People

Naomi Long

Naomi Long has dedicated her career to working for social justice organizations that focus on building power with people on the margins. She currently develops the vision and strategy for Wellstone Action in their southeast regional work, supports partnerships around ending sexual violence, reproductive justice, abortion access, and leads the grassroots organizing team for Camp Wellstone. In her spare time she works as a training associate for Training for Change where she can follow her calling to support the leadership development of trainers and organizers of color.


Nico Amador

Nico's involvement in social justice work stems from a deep passion for racial justice and a motivation to support transformation and empowerment in people of color, queer, and trans communities. He got his start as an organizer working with students to respond to racial profiling, increased militarism, incarceration and detention of immigrants, and policies like the USA Patriot Act in the aftermath of 9/11.


Daniel Hunter

Daniel Hunter is a Training Elder with Training for Change, focusing on strategy development and training trainers in popular education. The breadth of his work is wide – a recent month included training union locals on organizing and economic class, Algonquins on direct action strategy, a capstone weekend of a semester-long intensive for Philadelphia community organizers and Quakers on building campaigns to stop mountaintop removal.


Andrew Willis Garcés

Andrew Willis Garcés was raised in Memphis, TN and Guadalajara, México and after eleven years in the District of Columbia recently relocated to Austin, TX. During his time as an undergraduate and grad student in the District, he first focused on nonviolent direct action training work with anti-war and Latin America solidarity groups, and worked with organizations fighting gentrification in historically African-American and Latina/o neighborhoods.


Celia Kutz

Celia Kutz has been with Training for Change since 2009 and is both Trainer and Director for this dynamic grassroots-led training organization. Born in rural Western, NY Celia has led student boycotts in Montreal, healing justice at the Republican National Convention Protests, direct action trainings protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline and numerous other trainings with grassroots movement groups in the U.S. and sometimes internationally!


Andrea Parra

Andrea Parra is a Colombian attorney and law professor who has worked for over 15 years on issues related to gender-based violence, sexual and reproductive rights, disability justice and immigrant rights. She has conducted numerous trainings to activists, public officials, survivors, students and academics. She has trained in Spain, United States, Morocco, Turkey, Mexico, Nicaragua, Argentina, Puerto Rico, Brazil, Switzerland and Colombia


Matthew Armstead

Matthew Armstead is a community builder, facilitator, and organizer in Philadelphia, PA, and he is a trainer with Training for Change. He has worked with diverse groups of people from Occupy Wall Street activists to Ivy League university students, and led sessions on a variety of topics, such as anti-oppression, strategic planning, community outreach, peer counseling, nonviolent direct action, training of trainers, and organizational development.


Erika Thorne

Erika Thorne has been a progressive activist, writer, facilitator and cultural worker since 1974. She focuses on anti-racism work with other whites, coalition-building, and diversity work. She also loves to facilitate strategic planning, training of trainers, hate-crimes response, board development, conflict waging, ethical grassroots fundraising, and meetings - especially real sticky ones!


George Lakey

George Lakey, 76, was co-founder of Training for Change with Barbara Smith, and directed the group for 15 years before retiring. He has led 1,500 workshops on five continents, taught peace studies at colleges and universities, and authored seven books on nonviolent social change, peace, and organizational development.
 
 
 


Shreya Shah

Shreya D. Shah, MPH is based in Philadelphia and Michigan. She is the founder of Saltwater Social Justice Training & Consulting and has facilitated workshops and group processes for over 10 years across the States.
 
 


Sarah Halley
Sarah Halley has been training and facilitating groups for 20 years. She has been co-facilitating the Whites Confronting Racism trainings at TFC for the past 10 years and is a co-founder and facilitator of the Race Institute for Educators. She works as an organizational consultant and leadership coach, focusing primarily on team building, leadership development, inclusive strategic planning, and diversity/anti-oppression.  
 

Jennine Miller
Jennine Miller, MSW has dedicated her career to impacting public policy, educating elected officials, and advocating for civil rights with persons who are poor, homeless or disabled. As the Director of Advocacy and Public Policy at Project HOME, she seeks solutions to homelessness and poverty in Philadelphia and uses training in coalition and campaign work. She is part of the team that developed the Organizing Skills Institute.  
 

Betsy Raasch-Gilman

Betsy Raasch-Gilman facilitates meetings and teaches groups about group process, consensus decision-making, and productive conflict. Training for boards of nonprofit organizations and cooperative businesses is a particular strong point for her. Additionally, she helps activists involved in campaigns to think strategically about their next moves.
 


Katey Lauer

Katey Lauer is an organizer, facilitator and trainer in Central Appalachia, with a deep love of place and passion for environmental justice. She has worked with grassroots groups in and outside of the mountains for eight years, as the former coordinator of the Alliance for Appalachia, co-convener of Appalachia Rising, organizer with Advocates for a Safe Water System and mentor to the national Divestment Student Network.


Judith C. Jones, Ph.D.

Judith C. Jones, Ph.D. grew up in Philadelphia, received her doctorate in Political Science from Atlanta University and has taught at Penn State University since 1985 and at Philadelphia University for the past three years. Judith is also co-author of Two Voices from the Front Line: A Conversation about Race in the Classroom, an article found in the award winning anthology Race in the College Classroom, published by Rutgers University Press.


Karen Ridd

Karen Ridd is an instructor in Conflict Resolution Studies at Menno Simons College, an affiliate of the University of Winnipeg, Canada, where her courses include "Introduction to Conflict Resolution Studies" and "Violence and Nonviolence". She is the former training coordinator for Mediation Services, a conflict resolution program in Winnipeg.
 


