Marcie Smith, Executive Director
Marcie Smith is a movement-builder working at the intersection of solidarity economics, climate justice, gender, and the law. She began organizing around climate issues at Transylvania University, where she started the campus’s first environmental organization, co-founded the Kentucky Student Environmental Coalition (KSEC), and served on the Student Environmental Action Coalition’s national council. She was active in U.S. Youth for Sustainable Development (SustainUS), eventually serving as co-chair, from 2008 to 2010. During this time, she was deeply involved in international youth organizing within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Over the past four years, Marcie has been focused on supporting sustainable, community-directed, anti-oppressive economies. She has worked on related projects with Grand Aspirations, Energy Action Coalition, the New Economics Institute, the Sustainable Economies Law Center, Carolina Common Enterprise, and the UNC Center on Poverty, Work, and Opportunity. She is also founder and current chair of Full Circles Foundation (FCF), a holistic, entrepreneurial, grassroots empowerment track for girls in the Southeast. She will be graduating in May 2014 from the University of North Carolina School of Law, where she has focused on the law of sustainable economies.
Lauren Ressler, National Organizer
Lauren currently supports the national student responsible investment movement as National Organizer for the Responsible Endowments Coalition. Originally from Seattle, Washington, Lauren worked with the Cascade Climate Network and Sierra Student Coalition to oppose the development of coal export facilities along the Pacific Northwest coast. In addition to this work on coal exports, Lauren has worked on ending the student loan debt crisis and making higher education affordable for all. She currently organizes with more than 20 campuses across the U.S. campaigning for fossil fuel divestment and reinvestment and the emerging prison divestment campaign.
Lauren enjoys spending her free time creating incredible vegetarian meals, exploring new communities, and brushing up on her salsa dancing. Contact Lauren at firstname.lastname@example.org or find her on Twitter at @laurenressler.
Ian Trupin, Organizer
Ian works with student groups around the country who are demanding that their schools divest from private prisons and fossil fuels. As a student activist himself, Ian worked on a successful campaign that led Brown University to divest from HEI Hotels and Resorts, a hotel chain notorious for its labor rights abuses. This involvement led to an interest in endowment justice which he pursued as a student representative on Brown’s advisory committee on investor responsibility. A proud Tanzanian-American, Ian is passionate about economic justice organizing and challenging institutions to mobilize their resources in support of new economy solutions.
Ian enjoys learning about his beautiful new home of New York City, drawing, singing, and jamming on various stringed instruments.
Hannah is excited to be joining REC's team to support student divestment and reinvestment campaigns. She first encountered REC while working on Swarthmore Mountain Justice's fossil fuel divestment campaign. Since graduating from Swarthmore in 2012, she has continued to work with the national divestment movement to connect with grassroots organizations fighting extreme extraction on the ground. She has also recently started an organizing collective in Philadelphia with 5 friends called the Maypop Collective for Climate and Economic Justice. She owes much of her political development to mentors and friends in Swarthmore and Philadelphia, and to those fighting mountaintop removal in Central Appalachia. From them, she learned about the deeply entrenched nature of environmental, racial, and economic injustice.
When she is not organizing, Hannah sings and plays saxophone, plays ultimate frisbee, and ferments cabbage. You can reach her at email@example.com.
Sierra Dickey, Organizing Intern
Sierra is a rising senior at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Out west she organizes with the Divest Whitman campaign and supports regional No Coal Train protests. Originally from a small town on the outer reaches of Cape Cod, Sierra grew up on protected beaches and was raised in a small seasonal community. Today she maintains her love for all oceans and a deep interest in the inner workings of intentional communities.
This summer at REC she will be working with Asha to create new visual media materials for various campaigns. Apart from that, she will support the Summer Organizing Retreat, and begin to investigate the relationships between the Prison Divestment and Fossil Fuel Divestment movements. Sierra is most excited about assisting REC in the wider researching of potential pathways to a new economy. Outside of the office Sierra will be found caffeinated and romping around Brooklyn or scribbling prose on the subway. Contact Sierra at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow her @DierraSickey.
Asha Kuziwa, Organizing Intern
Asha is currently a student at New York University, studying Politics, Rights and Development. On NYU’s campus, Asha founded the anti-street violence organization Project Empower, which works collaboratively with NYU administration to bring self defense workshops into NYU dorms. Originally from Waltham, Massachusetts, Asha was raised with an international perspective instilled by her Tanzanian father and American mother. She’s translated this worldview into a commitment to social justice inspired by the idea that every person is responsible for the livelihood of their earthly neighbors. In New York, Asha has been introduced to Prison Divestment and continues to research the correlation between education and incarceration.
This summer, she will work with fellow REC intern Sierra to create written and visual media for student organizers across the country to utilize in strengthening their campaigns.
Asha enjoys exploring various types of yoga, a good cup of tea, and walks on sunny days. You can contact Asha at email@example.com or find her on Twitter at @moon_shiner21.
