2013-2014 Cross Movement Yearlong Fellows
HORACIO ARROYO | Director of Citizenship & Community Education, CHIRLA
Horacio Arroyo has worked at CHIRLA for 11 years, and became a member while still in High School. In 2001, he was one of the first members of CHIRLA’s Wise Up! Youth Education and Leadership Development Program and helped pass California’s in-state tuition AB540 legislation which has allowed thousands of undocumented students to continue their Higher Education in California colleges and Universities. For the last 11 years, Horacio has worked as a Youth Organizer, Regional Organizer, Civic Engagement Coordinator, and now is the Director of the Civic Engagement and Community Education Department. He has spent the last few years building new programs that promote civic engagement and immigrant integration in California which include CHIRLA’s statewide California New Americans Vote Campaign which last year registered over 5,000 new voters and contacted over 48,000 voters statewide. Other programs include Citizenship Services, Healthcare Education, etc.
DEDRICK ASANTE-MUHAMMAD | Sr. Director of the Economic Department, NAACP
Dedrick Muhammad is currently serving the NAACP as the Sr. Director of the Economic Department and Executive Director of the Financial Freedom Center. Dedrick’s past civil rights experience includes his time at Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network as the National Crisis Coordinator and then as the National Field Director. Dedrick’s professional work in economic equity began at United for a Fair Economy (UFE) as the coordinator of the Racial Wealth Divide Project. Later, Dedrick went on to the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) where he cofounded the “Race and Economy Forum” with the Economic Policy Institute’s Algernon Austin. During this time, Dedrick also produced the reports “40 Years Later: The Unrealized American Dream” and “Challenges to Native American Advancement: The Recession and Native America”. Dedrick received his Bachelors of Arts Degree in Political Science from Williams College and went on to receive his Masters of Arts in Systematic Theology from Union Theological Seminary.
MEHRDAD AZEMUN | National Field Director, NPA
Mehrdad Azemun is National Field Director for National People’s Action and is currently on loan to the Fair Immigration Reform Movement / Center for Community Change. Mehrdad was born in Iran and came to the US in 1978. He has nearly 15 years of experience in issue-based, electoral and legislative campaigns at the local, state and national level. Mehrdad’s roots are in community organizing; his first job in the realm was in 2001 at the Organization of the NorthEast in Chicago. He then worked for 6 years at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. From 2009-2010, Mehrdad served as National Field Director for the Reform Immigration for America campaign and was a Senior Fellow at New Organizing Institute in 2011. At NPA, Mehrdad is helping build a power-building program, which aims to build governing power on the state-wide level. He enjoys spending time with family and friends; cooking, travel and sailing.
MICHAEL BOSSE | Deputy National Program Director, Sierra Club
Michael is Deputy National Program Director at the Sierra Club. He works with the nationwide staff and volunteers of the Club’s Conservation Department to combat climate disruption, advance clean energy solutions and protect America’s wild places. Prior to joining the Club in 2013, Michael was operational co-founder at NGO Equal Access International and helped led the organization from inception in 2001 to an international staff of more than 150 in nine countries. Equal Access is a development communications NGO working with local staff and partners to create positive change for millions of underserved people by delivering critically needed information and education through innovative media, appropriate technology and direct community engagement. Prior to joining Equal Access, Michael worked as an employee relations lawyer in the Melbourne Office of global law firm Herbert Smith Freehills.
MOLLY BROOKSBANK | Director of Digital Engagement, Sierra Club
Molly leads the Digital Engagement team at Sierra Club, including online campaigns, innovation and fundraising. She is responsible for growing and developing the online base of the Sierra Club, and ensuring that the Sierra Club’s digital efforts are seamlessly integrated with the organizing and direct response programs. Her teams also oversee digital partnerships and coalition work. Molly came to Sierra Club following a career at Convio, where she served in a variety of roles since their founding as a start-up. Most recently she was the lead product marketer for Convio’s enterprise product suites. She also led a team of strategy consultants, serving national organizations in a variety of spheres including international relief, public broadcasting, and youth organizations. She studied Asian Studies at the University of Texas, and was fortunate to live and travel for several years in Japan. She now lives in Austin with her husband and young daughter.
VONDA BRUNSTING | Director, Capital Stewardship Program, SEIU
Vonda Brunsting is the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at SEIU. As part of its vision for a just society, SEIU created the Capital Stewardship Program as a center of excellence for engaging the capital markets and financial institutions in innovative ways. Vonda came to SEIU through Local 615 in Boston, working on the Justice for Janitors Campaign after spending many years as a community organizer in Chicago, New York and Boston with the Industrial Areas Foundation. In addition, she founded the Trustee Leadership Forum for Retirement Security and serves on the Board of the Responsible Endowments Coalition. Her passion for organizing comes through a childhood in the Midwest, watching her family struggle with low wage factory work and never asking “why?” and yet experiencing the potential power of collective action through their commitment to the church and community.
