Born and raised in the Bay Area, Sydney is the daughter of Chinese immigrants and refugees. She is the Communications Associate at Asian Pacific Environmental Network (APEN). Prior to APEN, she served as an Emerson National Hunger Fellow at the United Way of King County in Seattle and at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Refugee Resettlement in Washington, D.C.. Sydney’s communications expertise comes from her time as a Communications Intern with Grassroots Change and her experience as a spokesperson on issues of campus diversity. Sydney graduated in 2012 from the UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Public Health and a Public Policy minor. She began her activist career as a student leader in multicultural campus coalitions, where she focused on recruitment and retention efforts for underrepresented Asian Pacific Islanders and served as a student senator. Sydney has also organized Chinese home care workers and served as a City of Berkeley Community Health Commissioner. She was a Public Policy International Affairs Fellow and a Bridges to Health Academy Associate at the Greenlining Institute. In her spare time, Sydney runs Lake Merritt, cooks Chinese food, and does neighborhood organizing against displacement.
Steven Renderos is the Organizing Director at the Center for Media Justice. He is passionate about the role of media and communications in building movements for social change. He’s been a community organizer for the past 10 years leading campaigns for affordable housing, immigrant rights and most recently communication rights. He helped lead CMJ’s advocacy and organizing efforts to win reforms that have made phone calls from prisons more affordable and the Internet more open and affordable. Previously, Steven led the Media Justice program at Main Street Project in Minneapolis, MN where he helped jumpstart a local collaborative that will be applied for a radio license in the fall 2013. Steven aka DJRen is also the co-founder of Radio Pocho, a collaborative of [email protected] radio DJs in Minneapolis whose mission is to explore the musical roots of Latinx raised in the United States.Steven grew up in from Los Angeles, CA where he currently resides.
Pacita is a queer immigrant, writer, and creative living in Oakland, California. A descendant of Ghanaian and Bajan ancestors, she spent her early years growing up in England, Ghana, and the United States. As a Cultural Strategist for Power California she brings her passion for creative writing, artistic projects and cultural expression into movements for justice. Her previous work at Oakland Rising and Bay Rising included digital organizing, operations, youth engagement and mobilization to reimagine political systems for the benefit of communities of color. Prior to that, Pacita created programming for queer students of color with Michigan State University’s LGBT Resource Center. Pacita has a B.A. in Comparative Cultures and Politics from Michigan State University. In her spare time you can find her immersing in writing that lifts up the voices of people of color, making beats on her bedroom floor, or finding ways to fill everyday moments with laughter.
Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice
Monica Black started her career in Mexico where she earned a master’s degree in marketing from the University of Nuevo Leon. In Monterrey, Mexico she worked as a marketing manager for a large company for almost 10 years. Before moving to America, she traveled to Canada to improve and practice the English language. In 2009, she moved to North Carolina where she worked as a Spanish teacher. Ms. Black moved to Birmingham, Alabama in 2014 and worked as the Hispanic outreach and project coordinator for Miles College. She worked for the Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama, ¡HICA! as the Communications Coordinator and Business Development Specialist. These experiences lead her to become the Communication Coordinator for the Alabama Coalition for Immigrant Justice, ACIJ the major progressive organizing force in Alabama.
Rebecca Harris is the Development and Communications Manager at Latino Union of Chicago, which supports day laborers and domestic workers in creating safer workplaces, developing their leadership and building a larger movement for immigrants and workers rights. Since joining Latino Union in late 2014, Rebecca has doubled the organization’s individual giving, increased supporter engagement and expanded Latino Union’s use of earned media. Before Rebecca joined Latino Union, she worked as an investigative journalist covering Chicago Public Schools. When not at work, she enjoys hiking and dancing.
Nathan first started organizing after volunteering doing humanitarian work on the US-Mexico border. He brings a passionate belief in the power of storytelling to create change. He had conducted workshops and trainings on offline and online storytelling across the country including Netroots Nation and Labor Notes. Nathan Ryan joined the staff of Grassroots Collaborative in the fall of 2013. As Communications Director, Nathan has grown Grassroots Collaborative social media impact exponentially on Twitter and Facebook. Additionally, during his time at Grassroots Collaborative Nathan has helped to develop grassroots spokespeople on the community impact of Wall Street financial deals as well as municipal and state budgeting. Prior to joining Grassroots Collaborative Nathan served as Online Advocacy Manager of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. In 2010 Nathan received the Silver Trumpet award from the Publicity Club of Chicago for his work on the campaign to halt the deportation of Rigo Padilla.
Natalia ‘nati’ Linares is the Communications Manager at the New Economy Coalition. Her decade of work as an artist advocate, publicist, and cultural organizer inspired a deep-seeded passion for economic justice and democracy. In 2010, she founded conrazón – creating visibility for the world’s wildest creators and disorganizers – a creator development agency investing in new paradigms for a hyper-connected, heart-centered generation. She’s worked as an artist manager for Panamanian, Oakland-based bicultural rap pioneers Los Rakas and Brazil-via-Brooklyn Carioca-funk polyglot diva Zuzuka Poderosa, handled Artist Relations for NYC’s iconic free concert series SummerStage, lead publicity efforts for emergent festivals like Santiago de Cuba’s inaugural MANANA as well as the Afro-Latino Festival of NYC, and has consulted for #DIASPORADICAL artists like Chicano Batman, Blitz the Ambassador, Bomba Estereo, Quantic, Dayme Arocena and many others. Linares is also the founder of ISLA, an arts initiative based in her hometown of New York City borough Staten Island, which co-organizes an annual community arts festival called La Isla Bonita Summer Festival. This experience & her ongoing work as a collective member of Sol Collective in Sacramento, CA – a community center which is co-creating a co-operative record label, artist development model & grassroots touring network – led her to explore the role art and artist collectives could play in building not only a new economy, but a new culture. She has a BA in Political Science from Colgate University and is a proud bicoastal digital nomad based in Western Massachusetts with her partner. Follow her on Twitter: @conrazon.
Shanta Farrington is a Digital Strategist and Organizer with United for a New Economy. She’s passionate about her role with media, communications and digital strategy for the movement. Her background and career has been dedicated to working on an array of issues, including, but not limited to: international relations, voting rights, environmental issues, economic and racial justice and immigration. Growing up in the South and seeing firsthand injustices of brown and black communities, is what keeps Shanta motivated and invested in building power to win. She has served as an AmeriCorps VISTA with immigrants and refugees in rural Colorado. Shanta is a member of the Truman National Security Project, NAACP CO-MT-WY State Conference, Steering Committee for CO Jobs with Justice, Emerge Alum and serves as Vice President of her union.