Carly Fox is the Senior Organizing and Advocacy Coordinator at the Worker Justice Center of NY – a legal service organization that pursues justice for those denied human rights. She has spent more than eight years working with hundreds of farmworkers across the state to share information about workers’ rights, conduct workshops and provide opportunities for workers to become leaders for workplace justice and to fight for their rights as immigrants. Carly co-authored the 2016 report MILKED and has been organizing workers in a campaign to address injustice in the NYS dairy industry. Carly’s current project is to support the Alianza Agricola, a farmworker-led effort to win the right to have driver’s license in NYS, and to build immigrant worker power.
Bernadette Herrera was a student leader activist in the Philippines during her college years. To provide a better future for her family, she immigrated to the United States in 2000. She was undocumented for 4 years while working as a domestic worker in San Francisco. She was an active volunteer and then became a staff member at the Filipino Community Center (FCC) in 2007 where she currently organizes locally for immigrant and workers rights. From 2011 to 2014, she served as the Vice President of the National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON). She also served in the Council of Leaders of Migrante Northern California, an alliance of Filipino immigrants and migrants workers groups in the Bay Area. In September 2018, Bernadette was elected Chairperson of Migrante USA, an alliance of 16 Filipino worker organizations throughout the U.S.
Sheheryar Kaoosji is the Founder and Executive Director of the Warehouse Worker Resource Center. He worked as a research analyst and strategist in support of efforts to organize workers in the supply chains of major global manufacturers, retailers and food companies for the past 10 years, and has extensive experience in community organizing and community-based research. He has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from UCLA and a BA from UC Santa Cruz.
Kimi Lee has over 30 years of organizing and alliance building experience, and is the Director of Bay Rising. Kimi was the National Coordinator of the United Workers Congress, a strategic alliance to build power for excluded workers and their national independent worker alliances. She was also a Senior Fellow at the Movement Strategy Center, with a focus on building national strategic alliances and creating intersections for different social movements. She was the founder and Executive Director of the Garment Worker Center in Los Angeles and helped to establish MIWON, the Multi-ethnic Immigrant Workers Organizing Network. Most recently, she started a preschool cooperative for her children in East Oakland serving families of color who wanted to engage their young children in social justice issues and she was President of the PTA at her children’s public school in East Oakland.
Joann Lo is the Co-Director of the Food Chain Workers Alliance and was the first staff member of the Alliance when she began in November 2009. The daughter of immigrants from Taiwan, she graduated from Yale University with a degree in Environmental Biology and has organized with both unions and a worker center. In 2000 Joann was one of two staff who started the Garment Worker Center, and she organized with garment workers in Los Angeles who led a successful campaign against retailer Forever 21, memorialized in the Emmy-winning documentary “Made in L.A.” In 2005 Joann joined Enlace, an alliance of worker centers and unions and a year later became Co-Director. Joann is a member of the Board of Directors of the Los Angeles Food Policy Council and of the Center for Good Food Purchasing. Joann has been awarded the 2017 James Beard Foundation Leadership Award and the 2018 American Food Heroes Award from Eating Well magazine.
Jesse Littlewood has over 15 years’ experience in the intersection of grassroots campaigns, movement building and technology. Jesse has held leadership positions at national advocacy organizations Green Corps, The Public Interest Network and Common Cause. His leadership in the field brought him to the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as a lecturer, where he designed and taught course titled “Social Change in the Digital Age.” As National Campaigns and Digital Director with Common Cause, a national democracy advocacy group, Jesse built and lead a team that grew the organization’s activist list from 250,000 to over 1 million members and supporters, raised over $7 million online from small-dollar donors, and mobilized thousands to take actions online and offline to protect and expand democracy.