XIOMARA CORPEÑO | Director of Organizing, CHIRLA
Xiomara Corpeño is CHIRLA’s Director of Organizing. She was born and raised in an immigrant family in Los Angeles. Xiomara began her activism while a student at UC Riverside, first through the AFL-CIO’s Union summer and later on campus where she joined efforts to expand domestic partnership and affirmative action in the UC system. After graduating, she worked at SCOPE, organizing black and brown communities on the west side. She then spent two years in El Salvador to learn more about her family history as well as work with the Telecommunications Workers Union and the Textile Workers Union. She arrived at CHIRLA in 2004 to spearheaded CHIRLA’s first in-house voter program. Now as Director of Organizing, she oversees numerous campaigns and programs that expand from organizing high school and college students, to fighting for the rights of low wage workers such as day laborers and domestic workers. Xiomara is also currently co-lead of CHIRLA’s immigration reform campaign.
MARY DAILEY | Lead Organizer & Social Security Team Leader, CCC
Mary Dailey has worked for the Center for Community Change since 2005. She led CCC’s participation in HCAN. She leads CCC’s work on retirement security which places an emphasis on grassroots leadership involvement and a proactive policy agenda. Mary grew up in upstate New York and attended public schools. She graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982. From 1984-86 she was staff for the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES.) She started working as a community organizer with the North West Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition in 1986. While at the NWBCCC she staffed many successful campaigns winning city and state reforms in housing and public education and negotiating agreements with lenders and developers. During this time the NWBCCC partnered with NY ACORN on several important collaborations. Mary has mentored several career organizers who now work in labor or lead community organizing groups.
BILL DEMPSEY | Senior Vice-President of Finance & Program Director, Health, NCF
Bill Dempsey has over 25 years of experience managing innovative social change groups. He currently serves as Nathan Cummings Foundation’s (NCF) Senior Vice-President and Program Director, managing the foundation’s investment program and financial operations; and overseeing NCF’s Health Program grants. Prior to coming to Nathan Cummings, Bill directed investor programs for international labor pension funds, leading corporate governance reform efforts in a variety of industries, developing responsible investment programs and training trustees. Bill also co-founded the CtW Investment Group (www.ctwinvestmentgroup.com), which advises public and private sector pension funds sponsored by a variety of unions. In the early 2000’s, Bill served as a Program Officer for the Veatch Program, a funder of innovative non-profit groups throughout the U.S. A native Midwesterner, Bill began his career organizing community reinvestment groups in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and in Gary, Indiana.
AMANDA DEVECKA-RINEAR | Campaign Director, NPA
Amanda Devecka-Rinear is National People’s Actions National Campaign Director. She currently leads a campaigns team focused on quality lending, a path to citizenship, and investment in programs that matter to us through pushing back on austerity politics and income inequality. Amanda began her career as Program Director for New York City PoliceWatch, part of the Ella Baker Center for Human Rights. She was a founding board member of FIERCE and the recipient of a Union Square Award in 2003 for work around criminal justice in NYC. She was part of city-wide student organizing to successfully preserve in state tuition, and thus access to public higher education for Immigrant New Yorkers. In 2005 as a lead organizer at NPA affiliate, the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition she led an effort that brought 25 million dollars to construct new schools in one of NYC’s most overcrowded school districts.
LARA GRANICH | Director, MO Jobs with Justice
Lara Granich is the Director of Missouri Jobs with Justice. JwJ builds statewide power for workers’ rights and economic policy issues. She has helped lead successful campaigns to increase the minimum wage, defend affirmative action, support workers organizing unions and bargaining for better lives at work. She also currently co-chairs the JwJ National Board. Lara is a native Missourian where she was a member of the IATSE Local B-2 for seven years. She attended Macalester College in St. Paul, MN graduating with a degree in International Studies including field work in Colombia. Lara worked at the Instituto Teologico da Bahia in Salvador da Bahia, Brazil before returning to Missouri to work as a neighborhood organizer. While working as union organizer she was a founding of the St Louis JwJ coalition before becoming state director. Lara lives in St Louis with her husband Brendan Smith. They are a super aunt/uncle team to a dozen nieces and nephews.
