Field Organizer, Win Justice/Dream Defenders
Carnell "CJ" Staples is currently a Field Organizer Fellow for Win Justice and Broward Dream Defenders, as well as the Membership Coordinator for the Broward Democratic Socialists of America. A resident of Fort Lauderdale, CJ was born and raised just outside of Newark, New Jersey by a single mother of three. His passion for community service led him to a three year stint with Americorps in 2006, where he traveled to colleges and universities all over the country running workshops centered on social justice, civic engagement, and racial equality. Upon moving to South Florida in 2010, CJ started his career as a veterinary technician, and continued in that field for eight years. His love for all animals existed since he was a child and having the opportunity to be a part of a community of healers while creating a welcoming space for their loved ones to grieve and mourn when necessary gave CJ a deeper sense of purpose in the world. That sense of purpose evolved into something even larger when CJ got involved with the Bernie Sanders Campaign in 2020 and pushed to make policies such as Medicare For All and the Green New Deal part of daily political conversations. Understanding the importance of the current moment, he, along with a few other volunteers, started a brand new Broward chapter of the Democratic Socialist of America, and he was elected as the Interim Membership Coordinator. From there he connected with other grassroots organizations in Broward County to form the Better Broward Coalition, with the goal of empowering the community by building a stronger, more informed constituency and being the voice for the underrepresented within the political arena.