Cindy Wiesner, National Coordinator/Executive Director
Cindy Wiesner is a 25-year veteran of the social justice movement in the U.S. and internationally who currently serves as the national coordinator of the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance. She is also a steering committee member of the Climate Justice Alliance, a group she co-founded, she plays a leadership role in the Peoples Climate Movement that organized the massive mobilizations in New York, Washington, D.C. and San Francisco in recent years, and is an advisor to Groundswell’s new Liberation Fund.
Cindy started organizing with HERE Local 2850 in Oakland, CA, and went on to become the director of organizing for People Organizing to Win Employment Rights in San Francisco and an organizer and board member for generationFIVE. She has also been a consultant for Men Overcoming Violence Everywhere and Mujeres Unidas y Activas.
Cindy previously worked as Leadership Development Director of the Miami Workers Center and represented the group as a member of the U.S. Social Forum National Planning Committee. She has been active in many movement building initiatives over the years, including World March of Women, Social Movement Assemblies, International Council of the World Social Forum, Fight Against the FTAA, UNITY, Building Equity and Alignment Initiative and, currently, It Takes Roots and the Majority.
Her main passions are training organizers in a transformative radical organizing model and building counter-hegemonic campaigns that not only fight what participants are against, but put into practice what they want to see manifested. She identifies as a lesbian and is of Salvadoran, Colombian and German descent. She is a grassroots feminist, internationalist, and movement strategist.
Shaun (Sha) Grogan-Brown, Deputy Director
Shaun (Sha) Grogan-Brown, Deputy Director for Grassroots Global Justice Alliance (GGJ), considers himself a "plumber for the movement," ensuring the collaborative fundraising models and logistical & administrative infrastructure necessary for grassroots organizing to happen. He has worked to strengthen movements for social justice since the late 90s, and is dedicated to increasing the effectiveness and self-sustaining capacity of grassroots organizations. He worked with Committee In Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES) from 2001-2008, was the Grassroots Fundraising Coordinator for the US Social Forum 2010, and then joined GGJ staff in 2010. In the past Sha has served on the boards of Resource Generation and Grassroots Institute for Fundraising Training (GIFT). He currently serves on the boards of Grassroots International and CISPES, and is the Art Editor for the upcoming second edition of Trans Bodies Trans Selves: A Resource Guide for the Transgender Community. Sha is an anti-racist white queer transman & dad of a toddler from the Washington DC area, where he is currently based.
Jaron Browne, National Organizer for Global Well Being programs
Jaron Browne is the National Organizer for Global Well Being programs, building out GGJ’s Just Transition, climate justice and anti-militarism campaigns, including support for CJA’s Our Power Campaign, and other national and international climate justice and new economy campaigns. Jaron coordinated the It Takes Roots delegation to the UNFCCC COP21 in Paris and COP22 in Marrakesh and was a co-author of the report We Are Mother Earth’s Red Line, analyzing the impact of Paris Climate Agreement. In 2016, Jaron worked with GGJ member organizations to coordinate a series of Just Transition Assemblies in Detroit, Vermont, Seattle and Rhode Island. Before joining GGJ, Jaron was an organizer with POWER and Causa Justa::Just Cause for nearly 13 years, building the power of working class Black and Latino families in the Bay Area. Jaron was trained as an organizer with the Bus Riders Union in Los Angeles at the Labor/Community Strategy Center in 2001. Jaron has also been active in the movement to end mass incarceration, as well as LGBT social movements in the US. Jaron is located in Oakland, CA.
Ana Orozco, National Organizer for Feminisms and Gender Justice programs
Ana Orozco joined the GGJ team in June 2017 as the National Organizer for Feminisms and Gender Justice programs. Prior to joining the GGJ team, Ana worked in the field of environmental and climate justice both in California and New York City. Ana organized with Communities for a Better Environment against the Chevron expansion project in Richmond, CA. Later, Ana returned to her home in New York City to continue organizing around environmental justice issues with UPROSE in Brooklyn. There Ana worked with community members on a Just Transitions campaign to protect the industrial waterfront of Sunset Park, so that it might serve as a space to produce the necessary infrastructure for New York City to transition to a regenerative energy economy. Ana has a strong commitment to social justice. She brings with her a deep understanding of the need for a Just Transition to challenge systems of oppression. Navigating her way through the world as a woman gives her the perspective necessary to prioritize gender justice in this movement towards a more just society.
