OUR FACILITATORS

Our outstandingly dedicated facilitation team comes together across multiple disciples including social work, education, organizing, and legal advocacy to create powerful learning opportunities. We are proud that the investment we hold in compassionate anti-oppression and difference-valuing praxis is mirrored within our professional standards and values. 

 

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Martha Rodriguez (she/her/hers) is a Latina, woman of color community organizer and racial justice educator with a community organizing background. She is invested in culturally responsive teaching, and equitable outcomes. She focuses her facilitation and leadership development work with young people of color and students through concrete student engagement, trauma informed approaches, and healing work. Her work as an active board member for the JPNDC and campaign work in support of local POC owned businesses and immigrant's rights spans 15 years of commitment to her neighborhood and community in Boston. 

Stella Panzarella (she/her/hers) is a white-presenting, multiethnic CIS-gendered woman. She is an established racial justice educator, facilitator, and social justice entrepreneur local to Boston. She is centrally concerned with moving the racial justice work of white and privileged folks beyond conversation and comfort zones and into one of action and risk-taking. She is a recent graduate of London University with a Masters in International Law focusing on the human rights regime and immigration rights. In addition to being a co-founder of Anti-Racism Collaborative, she is a co-founder of Freedom Beyond, a nationwide network of contemplative action circles, and she works locally with the Boston chapter of Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ).

 

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Nicholas Johnson  (He, His, Him) was born and raised in Philadelphia PA, with roots in the Caribbean and the deep South. His experiences with inequality in the city in conjunction with wisdom of his community instilled a spirit of service and appreciation for the human diversity. He works in multicultural leadership development and is invested is assisting marginalized groups in developing means of self-determination. He has a background community organizing and social justice activism and how it correlates with building social and political capital. He earned his undergraduate from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania where he majored in International Studies & Human Communications with a minor in Ethnic Studies, and he is now pursuing his master’s degree in Global Studies & International Relations from Northeastern University.  He is also the co-founder of Culturally Rooted Reformations, an organization geared towards empowering oppressed groups through education, action, and solidarity both nationally and internationally. 

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Cara Suriyamongkol (she/her/hers) is a white-presenting mixed race Asian American CIS-gendered woman. She grew up in Central Massachusetts and was active in her undergraduate multicultural community, where she was lucky enough to be surrounded by amazing activists and organizers who had a big impact on her worldview. After college she taught in China and traveled throughout Asia, landing back in Boston about 5 years ago. Since then, she has been looking for ways to give back and better the Boston community, strongly identifying with the city and surrounding area as her home.

 

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Aba Taylor (she/her/hers) has been involved in social justice work for over 15 years supporting immigrants, people affected by HIV/AIDS, LGBTQI advocacy, women’s rights, and racial and economic justice movements. Having worked for the United Nations, African Services Committee, Lambda Legal, Liberty Hill Foundation, ACT-UP and a host of other civil rights, social justice and cultural organizations committed to uplifting myriad communities, she has promoted anti-violence and anti-bias strategies and education, facilitated numerous cultural competency and civil rights trainings, used media and cultural work to shift public perceptions, and created and managed programs to create greater opportunities for some of society’s most marginalized people. Aba Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree from Columbia University in New York City, a Master’s degree in Intercultural Service and Nonprofit Management from the School of International Training and is a Rockwood Leadership Institute Alumni. Taylor has also worked as a consultant for multiple community-based organizations, as a freelance writer for several cultural magazines and served on a number of boards. Prior to joining WMCN, Taylor was the deputy director of the Astraea Foundation for Justice.

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Pampi Das (she/they) is a culture worker dedicated to liberatory models for community self determination that center pathways to the therapeutic and empowering benefits of the expressive arts.

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Lila Givens (she/her/hers) is originally from Atlanta, Georgia, where she attended the University of Georgia and studied English and Psychology with the goal of being a high school English teacher. Her career took a slight detour when she joined City Year, an AmeriCorps program, in San Antonio, TX after graduating from college. After her two years of service, she then worked for three years working as a Program Manager with City Year in Washington, DC and then Manchester, NH. Lila is currently working in Belmont, MA for The PEAR Institute: Partnerships in Education and Resilience. PEAR works to support schools and afterschool organizations to meet the social emotional development of their students. She is also graduating in May with her MPA and hopes to spend her career working towards promoting education equity in our public schools. She loves the area of East Somerville where she currently lives with her partner, her sister, and their three dogs where, as you can imagine, there is lots of snuggling. She love rock climbing, mezcal, and playing Super Mario Brothers on the “old school” Nintendo.

