Next Generation Leadership Alumni Network

NGL Fellows

Cohort 3, 2000

Karin Aguilar-San Juan
Assistant Professor
Comparative North American Studies
Macalester College
St. Paul, Minnesota

Karin Aguilar-San Juan is Assistant Professor of Comparative North American Studies at Macalester College in Minnesota, where her work focuses on race, racial inequality, and racial justice. Karin has edited an anthology titled The State of Asian America: Activism and Resistance in the 1990s, a book that is considered a “standard” text in Asian American Studies. She is frequently invited by student groups at college and universities to speak and conduct workshops on topics related to Asian American activism, and was chosen by Avenue Asia magazine as one of the “500 most influential Asian Americans.”

For nearly 10 years, Karin edited and published books and magazines for dollars & Sense magazine, a progressive economics monthly, and South End Press, an independent publisher of trade, non-fiction books. She has studied martial arts for more than 10 years, and won the title of “national champion” for Southern-style kung fu in 1992.

Karin is a second-generation Filipino American, born and raised in New England. She received a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Sociology from Brown University.
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Jay H. Aliren
Professor Computer Information Systems
Community College of Denver
Denver, Colorado

Jay Alire works as a professor of information technology at the Community College of Denver, where he teaches Web development and networking courses. As a faculty member he has been involved in various capacities with a diverse group of students at all levels of the economic and social scale, and is currently trying to bridge the so-called digital divide within the Denver community. He has organized informational workshops for non-profit organizations who want to have a "web presence."

As chairperson for the annual La Raza Youth Leadership conference, he initiated the inclusion of young women in the annual event. The conference focuses on developing leadership skills among young men and women through a variety of educational, economic, and social workshops where students are introduced to career options, leadership forums, cultural presentations, and responsibility issues. He has also worked as a faculty advisor to MEChA, a Chicano student group on campus whose primary mission is to advocate for a more culturally representative faculty and curriculum. Jay and his wife are also involved in the Peace and Dignity Journeys, an intercontinental run whose primary purpose is to promote the preservation of indigenous traditions, with respect, dignity, and honor being the cornerstones of the run. Jay received his B.A. in American History from Colorado State University and M.A. in Instructional Design Technology from the University of Colorado at Denver.
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Pablo Alvarado
Day Laborer Project Lead Coordinator
Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA)
Los Angeles, California

Pablo Alvarado works to coordinate day laborer hiring sites, to establish and administer leadership training and educational projects for day laborers, and represent and promote the rights of day laborers throughout Los Angeles. He is leading the formation of the Day Laborer Union, edits "Jornaleros al Dia" (Day Laborer Magazine), and is a member of the band "Jornaleros del Norte."

Prior to CHIRLA, Pablo was Volunteer Program Coordinator for the Institute of Popular Education of Southern California (IDEPSCA), and formerly President of the Board of Directors. While at IDEPSCA, Pablo's work focused on curriculum development, teacher training and recruitment, needs assessment, and the establishment of Spanish literacy programs.

Pablo holds a B.A. in Social Sciences from the National University of El Salvador.
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Dale G. Caldwell
Assistant Commissioner
Department of Community Affairs
Trenton, NJ

Dale G. Caldwell has worked in senior positions in the public, private and civic sectors. Mr. Caldwell became an Assistant Commissioner in the New Jersey Department of Community Affairs in 2002. Prior to this position he served as the Executive Director of the Newark Alliance from 1999 to 2002. As Executive Director of this non-profit/civic organization he worked closely with a Board of Directors of Corporate Chief Executive Officers (CEO) that was chaired by former Governor Thomas H. Kean. In this position he assisted the Mayor and Superintendent in their efforts to improve economic development and public education in Newark. Before joining the Newark Alliance Mr. Caldwell served as a Senior Manager and Global Recruiting Director at Deloitte Consulting from 1988 until 1999. His consulting practice focused on helping state agencies and school districts around the country improve administrative and financial operations. He managed the Firm's review of the New Jersey Department of Human Resources for the Florio Administration's Governor's Management Review Commission (GMRC).

Mr. Caldwell has been a member of the New Brunswick Board of Education since 1998, the Board of the Center for Non-Profits since 1999, and the Governor's Advisory Council on Volunteerism since 2001. He has been President of the Middlesex County Education Services Commission (MCESC) Board of Directors since 2001.

