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Nicole Vorrasi Bates 
Founder and Executive Director of Shattering Glass

Nicole Vorrasi Bates has spent her life advocating for gender equality. From the first time she was told she could not play organized baseball with the boys, and then throughout her career, Nicole has had first-hand experiences with gender discrimination, gender bias and unequal pay.

Recognizing the disparate toll the pandemic has taken on women, and the minimal progress made towards gender equality in the past two decades, Nicole founded Shattering Glass, on March 8, 2021, International Women’s Day. Its mission is to effectuate much-needed changes to ensure our daughters, granddaughters and their daughters will not be held down by gender discrimination.


Nicole is a licensed attorney. Prior to founding Shattering Glass, she practiced corporate transactional tax law, a male-dominated field, for more than two decades and was a commercial litigator prior to that. Throughout her legal career she has participated in countless mergers and acquisitions, ranging into the billions of dollars, primarily representing private equity funds and their portfolio companies. She also runs a growing real estate development company with her husband.


In addition to fighting for women’s rights, Nicole is dedicated to youth sports and advocating for children. She has coached, volunteered for, and served in leadership of youth sports for eight years and currently sits on the Boards of Directors of Washington, DC Little League and the Positive Coaching Alliance, MidAtlantic Region.


Nicole, a graduate of Hobart and William Smith College (BA), Catholic University Columbus School of Law (JD) and Georgetown University (LLM in Taxation), lives in Washington, DC with her husband, and young son and daughter. In her free time, Nicole loves nothing more than coaching. She recently managed her son’s Little League All-Star team, which came two wins away from making it to the Little League World Series, and coached her daughter’s elementary school basketball team.


Johnisha M. Levi 
Senior Grant Writer at Elevate

Johnisha Levi enthusiastically brings her varied experiences working on behalf of nonprofits to Shattering Glass, where she looks forward to advocating for gender equality and equity. As a law student, she worked on behalf of criminal defense advocacy nonprofits seeking postconviction relief for clients sentenced to death. As a practicing attorney at a top 50 law firm in Washington DC, she devoted hundreds of hours to pro bono legal work to a host of nonprofit causes.


After leaving the practice of law, she became a nonprofit professional. She managed a community-based culinary nutrition program active in 10 major cities that focused on the health of individuals of African descent. In addition to forging vital new community partnerships, and conducting trainings for new community leaders, she also wrote and piloted a 100-page children’s version of the six-week culturally relevant curriculum. As the Development Manager for The Nashville Food Project (TNFP), she sought out supportive funding for programs focused on alleviating food insecurity and creating a more just and sustainable food system. At TNFP, she also committed herself to making the organization more reflective of the communities it serves. Largely due to her efforts, a new standing Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee composed of Board members and staff will be launched in 2021 to work strategically on these issues.


She currently works as a Senior Grant Writer at Elevate in Washington, DC, where she provides support to nonprofit leaders to build smart, sustainable grant programs that produce powerful social change.


Johnisha is a graduate of Harvard College (A.B.), New York University School of Law (J.D.), and Johnson & Wales University (A.A.S.). She has published articles on Yes! Media and is a recipe tester for Leite’s Culinaria. A proud native Washingtonian, she is currently at work on a memoir exploring her unique family history focused on pre-gentrification DC. She lives in East Nashville with her husband Jon.


Joanna Newdeck Brown
Senior Counsel at Akin, Gump, Strauss, Howard and Feld LLP

Joanna Newdeck Brown focuses her practice on corporate restructurings and bankruptcy law. She represents creditors, official committees, bondholders, debtor in possession lenders and debtors in cases of all sizes and complexity, both out-of-court and in chapter 11.

Joanna is a graduate of the American University Washington College of Law (summa cum laude, 2004). She lives in Washington, DC with her husband and young family.


Neil Rothstein, Esq. 
Securities and Class Action Attorney

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