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Marelyn Rivera


Marelyn is the Executive Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy, Research, and Development, a State office that provides multifaceted support to Hispanic communities and organizations throughout New Jersey. She previously served as Communications Director at NJDEP, as an Aide to Governor Phil Murphy, and as Chief of Staff to a Hudson County Freeholder. From 2015 to 2018, Marelyn leveraged her professional insight to serve as a host of "North Hudson", a bi-lingual local access television show focused on community leaders and local causes. Her philanthropic and community involvement is vast and ranges from serving as a co-founding Trustee of the Hudson County Young Democrats, to Trustee Emeritus for the Jersey City Youth Foundation, to helping raise funds for grants as a Board Member for Party With Purpose. Her 15 years of experience in public and private sectors have paved the way for her to pursue her endeavors out of passion and cause. Marelyn studied Fashion Marketing and Management at Berkeley College as a first generation student. She was raised in a Honduran family in Hudson County and has traveled to Guatemala to volunteer and build homes for families in need. Marelyn lives in Trenton with her cat and dog, Kitkat and Gaia.


Kelly Ingram

Treasurer; Past President

As a founding board member of I Am Trenton Community Foundation in 2007, Kelly has served on the board continuously in various capacities to grow the foundation and build its strength and position within the community. She served as board President for three years and is thrilled to remain on the board to support the team where needed to ensure I Am Trenton Community Foundation is a lasting resource for the city. Painting and creating decorative finishes is another love of Kelly’s. Running her own business, Kelly Ingram Finishes, for over 30 years, she is intent on doing so for the next decade and beyond. Kelly believes in the growing potential of Trenton and the good people that call Trenton home. She and her husband Ray live in Cadwalader Heights with their beloved dog Fiona. They remain enthusiastic in supporting the building of an even better Trenton.


Meaghan Singletary

Board Member

Meaghan is a born-and-raised Trentonian deeply excited to serve her city. She is the owner of Out Of Step Boutique and General Store at the Trenton Farmers Market, a spinoff of the Trenton Punk Rock Flea Market founded by her partner, Joe, which offers a variety of artisan and specialty items. She also works at Isles, Inc., managing placemaking and community reinvestment initiatives. She previously worked at the Trenton Downtown Association for six years, overseeing fundraising as well as a number of revitalization efforts including the Levitt AMP Trenton Music Series. Prior to joining the board, Meaghan helped IAT design, launch, and implement the Small Business Emergency Fund in 2020, an effort that incorporated simultaneous fundraising and disbursement in real time with a group of community volunteers. She is passionate about ensuring that Trenton youth have more opportunities to stay and build careers within the City, and that Black and Latinx communities are supported, uplifted, represented, and given the resources to thrive. Meaghan lives in Mill Hill with her partner, Joe, and beloved pup Khaleesi. Her superpowers include making phenomenally delicious sweets.


Michelle Ruess


Michelle is the Senior Director for Communications at Foundation Academies, a two-campus charter school in Trenton. She is former newspaper reporter and editor who has covered state, local, and national issues in newsrooms in Capitol Hill, New Jersey, and elsewhere in the country. Her subsequent work included partnering with a range of nonprofit groups in New Jersey and Pennsylvania to share messages and engage audiences. She worked as the Communications Director for Trenton Health Team for three years, sharing public health messaging including an effective, multilingual COVID-19 campaign. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Missouri-Columbia. She has lived in Mercer County for 25 years and moved to Trenton in 2018.


Raj Manimaran

Past President

Raj joined the board of I Am Trenton in 2018 and served as President for three years, leading IAT through its second Strategic Plan (2022-2024). He is the Community Relations Director at The College of New Jersey (TCNJ), following several years at TCNJ’s Center for Community Engaged Learning and Research. His love for the city was cultivated while a student at TCNJ, when Raj had the opportunity to help establish, then run, the college’s (now-closed) Downtown Trenton office, creating a hub of community engagement and creativity that served as a springboard for numerous initiatives and provided an early platform for many young artists and entrepreneurs from Trenton. Through his current position at TCNJ, he seeks to build connections between the city, the College, and the broader community. He is excited to be part of a team of volunteers that values collaboration, community building, and civic engagement, while working together with Trentonians to fulfill their visions for the city.

