The Leadership Team (LT) is the programmatic and decision-making body of SURJ. This team is responsible for making decisions about the ongoing development, broad programmatic vision and fiscal oversight of SURJ.
Alia Trindle (she/her) grew up in rural Maryland and is passionate about building the power of oppressed communities to create transformative change. She's an organizer at heart and a resource mobilizer by trade. Apart from organizing and moving money to frontline struggles, for the past decade Alia has been a trainer with Catalyst Project leading anti-racist political education with majority white social movement groups. She now joyfully serves as the Senior Organizer for Resource Development at Right To The City Alliance. Nerdy by nature, Alia loves strategy and is in a lifelong struggle to read more fiction.
Blyth Barnow (she/her) is a preacher, harm reductionist, writer and community organizer. She is queer, a survivor, and was raised working class. She is the founder of Femminary, an online ministry focused on reclaiming dignity by finding divinity in the profane. She currently serves as the Harm Reduction Manager for Faith In Public Life in Ohio, where she works to bring clergy and people who use drugs together to end the racist war on drugs. Blyth graduated from Pacific School Of Religion where she received a Master of Divinity and is currently pursuing ordination in the United Church of Christ. Growing up in a white working class town I watched the lies of white supremacy strip people I love of their dignity, making them feel like failures when they could not pull themself up "by their bootstraps". I watched the desperate lengths people went to in order to either regain some sense of power or numb themselves to the pain. They hurt others and they hurt themselves. We all deserve better than that. We reclaim our connection to our dignity when we get honest about the impact of white supremacy and stand together to end it.
Carla Wallace (she/they) was born in Louisville, KY and grew up on a farm in Oldham County, and in Amsterdam, Netherlands, where her grandmother hid people fleeing the Nazis under her floorboards. Carla’s activism includes anti-KKK work in response to cross burnings and klan on the police force, the Southern Organizing Committee’s environmental justice organizing, coordinating efforts to pass Louisville’s Hate Crimes Law, its motor voter law, mobilizing community against police abuse, and organize solidarity delegations to Nicaragua, Palestine, Colombia and Cuba. In 2005, Carla helped establish the Audre Lorde Chair in Race, Class, Gender and Sexuality at University of Louisville. Carla is one of the co-founders of SURJ and the Fairness Campaign.
Caroline Picker (she/her) comes from Ashkenazi Jewish refugees fleeing the Holocaust and western European settlers who arrived in what is now the United States in the 1600s. As a white person with class privilege, she's clear that none of us can truly live with safety and dignity unless all of us can, and our collective liberation requires building strong cross-class, multiracial movements led by Black, Indigenous, and People of Color and poor and working class people. She's been active in racial justice, migrant justice, abolition, and queer liberation movements for many years and learned what organizing to win looks like from working alongside and learning from criminalized undocumented peoples' movements in Arizona. She's worked with SURJ chapters in Phoenix and Rhode Island and currently lives on Narragansett land (Providence, RI). When she's not organizing, she can be found looking at bugs, building extensive domino runs, and imagining she's on Jupiter with her four year old.
Chanelle Gallant (she/her) is a long time activist, writer and educator with a focus on sex and justice. She has worked to build the power of people in the sex trade since 2004. She co-founded north america’s first grassroots organization of migrants, sex workers and allies and co-founded the first SURJ chapter outside of the US, in Toronto, Canada. Chanelle is the eldest daughter of a poor single mother, grew up on and off welfare, spent most of her life working class and now has access to middle class resources. She coaches and trains organizers and is working on her first book. You can check out her work at chanellegallant.com
Corri Frohlich (she/her) has engaged in social justice organizing for over fifteen years in areas related to prison abolition and decarceration efforts, anti-racism and fat and queer liberation. As a cisgender white queer woman, who does not come from a systems-impacted community, she believes her role is to amplify and listen to people of color and folks from systems-impacted communities leading this work, and call in other white people to racial justice. Corri grew up working class and identifies as working class. She is active in SURJ in the Bay Area. She enjoys watching/reading fairly cheesy sci-fi and fantasy movies and books and cuddling with my pitbull.
