Community Research Fellow
D'mitra Smith was the Chair and Vice Chair of the Sonoma County Commission on Human Rights from 2012-2020, and the Program Manager for the Junior Commission on Human Rights, mentoring over 100 Sonoma County students. D'mitra is a co-founder of Save Your Six, a national advocacy project for students through Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, and a founding member of the essential workers' collective Food for All - Comida para Todos in Sonoma Valley.
In 2017 she directed "Humans of Sonoma County" to counteract the bigotry of the incoming Trump administration, the first DEI messaging in the county. Dmitra is the author of the 2018 report "Discrimination and Bullying in our Schools", the first to address racial discrimination in schools in the county. That same year she authored a Title VI complaint against the Napa State Hospital addressing discriminatory treatment of Black patients within the state hospital system in partnership with the Sacramento NAACP and Justice Reform Coalition, and advocated for Black students in Oklahoma and Alabama.
In 2020, she co-authored the groundbreaking report "Human Rights Violations in Santa Rosa: Policing the Black Lives Matter Protests”, garnering an award from the San Jose State Human Rights Institute. She dedicated the Commission’s funding to PPE for the most vulnerable communities affected by Covid-2019 and spearheaded the Sonoma County Human Rights Visibility Project, an online reporting tool for human rights violations in eighteen languages, the first of its kind in the state.
D'mitra has worked with the California Association of Human Relations Organizations, the Congressional Black Caucus Education and Workforce Committee, California NAACP, San Jose State University Human Rights Institute, Southern Poverty Law Center, John Marshall Law School, and the US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. In her time on the Commission, she authored reports and resolutions to lobby the Board of Supervisors on many issues including Andy Lopez, the Dakota Access Pipeline, Indigenous Peoples Day, Rights of the Muslim Community, Immigrants’ Rights, Tiny Homes and Emergency Housing, Unsheltered Encampment Conditions, County Censorship of the Commission, Family Separation, Divestment, and Homeless Youth.
She is the originator and co-author of AB655, The California Law Enforcement Accountability Reform CLEAR Act (Kalra), the first legislation to address white supremacist infiltration of law enforcement in the state of California; and the Program Manager for the Sonoma County Black Therapy Fund, the first culturally competent Black mental health program in Sonoma County.