Community Organizing Residency Participants
2012-2013 COR Residents: Los Angeles
Marya Bangee is a COR resident with One LA, an affiliate of the Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF). Marya graduated from UC Irvine in 2009 with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Sociology. During her undergraduate studies, she was actively involved with community organizing both on- and off-campus. She helped lead several campaigns advocating for freedom of speech and the protection of civil liberties for all Americans. For a year after graduation, Marya served as the Programming Director at a community radio station. She then moved to Los Angeles where she worked at UCLA as the Project Director for MAPS, an organization that mentors inner-city students.
Leili Davari is a COR resident with the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). Leili is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin with a MA in Middle Eastern Studies. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Spanish from New Mexico State University. Prior to moving to LA in 2010, Leili lived in Israel as a volunteer teaching English to Arab Israeli adults and children. An American of both Iranian and Mexican heritage, Leili’s family is composed of different religious and ethnic backgrounds. Her passion for social justice stems, in part, from her understanding of and respect for diversity and the need for tolerance.
Lisa is a COR resident with LA Voice, an affiliate of the PICO National Network. Lisa was born and raised in Washington, DC. After studying and working in sports medicine for several years, she made a career change and moved to Los Angeles in 2008 to attend Fuller Theological Seminary, completing her Masters in Divinity in 2012. She focused her studies on Christian Ethics and faith-based political involvement. Lisa was introduced to congregation based organizing during her time at Fuller. She has spent the last few months working as a Faith & Democracy Fellow with PICO California on civic engagement and the Proposition 30 campaign.
Rasha is a COR resident with Strategic Concepts in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE). Rasha was born in Manhattan, New York into a spiritual and worshiping family of the Pentecostal and Baptist Faiths. She is presently an Associate Minister at her home church in Rancho Dominguez, CA and has been licensed to preach since 2005. Rasha serves in her church as a youth leader and is active in women auxiliaries in addition to the women's ministry that she founded and directs. She considers her greatest accomplishment and role in God’s ministries to be raising her beautiful 15 year old daughter, Raevan Grace Chatman, as a single mother.
2012-2013 COR Residents: Chicago
Sarah is a COR resident with Albany Park Neighborhood Association (APNC). She grew up in Minnesota, where her parents had emigrated to from Pakistan before she was born. Sarah studied Psychology and Global Health as an undergraduate and holds a Masters in Public Health. She was introduced to grassroots social change through her work on health reform advocacy and on the campaign against voter suppression in the state of Minnesota. As a Muslim, her interest in community organizing is grounded in the Prophetic injunction to stop injustice with one's hand, speak against it with one's tongue, and oppose it with one's heart.
Hana is a COR resident with the Southwest Organizing Project (SWOP). She is originally from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Hana created her own major in college, focusing on race and activism, but learned more from her experiences working for racial and economic justice in local communities. She believes that placing trust in people is the first step towards change. Another one of Hana's main interests is exploring the intersection of education, culture, media, and policy. She looks forward to organizing in Chicago.
2012-2013 COR Residents: Minnesota
Aaron is a Research Associate at the Center for Public Ministry in New Brighton, MN and will be organizing churches in the region to engage with local congregation-based organizing efforts. He has a passion for the justice work religious communities can accomplish when they work ecumenically and across faith lines. A native Nebraskan, Aaron spent a lot of time working on his father's cattle ranch growing up, as well as participating in his small-town church. These life experiences inspire his belief in hard-work and the importance of faith in strengthening communities. He is a 2007 graduate of Hastings College in Hastings, NE, and a 2010 graduate of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. He spends the other half of his work life as the Minister for Children, Youth, and Families at First Congregational Church of MN, UCC in Southeast Minneapolis. He loves reading, Russian history, and indie rock music.
Jesse is a COR resident with Jewish Community Action (JCA) in Minneapolis. He has experience organizing around Green Jobs in the Seattle area, immigrant rights in Minnesota, and a variety of issues in Israel. Jesse graduated in 2011 from Carleton College with a degree in Political Science/International Relations. Last year, he received the New Israel Fund/Shatil Social Justice Fellowship and spent the year working for different human rights and political groups in Jerusalem. He believes that community organizing is a method for social change that is uniquely effective, ethical, and suitable to religious communities. It requires a deep engagement with people's values, commitments, and differences, and a strategic focus on making our own communities more just and our religious lives more holistic. He is honored and excited to be a part of COR this year.
2012-2013 COR Residents: New York
Max is a COR resident with the Center for Popular Democracy (CPD). He was born and raised by South African Jewish parents in Charlotte, North Carolina. Troubled by race and class inequities at home and in South Africa, Max has pursued social justice since adolescence. While studying urban studies and business, policy, and poverty as an undergrad at the University of Pennsylvania, he actively organized with the Student Labor Action Project (SLAP). He has worked with worker cooperatives in Buenos Aires, Argentina and a community currency program in Philadelphia, PA. He has also been a volunteer organizer with Strike Debt in New York City. When he is not organizing or learning – often, even when he is – he enjoys soccer, basketball, philosophy, writing, singing, and meditation.
Dahlia Goldenberg is a COR Resident with Queens Congregations United for Action, an affiliate of the PICO National Network. She began working in congregation-based community organizing at a Brooklyn affiliate of PICO in 2011 and then continued with another PICO affiliate in Allentown, PA to manage a “Get Out the Vote” Campaign for the 2012 elections. Prior to this work, Dahlia dedicated ten years to supporting grassroots women’s community organizing at the global level. As a Fulbright Fellow, Dahlia studied the work of grassroots women’s community organizations in Ecuador from 2000 to 2001. Dahlia is a graduate of Rutgers University and completed her Masters in Gender and Development at the Institute for Development Studies at the University of Sussex.