An outstanding group of women leaders from across Massachusetts have made considerable contributions to the development of the Women’s Pipeline for Change since 2008. The following women are currently the active members of the Pipeline’s Oversight and Planning Board:
Celina Barrios-Millner Student Immigrant Movement
Through her professional and her community life, Celina has devoted herself to enriching disenfranchised communities through political, economic, and social transformation. In her current role as Northeast Regional Field Director for the Reform Immigration FOR America Campaign, she is working to pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform at a national level. Previously, she was the Director of Partnership Development with the State Office of Minority and Women Business Assistance. Celina has managed a variety of projects in the political realm—from directing community relations for Boston City Councilor Felix Arroyo to overseeing organizing efforts in the central Florida offices of Mi Familia Vota, a voter registration project of People For the American Way. Celina is deeply committed to effecting social change in her community as well. She currently serves as President of the MassVOTE Board of Directors; Member of the Civic Leaders Compact at the Boston Foundation, Advisor to the Student Immigrant Movement; and a Mentor at Kilombo Novo, a Capoeira Angola community group. Celina holds a Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. in International Development from American University.
Natalie Carithers Delta Sigma Theta Boston Alumnae Chapter
Natalie is a resident of the Grove Hall section of Dorchester and a radio personality. As a former legislative aide for State Representative Willie Mae Allen, Natalie diligently worked with constituent issues and researched policies that directly impact minority communities. Natalie is an alumna of the Emerge Massachusetts Class of 2010, a political leadership training program for Democratic women. She is a graduate of Northeastern University, where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Health Care Management. At Northeastern, she also co-authored An Educational Study of Seven Massachusetts School Districts and a Scan of the Latino Population in Rhode Island with UMASS Boston. Natalie belongs and holds leadership positions in several civic engagement organizations, including Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. (currently serving on the National Committee), the NAACP Boston Branch, the National Council of Negro Women and Order of the Eastern Star.
Luzmar Centeno ¿Oíste? The Latino Civic Education Initiative
Luzmar is ¿Oíste?'s current Office Manager and Public Relations Office. Luzmar contributes valuable knowledge and services to ¿Oíste? The Latino Civic Education Initiative through her experience in media production, photography work and volunteering within the Latino community for many years. Among these valuabel community collaborations are assisting in the coordination of the Annual Latina Women Conference at the State House, the development of the communications strategy for the Women's Pipeline for Change, and production assistance for Boston Latino TV, Divina Production, and Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, to name a few. At ¿Oíste? she is currently assisting and coordination education programs such as Latinas por El Cambio, The Initiative for Diversity in Civic Leadership (IDCL), and The "Despierta!" Leadership Development Training. She continues to plan fundraising for ¿Oíste?, including a triathlon and the main fundraiser for Poder Latino to increase donations to underwrite civic education programs. Luzmar also supervises service learning experinces for college students in advanced Spanish classes around the state of Massachsuetts, and focuses on enhancing their Spanish speaking abilities. Finally, Luzmar continues to inform the Latino community about important policy and advocacy issues through newsletters, press releases and social media.
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford MassVOTE
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford is the Co- Director at MassVOTE, Democracy for Nonprofits. She is a critical public face for MassVOTE, recruiting coalition members, new donors, and volunteers. As a woman of color, Cheryl works easily and with commitment and dedication within the African American communities throughout the state, other communities of color, as well as among her colleagues in the elected arena. During the most recent election cycles, Cheryl took the lead in organizing the Boston Municipal Forums Coalition, which brought together over 40 community organizations and 1,600 people in combined attendance at four events designed to ensure that the candidates for Mayor and City Council in Boston answered questions from the people. In addition, she brought the same coalition back together to educate the general public and communities of color in particular, about the roles and responsibilities of the statewide constitutional officers. She also organized community educational forums for those seeking electoral support, while at the same time helping to advance and direct three statewide educational campaigns on referendum issues.
Before coming to MassVOTE, Cheryl served as Chief of Staff and Campaign Manager to State Representative Willie Mae Allen. Cheryl continues her work in public service as an Executive Board member of the Boston Branch of the NAACP and a former Chair of the Membership Committee. In addition, Cheryl is Board Chair of Emerge Massachusetts, a political leadership training program for Democratic women in Massachusetts, where she also engages in outreach and training of new recruits. Cheryl is an active member of the Order of the Eastern Star, a Prince Hall affiliated organization, as well as a member of the Garrison Trotter Neighborhood Association. She has worked as a poll worker and an Election Day monitor for local and national elections. Cheryl grew up in Boston, and received a Bachelor of Science degree from Lesley College.