Dahlia Ferlito (they/them) is a white, queer, non-binary anti-racist organizer and co-founder of White People for Black Lives. They believe that white people are responsible for ending the white supremacist system. To do so, white people must: remain organized, challenge white silence about racism, work in solidarity with -- and take the lead from -- people of color-led movements, and acquire the skills needed to interrupt racism on all levels. They’re committed to continuous self-education and showing up in healthy ways without reproducing the harm of white supremacy in activist spaces. They grew up in a working class city outside of Boston, MA and have lived in Los Angeles for 16 years. They have a mixed class background, grew up working class into adulthood, and now in middle class. Their writing can be found on Medium, KNOCK-LA and LA Progressive.
Hilary Moore (she/her) grew up working poor in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in California. She is an anti-racist political educator and freelance writer. She cut her teeth in climate justice struggles in the San Francisco Bay Area and currently lives in Berlin, Germany. Hilary works to undermine the international ties of white supremacy and connect anti-racist and anti-colonial struggles across nation borders. She wrote Burning Earth, Changing Europe: How the Racist Right Exploits the Climate Crisis--And What We Can Do About It (Rosa Luxemburg Foundation, 2020). She also co-authored No Fascist USA! The John Brown Anti-Klan Committee and Lessons for Today's Movements (City Lights, 2020) and Organizing Cools the Planet: Tools and Reflections to Navigate the Climate Crisis (PM Press, 2010). For more, visit hilaryamoore.com.
Julia Daniels (she/her) comes to anti-racist organizing seeing it as key to our collective liberation and the right thing to do. Most of her organizing experience is with young people fighting the schoolhouse to jailhouse pipeline in Miami, and she helped found the Boulder, CO SURJ chapter. She's currently completing a dissertation in education policy and lives in the Bronx, NY. Julia identifies as upper working/lower middle class.
Leah Jo Carnine (she/her) is a community organizer and family medicine healthcare provider who recently moved to her hometown of Eugene after being part of migrant and racial justice organizing in the Southwest for over a decade. She is deeply committed to SURJ because she believes that white people have a stake in the fight against racism, and we must be organized into powerful multi-racial, cross-class movements for justice to get everyone free. She’s passionate about the intersections of transformative health care and collective liberation, and enjoys making art, playing banjo, hiking, and hanging with her little dog and beloved community.
Mikaela Curry (she/her) is a community organizer, environmental scientist and poet. She grew up in rural North Carolina, identifying as middle class like so many others. However, she has come to realize that her background is actually working class and still feels a lot of complexity around her class identity. Her earliest experiences with organizing centered on environmental issues, and she found her way further into movement work largely through teaching and inspiration from Black friends and mentors within her poetry community along the Florida Gulf coast. She returned to the Appalachian mountains by way of Kentucky. After white supremacists rallied in her small town, Mikaela grew even deeper in her commitment to work focused on disrupting and dismantling white supremacy. She served on the steering committee for Kentuckians For The Commonwealth and has been active in The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call For Moral Revival since it started its first season of direct action in 2018. Mikaela believes that art and narratives are critical to anti-racist organizing, and is fiercely passionate about climate justice, supporting indigenous sovereignty, eradicating anti-Blackness, and working towards a regenerative, feminist future where we all can thrive.
Oren Robinson's (he/they) family and classmates nurtured his curiosity and self-awareness, and his friends and co-conspirators have unburdened him with community healing. He lives to bravely honor these relationships, skills and collective memories, and to change the end of the story. He lives on occupied Kumeyaay Nation land (aka San Diego, California) by way of English, Jewish, German, Scottish and Irish settlers in the 1600s-1800s. He was raised on occupied Haudenosaunee Confederacy land (aka Central/Western New York State) by a scattered, multigenerational, urban/rural, working class family of activists, artists and dropouts.