Media > Faster Bios
Eliseo Medina is described by the Los Angeles Times as “one of the most successful labor organizers in the country” and was named one of the “Top 50 Most Powerful Latino Leaders” in Poder Magazine. Medina served as the International Secretary-Treasurer of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) for 17 years (1996 – 2013); leading the union’s efforts to achieve comprehensive immigration reform that rebuilds the nation’s economy, secures equal labor- and civil-rights protections for workers and provides legal channels and a path to citizenship.
Dae Joong Yoon is the Executive Director with NAKASEC. He has more than 19 years of community education and organizing experiences in the areas of immigration policy, health access, civic participation, voting rights, environmental justice and economic development. Yoon is no stranger to NAKASEC. He was part of the founding of the organization in 1994, and helped lead ambitious and successful campaigns in the early years including the 1995 “Justice for Immigrants” Washington Post ad campaign opposing anti-immigrant legislation, the 1996 multi-faceted campaign to promote civic participation and electoral organizing, Restoration of SSI and the national Fix 96’ campaign. Yoon is also the founding board member of KRCC in Chicago and served as the national president of Young Koreans United of USA.
Most recently, Dae Joong Yoon was the executive director of KRC since July 2003. He has also supervised many community-led research projects such as the Asian American Voter Exit Poll, Building Health Community Focus Group, and Los Angeles City Services Survey. He currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors for Strategic Concept in Organizing & Policy Education (SCOPE); a Community Advisory Board member for the County of Los Angeles Department of Public Social Services; and as an Advisory Board Member for the City of Los Angeles Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Affairs. He is a 1.5 generation Korean American and is bilingual in English and Korean.
Rudy López is from a small steel town called East Chicago, IN where he currently resides. Immigration Reform is something deeply important to him. He grew up seeing the effects of our broken immigration system and its impact on people he loves. His home served as a “port-of-entry” for many family members who came here undocumented. He saw the toll it takes on someone when they live in fear and treated as second class. Each day people die in the desert crossing the boarder in search for a better life for their families. In 2005 his cousin Martin Hernandez was one of them. Martin got sick during the crossing and was left behind by the Coyote (human smuggler). He died cold, hungry and alone.
Rudy has dedicated himself to Social Justice and has built a career developing leaders and building power in disenfranchised communities. As Political Director for the Center for Community Change (2007-2013) he worked with groups all over the country to register, educate and turn-out thousands of voters in low-income and communities of color. Rudy served as Wellstone Action’s National Field Director (2005-07) training grassroots leaders how to manage campaigns and run for political office. Rudy was also the National Field Director of the Chicago-based U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute (2000-05) overseeing Latino leadership development programs and voter-registration drives across the nation.
Rudy developed his organizing skills in the neighborhoods of Pilsen and Little Village working as a community organizer with Gamaliel affiliate the Metropolitan Alliance of Congregations in Chicago (1998-99) and is currently a Senior Organizer for the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) that is based in Washington DC.
“I feel that I have done everything in my hands to make sure that this issue of immigration gets solved once and for all, but it hasn’t being enough. Being part of a strong religious family, I believed that not only is our body our most precious sacrifice but also if we devote our body, mind and soul to the Lord the Lord will be on our side. Understanding the struggle that my family and other families in my community face, I have the moral responsibility to everything in my hands to make a change. If that means my body, my body it is. That’s the reason I decided to do the fast till my body can’t do it anymore. Anything less than 100% commitment would mean I have failed my community and that is a luxury I don’t have.”
Lisa Sharon Harper, Sojourners’ director of mobilizing, was the founding executive director of New York Faith & Justice—an organization at the hub of a new ecumenical movement to end poverty in New York City. In that capacity, she helped establish Faith Leaders for Environmental Justice, a citywide collaborative effort of faith leaders committed to leveraging the power of their constituencies and their moral authority in partnership with communities bearing the weight of environmental injustice. She also organized faith leaders to speak out for immigration reform and organized the South Bronx Conversations for Change, a dialogue-to-change project between police and the community.
Lucy Tzunun is a member of Make the Road New York.
