Meet the women of WON Leadership Circle 2018!
The Women's Organizing Network runs a five-month program for a group of women organizers at social justice organizing groups and unions across New York City: WON Leadership Circles. In the cohort, participants build relationships of mutual support with each other, in order to advance their own leadership, support the leadership of women members, and take action to work to bring an intersectional gender lens into their work.
Kihani Brea is a Worker Rights Advocate at the Worker Justice Center of NY based in Kingston pursuing human rights for farm workers through advocacy and legal assistance. Kihani spent her early career working in municipal government and since her time at New York City Hall, she continues to enjoy being actively involved in electoral politics. She avidly endorses the philosophy that all politics is local, and looks to promote civic engagement as a path to power for historically disenfranchised communities. Kihani is a proud member of the Abyssinian Baptist Church of New York which she credits with her spiritual and political edification. Kihani is a NYC native who is newly at-home in the Hudson Valley and enjoys kayaking in the Hudson River.
In 2011, Dulcie began to commute to work by bicycle. In August of 2014 Dulcie was involved in a horrific hit and run crash while cycling. While recovering she became active with Families for Safe Streets , a support group for families who have been victims of traffic violence. Families for Safe Streets fought to lower NYC speed limits from 40 lowered to 25 mph. Dulcie is currently focused on organizing members of Prospect Lefferts Gardens and Flatbush to come together and support a two way protected bike lane on Flatbush Avenue between Grand Army Plaza and Parkside Avenue.
Malika Conner is currently the Lead Organizer for ALIGN: The Alliance for a Greater New York. Malika came to ALIGN after serving as a campaign coordinator for Jobs to Move America, where she brought together a coalition of community, labor, and workforce development groups to advocate for good transportation manufacturing jobs in New York State. During her time at Jobs to Move America, Malika also managed a successful policy campaign that resulted in the Metropolitan Transportation Authority's adoption of the U.S. Employment Plan on a $3 billion subway car purchase, the largest in the agency's history.
Malika previously spent three years as an organizer with the Flatbush Tenant Coalition, where she supported low-income tenants in the fight to preserve affordable housing in New York City. Her work with the Coalition included managing a community organizing initiative at one of the largest privately-owned housing complexes in Brooklyn, creating a workshop series on antioppressive organizing, developing grassroots leadership, and running tenants' rights campaigns. Malika also gained experience in electoral politics as a field organizer for Dell Smitherman's New York State Senate campaign in 2014. She holds a bachelor's degree in development sociology from Cornell University and a master's degree from the Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College, where she majored in community organizing, planning, and development.
Andrea started as a member with Rockaway Youth Task Force in high school and emerged as a leader a few months later. Her work as a dedicated organizer and motivational leader earned her current staff position. Andrea is also a first generation college student, studying General Marketing at Baruch College. She is a first generation American from Guatemala and Puerto Rico. Andrea is passionate about being an activist because she deeply values being able to advocate for herself and on behalf of others. When she’s not in the office or working on campaigns, she writes spoken word poetry.
Sandra Contreras graduated from Hunter College's Silberman School of Social Work with a Master of Social Work in Community Organizing, Planning and Development, with a concentration on Policy. She is a Tenant Organizer at the Goddard Riverside Law Project.
Check back soon for bio and photo!
I have been spending the last 12 years trying to deconstruct my understanding of the world. My re education began in High School when I found the Youth Power Project at Make the Road by Walking (now Make the Road NY). For a decade I found a new home with my chosen family that supported me through key transitions in my life both personally and in my leadership. The reconstruction of myself felt just as important as the need to keep fighting around the issues that I have to live through outside of the organizing work. I took two years to learn, build and sustain practices that would teach me how to work smarter not harder and that wouldn’t lead me to burn out. I want to be here for the long term. Coming back to Picture the Homeless felt right; down to my bones. I look forward to being a part of an organization that, although often over looked by others, have & continue to do tremendous work across the city, state, & country.
GG (Georgia) Morgan
GG works at VOCAL-NY.
I am a lover of humanity and want to see every individual treated equally. I hate any form of injustice, it angers me. I feel that whatever issues breaks your heart that is an indicator that you were put here to be a part of the solution. I believe we were all created for a particular purpose and it’s our duty as human beings to find out what that is and commit to it. I know I was put here to contribute to social change for the betterment of humanity. I am dedicated, dependable, hardworking, and a team player. I am usually the first one to show up and the last one to leave. I am also flexible and open to new ideas and learning new things. I am that faithful one to the end.
Jessie Ngok is a Chinese-American community organizer and practicing social worker, born and raised in New York City. Jessie has years of experiences working on language access, tenant's rights, LGBTQI issues, homeless services, youth development, and program development issues. Jessie is dedicated to the fight for freedom and uses an anti-racist, sexist, and classist lens in all her work. She graduated from Macaulay Honors College at CUNY Hunter College with a Bachelor's Degree in Woman and Gender Studies and Psychology and received her MSW from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College.
Helen Strom leads the Public Benefits team at the Safety Net Project at the Urban Justice Center, which combines direct legal services, policy advocacy, community organizing, and creative media advocacy to address issues of economic justice, focusing on food stamps, public assistance, and homelessness in NYC. In 2014, Helen worked with low-income New Yorkers to found the Safety Net Activists, a community organizing group that fights for justice for New Yorkers facing poverty and homelessness and has won key improvements in New York City’s public assistance, SNAP, and homeless shelter system.