VALUES & TEAM
We value strong interpersonal relationships on our team, and we prioritize making time to build those relationships. We emphasize respect, kindness, and generosity in individual and team interactions. We value giving and receiving feedback, including encouraging constructive critiques.
We reflect our constituencies and the world we want to create by continuously striving to be an anti-racist, feminist, inclusive, and responsive workplace with policies and practices that are intentionally supportive of BIPOC staff and LGBTQIA+ staff so that everyone on our team can thrive. As a progressive workplace, we are also invested in ensuring that government is responsive to historically marginalized communities through social change, such as criminal justice reform, equitable educational opportunities, abortion access, and climate justice.
We value collaborative approaches within our team and with our partners. We center our partners as much as possible, sharing credit and sharing resources. We avoid scarcity mindsets and encourage distributed leadership.
We are proactive and solutions-oriented in the face of challenges, and we face conflict directly. While we have rigorous standards for experimentation and expect excellence (but not perfection) from one another in our work, we do not focus on assigning blame in evaluating our processes and programs.
We prioritize financial sustainability for our work to ensure that our organization can grow and thrive long-term. We strive to develop movement leaders by offering transformative professional growth opportunities and pay/benefits that are competitive in the nonprofit sector.
We are committed to the continuous work of being and becoming an anti-racist organization and dismantling white supremacy.
We view our racial equity commitment through an intersectional lens that includes LGBTQIA+ equality, class, ability, and other frameworks that help us understand empowerment and dismantle oppression. Anti-racism is mission-critical for Accelerate Change because racial equity is core to who we are as an organization and our progressive values. Additionally, anti-racism is mission-critical for us because we believe our commitment to BIPOC power building must also be reflected internally in our organizational culture and programs.
How we Work
We deeply value having strong
interpersonal relationships on our team.
We are a national, fully remote team based across the US that gathers in person 2-3 times per year (with strict COVID safety protocols in place). We have been operating this way for a decade because we value the flexibility that remote work brings for managing work and life. We prioritize relationship-building through asynchronous remote tools and channels, regular synchronous connection time one-on-one with colleagues and as a full team, and through in-person team gatherings.
Meet the Team
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Greater Boston Area, MA
Special Projects Manager
I am motivated in my work by my experiences as a queer person and the solidarity I have experienced throughout my life from others who are a part of this work. In my spare time I flit about between a number of different hobbies, from music and art to gardening or learning to code.
As a Special Projects Manager, Rowan leads a variety of projects and initiatives across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Rowan worked for six years at a small law office specializing in criminal defense, estate planning, domestic relations, and a number of other areas.
Chatbot Experimentation Manager
I was born into music. Music has always been part of my life. My father is a professional bassist and has worked with the socially conscious hip-hop group Arrested Development for 20 years. The music in my life provided me with opportunities to write music for artists and meet famous artists like Usher, Akon, Erykah Badu, Xscape, Outkast, etc. I also met Barack and Michelle Obama along with Oprah in South Carolina at a campaign rally where Arrested Development opened. Because of music, the creativity and collaboration involved has really helped me in my professional life when having to solve problems or develop new processes.
As a Chatbot Experimentation Manager, Kiley builds and maintains Chatbots across digital media platforms in support of our network of partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Kiley worked in banking/finance, IT, and utilities industries. In each of his roles, Kiley had the opportunity to develop chatbots in order to streamline customer service and develop lead generation solutions.
I am from two beautiful Ethiopian parents who, as refugees, sacrificed endless moments of their own just so their children could live a better life. They are my reason; I am because of them.
As an Operations Associate, Bisrat supports our finance and operations processes and projects.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Bisrat worked as a Policy Aide for the Minneapolis City Council and as an Analyst for the City’s Health Department. He has served in local government at the state, county, and city levels. His passions include dismantling structural inequities among disenfranchised communities and making long-term positive impact.
Bisrat graduated from the University of St. Thomas in the Twin Cities with a B.S. in Neuroscience and Public Health.
I love to travel, meet new people, and learn about different cultures.
As an Executive Assistant, Adna supports the work of Peter Murray and Lea Madry.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Adna provided administrative support to executives in the healthcare and fashion industries.
Adna graduated with a BS in Mass Communications, with an emphasis in Public Relations.
Vice President of Content
Cooking is both my love language and my stress-reliever. I recharge by tackling complicated recipes, planning menus, and making food for people I love.
As Vice President of Content, Kim leads our Content Studio team and catalyzes content experimentation across our networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Kim spent two decades in digital media, including 11 years at Nickelodeon, where she focused on digital programming and social media. Kim also has a deep start-up background, having developed digital content in the earliest stages of companies like Upworthy, WebLab, and About.com.
