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Brian joined UFE's staff team as its executive director in 2009. During his first year, he has helped raise UFE's visibility in the national media, expand its base of individual supporters, and increased the overall impact of the organization. He has authored several editorials published in newspapers across the nation, co-authored UFE's 2010 and 2011 State of the Dream reports, and maintains a modest blog.
Brian has worked in the social change movement for 19 years, starting as a community organizer with groups like Louisiana Coalition for Tax Justice, Louisiana Citizen Action, and Community Farm Alliance in Kentucky. More recently, from 1997 to 2009, Brian served as executive director of Tennesseans for Fair Taxation (TFT), a TFOC member group.
Some of Brian’s early accomplishments include helping prevent a hazardous waste facility from being located in a low-income, African-American community south of Baton Rouge, uncovering corporate abuses in which public officials were giving tax breaks to their own companies, and helping win passage of water quality funding in Kentucky.
With TFT, he helped bring Tennessee to the brink of comprehensive tax reform, including creation of a state income tax, and later to pass the state’s first food tax reduction. During his tenure, TFT’s membership and budget more than quadrupled, it gained credibility with the media and legislators, and expanded its popular education and community organizing reach across the state.
Brian is a graduate of the University of Southwestern Louisiana (since renamed the Univ. of Louisiana at Lafayette), where he was also active as a student organizer. Brian and his partner, Daria Gere, also a veteran community organizer who spent 10 years working with Save Our Cumberland Mountains, live in Waltham, MA with their two children.
Email Brian at firstname.lastname@example.org
Maz Ali, Communications Coordinator
Maz serves a diverse role for UFE. Though varied, he finds that his position suits his personality well. He aspires to obtain a lifetime of broad experiential education that far transcends that of the classroom. Maz functions within UFE from a unique vantage point, engaging in both programmatic support and donor relations. Maz is a frequent writer and blogger for UFE, and was a co-author of UFE's 2011 report on the U.S. racial economic divide, State of the Dream 2011: Austerity for Whom?.
Prior to his arrival in Boston in 2007, Maz was a Senior Field Guide and Trainer for a therapeutic wilderness program in the deep piney woods of East Texas, and clerked for the Tax/Real Estate Team of one of the largest full-service law firms in Dallas. What he's learned from his hodge-podge of past experiences is that he wants to serve a greater good, opting for collectivism, rather than individualism, as with the Zapatista aphorism, "Everything for everyone, nothing for ourselves."
Maz graduated from Texas Tech University with a B.A. in Psychology in 2005. He is first generation American as proud second child to his accomplished parents, Maria Ali, of the Philippines, and Syed Ali, of Pakistan.
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Jen Douglas, Grants Coordinator
Jen coordinates UFE's foundation fundraising. She first became involved with UFE as a participant in a "Growing Divide" workshop in 1997. Prior to joining UFE's staff in 2009, she held advocacy, organizing, research, and adjunct teaching positions at Boston-area non-profit organizations and universities.
Most recently, Jen coordinated a research project on subprime mortgage lending at the National Consumer Law Center. Prior to that, she was the managing editor of publications for the Massachusetts Human Services Coalition.
Jen is a graduate of Wesleyan University (1992) and holds a master's degree in public policy from the University of Massachusetts Boston (2000).
Email Jen at firstname.lastname@example.org
Lee organizes individuals and organizations to win permanent and responsible reform of the estate tax, which is the most progressive tax in the U.S. She develops actions to support the estate tax. Lee identifies and builds connections with key partner organizations, activists, and spokespeople, and frequently speaks with the media about federal tax issues. Lee is a co-author of the report Spending Millions to Save Billions: The Campaign of the Super-Wealthy to Kill the Estate Tax and Safe, Fair and Sustainable: Do Obama’s Tax Proposals Measure Up?.
Lee has more than 20 years of experience in organizing. In the 1980s, Lee worked as Southern Africa Coordinator for Boston Mobilization for Survival, winning passage of anti-apartheid state pension divestment and purchasing legislation. In the early 1990s, Lee worked for the Women's Statewide Legislative Network, which won passage of state legislation to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. Lee then worked as Director of Community Organizing for the Allston Brighton Community Development Corporation, where she organized tenants on housing legislation and funding, and coordinated a participatory economic development planning process.
Lee has been active in the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, the Cambridge Community Preservation Act Board, and the Area 4 Coalition in her Cambridge neighborhood. She was raised in Gainesville, Florida.
Lee graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science.
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Jeannette coordinates UFE’s popular education work and facilitates many workshops, in particular for Latino groups.
Originally from El Salvador, Jeannette came to the US in 1989. She has spent her life working for justice and social change. By developing confidence and leadership skills in others, she has increased the number of activists in the struggle for social change, and has empowered women, immigrants and others facing injustice to participate in the decision-making process around issues that affect their lives.
Jeannette's first organizing job in United States was with the Latino Parents Association. She then went on to spend four years at the Coalition for Basic Human Needs (CBHN), organizing low-income women to fight for their rights. Then, Jeannette went to work for the Women's Institute for Leadership Development (WILD) as the Program Director / Trainer / Organizer. Following that, she worked as a Union Organizer for Service Employees International Union (SEIU) Local 254, organizing immigrant workers like herself to find their voice as members of the labor movement.
Jeannette is an Advisory Board Member of the Center to Support Immigrant Organizing (CSIO).
Jeannette is the mother of nine children, two of whom still live in El Salvador.
Email Jeannette at firstname.lastname@example.org
Karen coordinates the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative, a network of grassroots organizations in 23 states that are working to increase the fairness and adequacy of the state and federal tax systems.
