Jewel  Gatling, M.S.

Director of Public Affairs

As a Virginian native, Portsmouth in particular, Gatling established and honed her skills for community engagement. A Cum Laude graduate of Norfolk State University with a Bachelors in Sociology and Magna Cum Laude graduate of Iowa State University with a Masters in Sociology, specializing in Social Disorganization, Victimization, and Community Cohesion, Gatling was made for this work. 

In 2012, she served as a Fellow with the Obama for America campaign which allowed her to further develop her passion and create the Suffolk Young Democrats (SYD) following her work on various state and local elections. Gatling served as President of SYD from 2013 to 2015 and was able to organize numerous community engagement events, such as political education forums, voter registration, school supply and food drives. In 2017, Gatling took her gifts to Richmond and began her work as an Assistant Legislative Aide for the Office of Senator Lynwood Lewis and the Office of Delegate Luke E. Torian. A former Suffolk Chair with the Hampton Roads Young Democrats and organizer with the Virginia Civic Engagement Tables for the Youth Virginia Votes Center-Richmond, she is a graduate and current mentor for Virginia Progressive Leadership Program, a Life Member of the NAACP, a gun violence prevention advocate and supporter of the Virginia Action Network. Today, Gatling maintains her devotion to change through the neighborhood call to action meetings. These community gatherings are designed to educate, empower and encourage citizens on how to become involved in political action and to productively advocate for social issues.