Kim made the transition from corporate to nonprofit work in 2017, after the state of racial justice in the U.S. ignited her desire for more purpose-driven work. She spent 2 years as a digital strategy consultant for nonprofits just prior to coming to Accelerate Change.
Luis Gilberto Rivas
Vice President of Finance and Operations
In a world of conflicting interests, self-serving ideals, and the perceived inability to make a difference, I believe in the power of a group of committed dreamers and music-makers to change the world (with apologies to Marget Mead and Arthur Shaughnessy for mixing their timeless lines).
As Vice President of Finance and Operations, Luis oversees our finance, operations, network operations, and special projects functions.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Luis was (and still is) obsessed with innovative ways to create strategies and systems that are absurdly useful and effective. He honed his craft in various nonprofit organizations across Houston working with hunger relief and food deserts, homeless youths, and closing the digital divide, among others. Most recently, Luis served as Executive Director, Gulf Coast Region for Compudopt.
As a Mexican immigrant, first-generation college student, and Texas A&M University graduate, Luis works to change the world, one person at a time, while trying to plan for his first ultramarathon in England.
Little Rock, Arkansas
Vice President of Media Investments & Acquisitions
I love to find local Black-owned restaurants and build themed music playlists.
As Vice President of Media Investments & Acquisitions, Darrell oversees our investments in and acquisitions of cultural media properties, accounts, and networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Darrell was co-founder and CEO of PushBlack, the largest non-profit media platform for Black Americans. Earlier in his career, he ran racial equity trainings and served as a fellow with the Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation.
Taura V. Livingston
Albuquerque, New Mexico
Director of Network Operations
As a woman of color, I am determined to elevate the dignity and respect marginalized people experience in their day-to-day lives. We all deserve to be seen in our uniqueness and respected for our individuality.
As Director of Network Operations, Taura leads the operational infrastructure we use to collaborate with and support our networks of partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Taura enjoyed a long career working in nonprofit organizations providing leadership for mission-related programs and overall operations. Taura recently started providing consulting services to small and medium nonprofit organizations focused on humanitarian initiatives to help streamline operational systems and make service delivery more efficient.
Taos, New Mexico
Director of Program Operations
I feel lucky to work alongside teammates who carry their own unflinching approach into the unknown. The complexity of our work doesn’t feel impossible when it’s shared.
As Director of Program Operations, Jaya leads our tech and chatbot team and advises on tech-enabled experimentation across our networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jaya provided marketing and advertising services to small businesses across the Southeast. She has a degree in English: Creative Writing at the University of Tennessee, Chattanooga. During their time at university, they launched a social justice program that connected university students with community activists to deepen the relationships between the campus and the city of Chattanooga.
Special Projects Associate
I love to take nature walks, try new restaurants on doordash, and enjoy learning about the latest strategies in digital marketing and filmmaking.
As a Special Projects Associate, Jasmin supports a variety of projects and initiatives across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jasmin was a Digital Advertising Specialist at Accelerate Change in 2020 for the voter’s registration campaign. She continued her work in digital marketing at other organizations, which led her back to AC.
Los Angeles, California
Content Production Manager
I am openly and proudly queer, and my experiences as a member of the LGBTQ+ community have greatly impacted my values, career trajectory, and personal commitment to social justice causes for marginalized people.
As Content Production Manager, Robbie manages content experiments and leads production for our Content Studio.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Robbie worked in various editorial, social media, and content optimization roles at several progressive media outlets, including HuffPost, Upworthy, and Versa Media.
Director of Operations
I value contributing toward someone’s positive experience(s); And so, I’m always looking for ways to do that.
As Director of Operations, Mohammad leads our operations team.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mohammad managed engineering, finance, HR, and operations for numerous organizations.
Maria Helena Oliveira
Content Experimentation Manager
I am committed to working on causes that help in building a more equitable world.
As a Content Experimentation Manager, Maria manages content experimentation with the Central Team and in collaboration with our network.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Maria was an entrepreneur and owner of an Austin-based vintage clothing store, Passport Vintage. Since 2016 Maria has volunteered and worked with nonprofits that focus on civic engagement and Latino-focused issues. She has worked as a digital media consultant for Jolt Texas and a Texas Federal Senatorial campaign. Maria is a Texas A&M University-Commerce alumn.
Fort Wayne, Indiana
People Operations Manager
Shopping is the key to my heart. Traveling is the gatekeeper to my curiosity. Dancing is the window to my soul. Family and entertainment is the key to my happiness, and people are my motivation. As a libra, a balance of all is what makes me complete!
As People Operations Manager, LaShonda oversees performance management processes, guides staff on professional development, facilitates team celebrations, manages human resources matters, and works with staff and managers to ensure that we have a workplace where our team can thrive.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, LaShonda spent over a decade in multiple HR-based management roles with a focus on personnel management, employee development, talent acquisitions, and employee relations and thrived as a change champion.