Hannah Mixdorf first became passionate about civic work when she went to the school board in her small town in rural Wisconsin to make sure that her elementary school wasn’t closed due to budget cuts. Since then, Hannah’s path has centered on community-driven work and social impact. Hannah earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Public Administration from the University of Wisconsin – La Crosse and holds a Master’s of Arts in Higher Education from the University of Denver where she wrote her master’s thesis on educating college students about identity and privilege through service-learning work. In 2015, Hannah began working with Inspire U.S. to launch a peer-led high school voter registration and engagement program in Colorado. Since then, she has worked nationally with Inspire U.S. to help grow and sustain its high school work across the country as the Strategic Development Director. Hannah currently resides in Minneapolis, Minnesota where she spends her time running, reading, and biking throughout the city.
Gilbert David Nuñez works at the intersection of data, activism, and academia. He currently serves as the Electoral Data Manager at Community Change, an organization dedicated to building the power and capacity of low-income people, especially low-income people of color, to change their communities and public policies for the better. In this role, Gilbert partners with grassroots leaders to design strategies and implement tools that build community power. Prior to joining the Community Change team, Gilbert was a Campaigns & Elections Specialist at the National Education Association and is a former high school social studies teacher. Gilbert earned his Ph.D. in American government and politics from the University of Maryland in 2017. In addition to his work at Community Change, he teaches the American presidency seminar for the University of California in Washington program and writes about presidential power and elections. He originally hails from Michigan and now calls Washington, DC, home.
Pep Marie (they/she) is a proud Black, Queer, Philly native building spaces for self determination in their city. In high school, Pep became a member of the Philadelphia Student Union and was first introduced to the importance of centering the leadership of those most directly impacted in movement work. Pep went on to major in Sociology with concentrations in both Africana and Urban Studies from Oberlin College, where they developed their facilitation skills across campus guiding conversations on privilege and oppression. In 2013, Pep returned to Philly at the same moment that 64 of our neighborhood schools were slated for closure. Within the Media Mobilizing Project, Pep collected stories from across school communities about challenges, successes and visions following major cuts. PhillySUN is building leaders in and around our schools in response to the needs and desires expressed throughout this listening process. In 2019, PhillySUN will release How-To Engage Parents in Transformative Schools, a workshop manual created from our reflections on our past and current campaigns.
Lissy Romanow was introduced to political education as a teenager, and became a community organizer ten years ago. She was a lead organizer with Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts, where she advanced statewide economic and environmental justice campaigns, and a fellow with the Jewish Organizing Initiative & Network. In 2014, she joined the visionary staff of the Ayni Institute, where she helped incubate the Momentum training, and co-founded IfNotNow, a movement to end American Jewish support for the occupation in Israel/Palestine. In 2017, she became Momentum’s first Executive Director. Her work is currently focused on coaching organizers to design social movement campaigns and publicizing the new wave of experiments underway in U.S. organizing.
Neda Said is an organizer working with Survived & Punished, a national project to end the criminalization of survivors of domestic violence. As a queer woman of color and first generation graduate, her work is led by a passion to alleviate injustices towards marginalized communities at the intersections of identity. She plans to continue utilizing her skills to build capacity within community and momentum in the movement towards liberation. Neda is currently the Program Coordinator at Neighborhood Funders Group. Her previous professional work includes youth leadership programming and organizing with queer and trans youth of color, as well as social justice education and domestic violence training for youth, volunteers, and advocates. She also sits on the advisory board of Queer Crescent. Neda completed her studies in Political Science and International Studies at UC San Diego. In the rare moments Neda is not immersed in planning the details of something, she’s probably out enjoying the sunshine.
Elizabeth (Lizzie) Shackney is based in Austin, TX. She currently serves as the Director of Analytics and Research at Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, the largest legal services provider for low-income clients in Texas. She works at the intersection of justice and technology, collaborating with attorney and non-attorney advocates in areas such as civil rights, housing, and environmental justice to pinpoint problems and develop solutions, primarily focusing on geospatial analysis and mapping visualizations. Previously, Lizzie worked as a field organizer with the Beto for Texas Senate campaign, an AmeriCorps member with Impact America in Birmingham, AL, and a communications intern at Voice of the Experienced (VOTE) in New Orleans, LA. In her spare time, she assists low-income folks in the Austin area with income tax preparation, writes non-fiction essays, and keeps saying that she’s going to get into improv comedy. Lizzie received her B.A. from Wesleyan University in 2017 with high honors in government. View her previous mapping and writing projects at her website, lizzieshackney.com.