Joyce Ferriabough-Bolling Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus
Joyce, a resident of Roxbury, is the MWPC Public Relations Committee Chair. She is a political and communication strategist, community outreach and crisis management specialist. She specializes in strategic multi-faceted campaigns of any kind where message crafting, strong writing skills, knowledge of media, and educational outreach and promotion are key. In addition to story and editorial placement, she has also produced television, radio, and print advertisement for a range of clients. She is the former field producer/writer for major market television including WCVB's Chronicle. She is very active in political and community circles and in 2010 was named one of The Top l00 Influencers in Massachusetts by Politics and Campaigns for her messaging and fund raising skills She was profiled for her work in the July 1994 edition of the Boston Globe Magazine.
Georgia Hollister Isman Mass Alliance
Georgia has been the Director of Mass Alliance since 2006, through which she contributes her extensive practical experience in grassroots campaigning, especially on behalf of progressive women candidates. She has been the primary instigator, designer, and trainer for the Mass Alliance leadership development program. Georgia has worked closely with dozens of candidates for state and local office. She assists with every aspect of campaigning from building strategy to knocking on doors to helping candidates navigate the personal challenges of running. Georgia has been thinking about and exploring ways to combat the dual problems of sexism and racism in the electoral process throughout her tenure at Mass Alliance. She is also a founding board member of Emerge Massachusetts and has been a guest trainer for programs across the Commonwealth designed to increase the participation and political leadership of women and people of color. Georgia holds a B.A. in Politics, Law and Society from Oberlin College.
Diana Hwang Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative
Diana Hwang is the Co-Founder and Board President of the Asian-American Women’s Political Initiative. Diana was formerly the Chief of Staff to Boston City Councilor-At Large John Connolly. Before that, she worked at the State House as the Executive Director of the Caucus of Women Legislators and as the Legislative Aide to late State Representative Debby Blumer (D-Framingham). She currently serves on the Governor’s Asian-American Commission and on the External Advisory Board of the University of Massachusetts Boston’s Center for Women in Politics and Public Policy.
Suzanne worked in the Boston Public Schools for 35 years, first as a teacher and later as a principal. As part of her numerous accomplishments, she led a high-profile turnaround at the Baldwin School in Brighton, improving a low-achieving and divided school into a nationwide model for school improvement. She went on to head the Josiah Quincy Elementary School for 10 years. During her tenure, the school was named one of the Best 100 Elementary Schools in Massachusetts.
Suzanne has been a community leader for more than three decades, helping immigrant mothers launch the first Chinese Parents Association and unemployed garment workers secure Boston’s first bilingual training programs. She has also worked closely with many organizations, such as The Boston Foundation, to address persistent poverty in the city. She was lead founder and longtime chair of the Chinese Progressive Association, a founding member of the Massachusetts Asian American Educators Association, and a member of the Massachusetts Advisory Council on Bilingual Education and the English Language Learners Task Force for the Boston Public Schools.
A first generation immigrant, Lee grew up in Grove Hall, the child of garment and restaurant workers, and graduated from Girls’ Latin School. Suzanne was the first in her family to attend college, earning a scholarship to Brandeis University and later earning her Master’s degree at Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Suzanne is currently a candidate for District 2 Boston City Council which includes Bay Village, Chinatown, Leather District, Fort Point Channel, South Boston, and part of downtown and the South End.
Jasmine is the Development and Communications Coordinator for RESPOND, Inc. and organization on a mission to end domestic violence. She began her career as an AmeriCorps VISTA for a community center in a diverse, low-income community of Rhode Island where she led community organizing and fund development. Intrigured by the power of grassroots political action within traditionally disadvantaged populations, Jasmine moved on to Neighbor to Neighbor Massachusetts as the Development & Communications Associate, then as the Strategic Communications Organizer. In this role, she was at the front lines of the movement to build the political power of low-income communities. She holds a B.S. in Legal Studies and Spanish for Roger Williams University, as well as a Master's of Public Health with a focus on Health Law and Human Rights from Boston University. In addition, she completed the two-year Diversity Fellowship organized by the Association of Fundraising Professionals MA Chapter. Jasmine currently serves as Vice Chair, and Development Chair of the Boston Women's Fund Board.
