he, they)
Community Engagement Coordinator, Gerry@ncaatogether.org
Erin Lee (she, her)
Youth Organizer, Erin@ncaatogether.org
Outreach Lead, Chris@ncaatogether.org