Haymarket's Funding Panel
For more information, read the detailed Funding Panel Role Description document.
The New England Funding Panel works with the Haymarket staff to carry out grantmaking duties and is accountable to the Haymarket Board of Directors. The Funding Panel nominates three of its members to sit on Haymarket’s Board of Directors.
The Board approves all Funding Panel nominations. Funding Panel members also participate in organizational gatherings of Haymarket, such as annual meetings, etc. All Funding Panel members must attend a new member orientation weekend and a two-and-a-half day Undoing Racism workshop offered by the People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond within the first six months of their service. Terms are for 3 years, with the first year being conditional based on mutual evaluation. In the initial formation of the panel, terms will be staggered to allow for continuity and stability.
Colleen Fitzpatrick, Massachusetts
Colleen is working with Massachusetts Teachers’ Association, focusing on education justice. Most recently a Community Organizer at the Fenway CDC in Boston, MA. She is a steering committee member for Our Revolution Somerville. She has been involved in organizing since graduating from Williams College in 2012, first as an advocate for LGBT rights in her home state of Maine and then as a union organizer with SEIU Local 888 in Boston. Her experience in these movements has taught her about the power of bringing people together to create positive change in their workplaces and neighborhoods. She believe that we must constantly strive to deepen our democracy and achieve ideals of access and equity for all. Colleen looks for every opportunity to get outdoors and explore
natural spaces both near and far. She also enjoys checking out local arts and music events, attending yoga classes, and gardening and cooking with friends in her community-driven house.
Abdifatah Ahmed, Maine
Abdifatah Ahmed left Mogadishu, Somalia in 1992 at the age of fourteen when civil war disrupted his education and family. He lived in a new refugee camp in Kenya for over a year before being resettled to Cambridge, MA where his family was reunited. Abdifatah worked very hard and was driven academically. He received his Doctorate of Pharmacy fourteen years ago from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Recruited to Maine in 2003, he has worked in Portland, Topsham and Lewiston/Auburn where he now lives with his wife and five children. Abdifatah is an advocate for people living in poverty and cares about encouraging others to engage in civic life and healthy choices.
Samantha Montano, Massachusetts
Sam was most recently the Senior Neighborhood Organizer for the Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corp in Jamaica Plain. Sam is involved as a member of her neighborhood council in Jamaica Plain and volunteers frequently in the neighborhood. Sam has dedicated much of her work to building access to equity for folks and pushing conversations around anti-racist work. She has been in Boston for 5 years now and is originally from Los Angeles, CA.
Shaznene Hussain, Connecticut
Shaznene works as a community educator and tenant organizer at the Connecticut Fair Housing Center, where she collaborates with her co-workers, community organizations, and service providers to address discrimination in housing and with tenants organizing to defend against evictions. She also volunteers and works with community organizers, activists, and collectives in Connecticut and throughout the region on campaigns to address climate justice, racial justice, and immigrants rights issues. Shaznene completed her doctorate in Political Science at the University of Connecticut, taught courses ininternational studies, human rights, and gender studies, and served as a Trustee of the Graduate Employee Union.
Strong Oak Lefebvre
Strong Oak Lefebvre, MSSA: Executive Director and co-founder of the Visioning B.E.A.R. Circle Intertribal Coalition INC. She is a co-author of the Walking in Balance with All Our Relations teaching curriculum, a violence prevention approach that is based on transformative/restorative Circle practices and traditional values of indigenous people prior to colonization from a racial justice lens. Strong Oak has recently been named to the statutory Governor’s Restorative Justice Advisory Committee in Massachusetts to serve from 2018 to 2024. There she has been influential in advocating for the inclusion of those who are currently incarcerated and those in re-entry to inform and be a part of the RJAC. She teaches Circle process to communities, agencies, and
providers working with those who are survivors of homicide victims, domestic and sexual violence; and those who are working to return to their communities’ violence-free after having hurt others. Strong Oak engages in Dialogues Across differences with systems and community groups throughout the Northeast with a team of BIPOC community members and white allies in collaboration and partnership with Growing a New Heart. Strong Oak works through VBCIC in partnership with community organizers to build sustainable environments and economies based on antiracist structures.
Abel Luna grew up as a farmworker working since he was 13 years old in the vegetable fields in New York. His grandfather was in the Bracero farmworker program working in US Agriculture and was exposed to toxic pesticides, from which he suffered his whole life. Abel worked with the Rural Migrant Ministry in New York as an organizer fighting with farmworkers and allies to win groundbreaking legislative improvements for agricultural workers including improving minimum wage laws. Abel is driven by a passionate belief to ensure that the human right to dignified work is a part of any definition of a sustainable and healthy food system. Abel is Migrant Justice’s Milk with Dignity Program Education Coordinator.
Bio Coming Soon
Maegan is from New London, CT and is the Founding Director of Step Up New London, a grassroots organization that emerged out of an education restorative justice campaign in 2017; as a platform for organizing centered on Black and Brown mothers and caregivers. Her/their background is rooted in food justice and education justice back in 2013/14, where like many organizers feel, “they didn’t choose the organizing life- the organizing life chose them”. Maegan has been an active member in her community since, fighting for anti-racist, just, and equitable system change. She/they attribute her/their passion for this work to necessity and states, “I want to be a part of a rising local movement where people of color are welcome as their whole-selves, supported, and empowered. I want to be a part of a community that is creating change- where my children won’t have to fear for their children.”
Bio Coming Soon