Karla Castaneda

Program + advocacy director

 

Pronouns: She/her/hers

Why is youth-led social justice important?
We, young people are not consider experts in various environments, which leaves us out of decision making tables. However, we are experts. Young people are not the future, young people are the now and young people have always led the movement. We take space because we know what we want, we take action because we know what's right, we give and receive love because the movement can't progress without it. Youth led social justice is important because our voices matter, our voices are strong and powerful. We are fighting and we will never stop until we get love and justice!

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
Immigration- undocumented youth movement, Education, Reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, Women's rights, Environmental justice.

What do you love to do for self-care?
A day of  running, swimming and watching Netflix with my puppies, Justice and Hashi.

What is your favorite MA core value?
Love

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Marc Anthony, Farruko, Pitbull

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
Baby koala bear

karlac@momentumalliance.org

Emily Lai

interim executive director

Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Why is youth-led social justice important?
I believe in youth power. Youth are leaders in our movements and communities -they always have been. So many systems, especially systems designed to support youth -the education system and child welfare system, do not treat youth as knowledgeable, capable and powerful. But they are. We tend to equate experience/expertise with age. But just because you’re young doesn’t mean you’re inexperienced or incapable. 

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
People of color existence, resistance, & liberation is very close to my heart. Gender, sexuality, sexual health, immigration, and economic justice are also very close to my heart. I’m also becoming more passionate about environmental issues -humans collectively have not been good for nature and wildlife. Everything is connected: the earth, the oceans, the sky, humans, animals, plants, the past, the present, the future. Which means, I’m trying to treat every social justice issue as connected. Which means, I’m trying to hold every social justice issue close to my heart.

What do you love to do for self-care?
Hot yoga. Hot springs & hot baths. Beach trips. Coconuts -the juice & the meat. Climbing up high places to catch the sunset. Sushi. Studio Ghibli films, Totoro forever. Meals with friends. Dance. Poetry by Nayyirah Waheed, Yrsa Daley-Ward, & Rupi Kaur. Sex. Music in the dark, alone. Music. Music videos and dance videos. Did I already say music? MUSIC. Children’s books. Scrolling through cute animal photos & hilarious memes on Instagram. Uninstalling any work-related applications on my phone. I can do self-care all day, but I can't, cuz, as Diego, our former co-Executive Director once said: "I need to make more money and for like capitalism to end.

What is your favorite MA core value?
Love -because I’m still learning what “love” is. And “vulnerability as strength” cuz that’s not my strong suit either. Side note: I feel like the movie Moonlight says a lot about "love" and "vulnerability as strength". Go watch it!

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Missy Elliott’s Lose Control
Kendrick Lamar’s King Kunta
Princess Nokia’s Tomboy or Rihanna’s Sex With Me

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
IT’S A REALLY TOUGH CHOICE BETWEEN PANDAS & SEA OTTERS.

emily@momentumalliance.org

Shaniece Curry

Operations + Communications Coordinator

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Pronouns: She/hers

Why is youth-led social justice important? 
Youth-led social justice is so important because when we give our youth the tools and opportunity to lead we expand the realm of liberation. The energy and innovation that our youth provide is vital to social justice movements and allows us to magnify our reach. Additionally, as some of the most vulnerable members of society our youth provide a different lens to our shared reality.

What social justice issues are close to your heart?

Black Lives Matter, Domestic Violence, Gentrification, Mass incarceration

What do you love to do for self-care?
Spend time with loved ones, write, read, and do karaoke!

What is your favorite MA core value?
Vulnerability as a strength! As someone who grew up believing that strength was suppressing your emotions I truly have come to learn and appreciate vulnerability. Although it may be uncomfortable when we become vulnerable with ourselves and each other we create opportunity for self-growth.

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Chance the rapper, Miguel, Tamar Braxton

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
A baby elephant (oo-oop!)

shaniece@momentumalliance.org

Dorian Campbell

OPERATIONS & communications Director

 

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Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Why is youth-led social justice important?
 Youth are often the most affected by the issues in their communities and have the least resources to do anything about it!

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
Black Lives Matter

What do you love to do for self-care?
I love to nap, dance, cook, swim, go to bodies of water, doodle, skin care, listen to music REALLY loud, laugh, dance by myself, stretch, watch videos of dogs doing cute things, cry, take selfies, laugh at my own jokes because I'm hilarious, making drinks, watch Criminal Minds, basketball and Sports Center, give compliments, drive around by myself, make smoothies and enjoy meals with friends.

