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BOARD


SARA YOUSUF

Since 2005, Sara has proudly represented the indigent accused at the Miami-Dade Public Defender's Office. As a founding member of Emerge Miami, Sara helped to tighten-up and energize Miami's previously-disconnected progressive community. Also in 2005, Sara cofounded Miami's only independent record store, Sweat Records.

 


JUAN CUBA 

Born in Lima, Peru, Juan was brought to Miami by his parents when he was 3 years old. After graduating from Florida International University, Juan worked as traveling Presidential campaign staff (heading to Iowa, Chicago, Texas and West Virginia during the primaries and back to Miami for the general election). After the election, Juan served in the White House and the Department of Housing & Urban Development. Since returning to Miami, Juan has run Florida-wide field mobilization campaigns and run progressive coalitions in the Miami-Dade area.


JUSTIN WINSTON ONO WALES 

Justin loves the Beatles. He is a First Amendment lawyer and local gadfly.

 

 

 


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KIESHA MOODIE

Artist, educator, visionary, innovator, movement builder, and lifelong advocate for children and families.

 

 


ANNETTE COLLAZO

A lifelong Miamian and child of Cuban immigrants, Annette has played many roles in the public interest in Miami-Dade. Annette graduated from Florida International University with a BA in Economics. Soon after, she joined the teaching ranks while simultaneously nurturing her interest in community involvement by volunteering for the Obama campaign of 2012 and working as a staff assistant for Congressman Joe Garcia. Annette is currently pursuing an MA in Philosophy and Education.

 

ELIZABETH FERNANDEZ

Elizabeth is a longtime activist, fighting for LGBTQ rights, domestic violence survivors, and increased political engagement, among many other things. After spending 13 years working in media and publishing, most recently as the managing editor of The New Tropic, she joined the Labor movement as statewide communications director of SEIU Florida, part of the fastest-growing union in the country. She's a South Florida native who loves comics and always find her way back to the beach again. 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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ALEJANDRO MUNOZ-MCKEARNEY

Alejandro is a freshman at Florida International University who is pursuing a B.A in Public Administration and a minor in French. During his early high school years, Alejandro would spend his weekends volunteering for local political campaigns across Miami. His junior year, he co-founded and served as Vice President for Civic Leaders, a club dedicated to introducing students to public service and civic engagement. Soon after graduating, he was hired to work as the Director of Community Affairs for the successful City of Miami Commission Campaign of Ken Russell. In February of 2016, Alejandro was honored by Commissioner Russell to serve as the Constituent Services Director for District 2, where he actively seeks to open new channels of communication between residents and local government. He is passionate about environmental sustainability, accessible education for all, and civilian oversight of money in politics.


STAFF

ROB BISKUPIC-KNIGHT

Rob has been in a deeply committed relationship with Miami since 2010 when he moved here from the West Coast. He became hooked on Miami after meeting many fellow dreamer-leaders, who have built bold and ambitious dreams into reality for themselves, their families, and the Miami community. Previously an educator, Rob is now insanely excited to lead Engage Miami’s movement of dreamer-leaders as Engage’s Executive Director and ensure Miami remains a city of opportunity for all.


ARIEL SEPULVEDA

Born in Bronx, New York but raised in Miami, Ariel is beyond excited to be back home after spending sometime in San Antonio, Texas. After graduating high school there, Ariel attended the University of Texas at San Antonio to earn a baccalaureate in Liberal Arts for History. While attending college, Ariel’s lack of access to affordable healthcare inspired her to volunteer for political clubs on campus. As President of her college’s Young Democrats club, Ariel focused on voter access and voter engagement issues. Ariel’s first job out of college was working for a youth engagement organization called MOVE San Antonio. As Organizing Director there, she developed their internship programs, led their issue campaign (involving body worn cameras on police uniforms), and managed their field - registering thousands of young people to vote throughout the city. Ariel is looking forward to engaging Miami and Miami’s youth groups. “There’s no place like home.”


DREY ARADANAS

Proud to be brown--filipina feminist activist in Miami. Drey was raised in the Caribbean but has been residing in Miami since the end of elementary school. The daughter of Filipino immigrants, she is a Hispanic Asian who loves to serve and empower the local Miami- Dade community. She graduated from FIU with two Bachelor degrees in Women’s and Gender Studies, Political Science, and International Relations; with certificates in Queer Studies and Latin American and Caribbean Studies. At FIU, she was co-founder of the Annual Feminist Summit and Lead Coordinator of the Miami Slut Walk for three years. She is trilingual in English, Spanish, and Tagalog (with some French). Also, she’s a full-blown Leo. Drey is co-founder of Grrrl Collective, an up-incoming feminist podcast and organization in Miami. Social Human Rights are on the top of her priority list, so it is no surprise she joined the team in order to engage Miamians. Life goals include going to as many beaches as possible and binge watching every 90’s drama on Netflix.


