Daphne Frias is a 24-year-old youth activist. She is unapologetically Latina. Daphne has Cerebral Palsy and uses a wheelchair to ambulate. She is fiercely proud to be a loud champion for the disabled community.
She got her start shortly after the Parkland, Florida shooting by busing 100+ students from her college campus to the nearest March For Our Lives (MFOL) event. In July 2019, she was appointed as the NY State Director for March For Our Lives.
Through her work with MFOL, she became passionate about increasing youth voter turnout amongst 18–29-year-olds. As a result, she created her own nonprofit, Box The Ballot (BTB), which aims to harness the power of absentee ballots. By partnering with students on college campuses, BTB was able to collect nearly 470,000 absentee ballots in the 2018 midterms.
Fighting the climate crisis is something she is equally as passionate about. Born and raised in West Harlem, New York City, she has seen how minority communities are disproportionally affected by climate change. Having been an official spokesperson from the global climate strikes on September 20, she has no intention of backing down until the health of our earth is secure.
Her passion for advocacy, propelled her to run from county committee women of Assembly District 70, Election District 80 in West Harlem. In June 2019, Daphne won her election and continues to work hard to represent her constituents.
In spring 2019, she was appointed as one of the North American Regional Focal Points for Sustainable Development Goal 16 at the U.N. Major Group for Children and Youth. In this position, she works to highlight and represent the voice of her fellow youth and the work they are doing to become pivotal peacemakers.
Currently, she continues to stay passionate about creating change, as a freelance organizer. She spends her time speaking at various colleges, summits, and panels. In addition, she consults with nonprofits, crafting engaging campaigns highlighting the voices of Gen-Z.
Her work has been featured in Ms. Magazine (25 Women under 25: Women of Color to Watch), the Sierra Club, Teen Vogue, PopSugar, NPR, Vice, Elle, among many others
Dr. Powell is a Bloomberg Associate Professor and vice chair for inclusion, diversity, anti-racism and equity in the department of population, family and reproductive health at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She has expertise in adolescent health, implementation science and qualitative methods. Partnerships with churches, schools, libraries, families, and community-based organizations are a cornerstone of her research.
Dr. Powell leads the B Lab, a Baltimore-based research team helping to create a world where all youth are safe, healthy, hopeful and connected. With partners, she creates interventions that are sustainable and responsive to community concerns.
Her goal is to ensure that youth, especially those affected by trauma, have multiple pathways to achieve optimal health. Her research activities, over 50 publications and funding history, demonstrate her commitment to improving the lives of vulnerable young people.
Dr. Powell earned her BA in Psychology from Williams College and her MA and PhD from DePaul University in Community Psychology. She also spent two years as a Kellogg Health Scholars Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Michigan School of Public Health before joining the faculty BSPH.