Thomas is Staff Attorney in Advancement Project's Ending to Schoolhouse to Jailhouse Track Campaign. In that role, he collaborates with community groups, organizers, and youth to support their work in building collective power, resisting and dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, and seeding a new vision for restorative justice.
Education and racial justice for youth of color have been central to Thomas’ work for more than a decade. Before law school, he examined police engagement with students in public schools as a researcher for the Vera Institute of Justice and later helped launch Esperanza NY, an alternative to incarceration program for young people in New York City’s juvenile system. He also organized for several years with the youth leaders from Desis Rising Up and Moving’s (DRUM) YouthPOWER program to wage a campaign to end police profiling in public schools and neighborhoods. After graduating from the City University of New York (CUNY) School of Law in 2009, Thomas clerked for one year in Brooklyn federal court. He then joined the Asian American Legal Defense & Education Fund (AALDEF) as a community lawyer in their Educational Equity and Youth Rights Program. In that role, Thomas worked directly with community partners in cities across the country to advocate for the rights of immigrant youth to attend schools that have language access, are safe from racial violence, and free from unwarranted police surveillance.
Thomas and his family are from the Jaffna Tamil community in Sri Lanka, and he was raised in New York City.