He has received New Jersey Monthly magazine's "New Jersey Pride Award in Education" in 1998, Business News New Jersey's "40 Most Successful People Under 40 Award" in 2000 and Leadership New Jersey's "Althea R. Wright Volunteer Leadership Award" in 2001.

Mr. Caldwell lives in New Brunswick. He was born on July 6, 1960 in Boston, Massachusetts. He graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania with Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree in finance. He is a former Certified Management Consultant (CMC) and Certified Financial Planner (CFP).
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Gillian Caldwell
Executive Director
WITNESS
New York, NY

Gillian Caldwell is a film maker and an attorney with experience in the areas of international human rights, civil rights, and family law. She is the Executive Director of WITNESS (www.witness.org), which uses video, technology, and media campaigns to promote and secure human rights around the world. Gillian was formerly the Co-Director of the Global Survival Network, where she coordinated a two-year undercover investigation into the trafficking of women for forced prostitution from Russia and the Newly Independent States. She also produced and directed Bought & Sold, a documentary film based on the investigation which received widespread media coverage, including BBC, CNN, ABC Primetime Live, ABC World News Tonight, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. She worked in South Africa during 1991 and 1992 investigating hit squads and security force involvement in township violence, and has worked in several U.S. cities on issues related to poverty and violence.

Gillian received her B.A. from Harvard University and her J.D. from Georgetown University, where she was honored as a Public Interest Law Scholar. In 2001, she was nominated by the Schwab Foundation one of forty Outstanding Social Entrepreneurs worldwide.
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Patricia Eugenia Campos
Assistant Legislative Representative
Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE)
Washington, DC

Patricia Campos currently works as the Washington Legislative Representative for the Union of Needletrades, Industrial and Textile Employees (UNITE), AFL-CIO (the garment and textile workers union), where she lobbies members of Congress, congressional staff and the Executive Branch on labor issues of concern to UNITE's members, including workers' rights, labor law, immigration, sweatshops, healthcare, social security and Medicare, campaign and election reform, civil rights and fair trade. Prior to joining UNITE, Patricia worked as the Assistant Director for LCLAA (Labor Council for Latin American Advancement), a national Latino trade union association that works to develop leadership and political participation among Latino trade unionist members of the AFL-CIO.

Patricia has experience both as an advocate and organizer. Upon graduating from Cornell University in 1997, Patricia joined the Corporate Affairs Department of UNITE, where she worked as the National Coordinator for the Students Stop Sweatshops Back-to-School Boycott of GUESS Clothing. She also worked to organize local and national support for the organizing efforts of garment sweatshop workers in Los Angeles, CA.

Patricia is the President of the DC-Metro Chapter of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and also serves in various leadership roles in several organizations that serve the local Salvadoran and immigrant community. She also serves as board member of the Bert Corona Leadership Institute. She is the recipient of the Professional Achievement Award given by Latinas Promoviendo Comunidad/Lambda Pi Chi Sorority Inc., a Portrait of Success Award given by the Scholarship Fund of the City of Alexandria, VA and was recently nominated to received the Young Women of Achievement Award given by the Women Information Network and the National Women Democratic Club.

Patricia received both a B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations and a Master of Public Affairs degree from Cornell University.
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Joan S. Hoffman
Senior Policy Analyst, Division of Violence Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia

Joan serves as a Senior Policy Analyst for the Office of the Director, Division of Violence Prevention at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's National Center for Injury and Violence Prevention. The Center for Disease Control funds ten colleges and universities to establish the National Academic Centers of Exellence on Youth Violence. The centers foster joint efforts between university researchers and communities to address the problem of youth violence. In her position, Joan directs the National Academic Centers of Excellence on Youth Violence and coordinates all youth violence activities across the division, as well as working to develop international work.

Joan previously served as consultant to the Inter American Coalition for the Prevention of Violence, which works toward a joint strategy to promote the implementation of comprehensive strategies for crime and violence reduction, based on prevention, education and social capital building across the Americas. The coalition is made up of the Inter American Development Bank, the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, the Pan American Health Organization, the Organization for American States, the World Bank and the Centers for Disease Control. Prior to this, Joan directed the National Network of Violence Prevention Practitioners, at Education Development Center and oversaw its evolution into a network of practitioners advancing an increasingly global approach to violence prevention practice and research.