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Natasha Shabazz

Board Member

Natasha is a Mental Health Clinician and is currently the Program and Clinical Coordinator for The College of New Jersey’s Counselor Education Department. Being raised in an immigrant household in North Jersey jumpstarted Natasha’s ability to understand systems and advocacy at an early age. She is passionate about being a connector and collaborator to ensure that programming and resources are accessible to all within the community. Natasha has strong ties to the Trenton and TCNJ community, having studied and volunteered for different agencies since 2007. During her undergraduate tenure, she served as a Bonner Community Scholar at numerous sites including El Centro, PEI Kids, The Salvation Army and Wagner Youth Facility. Natasha is grateful for all of the connections and amazing Trentonians that she’s met over the years—especially her husband. Natasha is excited to join the board and continue the legacy that I Am Trenton has established by funding creative and grassroot-level dreams. She loves building community and supporting local events with her family. Natasha currently serves on Mercer County's Mental Health Board and is a Certified Instructor in Youth Mental Health First Aid. She is also a proud member of Chi Upsilon Sigma National Latin Sorority, Inc. and enjoys mentoring young members in the local area.


Austin Edwards


Austin is a proud Trentonian born and raised in the City. With humble beginnings in his childhood home on Rutherford Avenue and church home of Little Light True Gospel Church, he learned the value of caring for his community and its people, finding joy in helping address the issues facing neighbors, friends, family, and other community members. His work experience includes positions at Capitol Hill, the United States Coast Guard, the Federal Judiciary, multiple federal agencies, and Ernst & Young. He returned to Trenton to work with the New Jersey Attorney General’s Office to reform police/community relations as well as state financial laws. He holds a law degree from Howard University and a Masters of Domestic and Public Policy from Princeton University. Austin actively volunteers with numerous organizations including the Howard University Alumni Club of Metropolitan Trenton (Go Bison!), Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity, Inc., Lambda Lambda Sigma Chapter, and the Trenton Urban League Guild. He was also recently appointed to the Trenton School Board. He is most proud to provide scholarships to local kids to help them achieve their full academic potential, to create and celebrate diverse spaces for youth of all ages to excel, to produce life-changing alternatives to the school/drug/prison pipeline, and to illustrate to the community the young scholars we have in our very midst. He lives in Trenton with his wife Natalie and their greyhound Grace, and loves to throw the best backyard BBQs.

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Palmer Richardson

Board Member

Palmer Richardson , Esq., is currently an Assistant City Attorney for the City of Trenton where he practices Civil Defense Litigation and Employment Law. He also is the Managing Partner of the Law Office of Palmer J. Richardson, Esq. where he specializes in real estate transactions and small business consultations. Prior to his current role Palmer worked in both healthcare and corporate compliance and worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Judge Janetta D. Marbrey, New Jersey Superior Court between 2017-2018. Palmer earned his diploma from Valley Forge Military Academy in 2008 where he was an honor roll student and earned two varsity letters in track and field. Palmer went on to earn his bachelor’s degree in International Studies with a concentration in Sociology from Morehouse College in 2012. Upon graduating he was inducted into two Greek Honor Societies for International Studies and Sociology respectively. Following his graduation from Morehouse College, Palmer earned his JD from Temple University’s Beasley School of Law graduating in 2017 and joined the New Jersey Bar in 2018. He serves on a number of boards, including the Robert Wood Johnson Young Professionals Group, DePaul USA, and the Trenton Kappa Foundation where he serves as Board Chair. Palmer is an active member of his Fraternity, Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc. Trenton Alumni Chapter. Palmer is passionate about community, exercise, and most outdoor activities including tennis, cycling, and running.


  • Roland Laird

  • Deb D’Arcangelo

  • Monique King Viehland

  • Ali Wilson

  • Dan Fatton

  • Kelly Ingram

  • Jon Carl Lewis

  • Raj Manimaran

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