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Staff and Board

To send an email to a staff member, address it to: firstname@socialjusticefund.org

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Rebecca Allen, Project Manager x113

Rebecca has lived most of her life in the Pacific Northwest, where she hopes to stay for as long as possible. Her professional experience includes human rights accompaniment in rural Guatemala, program coordination at El Centro de la Raza, and community-based participatory research with Oregon's indigenous farmworkers. Rebecca also worked as a doula for three years in Seattle. Rebecca graduated with a degree in public health in 2014, and cannot imagine a better place for her to build healthier communities than Social Justice Fund.

 

 

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Mano da Silva, Donor Relations Manager, x116

Mano was born as an Angolan refugee in Namibia. From age 6, he grew up in St. Louis and moved to Seattle in 2008. Later, Mano received an MSW at the University of Washington where he first connected with the Social Justice Fund as a Practicum Student and Giving Project member. Mano has done some work with Got Green, Freedom Project, the Hillman City Collaboratory, and served on the SJF board before starting as the Donor Relations Manager. He loves doing grassroots organizing work within communities and hopes Donald Glover will be available to play him in the movie depiction of his life.

 

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Richard Chiem, Finance and Operations Associate, x115

Richard Chiem is a first generation Vietnamese American writer raised in San Bernardino, CA. He is the author of the book of short stories, You Private Person, published by Scrambler Books in 2012 and re-released by Sorry House Press in 2017. His fiction has appeared in Everyday Genius, City Arts Magazine, and Fanzine, among places. He has worked in the non-profit sector for eight years, and he was the former Finance & Facilities Director at Hugo House. He lives in Capitol Hill with his lifelong partner and their very loud and obese cat.

 

 

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Magan Do, Project Manager x107

Magan was born and raised in the PNW and is committed to strengthening grassroots efforts in the broad-based movement for progressive, systemic social change. She has many years of experience in local non-profits and community organizations. Magan joined Social Justice Fund NW in 2011 as a Practicum Student through UW's School of Social Work, served as a Board Member, and participated in two Criminal Justice Giving Projects.

 

 

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Naomi Ishisaka, Communications Director x108

Naomi Ishisaka is a longtime journalist, photographer, graphic designer and communications specialist with a particular emphasis on racial equity and social justice. Prior to this role, she was the Communications Director for SEIU 775 Benefits Group, an organization that provides benefits to state Home Care Aides. Prior to that, she was Communications Director for the immigrant rights organization OneAmerica (formerly Hate Free Zone). Until October 2008, Ishisaka served for the previous eight years as the Editor in Chief of the award-winning ColorsNW Magazine, a monthly magazine focusing on communities of color in the Northwest. Through photography, writing and design, Ishisaka documents and amplifies social justice movements and events. Her documentary photography of the Seattle Black Lives Matter movement is featured in a number of shows and galleries as well as in the documentary film “13th.”

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Mijo Lee, Executive Director, x102

Mijo Lee was born in Missoula, Mont., grew up in Bothell, Wash., attended Western Washington University in Bellingham, and has lived almost the rest of her life in Seattle, where she intends to stay. Except for four years in New York, where she graduated from New York University School of Law, she is a lifetime Northwesterner. Before coming to SJF, she was a public defender on statewide appeals and has a background in organizing in a variety of movements, including fair trade, police accountability, and immigrant rights. She loves helping people realize that they have power to create change through activism, fundraising and giving. Mijo lives in South Seattle with her son, who teaches her more about robotics and coding than she ever thought she’d know. She  is also proud to serve on the Board of Grassroots International.

Melody Martinez, Oregon Program Manager x106

MMartinez.jpgMelody Martínez is an experienced facilitator, trainer, life-long learner, and the first generation daughter of working-class immigrants from the Dominican Republic. She grew up near Boston where she spent the larger part of a decade practicing medicine as a licensed veterinary nurse. Melody has several years of nonprofit and volunteer community organizing experience, particularly in the animal rights and environmental movements and in direct hunger alleviation efforts. In Oregon, she has worked to support the efforts of statewide nonprofits in developing processes and practices that operationalize racial equity, economic justice, and result in meaningful outcomes for employees, recruits, service-users, and the broader community. Melody is also an Associate Trainer at Class Action, an On-Call Facilitator with Resolutions Northwest, and a volunteer staff member at My Dog is My Home. She is passionate about dismantling the intersecting systemic oppressions that keep people, animals, and the planet in a constant state of struggle and can’t imagine a better place than Social Justice Fund to be working towards solutions! She lives in Portland and shares a home with her partner Alex, three curious cats, and a very emotional and tender-hearted rescue dog who has lots of feelings about everything.

 

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Lynne Nguyen, Operations Director x104

Originally hailing from California, Lynne was a community organizer in a recent former life, and worked on issues around the country including labor, transnational migration issues, and health care reform. Lynne is also part of the founding Steering Committee of the Asian Pacific Islander Freedom School, an anti-oppression training and education program for API youth in the Northwest. She is thrilled to be in the social justice movement as part of the Social Justice Fund team.