She began her work in this field with the Boston Violence Prevention Program and Boston City Hospital where she directed a youth educator program for gang involved victims of violence and youth with violence induced disabilities. She is a board member of the Alliance for Justice, Peace Games, and the National Victims of Gang Violence Project. Joan completed her doctorate in health and social policy at the Florence Heller School for Advanced Studies for Social Welfare, Brandeis University. Her dissertation, a longitudinal nine-year participatory study, chronicles the process of violence desistance and transformation among youth affected by violence.
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Taj Rashad James
Executive Director
Movement Strategy Center
Oakland, California

Taj James is the Executive Director of the Movement Strategy Center (MSC), a new national intermediary that engages youth and adults across issues and regions through a collective visioning and mapping process that encourages collaboration and joint strategizing in order to develop stronger, more effective movements for democracy, equity and social change. MSC is intently focused on supporting the civic participation of youth and young adults and linking them to other community change efforts.

Most recently, Taj was the Director of Youth Policy and Development at Coleman Advocates for Children and Youth. At Coleman, Taj lead Youth Making a Change (Y-MAC) a diverse group of High School students who work as community organizers and public policy advocates working to make San Francisco a better place for children and youth. Before coming to Coleman, Taj worked as the Western Regional Field Organizer for the Black Student Leadership Network (BSLN) - a project of the Children's Defense Fund - connecting college students to community-based organizations and conducting community organizing and popular education trainings for young people. Taj also co-founded an educational non-profit think tank Institute N.H.I. that explores the relationships between education and contemporary social crises. Taj also helped to create a national network of youth workers and organizer called BLOC, Building Leadership Organizing Communities.

Taj is a board member of We Interrupt this Message, a media advocacy group that works to build the capacity of community-based organizations to battle media stereotypes and win organizing campaigns, and is on the board of LISTEN Inc., a national organization promoting youth development and strengthening social capital. Taj has published articles on youth organizing and empowerment in Third Force magazine and other community publications. Taj was named a "Local Hero" by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.

Taj received a B.A.S. with honors in Urban Anthropology from Stanford University and has conducted extensive research on corps-based youth development programs.
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Kenneth L. Johnson
Electrician / Vice-President, Milwaukee Board of Schools Directors
Milwaukee, Wisconsin

In 1999, Ken became an elected official on the Milwaukee Public Schools, Board of Schools Directors. Elected by his peers on the Board, Ken serves as Vice-President of the 9-member elected School Board serving 106,000 students and 15,000 staff members. He chairs the board’s Innovation and School Reform Committee and the Special Committee on Children with Special Needs. Ken’s most recent appointment came from the mayor of Milwaukee, as a Commissioner on the City of Milwaukee Redevelopment Authority. Ken works as a journeyman electrician, and has been an outspoken member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494.

Ken attended the University of Wisconsin School of Education. After leaving university, Ken’s interest in education and policy led him to serve on a high school advisory board and on his daughter’s school’s board of trustees, and finally to the public service positions he holds today. Ken places great importance on being a Christian in the Christian Episcopal Church and a husband and father.
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Annie Raquel Lanzillotto
Writer / Director / Performance Artist
Brooklyn, New York

Annie Lanzillotto is a Bronx-born poet, director, and performance-artist. Her award-winning poem Triple Bypass was published in the 2002 anthology, "The Milk of Almonds: Italian-American Women Writers on Food and Culture." Her installation of text and sculpture, A Stickball Memoir, was featured in City-Lore's "New York City Neighborhood Tent" on the Washington D.C. Mall for the 2001 Smithsonian Folklife Festival, a celebration of contemporary New York culture. Her play Sul Occh du 'Schapp (by the Eyes of the Shoes) premiered at CUNY's conference on "Biancheria" Italian-American Women's Domestic Needlework. Her 1998 one-woman show, How To Wake Up a Marine in a Foxhole opened at The Kitchen. Her site-specific community-based works at The Arthur Avenue Retail Market in the Bronx were commissioned by Dancing in the Streets and funded by grants from The Rockefeller Foundation MAP fund and The Puffin Foundation. These works collectively titled, a'Schapett! (wiping what's left on the plate with the heel of the bread) 1996-1998, turned the oral histories of pushcart peddlers into street opera and the day-dreams of butchers into countertop trapeze; How to Cook a Heart ran on Valentine's Days at Mario's Meat Market. Her 1993 play, Pocketing Garlic received a Franklin Furnace In Exile performance commission. Her 1993 debut solo show, Confessions of a Bronx Tomboy Part 1: My Throwing Arm (This Useless Expertise) premiered at Under One Roof theatre, and Manhattan Class Company's Performance Marathon. Curatorial initiatives include: Opera Vindaloo! at Dixon Place 1994-1996, and Poets & Preachers at The Kitchen 1998-2001, culminating with One Score: Sermons in the Age of A.I.D.S. an event which asked poets and preachers to reflect on what they've said over the first two decades of A.I.D.S.
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Sarah Ludwig
Executive Director
Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP)
New York, NY

