Black Policy Conference

Our Team

Meet the Team

Onyeka Otugo is a second-year Master in Public Administration candidate and an Adrian Cheng fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is also a Health Policy Research and translation fellow in Brigham and Women's Department of Emergency Medicine where she is studying racial and ethnic disparities and access to care issues. Onyeka grew up in the Washington, DC Metropolitan area where she also attended college at the University of Maryland majoring in Art Studio and Biology. Prior to attending medical school, she received a fellowship to conduct research at the Food and Drug Administration Office of Women’s Health where she assessed disparities related to the inclusion of women in clinical trials. She has been involved in key advocacy issues related to emergency medicine. 

Ancito Etienne is a master in public policy candidate with a focus on political and economic development. At Harvard, he is a Center for Public Leadership fellow and the co-chair of the Black Policy Conference. Prior to Harvard, he worked for Partners In Health as a Major Gifts Coordinator on their major gifts team to coordinate fundraising and development priorities. He has also worked as a Consultant for the World Bank, and as a Research & Policy Analyst for the Taubman Center for State and Local Government at the Harvard Kennedy School. Post HKS, he plans to use policy and financial tools to empower the economically disadvantaged.

Ancito graduated cum laude from University of Lynchburg with a bachelor’s degree in economics and a minor in mathematics, which he earned with High Honors. He currently serves on the Boards of Partners In Health and Beyond Borders.

Damarcus Bell (we/us)

Co-Chief of Content and Strategy

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Damarcus Bell is a Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School and a Center for Public Leadership Fellow for Serving African-American Communities. He holds a BA in Music Performance from Morehouse College and an MA in Music Education from New York University. Over the past decade, Damarcus has led a career as an education leader and entertainment producer, intent on celebrating the joy, brilliance, and thriving of the Black experience. Prior to HKS, Damarcus served as Music Department Chair and Director of Events & School Culture at the Eagle Academy Young Men in Brooklyn, NY, where he pioneered culturally responsive music and social justice curricula, and directed the Sounds of Brotherhood live band + show choir. Through his work at the Kennedy School and beyond, Damarcus intends to shift the metrics and deficit perceptions that too often constrain the Black experience in order to bring about the necessary reimagining of our world and the yet untold Black possibility with in it.

Tomi Ojo (she/her)

Co-Chief of Content and Strategy

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Ayotomiwa Ojo is a dual MD/MPP candidate at Harvard Medical School and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Her endeavors focus on reproductive justice in medical education, maternal health equity, and how a justice framework can be applied in social, economic, and health policy. She received a B.S. in Global Health at the University of Michigan.

Stephanie Fernandez is a first year MPP student at the Harvard Kennedy School; she was born and raised in Washington Heights, NYC and is a proud product of NYC public schools. Prior to HKS, she worked as a Senior Policy Analyst in education, immigration, human rights, and disability in the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Strategic Policy Initiatives. She previously worked on K-12 education policy at the Office of the First Deputy Mayor in the NYC Mayor's office. In this role, she worked on a number of education issues including sexual health education, students in temporary housing, and school climate and safety. She was also a lead organizer for the Mayoral Sexual Health Education Taskforce and supported in the policy development of the City's $24M commitment to health education.

Stephanie graduated from Barnard College in 2014 where she majored in Urban Studies and a concentration in Sociology. Immediately after college, she served as a Fulbright Scholar in Mexico where she taught, researched issues about youth and DREAMers who either voluntarily or involuntarily returned to Mexico, and worked on a job training program for returned DREAMers and youth in Mexico. In the future she hopes to continue to explore the intersection of race, gender, youth, and public policy in cities.

Cassandra Duchan Saucedo is a concurrent MPP-MBA candidate at Harvard Kennedy School and the Stanford Graduate School of Business. She has an undergraduate degree in economics with honors from the University of Colorado Boulder. She previously worked as a social impact entrepreneur, as a researcher at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, and as a survey methodologist at the Center for African American Health. Some of her past projects included creating a modest clothing company, building out a VC fund’s impact investing thesis, and co-creating the Federal Reserve Survey of Household Economics and Decision- making. During and after her time in school, she plans to pursue a career fortifying Black and Brown communities through sustainable investments. She was born and raised in Colorado, the proud daughter of a Black American father and a Mexican American mother. She enjoys camping, hiking, botany, nature photography, ballet, and hanging out with her dog.

Gillian Perkins (she/her)

Chair of Social Events

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Gillian Perkins is originally from Orlando, FL. She moved to Houston in 2014 to study Economics, Sociology, and Poverty, Justice, & Human Capabilities at Rice University. During her time at Rice she worked in Houston’s historic Fifth Ward to empower local, Black businesses at Fifth Ward Community Redevelopment Corporation. After graduating, she worked with SEWA International as a case manager, connecting Hurricane Harvey survivors with resources and support, after which she went on to teach elementary school for two years as part of Houston’s Teach for America 2018 corps. She now serves as Vice President of Communications for the Kennedy School’s Black Student Union, in addition to her leadership role for the Black Policy Conference.

Nagela Nukuna (she/her)

Chief of Digital Content

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Nagela Nukuna is a Joint Degree student at the Harvard Kennedy School and the MIT Sloan School of Management. She attended Georgia Tech for her undergraduate degree, where she studied Industrial Engineering. It was during that time that she rekindled her passion for serving her community through leadership. During her Senior Year, she served as Student Body President, working on a range of issues, from sexual assault on campus to higher education access for different communities. After working in the Tech sector after college, Nagela wanted to recommit to her passion of serving others, using leadership and innovation to drive social change. In practice, Nagela is passionate about removing structural barriers and opening opportunities up for marginalized but highly talented youth. She now is focused on developing scalable solutions for social policies, and designing more equitable systems in our world today.

Ariette Agnew (she/her)

Chair of High School Outreach

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Ariette Agnew is a first year Master in Public Policy candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Before coming to the Kennedy School, Ariette was a member of Teach For America and taught kindergarten and first grade in Houston, Texas for three years. A Texas native, Ariette received a Bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas at Austin. Ariette interned at the Department of Education in Washington, D.C., focusing on President Obama’s My Brother’s Keeper Initiative. She also interned with Children’s Defense Fund- Texas, advocating for healthcare for uninsured Texans. Ariette will graduate with her Master of Science in Education from Johns Hopkins University in May 2021 and her Master in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School in May 2022.