Lydia Lowe Chinese Progressive Association
Lydia Lowe is the Executive Director of the Chinese Progressive Association (CPA), a grass-roots organization that works for full equality and empowerment of the Chinese community in Greater Boston and beyond. She celebrates her 25th Anniversary at the CPA this year.
During her years at CPA, she has co-founded its Workers Center for immigrant workers to organize for their rights; helped to establish a policy of multilingual access to public meetings in the City of Boston, worked with Chinatown residents and local officials to preserve over a thousand units of affordable housing, and helped Boston's Chinese and Vietnamese-speaking voters gain bilingual ballots to ensure equal access to the voting booth.
Patricia Montes Centro Presente
Patricia is the Executive Director of Centro Presente. She arrived in the US from her native Honduras in 2003. Upon arriving to the Boston area, she joined Perfiles, a local Spanish-language periodical, working as a reporter to cover stories of importance to the Latino community. Through journalism, she came into contact with Centro Presente, and immediately identified with its mission. She signed up as a member and soon thereafter joined Centro Presente’s Board of Directors in 2004. She was elected Board President in 2005 and from there joined the staff as a community organizer. Her stellar performance as an organizer led to her promotion as Community Organizing Director and her subsequent election as Executive Director by the Board in 2008. She currently sits on the Board of Directors of the National Alliance of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) and the Salvadoran-American National Network (SANN). She has also earned a Certificate in Nonprofit Management from the Institute for Nonprofit Management and Leadership at the Boston University School of Management.
In her native Honduras, Patricia earned a degree in journalism from the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Honduras. She worked in public relations and communications in both government agencies and non-governmental organizations in Honduras, as well as in television production for over six years. During that time she had the opportunity to engage in national civic engagement campaigns with Caritas, a social services organization affiliated with the Catholic Church that advocates for the poor and oppressed. While managing communications for the national office, Patricia gained experience in the defense of human rights, the development and promotion of civil society, as well as strategic project design, management and evaluation. These experiences also helped to form her political consciousness and dedication to social and economic justice.
Gloribell Mota Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE)
Gloribell is the Lead Organizer for NUBE, a direct action grassroots organization seeking to empower people of color and immigrants in East Boston. Gloribell has direct experience as a candidate running a grassroots campaign. As a former candidate for State Representative in 2007, Gloribell recruited over 125 volunteers to work on Election Day and had thousands of voters identified in her native East Boston. Prior to her work at NUBE, Gloribell worked as the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Education and Training Director. In this role, she was responsible for implementing and developing all of the Party’s curriculum and training activities, as well as identifying, assisting and recruiting candidates of color to run for office. She has extensive experience mentoring and building the leadership capacity of young people of color. In her professional background, she also worked as Community Organizing Coordinator for City Councilor Felix Arroyo and as State Tax Educator for United for a Fair Economy.
Judy Pineda Neufeld Emerge Massachusetts
Judy serves as the current Executive Director of Emerge Massachusetts, and she is an alumna of the Emerge Massachusetts Class of 2009. Previously, Judy was the Manager of Recruitment and Community Partnerships at Big Sister Association of Greater Boston, the largest and oldest mentoring organization in Greater Boston exclusively serving girls. Over the three years at Big Sister, Judy built relationships with corporations, universities, and community organizations to recruit thousands of women to serve as volunteer mentors to girls. She also developed and managed Big Sister’s Alumnae Association to engage and involve former Big and Little Sisters and created a thriving Diversity Council to help recruit and retain women of color to serve as mentors. Prior to Big Sister, Judy worked as a community organizer with Stand for Children, a grassroots advocacy organization focused on increasing funding for public education and other vital state programs for children.
In addition, Judy has worked on numerous political campaigns. She managed State Representative Marty Walz's successful run in the 8th Suffolk District and was Deputy Campaign Manager for Marty Martinez's city-wide campaign for Alderman at Large in Somerville. She actively campaigned for Hillary Clinton for President, Martha Coakley for U.S. Senate, and numerous other progressive candidates for State Legislature in Massachusetts. Currently, she serves as the Co-President for the Massachusetts Chapter of the National Organization for Women and the Vice-Chair for the Progressive Democrats of Somerville. Judy graduated cum laude from Tufts University with a B.A. in Gender and Education Studies.
