Staff and Leadership Bios

Staff

Alix Webb – Director of Education

Alix is a co-founder of MMP who has worked for almost two decades with grassroots community organizations working for economic justice and an end to poverty around the United States.  As of July 2013, Alix is the new MMP Director of Education. For the last two years, Alix was Site Coordinator for the six MMP BTOP Computer Centers, part of Philadelphia’s Freedom Rings Partnership. From 2006-2011, Alix was the Program-Manager for the Poverty Initiative in NYC, helping to create its Poverty Scholars Program and Poverty Initiative Fellows Program. In Philadelphia, Alix has worked with welfare rights activists through the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, low-income Asian youth through the Asian Arts Initiative Youth Arts Workshop, leaders and members of local non-profits through Bread and Roses Community Funds’ Barbara Smith Community School, and college students through Swarthmore College CIVIC, among others.

 

Bryan Mercer – Co-Executive Director

Bryan is a Philadelphia native who began volunteering with MMP after returning home from college. Bryan is now a Co-Executive Director of MMP, continuing the organization's commitment to strategic media and communications to build a movement of poor and working people united across color lines. Bryan brings experience from supporting MMP's network of computer centers and digital literacy trainings with community partners. Bryan also works on state and national media policy advocacy with the Media Action Grassroots Network to create a ground-up approach to securing media rights and access.  Bryan received his bachelors degree from Columbia University in Anthropology and Comparative Ethnic Studies.
 
 

Hannah Sassaman – Policy Director
Hannah came to MMP as a trainer in communications, legislative planning and strategy, and as a longtime media justice organizer.  As the Campaign Director at the Prometheus Radio Project, Hannah helped lead and design the grassroots organizing and legislative strategy that resulted in the passage of the Local Community Radio Act - a bill that will opened up the FM dial to thousands more community radio stations nationwide.  Hannah is a member of the Board of Directors of Allied Media Projects, a trustee at the Valentine Foundation, the mom of incredible toddler Sara Bela Sassaman Marcus, and the partner of brilliant community programmer Josh Marcus.
 

Kristin Campbell – Field Director

Born and raised in Northeast Philadelphia, Kristin has been a grassroots fundraiser and organizer with MMP since 2009. As Grassroots Fundraiser, Kristin implements MMP's vision for a strong and independent movement that is resourced by the people who are part of it, building MMP's Sustainer Program and creating the systems that have paved the way for 300 people to sign on as Sustainers. Before working with MMP, Kristin cut her organizing teeth building alliances between students and workers at New York University, where she received her bachelors degree, and was a founding member of the Coalition to Save the Libraries, a grassroots organization of Philadelphians who fought the closure of public libraries and won.
 
 
Luis Gauthier, Accountant
Luis was born and raised in Philadelphia and graduated cum laude from Temple University with a BBA in Accounting.  MMP's Accountant, Luis also works as Director of Finance and Operations for Philadelphia Student Union and is currently sitting for the CPA exams.  He has held positions with several non-profit organizations in his community and worked for City of Philadelphia as an accountant and revenue auditor.  Luis is the father of two little boys growing up in a society where more MMPs are needed, and is committed to making this society a better, more just and more equal place for all.  
 
 

Milena Velis – Media Production Director

Milena is an organizer, media educator and multimedia journalist. Originally from Chile, Milena calls Philadelphia home. Milena began working with MMP in 2007 as a Spanish-English interpreter and radio producer with Labor Justice Radio, and now designs and teaches media trainings and coordinates MMP’s radio programming. Before working with MMP, Milena covered local news for Al Día, a Philadelphia-based Spanish-language weekly newspaper; worked with the Prometheus Radio Project to build new community radio stations around the US; taught multimedia journalism at Temple University; and worked as an interpreter in courtroom and healthcare settings. Milena holds a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College. 

 

Rebekah Phillips – Co-Executive Director

Rebekah began working with Media Mobilizing Project in 2008 as a volunteer video-maker.  She became a Co-Executive Director in 2013, building on her experience as coordinator of MMP’s video programming.  She grew MMP’s capacity through organizing collectives of media makers to produce video for human rights struggles and she worked to build and strengthen group partnerships through coordinating video trainings and media productions in collaboration with community and labor groups at the local, state and national levels.  She is also one of the co-founders of MMPTV, a movement news and analysis tv show that airs online and on Philadelphia’s cable access channel, PhillyCAM.  Rebekah earned her BFA in Art Video from Syracuse University in 2006.  

 
 
Zoraida Ossa, Office Manager

A native from Venezuela where she earned a degree in Linguistics and Modern Languages, Zoraida migrated to USA with her family in the early 80s. Her first job in the states was at a factory where she experienced firsthand all the difficulties due to language barriers and racial discrimination. Since then Zoraida has dedicated her free time to help fellow immigrants to fill out legal forms, translate letters, go with them to immigration appointments and guide them through the process. For many years Zoraida has been working supporting nonprofit organizations on their work for human rights and social justice in the Philadelphia area in different administrative roles as well as interpreting, translating, writing, editing, designing and maintaining websites. She volunteered for MMP before becoming Office Manager. Zoraida is the proud mother of three very talented and smart kids.