Bernadett Sebály is a community organizer, trainer and mentor based in Hungary. A cultural anthropologist by education, she currently studies at CEU’s School of Public Policy. She is the editor of the book titled The Society of Power or the Power of Society? The Basics of Community Organizing, a compilation of studies of American academics, and the author of many articles. Previously, she worked for many years in international civil rights organizations as campaign coordinator and press officer. She has gained her experience in community organizing as a member of The City is for All, where she worked as an activist between 2009-2017, and in the Civil College Foundation, where she was a mentor of organizers between 2014-2018. She spent one year in the U.S. in 2012 with Virginia Organizing and visited other organizations across the country. Her goal is to link the worlds of activism, organizing and academia in a way that is fruitful for all.
AJ Williams was born and raised in Durham, NC a city rooted in Black economic excellence, home of Black Wall Street and a historical cornerstone of organizing and community leadership. In 2015, he relocated to Charlotte, NC to work as a Community Organizer and Communications Lead for The Freedom Center for Social Justice where he headed the transgender advocacy programs including coordinating Transgender Career Readiness program and The Transgender Faith in Action Network Retreat. The Retreat brought together national thought leaders to gather in a safe space to discuss the most pressing issues in the trans community. Participants included Raffi Freedman-Gurspan, who was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first Transgender White House staff member. AJ also led organizing efforts for the Yes, You Can Go Campaign during the harmful North Carolina statewide legislation passed known as HB2 by encouraging business owners to stand in solidarity with the trans community as well as the Do No Harm Campaign in response to Senate Bill 2. In addition he helped organize on the ground efforts with the Charlotte’s Queer and Trans People of Color Collective and spoke at the NC State Capitol alongside Reverend William Barber, II of the NAACP and other coalition partners during sit-ins in protest of HB2. AJ is currently The Director of Financial Operations for Southern Vision Alliance, a 501c3 Nonprofit in Durham, NC, that supports Queer/People of Color youth leadership pipelines, and fiscal sponsorship as a grassroots intermediary. He recently completed his Certified Nonprofit Accounting Professional designation with Fiscal Management Associates. In addition, he participated in the University of California, Berkeley, Haas School of Business’ Philanthropy University, earning a Certificate in Social Sector Leadership. He is also an avid organizer with BYP100 Durham Chapter as the current Fundraising Chair, a member of Southerners on New Ground (SONG) and is also an appointed member of Durham’s Participatory Budgeting Steering Committee.
Allison Anoll is an assistant professor of political science at Vanderbilt University. She received her PhD in 2016 from Stanford University and her BA from The College of William and Mary in 2009. For nearly ten years, Allison has worked through her research to better understand why racial minorities do or do not participate in politics, with a special focus on how racial segregation, social norms, and the carceral state affect political involvement. Before starting graduate school, Allison was the AmeriCorp VISTA for Student and Community Engagement at the College of William and Mary and during her time in graduate school, she has taught at both San Quentin Prison and a rehabilitation center for women in Redwood City.
Theresa Rocha Beardall is a Sociology Ph.D. Candidate at Cornell University. She draws on law, social inequality, and race and ethnicity literatures to examine critical issues that range from contemporary policing and social movements to the historical legal treatment of Latinos and American Indians under federal law. Theresa’s current research agenda is organized into two distinct, yet interrelated spheres that investigate how, when, and why legal benefits are experienced by select social groups and not others. In the first sphere, she examines the socially constructed meaning of police, police accountability, and police reform by drawing attention to the role of labor law and community engagement to define the scope of local law enforcement. In the second sphere, she examines how the meaning of tribal sovereignty in courts and popular society have shifted over time, and the implications of this change for the social, political, and legal status of American Indians. Beginning in Fall 2019, Theresa will continue both research areas as an Assistant Professor of Sociology and American Indian Studies at Virginia Tech.
