MEET OUR STAFF
Click on the picture of a staff person below to read a short biography. Check out what they’re working on with our leaders on our Current Campaigns page.
Lew got involved in the Civil Rights Movement in high school. He has worked as an organizer since he was 20. A formative experience for him was organizing in Dorchester in the 1970's when there was the divisive time over school desegregation and busing. It taught him so much about how race and class impacted poor and working class people and the consequences of when people are divided by race and/or class. He was inspired by the Civil Rights Movement. At first he read about it in the 1960's and then he attended and helped organize people to attend the 1968 Poor People's Campaign Rally in Washington. This was Dr. King's last campaign as he was moving the Civil Rights Movement to tackle economic injustice. He’s continually inspired by the risks and sacrifices that so many people make to try to create more opportunity and justice and to know that the positive changes that have happened in laws, policies, and budgets happened largely because of their efforts.
Janine, with a B.A. in political science and Spanish from UCONN and a Masters in Social Work from BC, spent 2 years doing Catholic volunteer service in Southeast Asia. She lived and worked through a civil war there and her entire view of the world was challenged. She came to understand that her real passion and the path to change was justice. Through BIC in 2008, she found her calling in organizing. She began leading that effort, training and engaging hundreds of residents around issues that deeply impact family life including: foreclosure prevention, crime reduction, family division due to deportations, a focus on prevention versus prosecution, and prioritizing youth and their success. Janine’s now focused on creating cohesion through MCAN’s network across the state, having systemic racial justice be a centralized component of the work, and on finding ways to further lift up the voice of people of faith and values.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
In addition to serving ECCO, Rabbi Margie serves as the spiritual leader of Congregation Sha’arei Shalom in Ashland, MA. She is the founder of Moishe Kavod House in Boston, a community of over 600 young Jews dedicated to Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world. A graduate of Yale, Rabbi Margie is co-editor of Righteous Indignation: A Jewish Call for Justice (Jewish Lights). She has appeared in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the LA Times, CNN, and Newsweek for her faith-based social justice work, and was invited to the White House for her leadership. Rabbi Margie is inspired by the relationships and power our leaders build across race, class, and faith, crossing social boundaries because we share the same values and vision for justice. She feels called to work for racial and economic justice to ensure that all of God’s children are honored and valued.
Angela grew up in a working class family in NH. As a young adult she had several experiences that taught her that government makes important decisions that affect people’s lives, but some people have a lot more influence than others. Intrigued by the possibility of a more vibrant democracy in which all of us can have power in political decisions, she got a BA in Government from William and Mary, and minored in Environmental Science. In 2004, she began community organizing with the DART Network, honed her skills in Dayton, OH, and then built and led an organization in Charlottesville, VA called IMPACT which grew to 25 congregations, with Actions of 2,000+ people. Looking for bigger and bolder campaigns, she started to work with the PICO Network in 2009, and organized grassroots leaders in affiliates across the country to fight for greater affordability for families within the Affordable Care Act. In 2010, she returned to her native New England and began to work with MCAN. The first several years she focused on strong organizational development within MCAN affiliates, leading a statewide strategy team and training local organizers. She played an important leadership role in bringing our collective power together in large statewide campaigns. Angela is currently our Development Director managing our fundraising. She is passionate about expanding our base of donors that share our vision for greater racial and economic justice.
Bio coming soon!
Dr. Alexandra Piñeros-Shields has organized to advance the human and civil rights of immigrants for the past 30 years with, among others, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Advocacy Coalition, the International Irish Immigrant Center, Centro Presente, Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services, and the Central American Refugee Center. Overcoming racial and national divides between immigrant communities, she has organized immigrants to challenge repressive immigration policies and economic inequality. She has designed popular education curriculum and developed democratic governance models that promote collaborative decision-making to create mechanisms for immigrants to affect the decisions that shape their lives. Serving on Governor Patrick’s design team for the New Americans Agenda, she organized immigrant communities to advocate for themselves through public hearings and produced an immigrant integration policy agenda for Massachusetts. Dr. Piñeros-Shields received her PhD from the Heller School at Brandeis University. She wrote her dissertation about immigrant organizing across race and nationality.
Bio coming soon!
Bio coming soon!
