Sonya Shields was born in Chicago, Illinois and grew up in Great Neck, Long Island. She is a graduate of Howard University in Washington, DC, where she received a degree in Public Relations. Sonya is a long-time social justice activist and seasoned development and marketing professional who has raised over $25 million to support various progressive nonprofit organizations. She is currently working as the Chief Officer for External Relations and Advancement with Brooklyn Community Services. Sonya has also worked as the Director of Development for National Advocates for Pregnant Women, Keep A Child Alive, Astraea Foundation, New York City Anti-violence Project and National Gay and Lesbian Task Force. She has also provided consulting services for the National Black Justice Coalition, Freedom to Marry, Queers for Economic Justice, Afropop Worldwide, African Refuge and many other organizations. Sonya is a founder of the National Black Justice Coalition; and served on the board of the organization. She has served on the Board of Directors of the Astraea Foundation, Mautner Project, National Black Leadership Forum, Dance Institute of Washington, DC, and the HIV/AIDS Council for the Mayor’s Office of Washington, DC. When Sonya is not working for various charities, she enjoys writing, photography, and DJing.