LISA GILES

Lisa Giles is a proud, queer black country girl from Vicksburg, MS. She graduated from University of Mississippi (Ole Miss), with a degree in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. She made the MS locals extremely uncomfortable by planning and hosting the first Gay Pride Ball. Furthermore, she organized sit-ins and protests in response to racist acts on her college campus. Lisa moved to Miami to get a different perspective on the various issues that effect minorities. Soon, she fell in love with the flamingos and ocean, and so, she decided Miami is her new community to help empower and change. Her future plans include starting her own non-profit that spreads social, health, and spiritual awareness to the youth, as well as communities in impoverished neighborhoods. She is decent at painting but loves to write short stories and poetry. Lisa is also a vegetarian, so unfortunately she will not be able to cook you an authentic southern cooked meal, but she can definitely make that amazing sweet tea. 


ORIETTA LOPEZ

Orietta was born and raised in Miami. She is a Latina, who was the first in her family to graduate from university. She graduated from Florida International University with a double major in Political Science and International Relations. During her time at FIU, she was the Team Captain for her fraternity’s Relay for Life team, led by the American Cancer Society. She traveled to Atlanta Georgia, to work with young girls for the nonprofit organization, Cool Girls, Inc. teaching them about self-empowerment, nutrition, and the importance of education. After Graduating from FIU, she worked with Accountable Miami Dade who were working towards achieving Campaign Finance Reform. She was also an intern for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, interning for Annette Taddeo for Congress. Orietta is passionate about Women’s issues and empowering the Latino community to have more of a voice in politics. In her free time, she likes to dance, geek out over anything Marvel and Star Wars related and let her wanderlust take over and think about all the places she’d like to travel to. 


ERICK ROZO

Erick is a passionate political advocate from Venezuela. He has mobilized and organized in the Venezuelan political environment for the last 10 years, currently he is the political representative of  Voluntad Popular in Miami. Currently he is an advocate for democracy and civic engagement in Miami as an organizer for Engage Miami. He is driven to focus his energy in making change and is excited to apply his skills and experience in Miami. Born and raised in Venezuela, Erick believes that if you want to see a change in society, you had better be involved in making it happen. Aside from his commitment to democracy, Erick is also interested in bringing spicy Venezuelan experiences to those reinventing Miamian taste.


MARISABEL LAVASTIDA

Born in Caracas, Venezuela and grew up in Westchester, Miami. She is one of the cofounders of the grassroots organization Reclaim Your Power and Equality (RYPE) after working with Occupy Miami in 2012.  She has organized a variety of events including open mics and art shows. Marisabel joined the Engage Miami team after being the Operations Manager at Wynwood's coworking space, the LAB Miami. Marisabel feels passionate about social justice and organizing to change toxic cultural practices through the arts. Two activities she enjoys most are making collage art and supporting local musicians. Although it looks like it, she is *not* stoned in this picture.

COLLEGE INTERNS

MISHKA AHMAD

Mishka is a proud Pakistani-Canadian-American who has been involved in politics since she was thirteen. She is a first year graduate student pursing a Master's of Science in International and Intercultural Education at Florida International University. Mishka aspires to make a career out of her passions for education, cultural exploration, and advocacy for all children’s human rights globally.  As a humanitarian, she has volunteered aboard in several countries and is actively involved with non-profits like the US Fund for UNICEF and Project Downtown. Her two main goals in life are to learn and help others.


LORENZO BARONI

Although Lorenzo was born in Los Angeles, he’s lived in Miami for pretty much all of his life and he’s proud to call it is home. He is currently an English major at the Miami Dade Honors College. He loves what he studies and where he studies and although he doesn’t know what career he wants to pursue, he is optimistic about the future. 


MAIA CASTRO

Maia Castro Botero was a classically trained dancer until she completely changed paths and is now currently finishing up her Associates of Arts degree majoring in International Relations at Miami Dade College with plans of moving to Washington DC to attain her bachelors and further pursue a career in politics. She has worked for the Animal Rights National Conference and is currently an intern for Engage Miami while maintaining a job managing for Balans Restaurant and Bar. She is an advocate for animal rights and is in the process of starting her own Non-Profit for animal rights and environmental awareness. She strongly believes in making the world a better place for people, animals and the earth itself.


SYDNE GARCIA

Sydne is an Honors College student at Miami Dade College studying Communications. She is a voter education advocate and aims to make politics less intimidating for the youth. She is passionate about empowering women and educating others about relevant social issues. She enjoys running, reading historical fiction books and listening to Coldplay. In the future she hopes to be just like Elle Woods.


SALUA RIVERO

Salua is a journalism major at the Honors College at Miami Dade College. Her passions include writing and photography, therefore she wants to use those skills towards a career. She is an environmental enthusiast and has a strong interest for the arts. She is looking forward to becoming an advocate for pressing issues she cares about like animal and human rights. She has been a part of many writing and photography projects as well as been a part of two literary arts magazines.


OMEIYA YOUSUF

Omeiya was born and raised here in Miami, Florida. She studies at Miami Dade College and comes from a small home. She speaks five languages and is currently trying to learn more. Her hobbies are reading, working out and boxing. She plans to do great things one day. She fights for what she believes in and she fights with love. She hopes to one day work for NASA or the FBI. Her major in Bio-Technology. She also hold high on telling people that life is too depressing to be stressing on a regular basis.