Board of Directors
Kate is a student representative on the board who has been involved with endowment issues since her first semester at Swarthmore College. She is a member of Swarthmore Mountain Justice, a group pressuring the college to divest its holdings in the fossil fuel industry. In addition to climate justice work, Kate is an active member of the Swarthmore Labor Action Project and an intern with Movement Catalyst, a movement support group for community-based social justice organizations working primarily on housing rights. A senior at Swarthmore, she is a History major and Political Science minor.
Vonda Brunsting is the Director of the Capital Stewardship Program at the Service Employees International Union (SEIU). Vonda also serves on the Board of the Trustee Leadership Committee. Vonda attended the University of Chicago and Calvin College. Vonda lives in Brooklyn, NY.
Patricia Estevez works at Change to Win, a labor federation, on corporate governance, shareholder and labor issues since November 2008. Prior to this, she worked on Wall Street as a financial analyst. Patricia has been active with NYC area organizations that empower young people from low income communities to find their paths to success. She grew up in Queens, New York.
Beth Herz is Associate Program Officer at the Surdna Foundation, a New York-based family foundation that supports sustainable and just communities in the U.S. In this role, Beth works with Surdna’s program staff and board to ensure collaboration and impact across the foundation’s three areas of work – sustainable environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures. Beth joined Surdna as a member of the Sustainable Environments team, where she contributed to grantmaking and strategy development in climate change, transportation systems, and the green economy. She previously worked in community organizing and advocacy, including at WE ACT for Environmental Justice in Manhattan.Beth received a B.A. from Wesleyan University and an M.S. in Natural Resources and Environment from the University of Michigan. In addition to the Responsible Endowments Coalition board, Beth sits on the Board of Advisors of Emerging Practitioners in Philanthropy.
Varshini Prakash is a student at the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she is pursuing a dual-degree in Environmental Science and Political Science. She has played an active role in the UMass Fossil Fuel Divestment Campaign since its inception. A Massachusetts native and life-long resident, Varshini recognizes the importance of connecting on-campus organizing efforts to local off-campus ones. She has worked on a variety of climate-related campaigns in Massachusetts with groups like 350.org and Better Future Project.
Maura began working with REC as a freshman at Seattle University when she led the formation of the Committee on Responsible Investment (CRI). She served as the REC Northwest Student Organizer and a Steering Committee member from 2008-2010 and started a community investment program and a revolving fund for energy-saving sustainability projects at Seattle U. After living, working and studying in Ecuador, Dominican Republic and Costa Rica, Maura returned to Seattle where she now works for PCC Farmland Trust– a non-profit land conservation organization that preserves and stewards organic farmland throughout WA state. Outside of her local food/economy passions, Maura loves experimenting in the kitchen, capturing moments with her trusty Nikon, running around and climbing things, traveling to meet new people and places – anything that involves adventure. Maura is delighted to have served on the board since late 2010, and is honored to help guide the organization that was so integral to her commitment to the movement.
Mary Schellentrager works at Energy Action Coalition as Divestment Campaign Coordinator, supporting students campaigning for fossil fuel divestment and sustainable reinvestment nationwide. She began working with REC in 2007 when she advocated to establish a committee on responsible investment and sustained investment in the DC community while studying at American University. She served on REC’s Student Steering Committee and as Mid-Atlantic Student Organizer from 2009-2011. While at AU, she co-coordinated the Community Action and Social Justice coalition, helped win union recognition for the university’s shuttle bus operators, and organized for affordable housing and reproductive rights in DC. She loves working in close partnership with REC at the intersection of environmental and economic justice and is honored to have contributed to the strategic growth of the organization since she joined the Board in 2010. In her free time she adores taking road trips, camping, seeing live music, and spending time with family.
Jérôme Tagger serves as Director of Membership and Operations at the Global Impact Investing Network (GIIN). In this role, Jérôme oversees the strategy, member services, recruitment, and programming for both the Investors’ Council and Network Membership initiatives, as well as certain GIIN operations.
Jérôme has an extensive background in non-profit management with global organizations in the fields of sustainable and responsible finance. He served as the Chief Operating Officer of the UN-backed Principles for Responsible Investment, where he worked for five years. Prior to that, he was Head of Research at Eurosif, the European Social Investment Forum. Jérôme is a graduate of Essec Business School in France.
Sam Wohns is a student at Harvard University, where he studies political economy. As a sophomore in college, Sam founded the Responsible Investment at Harvard Coalition with the goal of making his university’s endowment the most responsibly managed in the country. The Coalition launched the Fair Harvard Fund as a mechanism for students and alumni to support the creation of a Social Choice Fund within the endowment by donating to a responsibly managed escrow fund.
Sam’s commitment to social justice has led him to organize rural residents to protect the Tangle Lakes in Alaska from large-scale development, train volunteers to empower youth living with diabetes in Ecuador, and co-found a student think-and-action-tank called Economy Futures. Although he is usually down to Earth, Sam is on cloud nine when eating wood-fired pizza, listening to street musicians, or backpacking between snow-capped peaks.
Joshua Humphreys, is the President of the Croatan Institute.
Anuradha Mittal is the founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute.
Robert A. G. Monks, Founder ISS, Lens Investors, Hermes Lens, GMI.
Stephen Mulkey is the President of Unity College in Maine.