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is the Current President of The National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (Hispanic Evangelical Association), America’s largest Hispanic Christian Organization with 40,118 member churches. Rodriguez leads an organization identified as the Hispanic faith leaders in support of Life, Family, Great Commission, Stewardship, Education, Justice and Youth. As the leading Hispanic Christian on the issue or Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Rev. Rodriguez and the NHCLC were credited by Sydney Blumenthal and others as the primary reason why the plans for deportation were stymied. He frequently meets and consults members of both parties in Congress and participates in White House meetings on social justice, Latino and values issues.
Gabriel Salguero is president of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, a powerful voice on issues that affect Latino communities in the United States. Focusing on poverty, immigration, and education, Salguero’s leadership of the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC) offers an important voice for growing diversity and changing demographics in our country. He has been named as on of the most prominent Latino evangelical leaders by the Huffington Post, the Center for American Progress, El Diario, and Jorge Ramos’ Al Punto. In addition to his work with the Circle of Protection—a consortium of faith groups that seek to preserve social programs that help the poor—and his strong calls for immigration reform, Salguero, through his organization, founded Nuestro Futuro, a Latino youth-targeted voter-mobilization campaign in Florida, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Arizona, New York, and New Jersey in 2012. His writing is featured on both The Washington Post ‘On Faith,” and the Huffington Post’s Religion blogs. Salguero with his wife, the Rev. Jeanette Salguero, are the co-lead pastors of the multi-ethnic Lamb’s Church in NY. The Lamb’s Church worships in three languages—English, Spanish, and Mandarin. They have two beautiful sons, Jon-Gabriel and Seth who are their pride and joy.
Jim Wallis is President and Founder of Sojourners and editor-in-chief of Sojourners magazine, whose combined print and electronic media have a readership of more than 250,000 people. A bestselling author, public theologian, and frequent speaker on faith and public life, He has written ten books, including the New York Times bestseller God’s Politics. His most recent book, On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned about Serving the Common Good, was released in April 2013. His columns appear in major newspapers and blogs, and he regularly appears as a television and radio commentator. He is a husband, father of two young boys, and a Little League baseball coach.
Sister Simone Campbell has served as Executive Director of NETWORK since 2004. She is a religious leader, attorney and poet with extensive experience in public policy and advocacy for systemic change. In Washington, she lobbies on issues of peace-building, immigration reform, healthcare and economic justice. Around the country, she is a noted speaker and educator on these public policy issues.
Bishop Orlando Findlayter
Bishop Orlando R. Findlayter: Senior Pastor New Hope Christian Fellowship, Chairman CUSH (Churches United to Save & Heal). Bishop Findlayter is a community activist who speaks against injustice. He has served on the board of the National Action Network and is presently Chairman of Churches United to Save and Heal (CUSH) a New York State Chaplain, a Clergy Liaison at the 67th Police Precinct, member of 1000 Congregations for Economic Justice and board member of the Caribbean American Clergy Coalition.
Patrick Carolan is the executive director of the Franciscan Action Network. Prior to joining FAN, Patrick worked for the Diocese of Bridgeport as Manager of Advancement/Development for the Stamford Catholic Schools and at St. James Parish in Stratford, where he was involved in developing Faith Formation and Social Justice Programs. Previously he was president of a Connecticut State Employee Union, held senior/executive level positions in Medicaid Managed Care companies, and served on numerous boards and commissions both in Connecticut and nationally, dealing with public policy issues. He splits his time between Washington, D.C., and Stratford, Conn., where he resides with his wife and children.
Trusted advisor, public policy strategist, faith leader, author, lecturer, businesswoman, educator, executive coach, and mentor, Dr. Barbara Williams-Skinner has made an indelible imprint in American public policy, government, and community relations. She has a long history of building bridges and advancing the inclusion of people of all cultures in both the private and public sector. She serves as an advisor to CBC Members and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation as co-founder of the CBCF annual Prayer Breakfast, attended by nearly 2500 faith and civic leaders across the nation. She is currently CEO of the Skinner Leadership Institute, which she co-founded in 1992 with her late husband, Tom Skinner. The Skinner Leadership Institute provides networking, bridge-building and leadership development opportunities between Congressional leaders, business executives, diverse groups, college students, faith leaders, young professionals, and urban youth.
