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.
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.
Cherish Casey has been a Lynn resident for 14 years. 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 wellbeing. Reflecting on the trauma, poverty, and racial violence facing the families of the children she served, Cherish decided to work for racial and economic equality through policy and community transformation. After studying social work at Salem State University and serving as an ECCO leader at Zion Baptist, Cherish came on staff in 2016 as our Racial Justice Organizer. Now, she focuses on organizing communities of color to challenge mass incarceration, building trust between law-enforcement and people of color, and fostering relationships across ECCO’s diverse communities.