 

 

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Chris Olson, Development Associate x111

Chris grew up in northwestern Wisconsin and graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. After college, he moved to Seattle and has loved living here for the past 8 years. He works to create a more just and livable world by immersing himself in the local non-profit community. He’s thrilled to be a part of the Social Justice Fund NW team, working to engage Pacific Northwest communities in the deep process of learning about race, class, fundraising, and social change. Chris is also a board game nerd, hardcore Trekkie, adventure seeker, and will go to great lengths to pet any and every French Bulldog he sees.

 

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Yasmeen Perez, Program Director x103

Originally from Seattle, Yasmeen has been a community organizer, educator, and resource organizer for over 12 years in racial and economic justice, youth liberation, and LGBTQ left movements. Yasmeen is the former Co-Director of Seattle Young People's Project and Leadership Development Director of FIERCE in New York. Most recently, Yasmeen was the Development Director at Right To The City Alliance, raising funds to support grassroots organizations fighting gentrification and displacement of low-income communities of color from their historic urban neighborhoods. Yasmeen is a recognized leader in grassroots fundraising and co-author of "Resource Organizing: A Toolkit on Member Led Community-Based Grassroots Fundraising." Yasmeen received a BA in Race, Class and Gender Studies, with a focus in Participatory and Anti-Oppression Education from The Evergreen State College. Yasmeen is thrilled to be joining the Social Justice Fund staff and is excited to return to the Pacific Northwest!

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Dianne Riley, Oregon Director x109

Dianne Riley began as the Oregon Director at Social Justice Fund in February of 2013. Born in 1962 in Denver, Colorado her interracial parents defied anti-miscegenation laws that were then common throughout the US and ignored disapproving family by simply “steering clear” of institutional and individual racism. Yet the social context of the 1960s and ‘70s, enculturated Dianne with an expectation of on-going progressive change. However, her innate optimism was deeply challenged in the ‘80s as neoliberalism became prominent around the world and US politics and culture took a hard right turn. She began her career in social change work in the ‘90s, first working as a union organizer with Communications Workers of America. She would go on to fundraise for St. Louis Jobs with Justice and become a community advocate with the ACLU before working as an intern at Wisconsin Community Fund and finding her pathway into social justice philanthropy. Her passion for grassroots fundraising began to blossom while developing her activism with St. Louis-based Organization for Black Struggle, Coalition Against Police Crimes; Repression and a variety of queer, women of color activist groups. In her work with SJF she supports emerging leaders, and community building amidst a burgeoning network of donor activists. She lives with her mother Jarilyn, their cat Avalon, and is a co-parent to Reza Haque.

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Burke Stansbury, Development Director x105

Burke got involved in community organizing after spending time living in Mexico and Central America during college. He was the executive director of the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) for 5 years and more recently worked with the Center for Community Change as a national campaign organizer. Burke is also a long-time member of Resource Generation and in 2010 collaborated with community leaders in Washington DC to start a foundation called the Diverse City Fund. He is currently the boards of Got Green and the Institute for Policy Studies. Burke lives in Seattle with his partner Krista, their son Lucas and daughter Ida.

 

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Karen Toering, Senior Project Manager x106

Karen is a grassroots organizer, cultural worker and consultant for non-profit arts and social justice organizations. Her work includes base-building and collaboration on media justice and media policy initiatives through her work on the ground and on the boards of national media advocacy organizations including the Media and Democracy Coalition and the Alliance for Community Media in Washington, DC along with Reclaim the Media, in Seattle, WA. She also serves as Program Consultant for Seattle’s Langston Hughes African American Film Festival and is the founder of the Gary International Black Film Festival in her hometown of Gary, IN. Her professional background includes start up, management and development of community-based media centers in Indiana, Wisconsin, North Carolina and Washington. Karen is the proud mother of two amazing young activists, Hannah and Nicholas.

 

Zeke Spier, Consultant x101

Zeke has been working at Social Justice Fund for seven years. Over that time, he has engaged hundreds of people as donors and helped to move millions of dollars to grassroots organizing in the Northwest. Zeke has experience both as a manager in the corporate sector and as a community organizer, working on issues from the just reconstruction of New Orleans to criminal justice issues in Philadelphia. He is currently sits on the national Board of Advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy and the board of Resource Generation. Zeke was born in Portland, Oregon, and enjoys reminiscing about his cross-country bicycle trip on his 6-mile ride to work.

SJF Board Members:

Ubax Gardheere, Co-Chair
Molly Chidsey, Co-Chair
Rob Cato, Board Secretary

Johnny Buck
Rebecca Chan
Yvonne Garcia
Alice Ito
Travis McAdam
​​Micah Nielsen
Kim Powe
Cara Shufelt
Maya Wiener Berkowitz
​Joaquin Uy
Ranfis Villatoro