Melanie Brazzell‘s research and activism focuses on transformative justice alternatives to prison and policing, particularly for sexual and partner violence. They have been involved in the anti-violence movement for fifteen years and co-founded the Berlin Transformative Justice Collective. Melanie’s participatory research culminated in a community engagement project and book called “What Really Makes Us Safe?” As a PhD student at the University of California Santa Barbara, Melanie studies gender, critical criminology, and social movements as a member of Hahrie Han’s P3 Lab. They are currently exploring participatory action research as a movement building tool through collaborations with El Centro, a self-organized community center in Santa Barbara, and the Momentum Community, a national training institute and movement incubator.
Elizabeth “Jordie” Davies Elizabeth “Jordie” Davies is a doctoral candidate at the University of Chicago, specializing in American political behavior. Her research interests include Black politics, social movements, political participation, and political communication. Her research focuses on the influence of social movements, race, and new media on political attitudes and participation. Jordie’s dissertation, “From Adherents to Activists: The Process of Social Movement Mobilization” examines the various modes of social movement support and their participatory outcomes, breaking down the paths to political activism in contemporary social movements, with special focus on progressive activism, racial justice activism, and the Movement for Black Lives. Jordie is a Graduate Researcher for the GenForward Survey of Millennials, researching millennial support for Black Lives Matter and support for racial redress policies. Jordie is a 2017 Ford Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellowship recipient and was selected as a 2015-2016 member of the American Political Science Association’s Minority Fellows Program. At UChicago, Jordie was selected as an Urban Doctoral Fellow and an Art, Science, and Culture Graduate Fellow for the 2018-2019 academic year. Jordie enjoys writing about public policy, especially youth politics, education, and activism. She has worked as a K-12 Education Policy Intern at The Century Foundation and as a Graduate Fellow at The Black Youth Project. Jordie holds a Master of Arts in Social Sciences from the University of Chicago. She received a BA in Political Science from Emory University, in Atlanta, GA, with a minor in Educational Studies.
Valerie Francisco-Menchavez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Sociology and Sexuality Studies at San Francisco State University in California. Francisco received her Ph.D. from the Department of Sociology at City University of New York, The Graduate Center. Her current book entitled, Labor of Care: Filipina Migrants Transnational Families in a Digital Age, explores the dynamics of gender and technology of care work in Filipino transnational families in the Philippines and the U.S. Through an examination of neoliberal immigration policies and market forces, Francisco contextualizes the shifts in the long-standing transnational family formation in the Philippines. Francisco’s research is informed by the transnational activism of GABRIELA, an alliance of progressive Filipino women’s organizations in the Philippines and internationally, and MIGRANTE International, an international alliance of Filipino migrant workers. These networks of diasporic and transnational solidarity between Filipino migrant communities and the national democratic movement in the Philippines has helped shape her critical perspective on neoliberalism. To this end, Francisco has engaged in participatory action research and feminist methods in all of her research projects where Filipino and Filipina migrants’ experiences are centered as expertise. Currently, she is working on studying the work conditions of Filipino migrants in the understudied industry of caregiving to the elderly. More importantly, this research project allows for the development of leadership and organizing capacity in the Filipino community in the Bay Area through a migrant workers organization, Migrante.