STACEY R. LONG, ESQ. | Director of Public Policy, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Stacey is the Director of Public Policy and Government Affairs at the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force, the country’s premier social justice organization that has promoted the rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) people for over 40 years. Prior to her work at the Task Force, Stacey served as deputy director at Bread for the City, a local nonprofit that assists low-income residents in Washington, D.C. Deeply committed to women’s issues, Stacey led Wisconsin’s first Office of Women’s Health and oversaw a $3.5 million statewide women’s health campaign. She also served as the Women’s Program Director for Howard Brown Health Center the area’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender organization based in Chicago, Illinois. Stacey received a bachelor’s degree in Africana Studies from Vassar College; a J.D. from the University of Wisconsin Law School; and a Nonprofit Management Executive certificate from the Georgetown University Public Policy Institute.
KICA MATOS | Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice, CCC
Kica Matos is the Director of Immigrant Rights and Racial Justice at the Center for Community Change. She has extensive experience as an advocate, community organizer and lawyer. She served as Deputy Mayor in the city of New Haven, where she oversaw the city’s community programs and launched new programs and initiatives including included prisoner re-entry, youth and immigration integration. Matos was previously the Executive Director of JUNTA, New Haven’s oldest Latino advocacy organization. She also worked as an assistant federal defender for death sentenced inmates and with the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund and Amnesty International on death penalty and criminal justice issues. She has a B.A. from Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand, an M.A. from the New School and a J.D. from Cornell Law School. She has received awards including the 2005 John F. Kennedy New Frontier Award and New Haven Register’s “Person of the Year” award.
TAINA S. MCFIELD | Program Officer of NCF Fellowship, NCF
Ms. McField began her career as an educator, activist and collaborator working with young people in various settings to mobilize their voices around human rights issues and obtain their life goals. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland with a concentration in Government, Politics and Family Studies where she honed her craft in youth and social justice advocacy as the Vice President of the College Park chapter of the NAACP. Ms. McField currently serves as Program Officer managing the Collaborative Initiatives portfolio and the Fellowship Program at the Nathan Cummings Foundation where her work aligns with the Foundation’s operational tenants: seeking to build a more interdependent, socially and economically just society.
Taina lives in New York City with her husband and son. In addition to her work at NCF, she is serving the community as an executive board member of the Manhattan Chapter of Mocha Moms.
MARY NICOL | National Activist Network Director, Greenpeace
Mary Nicol is the National Activist Network Director at Greenpeace. She is inspired by activism full of love and hope and spends her days thinking about how build stronger networks across the progressive movement. Currently, she is working to build Greenpeace Greenwire, a social network that will allow Greenpeace supporters from across globe to build strong relationships and run high impact campaigns together.
Mary began her environmental career advocating for an equitable and well planned transit system in Atlanta. Since then, she has worked on legislative and corporate campaigns on the local, state, and national levels, including recruiting 6,000 students to Power Shift 2007 and campaigning to get Congress to adopt just climate legislation. With her roots in local organizing, facilitation and training, Mary has always specialized in mobilizing people to make change.
JODEEN OLGUÍN-TAYLER | Field & Online Campaign Director, Caring Across Generations
Jodeen is the Field and Online Campaign Director at Caring Across Generations and has been leading campaigns in progressive movements for over 10 years. Her experience includes Campaign Director for the National Domestic Workers’ Alliance, Deputy Field Director at MoveOn.org; and campaigner with UNITE-HERE. She’s currently leading Caring Across Generations’ work to integrate field campaigning, on-line and culture change work to coalesce the cross-demographic and cross-sector political power needed to win state and national policy change.
With a history of work in the immigrant rights and labor movement, she is currently a NoVo foundation fellow in the Move To End Violence program– which aims to develop infrastructure and campaigning strategies within the sector working to end violence against women and girls. Jodeen is a SouthWest born Chicana whose family hails from the San Luis Valley in Colorado. She currently lives in Brooklyn and when not campaigning is traveling with friends, eating desserts, scuba diving.
JEFF PARCHER | Director of Communications, CCC
Jeff Parcher is the Communication Director at the Center for Community Change where he brings over 25 years of experience developing and executing communication strategies to work on behalf of raising the voices of low-income people into the decisions that impact their lives. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Parcher served as an internationally recognized communication strategist. In 2007, he was Senior Communication Advisor to Governor Bill Richardson’s presidential campaign. He has been engaged by numerous non-political clients, including several Fortune 500 companies in areas such as: strategic communication planning, crisis communications, organizational change management, media training, speech writing, team building and marketing. For 12 years, Mr. Parcher was the Director of Debate at Georgetown University. Mr. Parcher holds a degree in law from George Mason University School of Law. In his spare time, he is a world class poker player.
