Co-Director, Safe and Stable Homes Project
Cole serves as the co-director of AVLF’s Safe and Stable Homes Project. He supervises the Saturday Lawyer Program and the Eviction Defense Program.
Cole grew up in the upper-middle-class area of Bergen County, New Jersey, but his family struggled financially. In 1993, when Cole was sixteen years old, the bank foreclosed on the house he grew up in, and Cole and his family had to move to another town. Cole attended Williams College, where he worked in the dining hall for four years, serving food to and cleaning up after his wealthier classmates. During those years, Cole grew troubled by the stark class differences around him. After graduating magna cum laude from Williams, Cole worked in food service, in a vet’s office, and for a lawyer before deciding to apply to law school.
At Northeastern University School of Law, Cole was an active member of the LGBTQ community in Boston and on campus. Spurred by his experiences and observations of inequality and injustice, Cole decided to use his law degree to protect society’s most vulnerable. From 2005 until 2009, Cole worked for Lambda Legal, helping transgender people across the country stand up for their rights in court. After that, Cole followed his heart to serve people living in poverty – first in a rural setting through Georgia Legal Services Program, and, since 2014, in Atlanta through his work at AVLF.
Cole believes that knowledge is power; that small acts of kindness make a big difference; and that we must strive for our vision of liberation, even when it feels unattainable. He shares his home with his husband and a friendly pack of rescue dogs and cats.