 

Board of Directors

Allison Erdneka Budschalow

A mama of color in constant pursuit of a just world that thrives of, by, and for the whole community, Allison is constantly looking for ways that organizers, activists, and change agents--especially those from low-income and communities of color--can make it on the long road to justice. One aspect that she currently focuses on is how grassroots fundraising supports radical organizing and base building, and she brings theory into practice as a member of MMP's Grassroots Fundraising Committee. She is rooted in Philly with her partner, two babes and a dog.
 
 

Amendu Evans

Amendu has served as a member of MMP's Executive Committee and MMP’s Labor Committee, a site organizer for the MMP and Logan CDC Carlton Simmons Technology Keyspot Computer Center, and the coordinator of MMP's Labor Justice Radio. A hip-hop artist, stand-up comic, lifetime resident of Philadelphia, fighter for the rights of all people, father and grandfather, Amendu is also an SEIU 32BJ member and shop steward representing maintenance workers.

 

 

Amy Miller

Amy Miller grew up working class in a small town in Upstate New York.  She got involved with social justice organizing first by doing community service in college in Washington, DC -- volunteering at shelters, soup kitchens, Habitat for Humanity -- and saw that none of these presented long-term solutions to poverty and economic injustice.  She moved to Philly in 1995 to work full-time with Empty the Shelters and the Kensington Welfare Rights Union.  She organized and supported organizing by unemployed folks struggling to build a movement for economic human rights on a local, statewide and national level. Along the way she also got a Master's degree in creative nonfiction from Goddard College in Vermont in order to tell stories of poverty and anti-poverty. For the past nine years she has worked writing and managing grants for a research center in Penn's Nursing School. Amy met her partner Cindy 12 years ago, and they have a 4-year-old son named Zachary.   

 

Audra Traynham
 
Audra is an SEIU 32BJ union member, leader and organizer; a mother and grandmother; and a long-time member of MMP.  Audra has been a member of the Labor Committee and a co-host on MMPTV. She was also Site Organizer for MMP and the SEIU Healthcare PA Keyspot Computer Center.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Carmen Cuadrado

Carmen got involved in MMP through the Community Leadership Institute's fight against eminent domain abuse in North Philadelphia. She has served as a member of the Executive, Education, and Board Development Committees, focusing on MMP's human, health and religious resources and strategy. A massage therapist and Verizon retiree, Carmen is also a grandmother, a cancer survivor, and an incredible cook. 

 
 
 
Fred Pinguel

Now the Coordinator of the Cross City Campaign for School Reform, Fred was a Philadelphia Student Union (PSU) member in high school, working to secure adequate funding and avoid privatization in Philadelphia public schools. Through this work he came to believe in the collective power of youth and after graduating from college joined PSU as an organizer to put his energy and skills toward the improvement of Philadelphia. Fred was a member of the MMP Leadership Council in 2010 and 2011 and has consulted on, designed and led a wide range of curricula, studies and workshops with MMP as well as with many other organizations locally and around the country.

Mica Root - Board President

Mica is an MMP co-founder and former Education/Executive Director. Over the past eight years, including four as a staff person, she has played lead roles in developing MMP's network(s), community-building strategies and organizational infrastructure. Currently working on a number of writing and community-wellness projects (of which one of the most fun is this), Mica is a firm believer that every day should involve both dancing and delicious food. Prior to MMP, Mica worked as a travel guidebook writer and editor and in the national administration of the American Friends Service Committee's immigrant rights initiative, Project Voice. She grew up in New York City, received a BA in English from Harvard University, and has lived in Philadelphia since 2002.
 
 

Shivaani Selvaraj

Shivaani is an MMP co-founder and consults with Penn State University faculty on innovative uses of technology. For nearly two decades, she has been using storytelling and media production as a vehicle to connect and cohere communities struggling for what they need and to surface some of the most pressing issues we face. In the past she has curated performances and screenings by people of color artists, produced multi-media projects, documented human rights violations in the United States, and organized individuals and organizations to engage in a battle of images to end poverty. Shivaani continues to deepen her understanding of media, technology, and social change as a doctoral student in Adult Education. She brings fun, flair, and laughter to her collaborative work.

Todd Wolfson - Board Treasurer

Todd is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Journalism and Media Studies at Rutgers University, an MMP co-founder and former chair of the Executive Committee, and a father to Sebastian and Woody the Dog. Trained as a socio-cultural anthropologist, Todd studies the convergence of new media, globalization and social movements and is currently finishing a manuscript entitled Cyber Left: Indymedia and the Making of 21st Century Struggle. Prior to his post at Rutgers and his work with MMP, Todd helped found a graduate employee union campaign at the University of Pennsylvania, and prior to that lived in sub-Saharan Africa for three years.

 
 
Willie Colon - Board Secretary
 
Willie is a freelance writer and editor who lives in the Philadelphia suburbs, and a former Site Organizer for MMP and Casa Monarca's Keyspot Computer Center. In addition to his experience working for a variety of newspapers, trade publications, and nonprofits, Willie has a background in community organizing that he gained from many years of work with the Community Leadership Institute (CLI) in North Philadelphia. During his years as president of the board at CLI, he worked with residents to successfully challenge the City of Philadelphia’s abuse of eminent domain laws. His favorite quote comes from author and activist Arundhati Roy: “Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.”