LUIS PEREZ | Legal Services Program Manager, CHIRLA
Since August, 2012, Luis has coordinated CHIRLA’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) legal clinic. Through his work, he has helped thousands of young immigrants in California apply for DACA. The education and outreach he has organized has insured that thousands more young people across the United States are provided with accurate information about DACA’s requirements, and warned of immigration fraud.
Luis’s work as a civic leader began years before the June 15, 2012 announcement of DACA. For over a decade, Luis has been involved in the struggle for immigrants’ rights. His work has been instrumental in securing the California Dream Act and insuring that a Federal Dream Act was introduced in Congress. Luis now manages CHIRLA’s Legal Services which include DACA, Naturalization, Legal Permanent Resident renewals and other forms of immigrant youth law.
SARAH REECE | Academy for Leadership & Action Director, The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force
Relationship-builder, problem solver, trainer, camper, & bow-tie wearer. Since 1992, Sarah has been in the trenches of progressive candidate and issue campaigns. Sarah’s most challenging, yet rewarding roles were as the ’04 KY “NO on the Amendment” (marriage) Campaign Manager and the ’08 CA “NO on Proposition 8” (marriage) Statewide Field Director—which collectively raised over $2M, mobilized over 50K volunteers and identified nearly 200K pro-LGBT voters. Sarah is passionate about organizing, the power of collective action, racial justice, ballot measures, being a Kentuckian, sushi, being legally married to her wife Kathleen since ’08 and co-parenting Arthur (24 yr. old son), Ottabrina and Tallulah (4 yr. old dachshund-Chihuahuas). Prior to joining the Task Force in ’02, Sarah was the District Scheduler for Representative Holt (NJ-12), Chief of Staff to Councilwoman Ward-Pugh (Louisville, KY) and a Program Manager at The Clinton Group (Louisville, KY). Sarah is based in DC.
NATHAN SANTRY | Action Team Director, Greenpeace
In 1988 at the age of 18, Nathan began as a volunteer and door canvasser for Greenpeace in Seattle. For years Nathan lived on couches and in basements, cars and abandoned buildings so that he could live the life of a volunteer activist, meeting and learning from many mentors. Along the way, Nathan slipped into a Fine Art degree in sculpture and video art and then joined staff in 1996 in Washington, DC. Nathan is now the Director of the Action Team within Greenpeace USA, managing a dozen troublemakers split between the coasts. He had no idea at 18 that he would have ended up making a career out of non-violent creative environmental activism—this year marks 25 years with Greenpeace. Nathan lives in Hyattsville, Maryland with his spouse Kate, 2 year old Miriam, old hound dog Lucy and cat Pug and Zebedee.
ERICA SMILEY | Director of Campaigns, Jobs with Justice
Erica Smiley is the Director of Campaigns for Jobs with Justice. She sits on the board of the Highlander Research and Education Center and the editorial board of the online publication Organizing Upgrade. In the past, she has organized with community groups such as Progressive Maryland and the Tenants and Workers Support Committee (now Tenants and Workers United) in Virginia. She was National Field Director of Choice USA, a pro-choice organization focusing primarily on youth access to reproductive healthcare. And she previously held the position of Senior Field Organizer for the Southern Region at Jobs with Justice. She is originally from Greensboro, North Carolina.
MARIANA VITURRO | Deputy Director, NDWA
Mariana Viturro is the Deputy Director at the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA), the leading organization working to build power, respect, and fair labor standards for the estimated two million nannies, housekeepers and elderly caregivers in the United States. She started organizing in the San Francisco Bay Area in 1998. Mariana has been organizing with immigrant communities and communities of color for the last 15 years. Prior to NDWA, as the Co-director of St. Peter’s Housing Committee, Mariana guided a programmatic transition from service provision to organizing and then facilitated the organizational merger with a sister organization resulting in the creation of Causa Justa::Just Cause. Since March 2011, she has her strong operational and organizing skills and a commitment to creating a culture of support and accountability to NDWA.
CHARLES LEE WHITE, JR. | National Field Director, NAACP
A native of the Sea Islands of Charleston, SC the Rev. Charles Lee White, Jr. serves as the National Field Director and Director of Field Organizing for the NAACP. He earned a B.A. in Religious Studies from the University of South Carolina, and a Masters of Divinity concentrating in Christian Education from Interdenominational Theological Center in Atlanta, Georgia. He is an ordained Elder and Full Member of the South Carolina Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, where he served as Lay Campus Minister at USC and Columbia College, and Senior Pastor of the Clover Parish. White has also served in churches in the North Georgia and Arkansas Conferences of United Methodist Church. White has served the NAACP at every level from being elected President of the Sea Island Youth Council in 1984 through several leadership positions at the NAACP. He is a Golden Heritage Life Member of the NAACP.