Priya Johnson, Political Coordinator
Priya Johnson joined GGJ as the Political Coordinator in January 2017. After a range of international work, she spent some years doing youth organizing with Youth United for Change in Philadelphia. There she worked with a team to deepen political education and to help youth build and move forward campaigns against budget cuts, privatization, closures and the school to prison pipeline. She comes to GGJ with the recognition that root causes of social injustice cross sectors and boundaries, and the understanding that our movements must as well. Priya is currently rooted in her hometown of ATL.
Cynthia Oka, Development & Communications Associate
Cynthia Oka rejoined the Grassroots Global Justice Alliance team in 2018 as Development and Communications Associate, after formerly serving in the roles of Administrative and Logistics Coordinator and Executive Assistant to Cindy Wiesner. Originally from Bali, Indonesia, she has also lived in Vancouver, BC (Unceded Coast Salish Territories) and Philadelphia, bringing 10 years of grassroots organizing and strategic experience across issues of migrant justice, intersectional feminism, revolutionary mothering, and multiracial solidarity. She has worked with organizations such as No One is Illegal, Vancouver Status of Women, Simon Fraser Public Interest Research Group, and most recently the Sanctuary Advocate Coalition, a new formation anchored by eight grassroots organizations in Philly that works to realize a vision of expanded sanctuary through the framework of Black-Brown unity. Cynthia is also a poet, author, performer, and proud (formerly teen single) mama to a young musician.
Kelly Archbold, Executive Assistant to Cindy Wiesner
Kelly Archbold joined the GGJ team in January 2018 as the Executive Assistant to Cindy Wiesner but has loved and worked with GGJ for many years. In 2015, she helped with logistics prep for the It Takes Roots delegation to the UNFCCC COP21. In 2010, while on staff at the Labor/Community Strategy Center, she participated as a GGJ member in the International Caravan for Life, Resistance, and Environmental Justice in Mexico that traveled to Cancun for COP16. At LCSC, Kelly was the office manager, big events coordinator, and director's assistant for 10 years. She has focused on infrastructure-building, administration, logistics, event coordination, data entry, and assistance support in grassroots movements for over 15 years. She also loves to dance, especially in community and with her child. With family roots in Puerto Rico, Florida, and Illinois, Kelly grew up in the Los Angeles area.
Maya Bhardwaj, It Takes Roots Coordinator
Maya Bhardwaj comes to It Takes Roots and Grassroots Global Justice with experience over the past 10 years in electoral, issue, community, coalition, and faith organizing. Maya began organizing at schools as a student in her hometown of Detroit and as a debate coach at urban schools in Chicago agitating for more resources for students of color and fighting the school-to-prison pipeline. In 2012, she led a team of organizers and volunteers in 5 counties in South Florida for Obama, and in 2014 she ran a 30-person communities of color team in Minnesota for the DFL Coordinated Campaign. In between US election cycles, she helped launch a national organizing firm in her homeland of India in 2013 and 2014 to fight oppressive gender norms and gendered violence in community spaces, police policy, and the political system, culminating in a massive get-out-the-vote campaign for women-friendly politicians in India's 2014 General Elections. For the past three years, she has been organizing with teams of people of faith and tenants against gentrification and predatory development in communities of color across New York City, and also helped coordinate a coalition of 30 faith and justice allies and 50 congregations demanding NYC Mayoral and City Council candidates be accountable to people of faith on issues of housing, immigration, climate, and criminal justice. She has previously supported farm workers organizing in Argentina and California, student organizing in Paris, and health justice organizing in Cambodia, and is passionate about international social movement building across the intersectional issues that define our lives. She is also an avid world traveler and nomad, having traveled in over 30 countries, is passionate about collaborative art spaces in community activism, and hopes to complete her scuba diving divemaster certification very soon. Maya received her Bachelor of Arts in International Studies, Political Science and premedical studies from Northwestern University.