Karen authored the article High Stakes: Why and How Nonprofits Must Engage on State Tax Policy
Prior to coming to UFE, Karen worked as a public housing community organizer in northern California and as a legislative assistant for Congresswoman (now Senator) Olympia Snowe in Washington, DC. She holds a Masters degree in public health from the University of California, Berkeley.
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Anneka Landgraf, Administrative Assistant
Anneka is UFE's administrative assistant, providing support in a variety of areas. She graduated from McGill University in 2008 with a Bachelor's degree in Anatomy and Cell Biology. Anatomy and economic justice may not seem to be a likely fit, but Anneka's studies allowed her to explore the relationship between various social factors and health. Being at UFE helps deepen her understanding of how the two are connected and she gets to support what she feels is really important work in the process.
Email Anneka at firstname.lastname@example.org
Mike coordinates UFE’s Responsible Wealth project, a network of business leaders, inheritors and other wealthy people who believe the economic rules are too tilted towards the rich at the expense of everyone else. RW members use their unexpected voice to push for rule changes that will lead to a fairer and more democratic society.
Prior to joining UFE in 1996, Mike was AIDS Housing Project Director for the City of Boston Department of Neighborhood Development and a Housing Specialist for the law firm of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky & Popeo, P.C. He is a member of the Social Venture Network.
Mike graduated from Dartmouth College with a B.A. in Urban Studies and Public Policy in 1986. He also holds an M.A. in Community Economic Development from New Hampshire College (1991).
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Shannon Moriarty, Communications Director, Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative
Shannon serves as the Communications Director for the Tax Fairness Organizing Collaborative. She provides capacity building support to TFOC’s member organizations while working to elevate the Collaborative’s visibility.
Prior to joining UFE, Shannon was the founding writer and editor for the End Homelessness blog on Change.org. She has worked in advocacy, communications, and development for homeless service organizations in Durham, North Carolina and Somerville, Massachusetts. As a graduate researcher at the National Alliance to End Homelessness in Washington, D.C., she authored, “Moving from Paper to Practice: An Implementation Analysis of 10-Year Plans to End Homelessness.”
Shannon earned a B.A. in political science from Bridgewater State College and a Master’s Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.
Email Shannon at firstname.lastname@example.org
Wanjiku Mwangi, Racial Wealth Divide Initiative Leader
Wanjiku Mwangi, the Racial Wealth Divide (RWD) Initiative Leader, is a native Kenyan, but has done most of her professional work in Uganda over the last 12 years. She has been a US resident 2002, travelling frequently to East Africa mostly doing consultancy work in social development, and directly working with British Council doing program development and evaluation.
She was also coordinating "reality tours" for Global Exchange in Uganda and conducting research, strategic planning, and designing participatory activities for non profits. Through that work, she has developed connections with US-based organizations and foundations, including IFP-Ford Foundation.
She has previously been with the Christian Children Fund, Kenya, and Foundation for Human Rights Initiative, Uganda, and the Kenyan Human Rights Commission. She has a bachelor degree from the University of Nairobi in Sociology / Literature, and a MA degree in International Development from Development Studies Centre in Dublin, Ireland.
Central to all her earlier appointments and assignments, is a keen interest in the interlinking of human rights and economic development, to create meaningful livelihoods for the majority of people in East Africa. She is an ardent advocate of making use of diversity that exists in society in a creative and positive to improve social and economic inclusion.
She is the vice chair of Voluntary Services Overseas, Jitolee (VSOJ), an international development charity that works through volunteers, with its headquarters in Nairobi.
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Steve helps design and develop UFE’s popular economics education workshops and materials, and leads workshops and presentations around the country.
Steve has nearly 40 years experience as a community-based organizer, educator, and activist in New York City and the Greater Boston area. He studied popular education with Dr. Jane Vella and has led numerous Training of Trainer workshops for organizers, community educators, and social justice activists. in the US and Canada. Steve also taught Community Organizing at the Boston University School of Social Work and Springfield College/School of Human Services, in the 1990s.
Before coming to UFE in October 1998, Steve directed the Management and Community Development Institute at the Lincoln Filene Center for Citizen Participation at Tufts University.
Steve earned a B.A. in anthropology from the City College of New York in 1969 and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from Boston University in 1981.
Steve gets support and encouragement from his lifelong partner, Honey Schnapp and his daughters, Tania and Jessie.
Email Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org
Tim coordinates UFE's development activities, including membership, foundations and online giving. He recently graduated from Roxbury Community College as the valedictorian with an Associate’s degree in Business Administration. He intends to seek a degree in economics while working to further the goals of United for a Fair Economy.
He was born and raised in the Greater Boston area and now makes his home in Roslindale, where he lives with his wife Suzanne.
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De'En manages the day-to-day operations that enable UFE to run smoothly, bringing her passion for numbers and her organizational talents to all aspects of the organization's function.
Before joining the UFE team, De'En had her own financial services clientele, providing insurance services, sales tax and worker's comp advice, travel assistance, and bookkeeping to several inner city Boston businesses. She is a Certified Tax Preparer and continues to maintain clients in this area. She is trained in bookkeeping and various financial software applications, holding a certificate from the Boston YMCA training program.
De'En and her immediate family travel frequently, returning to visit family still living in the U.S. Virgin Islands, where De'En was born and lived till age 9. She and her husband travel to different locations every year for their anniversary. Her three children are very involved in sports and cultural activities in the Boston area, and De'En can always be found at one softball, basketball or soccer match or another, unless it's a dance recital or event at the Boston Boys & Girls Club.
Email De'En at firstname.lastname@example.org