Sarah Ludwig is executive director of the Neighborhood Economic Development Advocacy Project (NEDAP), a resource and advocacy center that provides legal, technical, and policy support to community groups organizing for economic justice in New York City. Sarah founded NEDAP in 1995 after serving as staff attorney at Inner City Press/Community on the Move in the South Bronx, and as co-director of the Community Reinvestment Clearinghouse at New York Law School. Since then, Sarah has trained and counseled hundreds of community organizations on financial services access, community reinvestment and fair lending laws, redlining, electronic benefits, financial modernization, and predatory lending. She has helped groups negotiate with financial institutions to invest in development of affordable housing, microenterprise, and alternative lending vehicles.

Sarah is also coordinator of New Yorkers for Responsible Lending, a state coalition to expose and combat predatory lending practices targeted at low income communities of color, and serves on the board of the Harlem Economic Justice Project, a grassroots group that is forming a community development credit union and other locally-based cooperatives to retain collective wealth in Harlem.

Sarah is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College and received joint degrees in law and urban planning from New York University.
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Will MacAdams
Graduate School
Columbia University

Will MacAdams has moved to New York City to start graduate school at Columbia University in Fall 2003.

Prior to this big move, Will served as the site director of CityKids @ Safe Space of New Haven, an arts-based youth leadership program. CityKids used theater, music, and community organizing to empower a diverse group of young people to positively impact their lives, communities, and the world. Prior to working at CityKids, Will was the founder and program coordinator of Integrated Arts, a multi-disciplinary arts program in the Connecticut Juvenile Justice system.

Will was also a theater artist who has done work in the U.S., Europe, Indonesia, and South Africa. He previously had written and directed, “Waiting for Justice,” a staged reading of the Amistad court trials, which was performed at the Long Wharf Theater. In 1998 and 1999 he worked with young people from New Haven and future officers from the New Haven Police Department to create and perform plays about police/youth relations. Will is currently writing “Freedom River,” and adaptation of Twain's The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, in which Jim is replaced by Owate, a shaman to the Yoruba river goddess Osun.

Will received his B.A. in Theater and Anthropology from Yale University in 1994.
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Pam McMichael
Former Co-Director
Southerners on New Ground
Louisville, Kentucky

Pam McMichael is a community activist and writer in Louisville, Kentucky. She is a co-founder of Southerners on New Ground (SONG), a regional project launched by Black and white southern lesbians to connect race, class, gender and sexual orientation through initiating and resourcing multi-issue organizing. She served as SONG's co-director for the first eight years of the project.

Pam's full-length play, Tender, brought together an inter-racial, cross-class, inter-generational coalition of artists and activists to work together. "A powerful work about life and death, class and color, and a rural Kentucky family's love for their mother," Tender was produced at the Kentucky Center for the Arts and opened Peace with Justice Week at the Fine Arts Center in Henderson, Kentucky. She is pursuing efforts to remount the play as part of a collaborative festival with a Black theater group in Knoxville, Tennessee.

Currently McMichael is working on the script of her second play about a local woman civil rights activist; developing a children's book series; co-coordinating Mosaic Migration: Stories of Diversity and Strength, a collaborative project using stories and songs to build cross cultural understanding; providing technical assistance, training and consultation to individuals and organizations particularly around issues of race; and having a great time reconnecting to local organizing after 8 years of extensive travel.

