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Our Executive Leadership Team

Karma Cottman, Chief Executive Officer

Karma Cottman, pronouns she, her, hers, serves Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community as Chief Executive Officer. In addition to leading the team, Karma’s responsibilities include engaging in discussions with other programs, legislative officials and state and local government agencies. She works to change legislation and laws as they relate to domestic violence and the black community.

Before joining Ujima Inc., Karma led the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence as Executive Director for a decade, and prior to that, served the National Network to End Domestic Violence (NNEDV), for a decade. As the Vice President of Policy and Emerging Issues, she directed the agency’s policy agenda and supervised NNEDV’s state coalition and housing technical assistance projects. Karma also worked closely with national policy partners to strengthen federal legislation to effectively respond to the needs of all survivors of domestic violence.

Karma, a Washington, D.C. native, has worked with numerous national partners to address emerging issues in domestic violence service provision and sits on several national committees. She also served as the co-director of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence Rural Diversity Initiative where she assisted with the development of a community assessment tool used to identify service gaps in numerous local Florida communities. Karma currently serves on the steering committee of the Institute on Domestic Violence in the African Community and the Policy Partnership for Communities of Color. Karma enjoys spending time with family and friends and also reading.

Gretta Gardner, Esq., Chief Legal Officer

Gretta Gardner, pronouns she, her, hers, serves Ujima Inc., The National Center on Violence Against Women in the Black Community as Chief Legal Officer. Gretta is primarily responsible for managing operations and staff; engaging in state, local, and federal policy discussions impacting Black survivors of gender-based violence; and conducting training and technical assistance on bias in the civil and criminal legal systems.

Prior to joining the Ujima Inc., Gretta was the Family Violence Director for Travis County Justice Planning in (Austin, TX, where she developed a protocol for the surrender of firearms for offenders; created a supervised visitation and safe exchange center; and designed a prostitution diversion court. Gretta sits on the Board of Trustees for Garrison Forest School; is licensed in D.C., MD, TX, and SCOTUS; is a certified mediator, and belongs to a multitude of national committees that address violence against women and children.

Gretta’s passion is propelled by her desire to assure that survivors have access to all remedies to live free from violence. She has a BA in Psychology from Vassar and JD from the University of Maryland. She is the proud mom of two boys who love basketball and make a lot of noise.

Jennifer Hooker, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer

Jennifer Hooker is the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer at the DC Coalition Against Domestic Violence since 2007. As CFO and COO, she is responsible for the overall management and operations of the finance, accounting, and administrative functions of the Coalition; including planning and budgeting, audit and internal controls, financial report preparation, and general controllership. With 30 years of experience, she has devoted the last 15 years to working with non-profit organizations.

Our Staff


Serena Garcia, Communications and Sustainability Director

Millicent Shaw Phipps, Esq., Legal Director

Chris Robinson, Director of Training and Technical Assistance


Ayana Wallace, Training Manager

Kalyn Fahie, Technical Assistance Manager

Dorian Johnson, Campus Program Manager

April Bonner, Grant Compliance Manager


Miranda Shorts, Training Specialist

Mollie Ducoste, Technical Assistance Specialist


Araba Aidoo-Apau, Sr. Research Specialist

Sarah Henry, Esq., Senior Attorney


Nakia Smith, Sr. Staff Accountant

Amber White, Sr. Business Specialist

Charletha Rush, Operations Coordinator


Change their world. Change yours. This changes everything.

Ujima Inc. Announces its 20 Culturally Specific Grantees - read more here