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Bystander Intervention and Empowerment Self Defense.
Katy Mattingly is a working-class activist with an MSW in community organizing and social systems. She has experience in crisis intervention, feminist consciousness raising, and facilitation. Katy taught trauma-informed, empowerment self-defense, bystander intervention, and violence prevention for non-profits and higher education. After the 2016 presidential election, Katy started an Indivisible group designed to drive the Democrats to the left. She lives in a co-housing community in Ann Arbor, Michigan and works for the University of Michigan.
Michelle Martinez is a Latinx-Mestiza environmental justice activist, writer, and mother born in, living and working in SW Detroit. Since 2006, she has worked in local communities of color to build power to halt climate change, and the detrimental effects of pollution in post-industrial Detroit. Working across issues of race, gender, and nationality, she has built and led coalitions using art / media, land-based programming, popular education, voter engagement, and corporate accountability tactics to shape policy solutions against environmental racism.
Currently, she is the Executive Director of Third Horizon Consulting, which strives to empower people to make collective decisions strategically for more sustainable and equitable social change. She has a MS from the University of Michigan School of Nature Resources and Environment , and BA in English Literature, also from UM . In 2017, completed a fellowship with Detroit Equity Action Lab [DEAL] at Wayne State University Law School’s Damon J. Keith Center for Civil Rights and her Certificate in Diversity Leadership from Michigan State University Julian Samora Research Institute. In her everyday life she cares for her home, and family, as a gardener, mother, and artist.
Children and Poverty
Mary is a retired Speech Pathologist who worked with students in MI. schools, from preschool through high school for 32 years
Since 2004 Mary has been a volunteer citizens' lobbyist with RESULTS, creating the political will to end hunger and poverty in the US and globally. She is the RESULTS Detroit co-leader lobbying for both domestic and global issues with the US Congress. see www.results.org. Focus at this time is to protect SNAP (food stamps,) medicaid, tax credits, and other safety net programs for people experiencing poverty. Globally focus is on saving preventable lives of mothers and children (REACH act), education for all, The Global Fund to fight AIDS, TB, Malaria.
Mary has been on the Board of Directors of Child Safe Michigan since 2005, serving abused and neglected children with mentoring, foster care and adoption. She has also been a mentor for 7 years.
"Mentoring is my joy. Being a trusted adult for a child who needs you is priceless."
She has been host to a blog talk radio show since 2012. We Get Results is online at Body Mind Spirit Radio, connecting people to ways they can make a difference in the world. Programs have focused on child abuse, climate change, mentoring/foster care, mass incarceration, human trafficking/sex trafficking, hunger and poverty, and most recently redistricting and gerrymandering of voting districts in MI.
Mary loves being with her husband, children, and 3 grandchildren in Chicago, Portland Or. and UP North MI.
"We are the ones we've been waiting for." There's no one else coming.
Erin is currently working with the Human Rights Campaign on a new initiative “HRC Rising”, aimed at advancing the goals of the LGBTQ movement and defending and advancing advocacy priorities like immigrants rights, workers’ rights, and other civil rights causes. She has a BA in Social Science & Asian Studies from Michigan State University and a MS in Administrative Leadership from University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. For over 5 years, Erin worked in higher education institutions developing and implementing programs for historically marginalized students, first generation students, and international students. She served as a mentor for historically underrepresented, first generation high school seniors in low socio-economic communities within historically low-performing school districts and worked to prepare students for two and four-year college programs and provide mentorship in Kalamazoo Public Schools. Erin served as a commissioner and committee member on the President’s Commission on the Status of Women (COSW) at Wayne State University, a group that advises the President’s office and the campus community on issues and struggles facing women staff, faculty, students, and alumni including gender equity and equality, social justice, and intersectionality. Finally, Erin is a founding member and board member of a Lansing-based 501(c)3 non-profit organization focused on promoting athletics and community engagement for female-identified, non-binary, and gender non-conforming individuals of all races, cultures, religious affiliations, and socio-economic statuses.
Youth Activist, Youth Empowerment
Munirih is a sixteen year old from Ann Arbor, Michigan and the youngest daughter of an interracial couple.
She is very active at Neutral Zone, a teen center in downtown Ann Arbor, and there discovered her voice in poetry.
At Neutral Zone, Munirih is a participates in SEED (Students Educating Each other about Diversity), Riot Youth (an LGBTQ+ activist & support group), and helped create SARE (Safe Sex And Rape culture Education), a group trying to educate teens on rape culture and how it affects them. Munirih tries to educate others on their own privilege, while recognizing her own as a biracial black person.
She also hopes to start several groups in her area for disadvantaged teens (aged 11-14), called a junior youth group, to learn spirituality, service work and to help teach positive coping skills.
Mary Anne Perrone
Mary Anne is an educator, an activist and a spiritual guide. All of her adult life she has been an activist for peace and justice. Her particular area of focus for over 30 years has been on human rights in Latin America. This work led their young family to live and work in Latin America in the late 1980’s (Bolivia) to accompany the poor there in a spirit of liberation. She has been working in the U.S. ever since to raise consciousness about our country’s role in human rights violations in Latin America and to work for substantive change in our foreign policy. In the last two decades, this work has taken her on multiple human rights delegations to several Latin American countries, connecting with and accompanying courageous people working in their own countries to defend those whose human rights are highly threatened. Locally she has been part of the Latin America Task Force of Interfaith Council for Peace & Justice( ICPJ) for decades.