A native Kentuckian, Pam has a B.A. in Psychology from Georgetown College, Georgetown, Kentucky and M.A.T. from the University of Louisville.
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Rebecca Saltzman Miller
San Diego, California

Rebecca Miller spent the last four years as President and CEO of "Children of the World" and has served on their Board of Directors as a volunteer since 1995. Children of the World's mission is to prevent the abandonment of children and to provide nurturing alternatives to harmful institutional settings. It creates opportunities for children in desperate situations to be loved, honored, nurtured, educated and protected in a family environment. Most of the work of the organization is focused in Eastern Europe where Rebecca has traveled frequently to administer programs and to further develop local partnerships. She has led the organization to transition from a small granting foundation into a recognized leader in developing policies and programs necessary to create cultural and sociological transformation in the area of child protection. Children of the World was Rebecca's first non-profit experience. She previously spent fifteen years as an executive with Federated Department Stores; her last role was as the Director of Merchandising Business Systems at the corporate subsidiary, Federated Systems Group.

Rebecca currently serves as member of the Social Action Committee at her synagogue, Temple Adat Shalom, and is an advocate for the Reform Jewish Movement. She has served as an advisor to other non-profit organizations including Casi Foundation for Children and World without Boundaries. She participated in Senator Landrieu's task force on the de-institutionalization of children and the Pro-Child Network of foreign and Romanian NGO's working with their governments to further child protection policies in Romania.

Rebecca was born and raised in New York. In 1999 she married Joel and they recently brought Anna Isabelle into the world. Rebecca is now enjoying an extended maternity leave at their home in San Diego, California.
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Kim A. Miyoshi
Executive Director
Kids First! Coalition
Oakland, California

Kim Miyoshi is the Executive Director of a progressive youth advocacy organization in Oakland, California. Kim is currently working to develop a core of youth and parent advocates to shape school reform efforts and to provide leadership for a broad range of city-wide youth planning initiatives in Oakland.

Prior to her current job, Kim has supported numerous organizing efforts to eliminate domestic and international human rights abuses that disproportionately impact youth and poor communities of color here and abroad. She was Statewide Director for the No on Proposition 21 (Juvenile Injustice) Campaign and the Corporate Accountability Director for the Anti-Nike Sweatshop Campaign.

Kim is a volunteer and co-founder of the NOSEI Network, comprising socially conscious, progressive Japanese American and Japanese National youth and adults dedicated to the creation of safe spaces, bringing about political change, and creating meaningful roles by actively engaging in a community building process.

Raised in Los Angeles, Kim graduated from UCSB with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing and spent her last year abroad in a Global Securities and Development program at Meiji Gakuin University in Yokohama, Japan.
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Hez Norton
Associate Director
Resource Generation
Boston, Mass.

Hez Norton is the Executive Director of Resource Generation, an alliance of young people supporting and challenging each other to effect social change through the creative, responsible, and strategic use of their financial and other resources. Founded in 1995 by young adults with wealth, Resource Generation serves as a network building and community building group for people under 35 with wealth. The organization promotes innovative ways for young adults with wealth to align their personal values and political vision with their financial resources.

Prior to working with Resource Generation, Hez was a Southern Community Partner, a fellowship of the Lyndhurst Foundation. With the start-up support of the Lyndhurst Foundation, Hez founded and directed North Carolina Lambda Youth Network (NCLYN) in 1996. NCLYN is the nation's first statewide organizing and leadership network led by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and allied (lgbta) young people who are working for social change. Prior to founding NCLYN, Hez was a North Carolina Public Ally and worked with the N.C. Commission on National and Community Service to develop N.C. Youth Voice.

Hez is on the board of the Funding Exchange. She attended Duke University with a volleyball scholarship and graduated with a degree in Public Policy. Hez lives with her partner Arrington in Boston.
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Cara Page
Artistic Consultant, Director
Deeper Waters Productions
Durham, North Carolina

Cara Page is a multi-media performance artist, writer, educator, and fiber sculptor. She is founder and Artistic Director of Deeper Waters Productions, a consulting/performance company that promotes the arts as tools of learning, transformation, activism and healing. Cara produces and facilitates multi-media events, classes and workshops in the areas of communication, leadership, self-esteem building and coalition work. She has been an activist/artist for more than ten years, organizing for the liberation of People of Color, women and children. Her organizing work continues to focus on creating models of economic sustainability and leadership development through the arts.

