For more information, read the detailed Finance Committee Description document.
Fatou Drammeh, Massachusetts
Fatou Drammeh, Coordinator of Revere Community School (RCS). She has over 25 years in experience working with low-income, immigrant and refugee women and their families in the United States and Gambia, West Africa. She is the Co-founder and was the executive Director (3 years) of Women Encouraging Empowerment Inc., a non-profit organization in Revere organizing with immigrant and refugee women. Fatou worked in various capacities at Cooperative Economics for Women (CEW) for 9 years from trainer to program organizer and Associate Director. Served five years on the Funding Panel and Board of Directors at the Haymarket People’s Fund, one term on the allocations committee for Boston Women’s Fund, where she aided in funding different community projects throughout the state of Massachusetts. Core group member of Network for African- American and Immigrant in Solidarity (NIAAS), and board member of Women Encouraging Empowerment. She has a degree in Development studies, Master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from Brandies University, and diploma in Women and Economic Development.
Ayeesha Lane, Massachusetts
Ayeesha has worked and volunteered in nonprofit organizations for over 25 years. Many of those years in the community development field where her concentration was in community organizing and facilitating local and national forums around best practices for community-based organizations. She has over 15 years of experience as a peer leader and participant in organizational work focused on undoing racism and anti-oppression capacity building. Ayeesha owns her own Consulting business, Alane Consulting where she provides Diversity and Inclusion Consulting, building inclusive workplaces and communities through training, coaching, facilitation and strategic planning. Ayeesha also has extensive experience in banking and property management and brings expertise in the areas of network and community building, organizational development, facilitation and training to Haymarket. She recently completed 12 years of work at Third Sector New England, including serving as the Program Director for the Inclusion Initiative. Under her leadership, this initiative restructured its programmatic priorities to supporting community-led, cross-sectored networks in Massachusetts and Rhode Island to build relationships and build networks that will allow them to break down the pillars of poverty and inequality.
Ayeesha coordinated the work of the Boston Undoing Racism Network. She has served on numerous boards of directors, including the Haymarket People’s Fund, Nuestra Communidad Development Corp. and was a founding member of Cooperative Economics for Women.
Julio Ruiz, Massachusetts
Julio Ruiz was born and raised in Peru. He moved to the United States in 2001 and went through the experiences of exploitation, wage theft and discrimination as an undocumented worker. Julio feels that these experiences led him to participate in different community organizations, which transformed his life because he became aware of the root causes of injustice in the U.S. society. For that reason, Julio highlights the importance of community organizations to educate oppressed people about approaching the different issues of our society collectively rather than individually. Julio has a wife and two daughters, who are currently living in Peru because the current immigration system prevents them from being reunified. However, he has faith that soon they can be together. Julio worked for the National Guestworker Alliance organizing fish industry workers in New Bedford-MA. He is also one of the founders of Lynn Worker Center, a grassroot organization which passed an anti-wage ordinance in the city of Lynn. This ordinance is one of the strongest in the U.S. and has served as a model for other cities to achieve theirs. Julio started working for Metrowest Worker as Community Organizer in 2020, and he was recently promoted to Assistant Director of this organization. After several years, Julio graduated cum laude in 2018 from UMass Boston. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Minor in Labor Studies.
Valeska Daley, Massachusetts
Valeska Daley, Executive Director of the Upham's Corner Main Street, Inc. (UCMS) is a community-led business district planning agency that works to build a vibrant commercial district in Upham’s Corner, a bustling town center in Dorchester, Massachusetts that is anchored by the historic Strand Theatre. UCMS is managed by a volunteer Board of Directors, project-focused committees, an Executive Director and part-time staff/interns. UCMS is successful only through energetic volunteer action. The organization operates under The National Trust for Historic Preservation Main Street approach to revitalize Upham’s Corner through Design, Economic Restructuring, Organization, and Promotion. As one of the leading programs in the Boston Main Streets network, UCMS has a track record of innovative project planning and implementation that has raised the profile of the Upham’s Corner commercial district. Upham’s Corner is on the radar as a neighborhood destination and is highly sought by new businesses looking for a profitable location.