Adiel is a recent graduate of Tufts University where she majored in Chinese and minored in Sociology. At Tufts, she spent a great deal of time involved in various community service organizations and social justice initiatives – primarily around immigrant rights and education. She was also a founding member of a queer women's group. She is currently a first year fellow in the Life Together program, a ten month faith based social justice fellowship that is allowing her to explore organizing and living in intentional community. She brings an open mind and heart to her work at the YJC.
Regina has been with MCAN since its earliest days, and also works at MAHA as the Assistant Director of Administration. Previously, she worked for 14 years in the banking field at Shawmut Bank as a supervisor in the bookkeeping department. Regina is also a faithful member at the Zion Temple Holy Church in Dorchester in which she serves on the financial board. She is a native of North Carolina.
Cherish Casey has been a Lynn resident for 14 years. Cherish is a Social Work major at Salem State University. Her love for social work sprouted from 10 years as a lead early childhood educator, developing a great interest in children’s social and emotional well-being. Cherish Casey has been a community organizer in Lynn MA for four years. She first began organizing in 2013 with the Highlands Coalition, around issues of food justice, helped develop a summer children’s garden education program, and hosted community forums to discuss the Highlands Community needs. Much of her time in the summer was spent educating the Highlands Community about gardening and nutrition. Cherish is now a Racial Justice Organizer with the Essex County Community Organization. Here she focuses on organizing for racial and economic justice. She is organizing minority communities to challenge issues of mass incarceration, and encouraging dialogue to build trust between law enforcement and communities of color.
James Mackey is a national activist, social philanthropist, motivational speaker, and the founder of a grassroots organizing movement called #StuckOnReplay. Mackey is a graduate fellow of the Institute for Non-Profit Management and Leadership from Tufts University. In 2017, he was nominated twice and awarded for his work on criminal justice reform, striving to ensure that those affected by mass incarceration are heard and influencing policymakers throughout the state of Massachusetts. Mackey is the recipient of numerous community recognition awards. He received the Ralph F. Browne Jr. award (2017) and the Community Partner Award (2017), for working with the I Have A Future movement to end youth criminalization and increase youth opportunity. He received the Aspiring the Youth Award (2016) for his significant contribution to the African American Community in the City of Boston and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and the Social Capitalist Award (2016) for personifying the spirit of strengthening communities through civic engagement and volunteering his time by impacting the lives of others, leveraging his personal and professional network to make a difference. In the summer of 2016 his story was featured on NBC Nightly News because of his YouthBuild experience and his dedication toward positively empowering and impacting his family and the lives of others for the better. Mackey is extremely passionate about community organization and striving to make true social justice a reality. He is devoted to youth engagement, mentoring, and advocating the importance of allocating resources and opportunities to those who need it most. James recently joined I Have A Future in December of 2018, because he truly believes in IHAF’s mission of making sure all young people across the commonwealth and beyond have equal opportunities to thrive.
Luke was born in raised in the Pioneer Valley, and came to the Boston area for college. After graduating in 2014, he spent a year in Senegal. At the end of that year, he felt drawn back to Massachusetts to build community and work for social change in the place that has felt most like home. A year later, he found the Life Together community - a young adult fellowship program of the Episcopal Diocese of Massachusetts, focused on community organizing and contemplative spiritual development - and through that program came to work at MCAN, first in development and communications, and eventually ending up a community organizer. He finds the relationship between contemplative spiritual practice and action for justice endlessly fruitful, and is grateful to the MCAN community for fostering this connection. He can often be found biking around Boston, swimming, playing the viola, baking, and cooking.
am a queer Asian American adoptee born in China and raised in NJ by an Irish Catholic single mom! I first arrived to the Boston area four years ago when I started at Wellesley College and I still can’t believe I graduated in May as psychology major and education studies minor. My senior year, I served as a Roman Catholic representative on the Wellesley Multifaith Council, which sparked my interest in interfaith spiritual development as part of social justice and ultimately led me to Life Together and I Have A Future. I’ve worked and volunteered at a range of youth and LGBTQ organizations, from tutoring urban first graders in NJ to fundraising for LGBTQ adolescents in the MetroWest Boston area to writing grants to expand PrEP outreach to trans women of color in Washington, D.C. I am particularly interested in racial justice and the intersection of race, gender, sexuality, immigration, class, and education. When I’m not doing that, you can find me drinking decaf tea, updating my queer style Instagram @dapperteddybear, and befriending every dog I meet. I also love live theater, cliche pop music, and building community.