Hometown: Indianapolis, IN (Central)
Gender Pronouns: Him, His, He
Education: Bachelor of Arts in Communication Studies, Masters of Science in Higher Education and Student Affairs
Passions Related to Social Justice: Advocating Against Police Brutality (#BlackLivesMatter), Autism Awareness, Access for the Differently Abled, Domestic Violence Prevention, LGBTQ Civil Rights and Equity, Family Equity
Husband. Father. Educator. Ally. Though more often than not he is described as an activist. Dominic started his interest in activism during his undergraduate studies as the president of the IUPUI Black Student Union; focusing on issues of racial indifference and the lack of equity for African American students at Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI). During this time along with the support of black students across IUPUI’s campus, several instances of disruption, protest and civil disobedience, were utilized in order to force the campus administration to take proactive steps to not just speak diversity, but value it by securing resources that increased the cultural competency of the campus. As one third of the BSI (Black Student Initiative)’s leadership, this era of student activism is seen by many as a defining event/moment in IUPUI’s history.
From there Dominic’s passion for social justice and activism only grew as he continued to seek justice not just on campus, but nationally. He went on to organize rallies and marches for The Jena 6, launched campaigns for AIDS awareness, spoke out against police brutality in the murders of Oscar Grant and Sean Bell, condemned the school to prison pipeline and mass incarceration, hosted several events speaking out against and standing with victims and survivors of Domestic Violence, all while graduating with his bachelors and masters degree in Higher Education and Student Affairs.
Dominic went on to work in the field of Disability Student Services, as IUPUI’s Assistant Director for ADAAA Compliance and Services before traveling to Grand Rapids Michigan where he was hired as Grand Rapids Community College’s Director of Accessibility where in a year’s time he managed to pass a campus wide captioning policy and non-discrimination policy for persons with disabilities. It was during this time that Dominic’s 2 year old son Isaiah was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, giving new purpose for his career. With a devoted interest in improving the quality of life for not only his child but all students on the Autism Spectrum, Dominic began a new path of developing workshops and best practices for faculty and staff to educate on issues of able bodied privilege, universal design, neurodiversity and overall issues of accessibility for all students regardless of diagnosis .
After returning to Indianapolis in 2014, Dominic began organizing and protesting with the Black Lives Matter movement, following the murders of several unarmed black men, women and children such as Treyvon Martin, Mike Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice, Aiyana Stanley Jones, Rekia Boyd, Sandra Bland and countless others. Fearing for the safety of his son growing up in a world which did not value him and would always see him as a threat, regardless of his diagnosis. Adopting the mantra “liberation from oppression is not a mutually exclusive concept”, Dominic began to look for ways to show solidarity and build community with others experiencing injustice and oppression. This led to a role as an advocate and accomplice in fighting against the issues faced by the LGBT community of Indiana as lawmakers proposed the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA). As a result, Dominic found himself organizing, speaking and participating in direct actions and marches for not only the #BlackLivesMatter movement but also organizing against other oppressive legislation like the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA) with rallies and protest demonstrations seeking statewide LGBT protections during the NCAA Final Four.
After forming many lasting relationships with individuals he met through local activism and grass roots organizing, Dominic founded the grassroots social justice organization D.O.N.T. S.L.E.E.P. (Deconstructing Oppression Now Through Solidarity Liberation Empowerment Equity and Perseverance) which aims to battle and dismantle those systems of oppression that contribute to social injustice locally and nationally. Dominic believes in a simple quote as stated by author Alice Walker, “activism is the rent I pay for space on this planet.” And yet a day has passed where rent is not due.