Staff

Becca Fowler

Practicum Project Intern

(she/her/hers)

Becca Fowler is a Master of Public Health Student at Johns Hopkins’ Bloomberg School. Her areas of focus include reproductive justice, LGBTQ health, health disparities, and gender-based violence. Before joining the MPH cohort, she received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in Public Health and Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies. At UMass, she worked as a sexual assault crisis counselor and was heavily involved with the planning of the Civil Liberties and Public Policy Conference. After graduation, Becca worked as a Domestic Violence Intervention Advocate for the state of Massachusetts, where she provided advocacy and support to survivors of intimate partner violence. Becca relocated to Burlington, VT and began working as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood, working closely with their abortion program.

Outside of school and work, Becca can be found at home with her partner and three cats trying to keep her plants alive.

 


 

Ezra Halstead, M.A.

Case Manager

(he/him/his | they/them/theirs)

Ezra Halstead is the Case Manager at FreeState Justice. In his position, he works to build connections and resources through client advocacy, community organizing, education, and outreach to achieve equity for vulnerable LGBTQ+ Marylanders.

Ezra moved to the Baltimore area in 2017 after graduating from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies with a master’s degree in International Policy and Development and a dual concentration in Human Rights and Advocacy and Gender, Power, and Identity. A passionate activist for several years, he has had various professional experiences pertaining to LGBTQ advocacy, including working as a Campus Leader with Equality Pennsylvania at his undergraduate institution (Juniata College) in 2014, where he successfully advocated for nondiscrimination and gender inclusive housing policy reforms. More recently, Ezra was the Operations Manager at Code in the Schools and a Baltimore Corps Cohort 4 Fellow, where he regularly advocated for employees’ needs, updated policies to ensure all were supported and protected, and received professional development around the areas of racial equity and social justice.

Outside of his work with FreeState, he is a Law and Policy Committee Member of the Baltimore City LGBTQ Commission and a Core Team Member of Trans Healthcare Maryland, a trans-led group that aims to unify the transgender community of Maryland for the purpose of extending competent, accessible, and affirming healthcare to everyone in the state. He currently lives in the Mount Washington neighborhood of Baltimore City with his partner, Erika, and their puppy, Mango.

 


C.P. Hoffman

Staff Attorney | Pro Bono Coordinator

(they/them/theirs)

C.P. Hoffman is a non-binary lawyer, writer, and activist dedicated to expanding the rights of queer individuals and shifting cultural discourses towards inclusion. After graduating from the University of Illinois College of Law (magna cum laude, Order of the Coif), they worked for five years in private practice in New York City, with a focus on antitrust and commercial litigation. C.P. then pursued graduate studies in comparative legal history at the McGill University Institute of Comparative Law in Montreal, Quebec. Most recently, they served as Legal Writer for Level Access, a digital accessibility services firm, for which they researched and wrote about digital accessibility law. They currently serve as an Advisory Committee Member and the MidAtlantic Region Leader for the Intersex & Genderqueer Recognition Project, a national organization dedicated to ensuring the rights of individuals to identify as something other than male or female on government-issued documents. In addition, C.P. has published broadly on a number of subjects, including law and social justice, gender, and popular culture, as well as intersections of the three.

 


Sandy E. James, Esq., Ph.D

Staff Attorney

(he/him/his)

Sandy James is a Staff Attorney at FreeState Justice. He represents clients in civil legal matters and participates in FreeState’s policy advocacy and education and outreach work. Prior to joining FreeState Justice in 2018, Sandy was the Research Director at the National Center for Transgender Equality and lead author of The Report of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. In that role, he led a research team in the development, fielding, analysis, and presentation of the 2015 U.S. Transgender Survey. After spending a decade as a forensic toxicologist, Sandy launched a new career as a civil rights advocate focused on laws and policies that affect trans and LGBQ people. In addition to providing legal services, he has worked on numerous projects involving trans- and LGBQ-related legislation, policy, and research. Sandy earned a J.D. and a Ph.D. in Government from Georgetown University. He is admitted to practice law in all Maryland state courts.

 


Krithika Saraswathy Pennathur

Baltimore Action Project Intern

(she/her/hers)

Krithika is a MSPH candidate in Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She recently graduated from the University of Pittsburgh in April 2019, where she received a BA in English Writing, History, and Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies. Her academic interests include combining scholarship within the humanities and the sciences in public health practice and using interdisciplinary approaches in addressing violence prevention and access to care within marginalized communities. During her undergraduate career in Pittsburgh, she was a community organizer, continuously pushing for intersectional approaches relating to issues about women, LGBTQ+ rights, reproductive rights, and intimate partner violence outside of the classroom through campus and city-wide activism. She worked on creating safe spaces for healing and inclusive discussion environments, serving on many campus organization boards and working with prominent Pittsburgh activists to center and serve marginalized communities. Additionally, she received two funded fellowships to study intimate partner violence within marginalized communities, while regularly volunteering at Planned Parenthood and at a local women’s hospital. She views her academic interests and her extracurricular interests as complementary, ultimately striving to have a career where she can integrate her experiences as a community organizer and in academia to push for progressive local and state policies.

 


Mark A. Procopio

Executive Director

(he/him/his)

Mark Procopio is the Executive Director of FreeState Justice, a social justice organization that works statewide to improve the lives of LGBTQ Marylanders and their families through legal services, policy advocacy, outreach, education, and coalition building. As a member of the LGBTQ community and a former educator in Baltimore City, he experienced and witnessed the impact of systemic inequality and structural bias. His experience as a middle school teacher in Baltimore City stoked his passion and commitment to working with communities to achieve equality, access, and opportunity for all people regardless of race, gender identity, or sexual orientation. His career has focused on building partnerships, marshaling resources, and improving sustainability with social justice oriented education non-profits.

Prior to joining FreeState Justice, Mark held several roles with KIPP Baltimore which serves 1,500 students in the Greater Park Heights neighborhood of Baltimore City.  KIPP is a national network of college preparatory, public charter schools. Most recently, he served as Interim Director of Operations. Previously, he led the fundraising, community organizing, advocacy, marketing, and communications work for the organization. Before his time at KIPP, he managed organizational fundraising and partnerships for the Teach For America – Baltimore region.

He holds a degree in International Economics and International Finance from The Catholic University of America and is an alumnus of Teach For America, an AmeriCorps program. He and his husband, Chris, live in the Fells Point neighborhood of Baltimore City.