Scot got his first job as a community organizer in 1980, and since then has worked in organizational management, social research, public policy analysis and advocacy, and philanthropy. He also has a background as a teacher and a service provider working with low-income communities to create accountable organizations that are responsive to community needs.
Ramon Ramirez is the President of PCUN-Pineros y Campesinos Unidos del Noroeste (Northwest Treeplanters and Farmworkers United), Oregon’s farmworkers union and largest Latino organization in the state. Originally from Los Angeles, Ramon has made Oregon his home for the past 40 years dedicating his life work to immigrant rights and social justice. In his spare time he enjoys making flower arrangements, cooking and time with family. He loves new challenges and looks forward to working for Evolve to make it a successful organization.
john a. powell is the Director of the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society, which brings together researchers and scholars, community partners, strategic communicators, and policymakers to identify and eliminate the barriers to an inclusive, just, and sustainable society and to create transformative change toward a more equitable world.
Richard founded the Grassroots Policy Project in 1993 to advance organizational and social movement strategy and practice using frameworks for power, worldview and ideology and strategic inquiry. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s Richard was active in the civil rights and anti-war movements. From 1970 to 1982 he helped found and lead the New American Movement, a democratic socialist organization involved in many local organizing efforts, including housing, energy and full -employment. Richard also became involved in community environmental health organizing.
As President of the Edward W. Hazen Foundation, Lori Bezahler leads a national grant making program supporting organizing and leadership by young people and communities of color to dismantle structural inequity based on race and class. During 2013, Ms. Bezahler was also a Senior Fellow at the Center for Social Inclusion where she now serves on the Board of Directors. Her writing and commentary have appeared in The Nation, the Washington Post, Foundation Review, the Journal of Responsive Philanthropy, and on numerous blogs and other media outlets.
Ron Shiffman is a city planner with over 50 years of experience providing architectural, planning, community economic development and sustainable development assistance to community-based groups in low- and moderate-income neighborhoods. In 1964, Ron Shiffman co-founded the Pratt Institute Center for Community and Environmental Development [PICCED], which is today the oldest continuously operated university-based community design and development center in the United States.
Chris Rabb is a writer, consultant and speaker on the intersection of entrepreneurship, media, civic engagement and social identity. He is an adjunct professor at Temple University where he teaches social entrepreneurship and organizational innovation.
Anas “Andy” Shallal is an artist and social entrepreneur. He is the founder of Busboys and Poets and Eatonville Restaurant. Both restaurant concepts create an environment where racial and cultural connections are consciously uplifted. Spaces to feed the mind, body and soul and where art, culture and politics take center stage. With 6 locations in the Washington Metropolitan Area, Busboys and Poets has become home for progressives, artists and intellectuals. By Spring of 2016, Busboys and Poets will be open in Historic Anacostia in Ward 8 with a state of the art culinary and leadership
Dianne Yamashiro-Omi has served in the field of philanthropy and non-profit administration for over 30 years as a Program Officer and consultant for private and corporate foundations, and Executive Director of community-based social service organizations in the Bay Area. Currently she is the part-time Director of Funding Partnerships at Independent Television Services (ITVS), a non-profit funder and producer of social issue documentary films (Independent Lens), Point of View (POV) and Frontline.
LeeAnn Hall has been the Executive Director of the Alliance for a Just Society (formerly the Northwest Federation of Community Organizations) since its founding in 1993 and has over 28 years of organizing experience. She guides the development of campaigns and reports, and was at the forefront of designing testing models to address under-enrollment in public benefits programs. She has worked as the Director for Idaho Community Action Network and in that capacity she has overseen the successful campaign to cover farmworkers by Idaho’s minimum wage laws. LeeAnn was the recipient of the pres
Richard Kim is the executive editor of The Nation. He is co-editor, with Betsy Reed, of the New York Times bestselling anthology Going Rouge: Sarah Palin, An American Nightmare. Kim has appeared on MSNBC’s All In with Chris Hayes, Up with Chris Hayes/Steve Kornacki, Melissa Harris-Perry, CNN, NPR, Al Jazeera, Democracy Now! and other media outlets. He has taught at New York University and Skidmore College.
Sharda Sekaran manages all of the Drug Policy Alliance’s communications and audience engagement efforts. Sharda has been an active human rights proponent since she was a high school student organizing opposition to budget cuts and inequity in the New York City public education system. She began her professional advocacy career in the Arms Division of Human Rights Watch, monitoring the international weapons trade.