Staff

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Angelica Otero, Executive Director

Angélica was born in Ecuador where she witnessed first hand both, extreme poverty and opulent wealth, which helped to lay the foundation of her class-consciousness. Her justice work began with a powerful group of women in the South Bronx, who were fed up with the poor education their children were receiving and decided to organize and fight for justice in education. These women taught her about collectivity and of the power of justice and healing in community organizing.   She then joined the staff of Social Justice Leadership, as a trainer and coach. At SJL she worked to deepen the transformative organizing model, which seeks to transform systems of oppression while working towards of individuals within these systems. She is the training coordinator at Center for Neighborhood Leadership, where she teaches community organizing to new and emerging organizers; And is a consultant with Road Map, where she supports social justice organizations.

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Jariza Geigel, Youth Organizer

Poet. Womyn. Black Queen. Peace, I was born and raised in Bushwick, Brooklyn where I am lucky enough to still currently reside. I started organizing as a youth member with Make the Road New York at the age of 16 and by 19, I transitioned on to the team and it's been a life changing experience. It was there that I was able to find one of my soon to be many passions working, fighting along side, and developing young people. Over the last couple years I have been introduced to somatics and have seen the fruits of its work when we choose to walk from our core values and how we want to experience one another. Knowing the impact it has had in my life it's been a vision to build this with the young people in our communities. Our communities are in need of healing and rebuilding and I am committed to engaging in that fight anywhere I am.

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Julianna Campos Lopes, Community Organizer

Julianna is a dedicated individual committed to fighting for racial, gender, and economic equity, human rights, and social justice.  She brings with her a diverse background that includes psychological research, clinical work, community organizing, teaching, and higher education administration.  She holds a BA in Psychology from Purchase College, SUNY, and is currently pursuing her MSW at Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.  Before pursuing her bachelor's degree, Julianna spent the early years of her career volunteering at various schools in underserved communities throughout Brazil.  These experiences inspired her to pursue a career improving the lives of young people living in poverty and facing oppression.  She is passionate about education reform, healing trauma, criminal justice reform, using education as a means of change to build power among communities, and dismantling the school to prison pipeline. She is also a photographer and strongly believes that photography and art are powerful tools that can be used for healing, building community, raising awareness, and promoting social change.

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Tiffany Hervas, Community Organizer

Tiffany Hervas is 22 years-old born in Quito, Ecuador and raised in Long Island.  While in high school she co-founded a peer mentoring program, President of two honor societies and served as secretary for the student government.  In college she founded an English Honor Society chapter, and authored a monthly advice column which was recognized nationwide winning 3rd place for Best Column by the College Media Association in 2013.  She has a Bachelor of Social Work degree from Stony Brook University where she co-found a student run non-profit organization called, Unite Education Inc. where she and her team mentor high school students across Long Island in pursuing higher education.  She is currently a member of the Long Island Latino Student Association, Long Island Latino Teacher Association, a student-member-at-large and chairperson of the Hispanic heritage committee for the National Association for Puerto Rican and Hispanic Social Workers, and a member of the National Association for Social Workers.  In pursuing her Master’s degree, she currently attends Hunter College Silberman School of Social Work where she studies community organizing, planning and development; her expected graduation is May 2017.