Recently promoted Minister of Judson, Rev. Michael Ellick previously served as Associate Minister of Judson Memorial Church for two years. In that time, Rev. Ellick has been committed to establishing a new Christian vocabulary for a post-Christian world, embracing Judson’s legacy as the Research & Development Laboratory for American Christianity. Recognizing that an authentic witness of the Gospel (which he’s referred to as the “macabre, science-fiction Enlightenment” of world religions) means moving beyond the traditional words and concepts we’ve used to describe it; Ellick’s exploration of new theological forms has grown out of his commitment to the social gospel in action, and the practice of God’s presence in silent prayer, reflection, and meditation. He has worked as an organizer for Immigrant Rights, Marriage Equality, Single Payer Health Care, Economic & Enviornmental Justice, and Islamophobia. Rev. Ellick is particularly interested in understanding the Christian Passion Story in an America threatened by falling Empire and failing Plutocracy.
Friar Jacek Orzechowski was born and raised in Poland in a rich Catholic tradition. Among other things that have invigorated the Friar on his Franciscan journey is being involved with other friars and lay Franciscans in addressing the issues of justice, peace and the integrity of creation through public witness and advocacy. Whenever he comes across another Franciscan at a Respect for Life March in Washington, D.C., or at the Ecumenical Advocacy Days, or at a rally in support of the immigration reform, he rejoices.
Marco A. Grimaldo is CEO & President of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy. With more than 20 years of experience in the field of politics and non-profit advocacy, his career has been characterized by a call to public service. Working in both church and community, he has sought to help people care for one another and change public policy to help those most in need.In his role at the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, he and his colleagues work toward a vision of a world where people of all faiths cooperate to create compassionate communities that are just, peaceful, equitable and sustainable.
Michael Livingston is the National Director of Public Policy for Interfaith Worker Justice. Committed to congregational autonomy, racial reconciliation, ecumenical witness, and mission, the Council has a broad diversity of churches and centers in the United States and parts of Africa, Canada, and Europe. Rev. Livingston has a B.A. from UCLA and the M.Div. and Th.M degrees from Princeton Theological Seminary. Rev. Livingston spent 14 years at Princeton Seminary as first the Director of Admissions and then the Campus Pastor and Director of the Chapel. Ordained by the PC (USA) he has served congregations in Los Angeles and New York
Noel has worked in full-time ministry in Latino, urban communities since 1982. He has served in youth ministry, church planting, advocacy and community development in San Francisco, San Jose, and Chicago. After serving on the Board of the Christian Community Development Association for many years, he established the CCDA Institute, which equips emerging church leaders in the philosophy of Christian Community Development, and currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer of CCDA.
Sang Hyuk Jung (Immigrant Father with NAKASEC)
To Mr. Jung, family is everything. Mr. Jung immigrated to the United States with his family in 2004 to provide a better education for his two children. When applying to change his visa status, Mr. Jung received wrong advice from the attorney and the application was misfiled. In order to support his family, he took a job as a sushi chef. Education being a core value, Mr. Jung and his wife dedicated infinite amounts of time and energy into sending their two children to college. His son was recently accepted into a PhD program at Harvard University with a full scholarship. Both Mr. and Mrs. Jung work 12-hour workdays to provide a better life for their son and daughter. Mr. Jung joins the fast for his family to stay together in the America they call home.
Since 1964, the Rev. Dr. Raymond Rivera has served our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as pastor, preacher, denominational executive, organization founder, and community builder. Throughout this time, he has preached, taught, and modeled Christ-centered holistic ministry, particularly in an urban context. He current serves as the President of the Latino Pastoral Action Center and Chairman of the Board for the National Latino Evangelical Coalition (NaLEC). He is the pastor of The Sanctuary Church in the South Bronx.
Mike McClenahan is Senior Pastor of Solana Beach Presbyterian Church in North County San Diego. Since 1995 Mike and his wife Amy have served on the Amor Ministries board of directors and national advisory board and building homes in Mexico. Mike earned a BA in Spanish from UCLA and a masters and doctorate from Fuller Theological Seminary. Mike’s passion is for the church to be a place and people of real transformation for the sake of others. SBPC has partnered with the Hispanic community for over two decades through tutoring, literacy and citizenship.