Cara has performed and produced many original works on healing, oppression and transformation, in collaboration with other artists, activists and intergenerational communities across the country. Her work with youth and adults has spanned the range of working with schools to rehabilitation programs teaching life skills through the arts. She continues to work with community activists in creating trainings and interdisciplinary curriculums on the use of the arts as tools for liberation and healing.

Cara is currently on sabbatical from Deeper Waters Productions in order to embark on two new projects. One project is looking at alternative community models of education. As a faculty member of a new social justice charter school, the Ann Atwater Community School, she will be bringing her tools of arts-based philosophy teaching to the ideology of essential schooling.

The other project is looking at models of sustainable economics and micro-business in art and design for Communities of Color. She is the Artistic Coordinator of a new coalition of aspiring and established Artists of Color in Durham, NC, which builds tools of leadership, liberation, and economic empowerment through the practice of the arts.

She holds a B.A. in Liberal Arts from Hampshire College and is an alumna of G.I.F.T. (Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training, sponsored by the Center for Third World Organizing and Southern Empowerment Project.)
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Carmen Ramirez
Community Relations Specialist
Community Relations Office, City of Longmont
Longmont, Colorado

Carmen Ramirez is a Community Relations Specialist who facilitates and coordinates mediations for the City of Longmont and the Courts to enable resolution of disputes among individuals, organizations and city officials, such as those involving neighborhood and landlord/tenant disputes. She also raises community awareness of city programs by conducting presentations to schools, courts and community agencies.

In addition, Carmen is vice-chair of the Multi-Ethnic Action Committee for the Boulder Valley School District, which is an advisory committee to the district superintendent on curriculum, hiring and other educational matters affecting children of color. She is a steering committee member of the Latino Taskforce for Boulder County, a grassroots organization that is conducting a needs assessment of Latino families in Boulder County, and was recipient of the Boulder County Community Action Multicultural Award.

Carmen was raised in El Paso, Texas and attended the University of Texas at El Paso. Carmen is a certified Public Housing Manager trained in mediation and facilitation. She is married and has three grown children, and credits her husband Ray for much of her success because of his support, encouragement and belief in her ability to create change within systems.
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Thomas A. Saenz
Vice President of Litigation
Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF)
Los Angeles, California

Thomas Saenz is the Vice President of Litigation at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), a national organization dedicated to securing and promoting the civil rights of Latinos in the United States. As Vice President, he supervises all of MALDEF's litigation efforts nationwide and oversees MALDEF regional offices in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Antonio.

Tom joined MALDEF as a staff attorney in 1993, became Los Angeles Regional Counsel in 1996, and Vice President in 2001. He has served as counsel in numerous civil rights cases involving such matters as Proposition 187, affirmative action, educational equity, employment discrimination, language rights, and day laborer rights. Tom also serves as a member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, a seven-member appointed body. Tom also teaches a course in Civil Rights Litigation as an adjunct lecturer at the U.S.C. Law School.

Tom is a native Californian. He graduated summa cum laude from Yale University with a B.A. in history and political economy, and received his law degree from Yale Law School.
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Ryan Streeter
Director
Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at The United States Department of Housing and Urban Development
Washington DC

Ryan Streeter is Director of the Center for Faith-Based and Community Initiatives at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Prior to this position, Ryan served in the Bush administration as an Associate Director in the White House Office of Faith-Based & Community Initiatives. He also served as a research fellow at Hudson Institute, where he advised public and private leaders on a variety of public policy issues, and acted at a Special Assistant for Neighborhood Policy under former Indianapolis mayor Stephen Goldsmith. Ryan has authored and edited several books and numerous articles on civic engagement and social policy and also directed the Institute's Social Enterprise Initiative. Ryan co Authored the book, The Age of Empowerment, co-authored with Stephen Goldsmith, former Indianapolis mayor, and Transforming Charity. Ryan is a classical humanist who wandered into public policy and has published articles on topics as diverse as German philosophy and welfare surpluses in publications as varied as Continental Philosophy Review, New Vico Studies, The Christian Science Monitor, and The Washington Times. He has also worked as a management consultant in Germany.

Ryan is actively involved on the board of The Oaks Academy, a classical elementary school of Christian confession aimed at racial and economic reconciliation, which has gained national attention. He also serves on the boards of an Indianapolis-wide youth advocacy coalition and a Croatian institute for cultural renewal.

