Organizing for New Movement Leaders
Facilitator and Coordinator
Born & raised in El Paso TX, Leslie is now a research fellow for a participatory action research project in Springfield, MA. This year in UACT, they will be helping develop and support the Organizing for New Movement Leaders class. They also spend their time working on graphic scribing and community art projects. Previously, they have been involved in community organizing and political advocacy, collaborating with community leaders and organizations both in Texas and Massachusetts. They hope to always be working in the intersections of art, healing, and justice; and find themselves lucky to have many communities to come home to and build with. When not supporting youth & community organizing work, they like to spend their time making art, drinking tea, or learning about herbal medicine and astrology.
Molly previously facilitated UACT's Grassroots Community Organizing class for two years, and was the outreach coordinator the following year. Facilitating is a really big passion of Molly's so she is very excited to be facilitating, learning, and engaging with this community in a new way. She is passionate about building intentional community and understanding, as well as uplifting and supporting others. Molly loves dancing, making people laugh, playing soccer, and cooking.
Maija is an educator with five years facilitation experience. She was introduced to social justice change work during her time at the University of Massachusetts-Amherst where she helped organize student actions and campaigns. Through this and UACT’s Relational Organizing class, Maija learned that justice work is most impactful when organizers take time to build deep, trusting relationships based on shared values and visions. Maija currently spends her time working with high school students of color in college access and Diversity and Inclusion Learning at Comcast. Maija resides in Philadelphia, PA.
Kandace Montgomery (she/they) is a Black and queer, organizer, facilitator, and strategist, working to expand our collective ability to build power that transforms systems and people. Currently living in Minneapolis, Minnesota, she has spent the last decade developing programming, training, and strategies that center the lives of people of color at local, statewide, and national organizations. By centering and unapologetically prioritizing the lives and leadership of diverse Black communities, she aims to develop the solutions necessary for transformative change. Kandace's political home rest with Black Visions, as the Co- Director, currently leading local strategies to engage young, Black, Queer and Trans people, and their families, to build cultural and political power capable of transformation and ending systemic violence. Kandace is a University of Massachusetts Amherst and UACT alumni.
alina ortiz salvatierra
alina ortiz salvatierra has been doing facilitation and healing work for the past seven years. born in oakland ca, currently based in los angeles ca, they practice craniosacral therapy and community based healing justice work. she is currently focusing on supporting BIPOC through a monthly craniosacral and polarity online clinic and facilitating healing justice spaces for different organizations in the la area. she is most interested in supporting groups in moving from fear to power, recognizing the medicine in their roots, and feeling resourced in community.
Born & raised in New Jersey, Monique has deep love for the Mid-Atlantic area. Her experiences with UACT as a facilitator and trainer incited her to pursue organizing from a relational framework. Monique currently works as a housing organizer in NY, supporting tenants to build power with their neighbors and re-imagine what their neighborhood can look like. Outside of work, she enjoys playing Taboo and building community over good food.