Representative Joseph P. Kennedy
Joseph P. Kennedy III is proud to serve the Fourth District of Massachusetts in Congress.
Having dedicated his career to public service, Joe brings a firm commitment to social justice and economic opportunity to the U.S. House of Representatives. Elected in November of 2012, he represents a diverse district that spans from the suburbs of Boston to the more industrial towns of Massachusetts’ South Coast.
Rabbi David Saperstein
Selected by Newsweek magazine in 2009 as the most influential rabbi in the country and described in a Washington Post profile as the “quintessential religious lobbyist on Capitol Hill,” Rabbi David Saperstein has been the Director of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism for more than 35 years. Also an attorney, Rabbi Saperstein teaches seminars in First Amendment Church-State Law and Jewish Law at Georgetown University Law School. He serves on the board of numerous national organizations, including the NAACP, People for the American Way, and the World Bank’s World Faith Development Dialogue. In 1999, he was elected the first Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. In 2009, he was appointed by President Obama as a member of the first White House Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.
Stephan Bauman, President & CEO of World Relief
Prior to becoming CEO of World Relief in 2011, Stephan served as Senior Vice President of Programs. Before joining World Relief as the Country Director for Rwanda in 2005, he served as Director of International Programs for World Hope International, leading relief and development work in 25 countries in the agriculture, education, economic development, anti-trafficking and health sectors. As Director of Programs and Training for Mercy Ships International from 1994-2001, Stephan oversaw medical, water and sanitation, health and capacity-building programs in West Africa. Prior to joining the non-profit sector, he worked at Andersen & Co, consulting on mergers and acquisitions, legal matters, treaties, and tax issues for Fortune 500 companies. Stephan is a CPA and an ordained minister. He holds a Master of International Public Policy from Johns Hopkins University, a Master of Intercultural Studies from Wheaton College Graduate School and a Bachelor of Arts in Business from the University of Wisconsin.
Reverend Eun-sang Lee
Rev. Eun-sang Lee (Salt Lake City, UT) is a pastor at the First United Methodist Church of Salt Lake City, UT. He immigrated to the United States from South Korea in 1978 and became active in social justice and international human rights issues as a member of Young Koreans United. As a board member of NAKASEC (National Korean American Service & Education Consortium), he has written about the moral urgency for immigration reform and participated in national actions organized through the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) and Church World Service. Reverend Lee graduated from the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, CO (Master of Divinity), was ordained by the United Methodist Church in 1993, and has served at inner-city churches in Colorado and Utah. He is promotes his passion for multiculturalism, social justice and inter-faith collaboration through his urban ministry.
Phillip Agnew is a native of Chicago, IL, and a 2008 graduate of Florida A&M University’s School of Business and Industry, where he served as Student Body President, and member of the University Board of Trustees and Faculty Senate.
His life was changed when he became an organizer with the Student Coalition for Justice: a cadre of students from Florida A&M University, Florida State University, and Tallahassee Community College angered at the murder of Martin Lee Anderson in a Florida Youth Boot Camp. After the murder of Trayvon Martin, he returned to Florida to work as Executive Director with the Dream Defenders, a network of black, brown, and poor youth and students across the State of Florida fighting criminalization and for equal rights for the next generation of black, brown and poor youth. This Summer, they held a 31 day occupation of Florida’s State House demanding the passing of “Trayvon’s Law.” They are building on 8 campuses across the state of Florida for the passing of this Act and are moving to register and engage 61,550 before 2014.
Ciara Taylor serves the Dream Defenders as the Political Director. The Dream Defenders is a civil rights organization directed by black and brown youth who are committed to ending systemic oppression in Florida by training and organizing youth and students in nonviolent civil disobedience, civic engagement, and direct action while creating a sustainable network of youth and student leaders to take action and create real change in their communities.
Ciara previously served the Southern Poverty Law Center as the Community Outreach Liaison for Juvenile Justice and as the state Voter Registration Coordinator for the League of Women Voters.