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.
Nailah Summers is the Communications Director for the Dream Defenders and is also a founding member of the Florida-based organization. As the Communications Director, Nailah links the community organizing Dream Defenders does with culture and history to reach a wide range of black and brown Florida youth. She was born in Washington, D.C. and raised in Miami. Nailah attended the University of Florida, where she majored in African American Studies with a minor in Philosophy. As a student, Nailah founded the Gainesville chapter of the Dream Defenders, and was involved in the school’s Samuel Proctor Oral History Program where she traveled to the Mississippi Delta to conduct interviews with veterans of the Civil Rights Movement. Prior to rejoining the Dream Defenders as the Comms Director, Nailah was the Coordinator for the Civic Media Center, a community-run library, info shop, performance venue and activism space and briefly worked as a Communications Specialist at United Way of North Central Florida.
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.
Reyna (Rey) Wences is one of the co-founders of the Immigrant Youth Justice League and Organized Communities Against Deportations. Reyna began organizing in 2009, at the age of 18, and was part of the first campaign to “Come Out of the Shadows” in 2010. Today, Reyna is a nationally known organizer for their work in undocumented rights. Reyna has experience working on deportation defense in Chicago and in New Orleans, both with immigrant youth and day laborers. Since 2011, Reyna has led trainings on deportation defense, leadership development, Know Your Rights, and Direct Action, and has traveled to California, Georgia, Wisconsin, and Arizona to share organizing tools and strategies. Reyna is the recipient of national awards recognizing their national and local contributions to the fight for immigrant rights, including: the Mario Savio Young Activist Award (2010), Fear From Freedom Award (2011) and the Davis Putter Scholarship (2013-2014).
Miguel Andrade was born in 1991 in Colombia and immigrated with his family to the U.S when he was 5 years old. He has been active in Philadelphia’s Latino Immigrant community since late 2008. He started getting involved in community activism at the age of 17 and since then has become one of Philadelphia’s leading young voices for immigrant rights, education equity and human rights. He volunteered with the Media Mobilizing Project where he honed his skills in community journalism & TV hosting before going into the immigrant rights field. In 2010 he co-founded, produced, and hosted “MMPTV” a TV news & analysis program that aired online as well as Public Access Cable. After joining the team of the immigrant rights nonprofit Juntos in 2011 he co-founded one of Philadelphia’s only latino-immigrant youth leadership programs and helped to highlight the experiences of latino immigrant youth in the city of Philadelphia. This lead to partnerships with the Mayor’s Office of Education in creating a comprehensive guide on college access of undocumented youth as well as collaborating with the School District of Philadelphia in training staff on how to work with and support undocumented students. All of this while working with young people to helps promote youth empowerment in the community. He has also collaborated with State Elected Officials in helping draft laws that will be beneficial for the immigrant community in the state of PA. He was honored by the Philadelphia 76ers in 2014 with the “Hero Among Us” award for his work in the community. His passion for immigrant rights has led him to work at the national level with other immigrant rights groups across the country and is an active participant with Mijente and Not1More. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the US Human Rights Network in 2014 and currently is the youngest member. He serves on the board with other human rights activists and leaders from across the country.
Kung Feng is the Executive Director at Jobs with Justice San Francisco, a labor and community coalition that fights for working class power broadly through campaigns for workers’ rights, racial justice, public education and affordable housing. He co-founded Bay Resistance, a project that has mobilized thousands in resistance to attacks from Trump and the Right. He started as an rank-and-file union activist organizing workplaces from the bottom up and organized immigrant workers while at UNITE HERE, the union of hotel and restaurant workers. An activist with Asians4BlackLives, he’s always ready to take direct action for our communities.
Jasmine received a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and Africana Studies from the College of William and Mary in 2016. As the daughter of a Ghanaian immigrant father, she has always been invested in identity politics and the African Diaspora. She has been an organizer with New Virginia Majority since June of 2016. Jasmine started off as a voter registration organizer and is currently the Communications Associate. Much of her work involves fighting for the restoration of voting rights for formerly incarcerated citizens and immigrant rights. She strives to take lofty political policies that are damaging working families and communities of color, and illustrates how they play out in the lives of those it affects. Jasmine’s mission, as an activist by way of communications, is to live up to Audre Lorde’s definition of survival, “learning how to stand alone, unpopular and sometimes reviled, and how to make common cause with those others identified as outside the structures in order to define and seek a world in which we can all flourish.”