In 2009 Mary Anne joined with many others in Washtenaw County to address the human rights violations of immigrant people, an effort that became WICIR: Washtenaw Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights. Most recently she has been very active in forming and carrying out the work WCS, offering sanctuary to immigrants who are in danger of being deported.
Mary Anne lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan, is a mother of grown sons and a grandmother of four. As a certified spiritual guide she accompanies people individually in her home.
Anti-Racism and White Privilege
Anna is a restorative justice practitioner, organizer and racial equity professional. In her career, Anna has facilitated a variety of programs for young people in areas of outdoor education, the juvenile justice system, and social justice. Anna is a facilitator, curriculum developer, trainer, and team builder. She is dedicated to anti-racist organizing work with white folks within multiracial coalitions and to continuously learning and envisioning. Anna also enjoys gathering friends, playing music, and the outdoors. She has her BA in Sociology from The College of Wooster and MSW from University of Michigan (’16) with a concentration in management, social policy and program evaluation.
Maria is the Southeast Michigan regional organizer for We the People Michigan. She immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico when she was nine years old and grew up Southwest Detroit and Dearborn. Maria has been fighting for immigrant justice for almost a decade, including grassroots organizing and political advocacy. She works closely with grassroots organizations to create alternative systems of immigrant-centered support and working to put people of color and women in positions of leadership. Maria graduated from the University of Detroit Mercy with a degree in English, and then went on to get a Masters of Social Work at the University of Michigan. On her free time Maria likes going for hikes, drinking expensive tea, and trying to publish her poetry.
Human Trafficking and Domestic Violence
Anita Smith, an Ann Arbor, Michigan native, is a Metro Detroit area based therapist and retired Probation Officer. “I’ve always wanted to help people get past their pain, help them move forward with their lives,” says Smith. This singular goal has guided a 30 year counseling career focused on advocating against partner violence and sexual abuse. Smith is one of the original founders of Safehouse, a shelter for women who have experienced domestic abuse. She has worked as an advocate and counselor for children experiencing domestic abuse and for incarcerated women. For two decades, Smith also served as group facilitator and trainer for a city of Detroit Intervention Program for violent offenders. Her most recent work, and perhaps most challenging to date, addresses the atrocities of human trafficking and human rights violations.
Hilary Nichols has headed WIN WIN Productions for over a decade, creating community events and large scale parties with a purpose. Gathering friends and neighbors to raise funds for charitable projects serves us all. For 10 years WIN WIN Production events built a loyal community of over 600 regular participants in San Francisco to raise all the educational costs for CASA MILAGROS Home for Orphaned children in Peru for 3 consecutive years, as well as raising funds and awareness for multiple other projects. Recently WIN WIN productions hosted SOUTHTOWN SUMMER SLAM in Ann Arbor to unified a very local community to better support of the healthful and environmental projects in our neighborhood. As a community member Hilary Nichols lends organizational support to the InterFaith Council for Peace and Justice's Peace AllStars Concert and Connect and Act Conference.
Working as a documentary photographer allows Hilary to provide coverage for many great local organizations, including the Local Food Summit, Growing Hope, Place in the Circle, ICPJ, Girls Group, Youth Speaks. As well as providing coverage for all the peace rallies, marches and political gatherings in the area.
Youth Activist, LGBTQ Rights
Narine Verdiyan is an Armenian non-binary activist (preferred pronoun, they/them/theirs). Narine regularly works with the Neutral Zone with various programs. They recently got appointed to be on the Neutral Zone Board of Directors, where they will help in making executive decisions for the Neutral Zone. They passionately work on raising awareness in communities about LGBTQ+ life, for example, they went to a trans/NB listening session where they spoke to adults regarding how to treat gender queer youth. They also regularly attend panels and talk to an array of crowds about the LGBTQ+ community and sexual assault. Narine attends rallies for issues that they are adamant on actively seeing change in, like the water crisis in Flint, I.C.E., gun violence, etc. They also participate in police task force listening sessions where they discuss with the community how they want to see change in police-to-community interactions. Being an activist is something so vital to Narine, and as they say, it helps them build their character.
Civil Rights Law
Lore has been working on systems change and social justice issues for many years. As a civil trial attorney 30 years ago, she represented Planned Parenthood in litigation that helped keep the Operation Rescue protesters from harassing patients, and she acted as an ACLU cooperating attorney in free speech and civil rights cases. For the past 22 years she has worked to end domestic and sexual violence and to support survivors and their families. She currently is a staff attorney with the State of Michigan Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention and Treatment Board. With the November 2016 election, she realized that it was highly unlikely that she was going to be able to look forward to a restful retirement, and that it was necessary to become more involved in political change. She has been busy since then, organizing an initial open house in January 2017 to connect people in Washtenaw County with change-making organizations, working as possible on local Democratic party organizational efforts, and most recently being elected a Democratic precinct delegate.