Selah Leadership Program Participants
I am an Afro-American Jewish Woman. I am a strategist, thinker, student, leader, mother, daughter, healer, teacher, lover, sister, confidant and friend. I am a Warrior: Midwest born, Oakland raised. I live with my Ancestors and walk with Two Spirits.
My optimum experience? I live a long and healthy praxis-based life, focused on making racial and social justice the truth. I am stellar at what pleases me. I know surrender and the sound of my own voice. I value my life and I add value to the life experience of others. I share sweet love and joy before I leave…and I live my life free.
Aaron is the Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Main Street Alliance, where he joined in August 2015 to drive MSA's capacity-building efforts. He comes to MSA after serving as the Executive Director at a human services agency in San Francisco, where he led the organization through a process of repairing donor and funder relationships, managing its best-ever year-end campaign, and positioning the organization's programs to be around for the long-term by initiating a merger conversation. Prior to leading that turn-around, Aaron was at Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE) in Boston, where he was responsible for all fundraising and development activities as Development Director. After college, he first worked as a fundraiser in Boston for an LGBTQ youth development agency and later project-managed the internal operations of a $20 million capital campaign for a progressive synagogue in New York City. Aaron has strong roots in the Northwest, serves on the board of a local youth development agency, and brings a decade of knowledge and experience in social justice fundraising to the queer community, low/no-income people, women, youth, people living with HIV/AIDS and people of color.
Hirut credits her ancestors, unique background and intersectional identities for keeping her grounded and connected. As a reproductive justice advocate, doula, and lactation consultant, she has been developing a Black\queer\feminist approach to counselling and servicing pregnant and breastfeeding wombn.
She is passionate about her work with the Third Eye Collective in healing from, and organizing against intimate partner, familial, state and institutional sexual violence.
The investigative and reporting work that she has done in the last 17 years has been used by many, including the United Nations to determine humanitarian aid, and by local players to develop initiatives, programs and interventions in the area of mental health.
Rachel recently moved to Los Angeles, CA where she serves as the Director of Special Programs for Citizens of the World Charter School - Silver Lake, a progressive elementary school founded on the importance of diverse classrooms. Before that, her travels landed her working for City Year Boston, then City Year Chicago, and founding a community center for mixed income housing residents on Chicago's south side in between.
In her free time she's addicted to reality television, cooking, reading, and pretending to be a DJ. She's in the middle of training for the Ride to End AIDS form San Francisco to Los Angeles, so you can find her riding all over LA.
Leo Ferguson is a New York-native with a long history of working for social justice, as well as in non-profit communications. He has developed anti-oppression trainings for JFREJ as well as leading affinity groups and caucuses exploring internalized anti-Jewish oppression, race and racism, patriarchy and heteronormativity. He is a graduate of the Grace Paley Organizing Fellowship, a proud Jew of Color, and a musician.
Julie A. Fernandes is a senior policy analyst at the Open Society Foundations where she works to influence public policy in support of the protection of civil and human rights in the United States. Prior to her current position, Ms. Fernandes was Deputy Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the U.S. Department of Justice, Senior Counsel at the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, Special Assistant to President Bill Clinton, and Counsel to the AAG for Civil Rights and a trial lawyer in the Housing and Voting Sections of the Civil Rights Division.
Ms. Fernandes received both her J.D. and A.B. degrees from the University of Chicago and clerked for the Honorable Diane P. Wood at the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit.
Koach Baruch Frazier
KB is a freedom fighting queer, trans Jew whose mission is to dismantle racism and eradicate poverty. By day, KB is an audiologist at a local nonprofit and loves helping people hear better through education, diagnostics and hearing aid dispensing. Over the last year, KB has become a drum major for justice leading actions and protests for change in and around Ferguson, MO. KB serves on the boards of the Missouri GSA Network and Central Reform Congregation.
Deliana Garcia was born in El Paso, TX but has lived her adult life in Austin. After studying at the University of Texas, Del remained in Austin to work with a number of community-based organizations addressing reproductive rights, child abuse prevention, HIV education and prevention and women's crisis counseling. She is the Director of International Projects, Research, and Development for the Migrant Clinicians Network, an association of health care providers that care for migrants as their principal patient population. In this position she is responsible for developing and implementing interventions that remove mobility as a barrier to the receipt of essential health care. Del is a member and past president of Congregation Beth Israel.
Eddie is the Assistant Director for OUR Walmart. Previously, he worked with the Making Change at Walmart campaign for the UFCW for nearly 5 years. Prior, Eddie was the Secretary-Treasurer of a large service worker union in California with SEIU. During his tenure, the local organized 10,000 workers and won break-through agreements that lifted standards for tens of thousands of security guards, airport workers and janitors. He also served as Assistant Director with of SEIU’s Property Services Division where he led national organizing efforts. Eddie also worked for the AFL-CIO, where he helped coordinate multi-union organizing drives at several airports.
Eddie has a masters degree in urban planning and a bachelor’s degree in geography, both from UCLA.
Jared Jackson, a Philadelphia-born multi-heritage Jew, is the Founder and Executive Director of Jews in ALL Hues: The premier organization building a future where a person’s heritage or intersecting identity isn’t a barrier to acceptance or integration. He is an internationally renowned Jewish diversity leader, consultant, trained facilitator, speaker, writer, professional saxophonist, and entrepreneur. Jared holds a certificate of nonprofit management from LaSalle University and was named one of the “Jews That Will Change The World” by Ma’ariv news.