Priti Rao Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus
Priti currently serves as Executive Director of the Massachusetts Women’s Political Caucus, a non-partisan, non-profit organization committed to maximizing the participation of women of all ages in the political process and to increasing the number of women appointed and elected to public office and public policy positions. Priti previously served as the organization's Associate Director and most recently as Acting Executive Director. She is a Cum Laude graduate of Mount Holyoke College, where she majored in Politics and Spanish. Priti has coordinated field activities for Congressional and City Council races in New York. In Massachusetts she worked in the successful campaign of Congresswoman Niki Tsongas, the first woman elected to Congress in 25 years. As Acting Executive Director and Associate Director, Priti worked to design and execute strategic political and field support that helped fuel the successful election of 5 MWPC endorsed women to the MA House of Representatives in 2008, and the 2009 election of Ayanna Pressley to the Boston City Council, the first woman of color ever to serve on the Council in its 100-year history. Originally from upstate New York, she currently lives in Boston.
Wilnelia Rivera Neighbor to Neighbor
Wilnelia is the Political and Policy Development Director at Neighbor to Neighbor MA, where she leads the organization’s coalition and alliance development, policy building, legislative advocacy, and electoral campaigns. Wilnelia was born in Puerto Rico to Dominican and Puerto Rican parents. She grew up in Lawrence, Massachusetts and graduated from the Lawrence Public Schools. Growing up in the forgotten pockets of the Commonwealth, her childhood was defined by injustice and discrimination. She earned a B.A. at Tufts University gaining a pragmatic lens in International Relations and social consciousness in Women’s Studies. Currently, she is a candidate for a Masters in Urban and Environmental Policy & Planning at Tufts University. She has also been a member of a prominent national Latina organization that helps mentor, support, and develop Latina leaders at the undergraduate level. Upon graduating from college, Wilnelia moved to Chicago, where she learned the nuts and bolts of organizing from AFSCME Council 31. During her time at the union she organized health care and child workers in Chicago and Detroit, nurses to push for a statewide safe staffing bill, recruited community based organizations into the union campaign to address community needs, and developed dozens of Latino laundry and childcare worker leaders.
Wilnelia joined N2N-MA in 2006 and has become an accomplished and expert senior staff focused on budget, health care, and CORI reform work for the past four years. In addition, she played a key role on the 2006 Governor's race, helping identify over 2,000 low-income voters in support of Deval Patrick in Worcester. Following this victory, she was part of the senior team that in eight weeks identified over 3,000 supporters to help elect Jim O’Day as State Representative in Worcester. Supervising the Campaigns Department staff, she manages the organization’s program work and is responsible for high-level fundraising. As part of the organization’s leadership team, Wilnelia is helping guide the strategic vision of N2N-MA and working to integrate electoral and legislative campaigns with their community organizing campaigns. She also worked with staff, members, and national allies to expand the electoral program for the 2010 electoral season. Currently, she leads a statewide frequent voter electoral program that includes congressional, statewide, and district level races. She works directly with N2N-MA Organizing Director to coordinate with the infrequent voter program in the neighborhoods where N2N-MA works. Moreover, she successfully led the Commonwealth CORI Coalition and other allies to victory in 2010. This victory led to one of the most progressive criminal justice legislations adopted in decades in the state of Massachusetts.
Carin Schiewe has been an organizer, trainer and political strategist working with progressive political and nonpartisan campaigns and organizations for the past 25 years. In her former role as executive director of the Commonwealth Coalition, Carin worked closely with women’s organizations, labor unions and citizen’s groups to win progressive legislative victories and electoral campaigns at the state level. She provided strategic advice to sixty state legislative campaigns, coached about fifty campaign managers and key campaign staff and trained over two hundred candidates. During her thirteen year tenure, the coalition won 75% of their endorsed races and launched successful programs to support Latino civic leadership, promote women’s engagement in politics and increase voter engagement in urban neighborhoods. Over the past seven years, Carin has worked at the regional and national levels as a consultant to foundations, including Proteus Fund, the Boston Foundation, and the Voter Engagement Evaluation Project focusing on strategies to advance civic engagement and movement building. She currently serves as regional field manager and lead trainer with Northeast Action and the US Action Education Fund.
Digna's knowledge and experiences combines practice in the business, education and public policy areas. Over the course of her career, she has managed corporate training programs for IBM, provided operational leadership for the Schott Foundation, served as Dean at Mass Bay Community College and founded/managed several small businesses in real estate, tax preparation and management consulting. As a volunteer, she has actively participating in the governance of the town in which she resides, Swampscott; served on the boards of Women in Politics and Public Policy, Mass Vote and Emerge, three organizations dedicated to increasing political participation among women and minorities as well as leading at the Boards of other organizations. From ethe different perspectives of business, public policy and academia, she has worked to increase access to opportunities for marginalized communities. She owns and operates Sirius Group, a consulting firm that concentrates on advising on business strategy and operations.
