I’m proud to announce the 2014 Class of Carl Wilkens Fellows. These 12 individuals will spend the next year working together to strengthen their leadership skills and advocacy efforts to end genocide around the world. They will work in their own communities – from Portland, OR to Tampa, FL – to build relationships with their Members of Congress, launch campaigns, and build a local constituency prepared to act to end mass atrocities and help those who have been affected heal.
This coming August the Fellows will gather in Hermosa Beach, CA for their inaugural retreat. They will develop their personal leadership and project-based plans, as well as starting on a national campaign. In February 2015, they will meet again in Washington DC for more training and a movement-wide lobbying day. In April 2015 the 2014 Class of CW Fellows will coordinate a national campaign for Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month.
Here is a glimpse at the 2014 Class of Carl Wilkens Fellows.
Andalisa Lopez, Washington DC
Andalisa Lopez is a nonprofit professional working in Washington, DC with extensive experience organizing others around social justice issues and has been working in the nonprofit sector for six years.
Anthony Kasongo, Southbridge, MA
Originally from the Democratic Republic Congo, Mr. Kasongo is an activist and advocate of social justice and human rights.
Barbara Baker, Cummington, MA
Barbara Baker, program coordinator for Project Link at Berkshire Community College, has been a leader in social justice issues for more than 20 years.
Christie Nicoson, Minneapolis, MN
As Program and Operations Coordinator at World Without Genocide, Nicoson organizes educational events, supports advocacy initiatives, and engages community members to build an anti-genocide constituency.
Deanna Malmquist, San Diego, CA
Deanna Malmquist, Director of Legal Affairs and Human Resources at Invisible Children (IC), manages anything and everything legal for IC corporate governance, intellectual property, contracts, financial audits, employment issues and contracts.
Kelley Szany, Skokie, IL
Kelley Szany, Director of Educational Outreach & Genocide Initiatives for the Illinois Holocaust Museum, oversees all educational outreach programs for the Museum.
Larry Grimes, Tampa FL
Recently retired high school teacher, Larry Grimes was an Alfred Lerner Fellow through the Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, named Holocaust Educator of the Year in 2010, and was a USHMM Teacher Fellow.
Nare Kupelian, Los Angeles, CA
Nare Kupelian holds a degree in Political Science-International Relations and History from UC San Diego and is currently the Executive Director of the Armenian National Committee of America – San Gabriel Valley.
Rebecca Steiner, Novi, MI
Rebecca Swindler Steiner is Director of Programs at Michigan’s Holocaust Memorial Center, where she advocates the ability of museums and communities to work cooperatively to have a positive impact on the world.
Sonia Marie Leikam, Portland, OR
Sonia Marie Leikam holds a Certificate in Holocaust & Genocide Studies from Georgetown and is the former Director of the Oregon Holocaust Resource Center.
Tigranna Zakaryan, Los Angeles, CA
Tigranna Zakaryan will return to Los Angeles after traveling to Turkey and Armenia to research intercultural connectivity and studying post-genocide restoration in Rwanda.
Yong Joon Park, Terre Haute, IN
Dr. Yong Joon Park is an assistant professor in the Department of Elementary, Early, and Special Education at Indiana State University and will use his fellowship year to develop education programming around North Korea.