Ryan holds a Ph.D. from Emory University and has a M.A. in philosophy from Northern Illinois University, and a B.A. in theology and ancient Greek from Moody Bible Institute. He resides in Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife, Kathryn, and their two children, Alexandra and Max.
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Sarah Van de Wetering
Consultant
Missoula, Montana

Sarah Van de Wetering works as a writer, editor, and policy consultant on western natural resource policy issues. Her specialties are water and public lands law, and her most recent focus has been on collaborative, community-based environmental conservation. She helped create and was the original editor of the Chronicle of Community, and recently published a book titled "Across the Great Divide: Explorations in Collaborative Conservation and the American West."

Sarah previously worked for the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, the Grand Canyon Trust, and the Natural Resources Law Center at the University of Colorado School of Law. She received her B.S. in wildlife biology and political science from Colorado State University and her J.D. from the University of Colorado.

Sarah lives in Missoula, Montana, with her husband, Josh, and her two children, Mayah and Noah.
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David Van Tasse
Plant Scientist
The Land Institute
Salina, Kansas

David Van Tassel works as a plant scientist at the Land Institute in Salina, Kansas, where he conducts genetic, breeding, and agro-ecological research, and educates interns, graduate students, and the public. The Land Institute is an independent, non-profit research and education center that is at the center of an effort to develop new, sustainable forms of agriculture that mimic the ecology of natural systems (such as prairie.)

David's work is focused on the breeding of several new crops, including perennial rye, perennial sorghum and perennial sunflower. In his free time, David is assembling his own private ecosystem which so far includes Kristin (spouse), Cedar and Luke Oak (young sons), a dog, two cats, twelve geese, a couple dozen hens, tomatoes, peppers, okra, beans, basil and more beets than he knows what to do with.

Born in the U.S. in 1969, David was raised in Hong Kong until he left for college in Oregon (B.S. in Biology, George Fox University). He received a Ph.D. in Plant Biology from the University of California-Davis in 1997.
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Rhea Williams-Bishop
Consultant
Jackson, Mississippi

Rhea is currently working as a consultant providing assistance to non-profits and educational institutions with grant writing, family and child advocacy, public policy, and educational enhancement. Previously she served as the Children's Health Insurance Program Coordinator for the Southern Regional Office of the Children's Defense Fund - Black Community Crusade for Children in Jackson, Mississippi.

Prior to work at CDF, she assisted communities and school districts in establishing family resource centers, as well as promoting the establishment of Communities In Schools, a stay-in-school national program model for at-risk youth. Early in her career with the Department of Treasury, she coordinated and assisted hundreds of local citizens applying for the Earned Income Tax Credit. During this time she also coordinated health, safety and security programs for all employees of the Dr. A.H. McCoy Federal Building in Jackson, Mississippi. Rhea is one of the founding members of the Central Mississippi Chapter of 100 Black Women, a member of the Jackson Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, and serves on the boards of Cherish Our Children International (COCI), as well as Children's Health Matters. She is the wife of Beverly "Bev" Bishop II and the mother of Beverly "Trey" Bishop III, Amirhea "MiMi" Bishop, and Russell "Russ" Bishop. Rhea believes that her experience as a wife and mother gives her added insight and understanding of issues facing children and families.

Rhea received both her undergraduate and graduate degrees from Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi, in the fields of Urban Affairs and Public Policy.
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Francis Wong
Creative Director
Asian Improv aRts
San Francisco, California

Francis Wong is Creative Director of Asian Improv aRts, and is President of the Justice Matters Institute, both in San Francisco. He has been an award-winning composer and saxophonist for the past twenty years, is a recording artist who has been featured on more than thirty titles, and a music and web producer.

Francis has worked to pioneer the forming of perspectives on the nature of Asian American cultural identity. His most recent accomplishments as an artist are winning the Meet the Composer New Residency grant for three years and participating in the Grammy-nominated compact disc recording by Anthony Brown's Asian American Orchestra. According to Phil Elwood of The San Francisco Examiner, Mr. Wong is "among the great saxophonists of his generation." For Asian Pacific Heritage Month 2002 he was named an "Outstanding Local Hero" by KQED-TV in San Francisco.

Francis received his B.A. in economics from Stanford University.
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