Natalie Casal, National Organizer
Natalie is a new National Organizer for REC, who started organizing back in 2011 with the immigrants' movement where she campaigned for in-state tuition for undocumented students, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, and Comprehensive Immigration Reform with organizations like Students Working for Equal Rights, the Florida Immigrant Coalition and the Florida Immigrant Youth Network. In 2013 she became the Vice President for the Kendall Chapter of the Dream Defenders and eventually got the opportunity to intern with the United Auto Workers (2013), the AFL-CIO and Unite Here (2014), where she learned about intersectional work between labor and immigration issues. Her passion for fighting against the private prison industry began when she became the Education Not Deportation Lead Coordinator in South Florida, where she organized using direct action and civic engagement to get individuals in detention centers away from the risk of deportation. In Miami, she assisted the Miami Dream Defenders chapter with creating a regional divestment strategy and when she moved to Orlando in 2014 she continued organizing with the Dream Defenders in Orlando to craft a campaign to push the University of Central Florida to divest from private prisons. Originally from Chile, Natalie enjoys reading, writing, watching soccer and learning about transnational feminist theory. You can reach Natalie at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow Natalie on Twitter at @REC_Natalie.
Zakaria Kronemer, National Organizer
Zakaria, another REC National Organizer, is a recent graduate of the University of Mary Washington (UMW) and has been involved with the Virginia youth climate justice movement since 2013. As Co-Founder of the Virginia Student Environmental Coalition, he worked along with other youth organizers in the state to activate students from campuses across Virginia to begin building power towards climate justice. He also co-founded DivestUMW in 2013 demanding that the university withdraw its investments from the fossil fuel industry. Through his involvement with that campaign, he helped lead the organizing effort that mobilized hundreds in multiple rallies, a statewide march, and a 21 day sit-in in the UMW's administrative building. Zakaria is a proud Egyptian-American, loves listening to hip-hop while day dreaming about the demise of the white hetero-patriarchy, and is excited to settle into his new home in NYC. You can reach Zakaria at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter at @REC_Zakaria.
Nina Macapinlac, Coordinator of Alumni & Community Outreach
Nina is the Coordinator of Alumni & Community Outreach for the Responsible Endowments Coalition. She works and builds with alumni from around the country, getting them involved with divestment efforts at their alma maters and in the larger movement for responsible endowments. Born in the Philippines, she is a Rutgers University graduate and longtime New Jersey resident who has fought alongside many others for immigrant and labor rights. She is currently the Northeast Regional Coordinator of BAYAN-USA,an alliance of progressive Filipino groups in the U.S. representing organizations of students, scholars, women, workers, and youth. As the first and largest international chapter of Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (BAYAN-Philippines), BAYAN-USA serves as an information bureau for the national democratic movement of the Philippines and as a campaign center for anti-imperialist Filipinos in the U.S. Nina also supports local efforts to organize immigrant youth and migrant workers in New Jersey. She hopes to link and raise the connections between endowment justice and community-led grassroots movements for economic, political, and social justice. You can reach Nina at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @REC_Nina.
Hanalei Ramos , Director of Communications and Development
Hanalei comes to the Responsible Endowments Coalition as its new Director of Communications and Development with over a decade of experience in digital media and community organizing. She recently helped produce media for groups and campaigns like #FightFor15, the Better Banks Committee, and The HedgeClippers. As an organizer, Hanalei co-founded GABRIELA New York in 2007, which guided her grassroots immigrant and labor rights organizing experiences with workers in the New York/New Jersey area. She is also the former Northeast Regional Coordinator for BAYAN USA and Steering Committee member of the May 1st Coalition for Immigrant Rights. When she is not at REC, Hanalei is an organizer with the Filipino Immigrant and Workers Organizing Project in her hometown of Jersey City, NJ. As leisure time presents itself, Hanalei uses it to enjoy Netflix, writing, and being a multi-media performer. Her past artist residencies include opportunities with Project Rowhouses, The Laundromat Project, and the Asian Women's Giving Circle. You can reach Hanalei at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @REC_Hanalei.
Lauren Ressler, Campaigns Director
Lauren Ressler has been fighting to address social and economic injustice for nearly a decade. Currently she supports the nationalPrivate Prison Divestment Campaign and Fossil Free Divestment Campaign in her role as Campaigns Director for the Responsible Endowments Coalition. Prior to her time at REC, she worked to address the student debt crisis and make higher education accessible to all. In 2011, she was involved in resisting the development of coal export terminals in her home state of Washington. Lauren spends a lot of her time thinking about ways to build community ownership and creating tools to better help people talk about the economy. In her free time, Lauren likes to write science fiction and speculate about what a truly free society would look like. Contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter at @REC_Lauren.
Marcie Smith, Executive Director
Marcie Smith is the Executive Director of the Responsible Endowments Coalition where she works with university students, alumni, administrators, and trustees to align endowment investments with the democratic mission of higher education. She has been organizing youth and students around climate justice, democratic economic development, and girls' and women's rights since 2006. During college, she started her campus’s first environmental organization, co-founded the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC), and served on the Student Environmental Action Coalition’s national council. As a former co-chair of Youth for Sustainable Development (SustainUS) and an early organizer with YouNGO, she was deeply involved in international youth organizing within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Conference of the Parties 14, 15, and 16. She is a former Associate Fellow at the Institute for Environmental Security and helped founded Full Circles Foundation. She has also worked with Grand Aspirations; Energy Action Coalition; the Sustainable Economies Law Center; Carolina Common Enterprise; and the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. She is from Kentucky, received her B.A. from Transylvania University, and J.D. from the University of North Carolina School of Law. You can reach Marcie at email@example.com or follow her on Twitter @REC_ Marcie.
Yacine Niang, Summer Organizer
Yacine Niang is an 18-year-old resident of Harlem, New York. She is a sophomore at Brown University where she plans on double majoring in Science and Society and Africana Studies while pursuing a Pre-Med track. She is a part of Students Against the Prison Industrial Complex, a Brown University-based organization that seeks to combat Brown University’s support of the Prison Industrial Complex. The group also aims to heavily engage with the surrounding Providence community and tackle the PIC there through the support of local organizations. She also works at Rhode Island Hospital with an organization called Connect for Health that pairs low-income families with resources in the Providence area. You can reach Yacine at Yacine@endowmentethics.org.
Nikita Perumal, Summer Organizer
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Nikita is a recent graduate of the Dual BA Program between Columbia University and Sciences Po. She first became involved in environmental justice work through her high school environmental club and activism around mountaintop removal coal mining in Kentucky. While at Columbia, Nikita pursued a degree in human rights with a specialization in sustainable development, participated in the Humanity in Action John Lewis Fellowship for civil and human rights, worked at the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law, and pursued research about the intersections of human rights and climate change. The most formative part of Nikita’s time at Columbia, however, was her work with Columbia Divest for Climate Justice (CDCJ) and the Barnard-Columbia Solidarity Network (BCSN), where she learned to organize and escalate in a sustained endowment justice campaign. In her spare time, Nikita likes to cook (and consume) spicy foods, write, and explore new cities. In the long term, Nikita hopes to meaningfully work on racial, economic, and environmental justice through either the law or research. You can reach Nikita at Nikita@endowmentethics.org.