Listee Features — Advocacy

Tacoma Anderson


Dr. Tacoma R. Anderson is a United States Army veteran currently serving as the United States Marine Corps military housing director, a position she has held since 2020. In her current role, Dr. Anderson is responsible for ensuring that all service members that qualify for housing or housing assistance are provided with suitable resources. She manages more than 20 private and government-owned properties and a staff of 21 who act as coordinators and advocates for the enlisted persons that they serve. Dr. Anderson served proudly as a member of the United States Army from 1988 until 1996 and returned to federal service in 2003 as a mortuary affairs assistant at Fort Hood. Through the early 2000s, she found success as

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Since 2020, Amy N. Perez has served as the community development director in Jacksonville, North Carolina, for Remember Everyone Deployed, a nonprofit organization supporting military communities. She is involved in planning events, such as those sponsored by The Met in New York to provide tickets for active duty service members; providing care packages for deployed service members; assisting spouses who are at home with things like meal preparation; and managing childcare services with their partner daycare, Giggles. Additionally, Ms. Perez has made a concerted effort to commemorate those who have lost their lives in the line of duty, an endeavor that has included partnering with a local cemetery to provide flags and wreaths for the graves of military men and

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Nasreen Haroon


With a longstanding interest in art, Nasreen Haroon had an opportunity early on to take oil painting classes as part of an after-school program at her Catholic convent school, an endeavor she was encouraged in by her father. Coupling her love of art with a desire to make a difference in the lives of others and help to promote acceptance, she went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, philosophy and history at Saint Joseph’s College for Women in Karachi, Pakistan, in 1972 before coming to the United States in 1980. Ms. Haroon began her career in the United States as a design consultant for the Hotel Shangri-La in Santa Monica, California, a position she held until 1994.

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Sylvia Haydash


Initially considering a career as an English teacher, Sylvia Andersen Haydash ended up switching paths after she accompanied her husband on his first tour of duty in Thailand not long after the Vietnam War. Learning the local Thai and Lao languages, she decided to pursue coursework at the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center, where she achieved a certificate in Thai language proficiency in 1978. She then began her career as a refugee coordinator for the Thai-American Women’s Organization from 1978 to 1979. Returning to the United States in 1979, Ms. Haydash became the director of the refugee resettlement program for CARING, where she helped to resettle and acculturate over 700 individuals from the Indochina Peninsula. In 1983, Ms. Haydash

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Olivia Ferrante


Olivia Ann Ferrante was drawn to her career as a teacher for the visually impaired as a result of her own disability, a visual impairment that was the result of her being born four months premature. While studying at Regis College, she took a summer job as an aide at the Perkins School for the Blind in the summers of 1968 and 1969, during which time she learned about the school’s program for a master’s degree in teaching blind students. Following the completion of her Bachelor of Arts in 1970, she joined Boston College, where she earned a Master of Education in 1971. From there, she served as the chair of the braille department of the National Braille Press for

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Amany Abouelkhir


Fluent in American Sign Language, English and Arabic, Amany Abouelkhir was born premature and deaf and spent much of her childhood undergoing various surgeries and therapies to help her both hear and speak. She was one of the first individuals to receive a bone-anchored hearing aid at just 3 or 4 years old. Entering the public school system at 7 after extensive speech therapy, she excelled at her schoolwork despite the fact that her learning ability had been delayed and that she had several teachers doubt that she would be able to complete her education and graduate. Following high school, Ms. Abouelkhir began her career in advocacy in 2014 as an office assistant with Beth Israel Medical Center and an

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Charmain Bogue embarked on her studies at Morgan State University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in psychology, before obtaining a Master of Education from Hofstra University in 2006. She has furthered her studies over the years through completing coursework in various leadership programs at the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School, the George Washington University, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, as well as certification as a Lean Six Sigma black belt. Achieving a position with the United States Department of Veterans Affairs, she became the senior analyst in the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary for Economic Opportunity in 2011 and the deputy director of operations and education services in 2014. Serving

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Earning a Bachelor of Arts in political science and criminal justice from the University of South Carolina, Marquita M. Booker, Esq., went on to earn a Doctor of Jurisprudence from the College of Law at Florida A&M University, a Master of Public Administration from the Pennsylvania State University and a Master of Laws from Atlanta’s John Marshall Law School. Certified by both the Florida Bar and the State Bar of Texas, she was inspired by her passion to eradicate discrimination and began her career as a lead equal opportunity compliance specialist in the Office of Equal Opportunity of the Palm Beach County Board of Commissions in 2002. She went on to serve as an employment and education discrimination attorney in

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Margaret Chase Hager

Motivated throughout her career by her care for others, Margaret Chase Hager began the first part of her career in 1963 as an assistant registrar and assistant curator for the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts following the completion of her Bachelor of Arts from Wheaton College. After spending some time traveling through Asia and completing graduate studies in Asian art in Tokyo, she returned to the United States and entered the field of international banking in 1965 as the assistant to the director of the International Monetary Fund. She then joined the international division of the First National City Bank, now Citibank, in 1970, where she ran the Saudi Arabian desk in New York until she took a break from

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