Board of Directors
Lawrence Barriner II (Chair)
Lawrence is a narrative strategist, connector, and systems thinker. He's an Aries (with a Virgo Moon and Aquarius Rising), a 2w1, whose love languages are touch and quality time. His paid work includes coaching, facilitation, and serving as the Network Engagement Coordinator at the Center for Story-Based Strategy. His unpaid work includes visionary fiction writing, (r)evolutionary uncling, community-based healing, and imagining post-patriarchal futures. He has undergraduate and graduate degrees in City Planning from MIT and hopes one day schools like MIT will be collectively-owned and democratically-controlled (or maybe they’ll be obsolete…)
Miabi Chatterji is a Senior Grants Manager at the Astraea Lesbian Foundation For Justice. She has been participating in and supporting cross-issue movements for justice for more than a dozen years. In the past she has been Co-Director of Grants at Resist, a public foundation with a 45+ year history of funding intersectional social movements, and Senior Program Officer for Astraea's LGBTQ Racial Justice Fund. She has worked with organizations such as Manavi for South Asian Women, UAW Local 2110, Restaurant Opportunities Center NY, and received much of her formative political training through Youth Solidarity Summer, a (now on hiatus) inter-generational collective of South Asian activists in the New York area creating youth political education. Miabi has a PhD in American Studies from NYU, where she studied and taught in the fields of race, gender, sexuality, labor, and immigration. She is a dogless dog-lover, has become terribly dependent on hot sauce of all kinds, and loves working with data to make everyone's experiences with Astraea better and smoother.
Joby Gelbspan (Treasurer)
Joby has organized for decades against many forms of oppression and abuse, especially those perpetrated with the power and shield of big corporations. She especially loves to share financial tools and analysis to help people build strategic and sustainable movements, individually and organizationally. She has served a range of groups in roles from adviser to director to CFO, and currently coordinates corporate research and financial analysis for Corporate Accountability International’s grassroots campaigns. She also teaches on politically-informed investing, and shows up in her local Providence community in as many other ways as her limited human form will allow.
Kendra Hicks (Clerk)
Kendra Hicks is a first-generation negra from the Dominican Republic, a mother, wife, and installation artist from Roxbury, MA.
Anchored by a commitment to bring the margins to the center, Kendra supports organizations in building the culture, structures, and strategies necessary to interrogate white supremacy's impact on their work. In her current role as the Director of Radical Philanthropy at the Resist Foundation Kendra is using her head, heart, and hands to explore how foundations, as a part of the non-profit industrial complex, can be more accountable, emergent and responsive. Pushing them to use their imaginations and expand beyond the realms of possibility towards liberation.
Salary: 40 hrs per week ($79,008)
Allen Kwabena Frimpong
Allen is the co-founder of and Managing Partner of AdAstra Management collective. Formerly a principal consultant and resource mobilizer with Movement NetLab a think-make-do tank based in Brooklyn, NY, he has over 12 years of experience in his field. He is highly talented in working with funders and donors in cultivating grant-making strategies throughout social change initiatives to achieve a just transition to economic democracy. His capacity-building work in philanthropy and government has focused on supporting the development of social programs, service delivery models, community organizing campaigns and cross collaboration system change initiatives. He is a recognized thought leader with a unique perspective on his interdisciplinary work with social movements harnessing his skills from community organizing, resource mobilization, fundraising, as well as participatory planning and design thinking within complex networked systems.
Lisa Owens is the Executive Director of the housing justice organization City Life/Vida Urbana, which builds the power and leadership of working-class communities, particularly communities of color, to work for social, racial and economic justice and gender equity. Our work is to stop displacement of working-class communities now--through what we call “the sword” (community organizing and public pressure) and “the shield” (coordinated legal defense)—and to create permanent social ownership of land and housing. We are actively fighting to win universal rent control and an expansion of anti-displacement community land trusts in Massachusetts.
Lisa serves on the boards of several social justice organizations connected to community control of land and housing, including: the Boston Neighborhood Community Land Trust (which links tenant organizing and anti-foreclosure struggles to a newly created community-controlled land trust), Alternatives for Community and Environment, the Resist Foundation, the Right to the City/Homes for All National Alliance, and the Right to the City Boston network.
Nisha Purushotham is a queer, 1.5 generation immigrant artist from India who resources movements of justice and liberation through facilitation, training, coaching, writing, people’s songs, drumming, and parenting. As an interdependent consultant and affiliate staff member of the Interaction Institute for Social Change, she partners with organizations, foundations, government agencies, and networks seeking to strengthen their practices of transformative justice, equity, and healing, prioritizing organizations led by womxn of color. Prior to this work, Nisha was an organizer in Providence, RI and Robeson County, NC supporting frontline leaders in building campaigns and trainings centering affordable housing, health equity, and youth leadership development.
Maanav Thakore has dedicated his life to facilitating the evolution of social justice work and culture with a keen focus on racial justice efforts. He is a self-described “transformative systems nerd” and has spent more than a decade leading change processes in support of countless individuals, organizations, networks and municipalities.
Maanav has lived, learned, worked and organized in Louisiana, New Mexico, Connecticut, Minnesota, Colorado and Massachusetts. In every part of the country he has lived, learned loved and been shaped by the deep lifelong relationships he’s forged in the social justice and arts communities. His primary focus has been on developing thousands of intersectional racial justice leaders across many sectors and consulting with over one hundred organizations to live their values and integrate them to day to day programs and operations. He is an expert facilitator with an organizer’s heart and has extensive experience leading winning campaigns, applying network theory to movement building and developing cultural change strategies. Most recently as Senior Associate at Interaction Institute for Social Change (IISC), with their collaborative change lens of “Power/Networks/Love” he helped build the capacity of organizations, networks, cities and foundations across the country through large-scale racial equity initiatives.
He is currently launching a co-op consulting firm focused on advancing racial equity and gender justice in nonprofits, tech, media and sports leagues. In addition to being a profoundly impactful change agent, Maanav is a deejay, multi-instrumentalist, holistic-foods chef, and father to two beautiful children.