Celia Kutz

Celia Kutz has been with Training for Change since 2009 and is both Trainer and Director for this dynamic grassroots-led training organization. Born in rural Western, NY Celia has led student boycotts in Montreal, healing justice at the Republican National Convention Protests, direct action trainings protesting the Keystone XL Pipeline and numerous other trainings with grassroot movement groups in the U.S. and sometimes internationally!


Betsy Raasch-Gilman

Betsy Raasch-Gilman facilitates meetings and teaches groups about group process, consensus decision-making, and productive conflict. Training for boards of nonprofit organizations and cooperative businesses is a particular strong point for her. Additionally, she helps activists involved in campaigns to think strategically about their next moves.
 


Omi Masika

Omi (full name is Omowale) is a youth worker, facilitator, and organizer living in Philadelphia, and is a quiet, Midwest queer at heart. Prior to joining the Training for Change team, they were an instructor for an after-school bike program, facilitating spaces where students developed leadership and bike mechanic skills. In this work, they focused on the bridge between biking and social justice, while supporting the leadership and skill development of young people.


Jeanne Rewa

Jeanne is a trainer, facilitator, and social and environmental justice activist with a professional background in training, organizational development, and online instructional design. Jeanne's professional specialities include experiential online training and facilitation, inclusion, strategic campaign planning, and career development. Jeanne also brings experience in non-profit administration, recruitment, and volunteer coordination.


Matt Guynn

Since 2001, Matt has worked with the church-based nonprofit On Earth Peace, which offers leadership development for faith-rooted efforts to stop violence and build reconciliation, where he provides a special emphasis on nonviolent social change. He has been actively involved with Training for Change as a trainer since the age of 19.
 


Jen Rock

In 2008 Jen moved to Philadelphia and got involved in the immigrant rights movement. Thorugh that work Jen participated in several TfC trainings and help create the New Leadership School, a leadership development program for immigrant leaders in Philadelphia. She is passionate about socio/economic and environmental justice, working from a human rights framework, and enjoys fundraising to support work that promotes a better world.


Janée Woods

Janée is the Director of Organizational Culture for the William Caspar Graustein Memorial Foundation, whose mission is to achieve equity in education by working with those affected and inspiring all to end racism and poverty. She also has several years of experience as a facilitator and trainer of grassroots organizers and community coalitions seeking to create change by addressing racism, economic injustice, early childhood education, and food security. She writes about social justice issues on her blog What Matters.  


Zein Nakhoda

Zein is a community media maker, organizer, and trainer based in Philadelphia. He's made media with Scribe Video Center, Media Mobilizing Project, and independently and is in current political community with LeftRoots, the Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice, and Philly Thrive, an environmental justice campaign fighting fossil fuel expansion in Philadelphia.
 


Hilary North

Hilary is an educational administrator and diversity practitioner who has worked for nineteen years in independent schools. Her approach to anti-bias/anti-oppression education in privileged communities is deeply informed by intersectionality, non-violent communication, and her own identity as a black biracial transracial adoptee.  


Vega Subramaniam

Vega is a professional coach focusing on social justice/ social change activists and nonprofit staff. Past involvements include, Executive Director of Chaya, an anti-domestic violence organization serving South Asian women and their communities; a co-founder of the Rainbow Dragon Fund, an AAPIP Giving Circle promoting philanthropy in and benefiting D.C. Metro Area LGBTQ AAPI community.


Gio Lopez
JCJ Fellow Gio stands in front of a mural with her hands on her hips, looking and smiling at the camera.

Giovanna 'Gio' López, is a native Peruvian but spent her adolescence in Costa Rica. She graduated in Costa Rica with a degree in Theatre and a focus in Theatre for Development, in which plays are performed to build awareness about critical topics mostly of a social context. She moved to the U.S. in 2005 and the very next year founded the Bilingual Theatre group Cazateatro in Memphis.


Omi Masika
JCJ Fellow Jay is sitting in an office wearing a red flannel shirt and hat. They are staring into the camera and smirking.

Omi (full name is Omowale) is a resident of Philadelphia, but is a quiet, Midwest queer at heart. Their work is personal and political - bridging the gaps between vulnerability, healing, and transformation. They’ve engaged in Leadership Development with young folks in Minneapolis and in Philadelphia, organizing skills with college students, and supporting structural and cultural change within organizations.


Jeannine Cook
JCJ Fellow Jeannine - wearing a headwrap and scarf - stands on a neighborhood street corner, looking and smiling at the camera.

Jeannine Cook joined People's Emergency Center Community Development Corporation in August 2015 as the youth program manager for the Center of Digital Inclusion and Technology. Jeannine manages curriculum development as well as CDIT's initiatives for youth ages 5-24. Prior to PECCDC, Jeannine spent 8 years with YESPhilly Alternative High School as the Media Arts Director coaching teachers and students on how to use media as a tool for social change and mindfulness.


Ileia Burgos
JCJ Fellow Ileia stands in a crowd during a rally holding a sign over her head that says "No Rockaway Pipeline".

Ileia Burgos, seeded and cultivated in the Bronx, NY. Ileia is proud to be a core trainer with the Wildfire Project, which trains, supports, and connects grassroots groups to help build a broad and powerful movement. For three years, she organized with residents in Far Rockaway, Queens around disaster preparedness and a multiracial, multigenerational, community-led recovery from Hurricane Sandy. Ileia does organizing work to resist gentrification and support just economic development through the Kingsbridge Armory Redevelopment Alliance in her neighborhood.


Sharmeen Khan
JCJ Fellow Sharmeen is sitting outside wearing sunglasses. She is looking and smirking at the camera.

Sharmeen Khan is an organizer, writer and facilitator living in Toronto, ON. She organizes with No One Is Illegal and is on the collective of Tools for Change - an organization that provides training in political organizing and action. She has done workshops in media training, anti-oppression and anti-racism, direct action, training the trainers, and grassroots financial management.