Kristen P. Goessling is an Assistant Professor of Human Development and Family Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Brandywine. Kristen has a Ph.D. in Human Development, Learning and Culture from the University of British Columbia. Kristen’s field-based, professional experience as a mentor, community-based therapist, and social worker provides a critical foundation for all of her work. Central to all of Kristen’s research is the understanding that people are active cultural producers in relation to the social practices and systems in which they are embedded. She is invested in creating spaces of belonging where people build meaningful relationships in the pursuit of liberatory social change. A committed engaged scholar, Kristen participates in a number of projects that are aligned in the aim of expanding narrow measures of learning and development by advancing our understanding of how complex learning ecologies generate growth. Kristen’s work is driven by a concern for structural factors related to access to resources and educational opportunities for marginalized groups in school and community contexts. She designs spaces of learning grounded in equity and relationships where people engage in self- and world-building through a radical praxis of hope. @DrKPGoessling
Jessica Kang is a PhD student in Sociology at the University of California, Irvine with over 10 years in experience in both academia and non-profit organizations. Currently, her research interests include pan-ethnic identity development, political participation and movement building. She recently found that Asian ethnic identity was related to non-electoral political participation, whereas Asian American pan-ethnic identity was related to registering to vote. Previously, at the Center for Social Inclusion, Jessica researched how to develop racially equitable messages for white swing audiences and presented workshops for grassroots organizations and local government entities. She also has experience in grassroots organizing in organizations such as CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities. When she is not working on cutting-edge research, Jessica enjoys reading post-apocalyptic novels, listening to musicals, and watching inspirational videos about organizing every aspect of one’s home.
Sadé L. Lindsay is a PhD Candidate in Sociology at The Ohio State University. As a Columbus, Ohio native, she has an extreme love for all things Buckeyes. She received her B.A. in Criminology and M.A. in Sociology at The Ohio State University in 2015 and 2017, respectively. Her research interests broadly examine how race and gender shape experiences of incarceration, interactions with police, and responses to deviant behavior. Her dissertation specifically focuses on the effectiveness of prison job training in obtaining post-incarceration employment. Sadé’s research has been published in The Prison Journal and the Journal of Research in Crime and Delinquency. To connect her research with her love for service, she has spent the past three years mentoring young men at an Ohio juvenile correctional facility to prepare them for reentry and reintegration. She has won multiple fellowships and awards for both her research and community work, including the American Society of Criminology’s Ruth D. Peterson Fellowship and The Ohio State University’s College of Arts and Sciences Graduate Student Award for Distinguished Service. Outside of her research and community work, she enjoys kickboxing, reading, and watching documentaries.
James Morone is a PhD Candidate in political science at University of Pennsylvania, expecting to finish in the summer of the 2019. His research tries to understand the context for grassroots organizing and movement-building in high-poverty urban neighborhoods, focusing especially on the institutions and social networks in these neighborhoods. He is particularly interested in how local structures shape opportunities for organizing for progressive economic policy change. Previously, he has volunteered with a grassroots project to change criminal justice policies in the state of Pennsylvania, and on a campaign to advance the cause of housing as a human right by exploring decommodified models of housing. James lives in Philadelphia, PA but grew up all around the northeastern U.S.
Kumar Ramanathan is a PhD student in Political Science at Northwestern University. His research explores how law and public policy shape racial and gender inequalities in the United States. He is planning to write a dissertation on the agenda-setting process that led up to the transformation of civil rights law in the mid-20th century, and is also interested in the historical dynamics of immigration policy and social welfare policy. He is passionate about teaching and hopes to design political science curricula that more intentionally encourage civic and political participation. He has a background in political journalism and activism, and is interested in finding new ways to connect scholarship, teaching, and civic engagement. He lives in Chicago, and has previously called Boston, Hong Kong, and India home.
Kathleen Sexsmith is Assistant Professor of Rural Sociology and Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies at Penn State University. She received her PhD in Development Sociology from Cornell University in 2017. Her research focuses on labor relations and occupational safety and health conditions for immigrant workers in agricultural industries, and on the social integration of immigrant families in the rural Northeast. She is one of the co-authors of Milked: Immigrant Dairy Farmworkers in New York State (2017), a participatory action research project with farmworker, worker advocacy, and university partners. At Penn State she teaches courses on gender and development, gender and environment, and labor in the global economy. She is the co-leader of a community-engaged course in which students are paired with a Spanish-speaking farmworker on a local dairy farm for partnership building and language and cultural exchange. Her research and teaching are firmly rooted in principles of community engagement and advocacy.
