About Root Cause

Latrina Kelly-James

Project Manager, Campaign for Black Male Achievement

Latrina manages the City Strategy component of Root Cause’s work with the Campaign for Black Male Achievement (CBMA) focused on building and sustaining local BMA fields in cities across the U.S. She manages the release of CBMA’s second edition of its report, The Promise of Place: Cities Advancing Black Male Achievement, which scores 50 cities according to their visible level of engagement and committed action on behalf of Black men and boys. Additionally, she organizes webinars, convenings and supports CBMA’s continued transition as an independent entity.

Most recently, Latrina has been working as a Grassroots Capacity Building Specialist for Equal Justice USA’s Victims of Crime Act project, aimed at creating racial equity for Black and Brown male survivors of violence through building community organizations’ capacity to access federal and other sources of funding to advance their healing. She is former Deputy Director and interim Executive Director for Junta for Progressive Action, an immigrant advocacy and human service organization in New Haven, CT. She provided strategic leadership in launching Junta’s Immigrant Advocacy & Policy program; statewide immigrant rights coalition, diversified its fundraising portfolio, and managed senior program staff.

She is also a current Fellow with the Justice Policy Network, a Washington DC based leadership program, and volunteers with North Carolina Second Chance Alliance. She lives in Charlotte, North Carolina with her husband and two daughters.

Why do you do what you do?

Equity and justice are not only about policy, but practice and commitment. I am committed to racial and social equity for Black and Brown folks. We must be bold, innovative and unwavering in ensuring racial and social equity for the most marginalized. It is my life’s work.

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  • Bachelor of Arts, English Literature, Southern Connecticut State University

Favorite Books, movies, music

  • Does Your House Have Lions? by Sonia Sanchez, Sister Outsider by Audre Lorde, The Warmth of Other Suns, the movie Hitch and anything by Stevie Wonder


  • Dancing, cooking and writing poetry