Alejandra St. Guillen ¿Oíste? The Latino Civic Education Initiative
In her role as Executive Director of ¿Oíste?, Alejandra leads the organization to offer a voice to the Latino community. Alejandra’s participation and commitment to this project since its inception stems from experiences through which she was gained awareness about the struggles women of color face and what kinds of support they need. Alejandra St. Guillen holds Master’s degree in Public Policy from Tufts University, as well as a Master’s degree in Education from the City College of New York. She also holds a B.A. in Economics and African-American Studies from Wesleyan University. Born and raised in Mission Hill in Boston, Alejandra began her career as a New York City Teaching Fellow for two years in the South Bronx. Upon returning to Boston, she taught Spanish and Social Studies to Middle and High School students at the McKinley Tech School in the South End. From there, she became Director of the Citybridge Program, working with 8th grade students from Boston and Cambridge to access competitive high schools, and later working at the Roxbury Preparatory Charter School to help high school students access college placements. Alejandra first entered the political arena as Director of Constituent Services for Senator Dianne Wilkerson. She is currently on the Board of Directors of Alianza Hispana, and has volunteered at many other organizations throughout Boston, including the Hyde Square Task Force and the Campaign for Proficiency.
Renata Teodoro Student Immigration Movement
Renata Teodoro emingrated to the U.S. at the age of 6 from Brazil. She graduated in 2006 as a recipient of the Abigail Adams Scholarship, a prestigious academic merit scholarship, but could not use it because of her immigration status. Renata became an active member of the Student Immigration Movement leadership team in 2008 after taking and active role in the In-State Tuition Campaign. Renata quickly took responsibility for organizing fundraising events, implementing new strategies to focus on the strenghts of members. Renata joined the SIM staff in 2009 to focus on resource development and fundraising. Renata continues her education at UMass Boston, working on a joint degree in Psychology and Human Services.
FRIENDS OF THE PIPELINE - Acknowledgements & Donors
The Women's Pipeline for Change thanks the following individuals and organizations for contributions that have allowed the Pipeline to expand political horizons for women of color.
Former State Representative Willie Mae Allen
Carmen Arce-Bowen, ONE Massachusetts
Kelly Bates, Access Strategies Fund
Margo Brathwaite, Partnership for Democracy and Education, LLC
Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz, Massachusetts State Senate
Manolia Charlotin, Editor and Business Manager of the Boston Haitian Reporter
Karen Chen, Asian Outreach Unit of Greater Boston Legal Services and Board Member of Chinese Progressive Association
Senator Martha Fuller Clark, New Hampshire State Senate
Maria Gonzalez, Board Member of MassVote
Gail Jackson Blount
Adrienne Kimmel, Barbara Lee Family Foundation
Kweli Kitwana, Progressive Majority
Donna Latson Gittens
Barbara Lee, Barbara Lee Family Foundation
Massachusetts Women's Political Caucus
Charles J. Ogletree Jr.
Carla Oleska, Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts
Order of the Eastern Star
Shonda Pettiford, Board President of the Women's Fund of Western Massachusetts
Colette Phillips of Colette Phillips Communications, Inc.
Ayanna Pressley, Boston City Councilor at Large
Sarah-Ann Shaw, League of Women for Community Service
Stephona Stokes, Access Strategies Fund
Josefina Vazquez, Boston Women's Fund
Gladys Vega, Executive Director of Chelsea Collaborative
Charles Walker, Jr.
The Women's Pipeline for Change thanks our donors for their support. Your generosity helps us build a sustainable pipeline to support progressive women of color as they enter public life.
Hunt Alternatives Fund
Abbey Rockefeller & Lee Halprin
Center for Women in Politics & Public Policy at UMass Boston
Marie B. Allen
Carroll R. Allston
Russell & Cathy Ashton
Ann E. Beaudry
Joann G. Breuer
Margaret Bush Ware
Holly J. Cachimuel
Kelly Chunn & Associates
Cheryl Clyburn Crawford
Jane C. Edmonds
Lynne & David Edmonds
Louis A. Elisa
John H. Jackson
Jackie Jenkins Scott
Jay R. Kaufman
Diane L. Renfroe
James M. Scott
Dr. Jean R. Stewart
Franklin A. Wharton
Wendy Carolyn Wolf