“Undoing Racism & Healing The Soul”
You are invited to a Zoom meeting.
When: July 3rd, 2020 06:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Register in advance for this meeting:
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Biographies of panelists:
Dr. Marianela Rivera-
Marianela was born and raised in Lawrence, Massachusetts and she is a graduate of Northeastern University’s competitive physical therapy doctoral program.
Marianela became a single mother during her second year and experienced homelessness her last year of graduate school. With the help of family, friends, and her community, Marianela graduated with her doctorate in physical therapy at the age of 24. Understanding the importance of giving back to her community, Marianela stayed in her hometown and worked in a variety of settings such as home care, special education, and early intervention serving the Lawrence, Andover, Methuen, and North Andover area.
Her experiences revealed systemic issues that were impacting her patients, students, and clients. The most alarming of her experiences was witnessing the state of education in the Lawrence Public Schools under receivership. Determined to make the changes her students desperately needed, Marianela ran and won a last-minute sticker campaign for the Lawrence School Committee. She was elected Vice Chair during her second term and dedicated her public service to providing civic education, empowering her community members, and fighting for education justice.
Marianela’s grassroots efforts helped organize parents, teachers, students, activists, and concerned citizens to save public education during the “No on 2” campaign and the Fund Our Future campaign that led to the passing of the Student Opportunity Act. She is currently working in special education and remains dedicated to equity work as she shifts her focus towards running for state representative. With her knowledge and experience, Marianela desires to unify experts in all areas, especially in the healthcare and education fields, to guide policies that positively impact our communities.
A Scribe Called Quess? aka Michael “Quess?” Moore-
He is a poet, educator, actor, playwright, activist and organizer in that order.
He is a 2-time national poetry slam champion and founding member of Team SNO (Slam New Orleans), New Orleans’ three-time national poetry slam championship team. His poetry has been published or featured by Pluck!, Nike, Congo TV, Balcony TV, Button Poetry, Write About Now Poetry, Spotify, Mic, Redbull and other platforms and earned him honors from the mayor and city council of New Orleans. He has shared stages with The Last Poets’ Abiondun Oyewole, Saul Williams, Jessica Care Moore, Mutubaruka, Danny Glover and many more.
His words led him to the classroom where he served for eleven years as an educator. His work as an educator has been highlighted on NPR in the Voices of Educators series as well as taken him to Oxford University to speak on school reform.
As a theater maker he has written for and acted in plays with Junebug Productions, ArtSpot Productions, Urban Bush Women and other esteemed outfits. As a 2014 New Orleans Contemporary Arts Center DISTILLERY resident, he work shopped his first stage play, “Crossroads.” He debuted his one-man show, “Sleeper Cell,” in the Fall 2017 In Fringe festival.
As an activist, he co-founded Take Em Down NOLA in 2015, a coalition dedicated to the removal of white supremacist symbols in New Orleans as a part of the greater push for racial and socio-economic justice. For his activism, he earned the 2017 Urban League Courage Award, was featured in the NY Times, The Republic, Trinidad & Tobago’s Kwame Toure Lecture Series, and several other platforms.
In May of 2016, he published his second collection of poetry, Sleeper Cell, through Next Left Press. He is a 2018 Hewlett 50 Commissions Award winner along with PolicyLink and the lead curating artist of Policy Link’s “We the 100” production set to debut in Fall 2020.
Katherine Montero, Founding CEO of Global Deeds-
Rev. Jacob Urena–
Rev. Jacob Urena is a commissioned missioner in The Order of St. Martin de Porres and has worked hands on in the formation of the socio-religious order, with his sole motivations lying on the upward mobility of every individual especially those ostracized and forgotten. Rev. Jacob has worked as an advocate and organizer for justice in his community, and he seeks to continue to advocate for the upward mobility of every individual no matter race, religion, sex, etc. Alongside the leadership of the order of St. Martin de Porres, Rev. Jacob Urena aims to live up to be a vessel in which the amazing work started by Saint Martin de Porres can continue.