What is your favorite MA core value?
Deep Relationships

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
In no order: Beyonce, 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
It’s a tie between a dog and an otter.

                 dorian@momentumalliance.org


Fatmah Worfeley

pROGRAM + ADVOCACY DIRECTOR

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Pronouns: She/Her/Hers

Why is youth-led social justice important?
I believe youth led social justice is important because youth are the future and the ones driving the momentum to make the changes. Its always important to center their leadership, thoughts, ideas when working on social justice and issues that youth face, because that's what authenticity, and accountability to our communities looks like. 

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
Racial justice, immigrant/refugee rights, international solidarity, are just some - but the rest are just as important. I find these three in particularly close to my heart and rather a reason to why I do the work I do- because I'm inherently connected to them.

What do you love to do for self-care?
Sleep, eat, cook, hike, listen to music, Netflix, or stay busy.

What is your favorite MA core value?
Vulnerability as Strength

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Depends on what type of "pump me up mood" we are talking about. But let's say "pump me up" for some organizing and work, I'd say: Rihanna, Desiigner's: Tiimy Turner, and Lupe Fiasco.

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
UNICORN - no question about it

               fatmah@momentumalliance.org


Llondyn Elliott

Program Coordinator

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Pronouns: He/They (in that order)

Why is youth-led social justice important?
I believe youth led social justice isn’t just important, but it is very necessary. When you look back to history, almost every movement had radical youth that felt as if they had way more to gain, than they had to lose.

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
Gentrification and subsequent displacement are two big issues that I have advocated for. From a young age I was forced to move around because of rising housing prices.

What do you love to do for self-care?
My favorite self-care is cleaning my house. I feel all out of sorts when my house is messy, so organizing and cleaning makes me feel as if I have an ounce of control in my life.

What is your favorite MA core value?
My favorite MA core value is Internationality. I know intersectionality is important, because of my own lived experiences. It was often hard for me as a young black poor queer trans person raised by a single mother in one of the whitest major cities in the country.

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Chance The Rapper, Kanye West, and Beyonce (The trifecta of amazing)

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
If I could snuggle an animal it would either be a lion or an elephant. I don't think elephants are that cuddly, but they are definitely awesome.

             llondyn@momentumalliance.org


Amandeep Sohi

Program + advocacy manager

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Pronouns: He/They

Why is youth-led social justice important? Youth-led social justice is important to me because so often youth are not a part of decision-making processes despite their expertise, knowledge, and lived experiences that are so needed. Youth are dynamic, energetic, and wise beyond their years!

What social justice issues are close to your heart? 
While all issues are important, issues surrounding gender and sexuality, racial justice, access to education, and immigration are particularly close to my heart.

What do you love to do for self-care?
For self-care, I love reading, writing, and watching old-Bollywood films. I also like to make jewelry and am learning to embroider!

What is your favorite MA core value?
My favorite MA core value is vulnerability as strength – there’s something deeply radical about saying that we are strong because of our vulnerability and what others might perceive as weakness.

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
“Smile Like You Mean It” by the Killers,  “Honey” by Mariah Carey, and “Bad Girls” by M.I.A  are 3 of my favorite song that are bound to get me out of any funk!

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
If I could snuggle any animal I’d want to snuggle a tiger to live out my Princess Jasmine dreams.

         amandeep@momentumalliance.org


gABRIELLE kORNAHRENS

Program + advocacy manager

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Pronouns: She/Her

Why is youth-led social justice important?
I started engaging in social justice spaces when I was about 16. At this point in my life I didn't have much connection with my identities and felt very trapped in all of the systems that oppress youth. Coming to Momentum Alliance and learning about my identities, realizing my truth, and mobilizing for others was a healing and empowering moment in my life. Youth-led social justice is important for this reason- youth need a place to learn, explore, relate, heal and find their place as an agent of change in this world.

What social justice issues are close to your heart?
Black liberation, healthcare reform, reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, women's rights, fatphobia, environmental justice for brown and black bodies. 

What do you love to do for self-care?
I love cuddling with my cats and watching Anime. Also, being around people who love and support me. 

What is your favorite MA core value?
Vulnerability as a strength!

What 3 artists would you have on your ultimate “Pump me up” playlist?
Kendrick Lamar, Cardi B, and Dom Kennedy. Gotta admit that this changes constantly!!

If you could snuggle any kind of animal what would it be?
A chubby raccoon! 

         gabrielle@momentumalliance.org