Chaniqua Simpson (she/her) is a Black queer feminist sociologist, writer, caregiver, and educator based out of Raleigh, North Carolina. She is currently a PhD candidate in sociology at NC State University, where she studies social movements, race, class, and gender. Her dissertation focuses on Black resistance movements and how Black organizers make sense of their work within the historical and contemporary cultural and political contexts. In addition to her graduate school/PhD work, Chaniqua also does community-based research and is an organizer with the Movement for Black Lives (M4BL). She is member of the Electoral Justice Project (EJP) of the M4BL. In 2018, she became an inaugural member of the EJP’s Electoral Justice League Fellowship – a cohort of 12 fellows from around the country working on electoral and issue-based campaigns. She is a co-chair of the political education committee of the Durham Chapter of Black Youth Project 100, a national, membership-based organization of Black organizers and activists ages 18-35. Chaniqua is a recipient of the 2017-2018 Chow-Green Dissertation Scholarship from Sociologists for Women in Society and the 2019-2020 ASA Minority Fellowship Program (MFP).
Randy Villegas, a Kern County native, is a PhD student in the Politics department at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Villegas earned his B.A. in Political Science at CSU Bakersfield in 2017, and his Associates Degree in Political Science from Bakersfield College in 2015. Villegas’s research interests are rooted in the experiences and communities he comes from: Latino Politics, Immigration, Civic Engagement, and Poverty in California’s Central Valley. Before beginning graduate school Villegas worked as a journalist and an organizer in Bakersfield, CA where he helped lead the 2016 Social Justice series, and the 2017 May Day Resistance march in Bakersfield. Villegas has written many reported pieces as well as opinion editorials in publications like The Los Angeles Times, The Bakersfield Californian, South Kern Sol, and El Popular. He is currently featured in the California State Capitol Museum, in their newest ‘Unity’ exhibit for his work around social justice issues in Kern County. After completing his PhD, he hopes to return to his community in Kern, or a similar underserved area in the Central Valley to inspire other young scholars, and make a difference in people’s lives.
Ariel White is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at MIT. She studies voting and voting rights, media, race, and the criminal legal system. Her work uses large datasets to measure individual-level experiences, and to shed light on people’s everyday interactions with government. She received her PhD in Government from Harvard University, where she was a doctoral fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy (at Harvard’s Kennedy School) and a Radcliffe fellow. Her research has appeared in the American Political Science Review, Science, and elsewhere.
Paula Winicki is a Ph.D. student in the Sociology Department at UC Berkeley. Her research explores how labor organizations effectively organize workers from disadvantaged backgrounds who lack power because of their ethnoracial, immigration, and criminal justice statuses. Throughout her professional life, Paula has been heavily involved in various campaigns on behalf of labor and immigrant right issues, both as a worker and as a union organizer and a researcher. She holds a BA from UC Berkeley and a Master’s in City Planning from MIT.
Diane Wong is an Assistant Professor and Faculty Fellow in the Gallatin School of Individualized Study at New York University. She holds a PhD in American Politics and MA in Comparative Race, Ethnicity, and Immigration from Cornell University. Her intellectual interests include American politics, Asian American studies, race and ethnicity, urban governance, comparative immigration, gender and sexuality, community studies, and qualitative research methods. Her current research focuses on intergenerational resistance to gentrification in New York City, San Francisco, and Boston Chinatowns. She draws from a unique combination of methods including ethnography, participatory mapping, archival research, augmented reality, and oral history interviews with tenants, organizers, restaurant and garment workers, small businesses, public health workers, and elected officials. Her research has been funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, Mellon Foundation, Smithsonian Asian Pacific American Center, New York Council for the Humanities, New York Public Library, and has appeared in the Urban Affairs Review, Women’s Studies Quarterly, Asian American Policy Review, and a variety of edited book volumes, anthologies, podcasts, and museum exhibits. Diane is currently based in New York City where she works in collaboration with grassroots groups like CAAAV: Organizing Asian Communities, Chinatown Art Brigade, and The W.O.W. Project.