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Board of Directors
BOARD OF DIRECTORS (JUNE 2015)
EDWIN ARGUETA, Chair
AJAMU DILLAHUNT, Vice Chair
CARLOS PEREZ DE ALEJO, Secretary
KEVIN C. JONES, Treasurer
S.M. MILLER, Emeritus
PRAKASH LAUFER, Emeritus
EDWIN ARGUETA is a Salvadoran immigrant, and is one of the Immigrant Workers Rights Organizers for Massachusetts Jobs With Justice with primary responsibility for our immigrant rights and workers rights work. Edwin has been active for many years in the immigrant rights movement and organized labor as a service provider, advocate and organizer. Most recently has been an activist, along with many other African American, Asian, and immigrant organizers, in the struggles to bring change around issues that affect communities of color in Greater Boston; particularly around education reform, economic justice, and political empowerment. He is a leader of the immigrant rights movement and organized labor in Massachusetts and in the New England region, currently working to provide strategic support for state wide immigrant rights initiatives and campaigns as well as just and humane immigration reform at the national level. Edwin is a board member of the Chelsea Collaborative, United for a Fair Economy and La Comunidad Inc.
AJAMU DILLAHUNT is the Outreach Coordinator at the North Carolina Justice Center in Raleigh, N.C. Before joining the Justice Center in 2004, Ajamu served as President of the Raleigh Area Local of the American Postal Workers Union (APWU) for 18 years, where he was also Director of Research and Education for the North Carolina Council of the APWU. Ajamu also sits on the National Coordinating Committee of the Black Workers for Justice and serves as Board Co-chair for the Institute for Southern Studies. He holds a Masters Degree in African Studies.
MELONIE GRIFFITHS has a long history of community engagement/ advocacy in the Boston area. Her work as a community organizer began in 2008 at City Life/ Vida Urbana, shortly after fighting off a post foreclosure eviction that allowed her and her family to remain in their home. She played a crucial role in building a base of community leaders that organize around housing displacement and gentrification in Greater Boston and Brockton. Much of this work happened through the National Right to the City Alliance, where she served as a steering committee member for 2 years. In 2103 she became the Organizing Director of Mass Jobs with Justice, after serving on the Executive Committee for 4 years. She is currently organizing communities in Boston and Brockton around worker’s rights, immigrant rights, public education and corporate accountability. As part her effort to build a black organizing network in Boston, she is committed to prioritizing projects that open up access to political education and leadership development for grassroots leaders of color. Melonie's other affiliations include: Black Immigration network (BIN), Black Organizing for Leadership and Dignity (BOLD), Black Economic Justice Institute (BEJI), Interfaith Worker Justice (IWJ), Black United Struggle Coalition, (BUSC), NAACP Labor and Economic Development Committee and the Boston Taxi Drivers Union Advisory Council.
KEVIN JONES is a former priest who once served as treasurer for his area clergy association. He later served as deputy treasurer for Jim McGreevey's gubernatorial campaign in New Jersey and managed the U.S. Pavilion for the 1998 World Expo in Lisbon, Portugal. Kevin has in the past provided fundraising management to elected officials and county party organizations as well as not-for-profit entities. As Director of Donor Relations for the National AIDS Fund in Washington, DC, Kevin helped to sustain the organization and raise the its national profile. Kevincurrently works for the Urban League of Hudson County, New Jersey.
ANDREI JOSEPH has been a high school teacher and union activist for the past thirty-five years. He was elected President of his local nine times and served both on the Massachusetts Teachers Association (MTA) Board of Directors and as the MTA representative to Jobs With Justice. For several decades he has worked to ensure safe and welcoming schools for students of all sexual orientations and genders. He continues to be active in his union while joining the struggle against predatory bank practices. He has attended 68 Springsteen concerts and enthusiastically awaits the next tour.
MARK MCDERMOTT is a lifelong activist working for economic, social and racial justice and peace. He has been an active member of the Machinists, AFSCME and Steelworkers Unions. He lost his job in a union bust in 1982 and spent 15 months out of work during the long recession of the early 1980’s. During this period of unemployment, he co-founded the Seattle Worker Center, which is now a division of the Martin Luther King Jr. County Central Labor Council, AFL-CIO. Mark was a long-time champion of working people and the poor in Washington State during a long career in government. He has served as Assistant Director at the Department of Labor and Industries, Chief Deputy Insurance Commissioner, Policy Analyst on the State Senate’s Commerce and Labor Committee, Director of the Division of Income Assistance for the Department of Social and Health Services, and Senior Labor Policy Advisor for Seattle Mayor Greg Nickels. He retired after serving as U.S Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis’ Regional Representative for the 8 Pacific Northwest and Northern Plains states.
MOLLY MURPHY co-directs Working Films, a national nonprofit that uses documentary film to advance social and environmental justice and sustainability. In her 15 year tenure, she has planned and directed national media engagement campaigns, facilitated partnerships and coordinated coalitions centered on the use of powerful films to enhance communication, reach beyond the choir, and make an impact. Molly has designed and led dozens of trainings for filmmakers, grassroots organizations, and NGOs focused on using film and online media to make change. She directs the Reel Engagement initiative, which positions documentary media in target states throughout the U.S. to strengthen support clean energy solutions, economic justice, and democracy.
CARLOS PEREZ DE ALEJO is one of the co-founders of Cooperation Texas, an Austin-based organization dedicated to creating sustainable jobs through the development, support and promotion of worker-owned cooperatives in Texas. Over the years he has been active in student, worker, and immigrant rights struggles in both Florida and Texas. He is also the co-editor of Presente! Latin@ Immigrant Voices in the Struggle for Racial Justice / Voces de Inmigrantes Latin@s en la Lucha por la Justicia Racial. In his spare time, Carlos enjoys reading, playing basketball, dancing, cooking with his partner, walking his dog, and watching trash television and documentaries.
LISA OWENS PINTO is an educator and community builder. A long time Boston resident, she has supported a number of local grassroots social justice organizations in a variety of capacities, including: executive director, board member, donor, and volunteer. She is currently the Executive Director at City Life Vida Urbana, which is a national leader in the anti-displacement movement.
|DIANA YADIRA SALAS is a doctoral candidate in the public policy program at the McCormack Graduate School of Policy and Global Studies at University of Massachusetts Boston. Her dissertation focuses on the factors determining the proposal and passage of state-level immigration laws and their implications for migrant communities, particularly women. Ms. Salas Coronado came to UMass Boston after serving as the associate director for the Women of Color Policy Network at NYU Wagner. She brings nearly 10 years of applied research and advocacy experience.|