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Lindsay Allen is a white, cisgender womyn living in Somerville.   She is a farmer, educator, and activist. Over the past 8 years, she has been leading farm and nature based educational programing throughout the United States and abroad.  Lindsay brings a social justice lens to her farming work and, no matter where she is based, focuses on food & environmental justice issues. She is interested in broadening the understanding of what we know about our food systems by focusing on the often untold stories of race and oppression within our farming and food systems. Lindsay is particularly interested in working with other white people on deconstructing and understanding what it means to be white in America today.

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Anastasia "Stacy" Collins (she/her/hers) is a cisqueer mixed woman of color and an academic librarian at Simmons College where she provides research, teaching, and learning support with an emphasis in critical and anti-oppressive praxis. She developed an Anti-Oppression Guide available through her library and has delivered several talks and processing workshops on equity work in many facets of library & information science. Outside of librarianship, Stacy is a children’s literature scholar and reviewer, addressing the legacy of whiteness and cis-hetero-patriarchy in publishing, reviewing, and critical scholarship and the role of all these in the production of diverse books for children and young adults. Through all her professional roles, Stacy is an equity & justice educator and advocate, and her facilitation centers on the visibility of learned cultural distortions and dismantling oppressive institutional structures.

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Rosa Carson, a queer, white, cis-woman, grew up in Wyoming, which meant little exposure to notions of racial and ethnic difference prior to attending Williams College, where she got involved with the Multicultural Center. She was part of a small team of facilitators working in schools in western Massachusetts to introduce multiculturalism and engagement with anti-racism work to faculty and students in mostly white working class communities in the region. Rosa has a BA in religion and a Master's of Public Policy from Tufts, and has done group facilitation around conflict resolution and community building in addition to racism and multiculturalism.

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Kevin Antwi is the middle-child of five, raised in Crown Heights, Brooklyn by Frank Antwi and Lydia Duah, who both emigrated from Ghana in the mid-1970’s. In his early years, Kevin attended Prep for Prep, a non-profit organization that sends ‘inner-city’ minority to selective independent schools in New York and beyond, in the 6th grade; after which he transitioned to Collegiate School for Boys, an all-boys independent school on the Upper West Side of Manhattan, which proved to be a formative experience that altered the trajectory  Kevin then matriculated to Tufts University where he received his B.A in Psychology and fell in love with his American Studies coursework and the academic exploration of the history of the intersectional identities that play a factor in oppression and inequity to this day.

Kevin has worked in the non-profit sector, through various internships and jobs, since his junior year in high school. He is committed to helping to undo systemic inequity that manifests in our current education system and adversely affects the outcomes of communities who are part of the global majority.

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Sebastián Villa Bahamón (he/him/his) is originally from Chicago and proudly identifies as a first generation American whose parents hail from Colombia, South America. Before settling in Boston, he studied at Loyola University Chicago and concentrated his work around addressing the implications of toxic masculinity for young self-identifying men. Eager to continue his commitment to social justice work, Sebastián eventually moved to North Carolina to serve as an immigration paralegal but overtime felt drawn back to his passion for educational equity and the ability to support young people in their personal and professional journey. Currently, he is the Career Services Manager at City Year Boston, a role that is responsible for the professional development of the site's 289 AmeriCorps Members.

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Aja Isler (she/her/hers) is a proud Afro-American woman originating from a suburb of Rochester, NY. While attending Colgate University, she majored in Social Justice Education and a minor in African American Studies with a concentration on race. With a desire to turn theory into action, Aja served as an AmeriCorps member with City Year Boston for two years.  Aja currently continues her work at City Year Boston as the AmeriCorps Member Support Coordinator providing and communicating resources and managing a handful of Affinity Groups to support the service year of over 280 AmeriCorps members.