Project Manager
Pronouns: She/Her/Ella
Phone: 213.821.6753


Ashley K Thomas is a researcher, facilitator, and coach standing with communities healing for liberation and decolonization. Ashley has spent 15 years in movements, building power with communities of color, particularly for women of color, as experts who can create innovative solutions to our collective challenges. As a Project Manager at the Equity Research Institute, she oversees the Social Movements & Governing Power portfolio of work and supports organizational development.

In addition to her work at ERI, Ashley works as a facilitator and coach at the intersections of regenerating power, developing liberatory practices, practicing freedom as collectives, and deepening passion and leadership. She is also the co-founder of Retreat & Reimagine – a collective respite space for community-connected Black transwomen, Black non-binary folk, + Black cis women who serve as change agents in transformative movements in Southern California.

Ashley previously served as Legislative Director, Communications Director, and Planning and Legislative Deputy for the City of Los Angeles. In 2012, she worked as a Research and Policy Analyst at the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy (LAANE) on a broad range of issues, including construction project labor agreements, statewide redevelopment policy, publicly funded childcare, energy efficiency programs, and equity in solar. She also has consulted on research and communications projects for several clients, including the Los Angeles County Court system and the City of Los Angeles.

Ashley received her Bachelor’s Degree in Women’s Studies and African American Studies at the University of California, Berkeley where she was also trained as a community and student organizer. She received her Master’s Degree in Public Policy from Claremont Graduate University. She specialized in Black Feminist perspectives of public policy, taught transnational feminism, studied women’s leadership, and researched reproductive justice. She is also certified as a liberatory coach with Coaching for Healing, Justice, and Liberation.