LaShonda holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration with a specialization in HR Management and holds both PHR and SHRM-CP certifications.
Content Studio Managing Producer
As Content Studio Managing Producer, Jill manages content experimentation and Content Studio production with the Central Team and in collaboration with our network.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jill worked in a number of creative fields: the entertainment industry, advertising, and marketing. As both a project manager and a creator, she’s worked on a wide number of platforms from TikTok, to podcasting, to Facebook messenger. Ultimately, she loves that her career with Accelerate Change allows her to explore the intersection between liberatory politics, culture, and media. And, as Content Studio Managing Producer, Jill has the honor of working with some of the most talented creatives in producing podcasts, social media, and so much more.
Brooklyn, New York
Content Production Associate
In my spare time, I am the creator of a workplace comedy called MONDAZE that I’ve developed from podcast to web series. The series is an intersection of my passions and what I hope to do going forward — create engaging stories about underrepresented groups that, hopefully, are entertaining and intertwine social commentary.
As a Content Production Associate, Richie runs content experiments and contributes his video production and scriptwriting skills to our Content Studio.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Richie had roles in marketing and events with Truth, a non-profit aiming to end Big Tobacco and teen smoking. Richie also worked freelance on various short film and episodic film sets in the D.C. area as a producer, production assistant, and camera grip. After college, Richie worked at credit unions in the mortgage lending field, before transitioning to his current role with Accelerate Change.
Special Projects Manager
I am an avid feminist, raising 4 feminist kids, striving to build a world that is safer, better, and more empathetic for all children and the people who raise them. Our family is full of avid animal lovers as well, and we foster dogs for a local rescue.
As a Special Projects Manager, Christine leads a variety of projects and initiatives across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Christine founded and led a digital-native nonprofit organization and related online support community for 8 years, which serves families striving to feed their babies human milk, managing a team of volunteers, and spearheading several training and scholarship programs.
I grew up in Maine where I return as often as possible with my partner and two kids so that we can explore the woods and lakes and get lots of grandparent time.
As President, Peter co-leads Accelerate Change with our Chief of Staff, Lea Madry. In their shared leadership model, Peter leads our network of media partners and Lea leads our digital media lab.
Peter has spent over 20 years at the intersection of entrepreneurship, digital innovation, and progressive impact. He created one of the first digital fundraising platforms, led a progressive training institute, was part of the founding team of CrowdTangle, a leading social media monitoring platform, was a Tides Foundation Fellow researching large-scale citizen organizations, ran a community-based construction company, and was previously selected for Fast Company Magazine’s “Fast 50,” which honors 50 leaders from around the world who are reshaping their sectors.
Chicago metro, Illinois
Chief of Staff
As a queer Black woman committed to being in service to others, I do this work because nobody’s free until everybody’s free.
As Chief of Staff, Lea co-leads Accelerate Change with our President, Peter Murray. In their shared leadership model, Lea leads our digital media lab and partners with Peter in his leadership of our network of media partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Lea held leadership roles overseeing the business, people, fundraising, and strategy functions at nonprofits focused on food systems, education access, power building, and anti-racism. Most recently, Lea served as Chief of Staff at the Trevor Project. Earlier in her career, Lea was a transactional attorney at a large national law firm before leaving the legal profession to pursue her commitment to social impact.
An Ohio native, Lea is a proud first-generation college graduate with a BA from the Ohio State University and JD from the University of Chicago Law School.
Director of Talent
I love traveling internationally, being challenged by 1,000-piece puzzles, binge-watching shows on streaming platforms, and spending quality time with my family.
As Director of Talent, Vanessa leads our talent acquisition and people operations team and manages our values work.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Vanessa worked in the educational non-profit sector in various direct services roles, supporting Black and brown students from marginalized and underserved communities.
I am the child of two Salvadoran immigrants and love to find different ways to continue learning about my culture through their delicious food, history or just learning about Salvadoran folklore.
Outside of work, I enjoy reading mysteries, listening to podcasts, and exploring new trails around the Central Texas area with my dogs and friends who enjoy random adventures.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Cecilia worked as an advocate for immigrant & worker rights in communities across Texas.
Cecilia is a proud first-generation college student who earned her BA from St. Edward’s University and a Master’s degree from Tarleton State University.
Director of Growth
As a gay, black, first-generation college graduate, I understand the importance of equity and access — and I’m determined to create opportunity and space at the table for other folks from marginalized backgrounds.
As Director of Growth, Jarrel leads our growth experimentation team and advises on growth-oriented experimentation across our networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jarrel held leadership roles at progressive nonprofits overseeing areas such as marketing, paid media, and fundraising. Additionally, from 2018 – 2021, Jarrel served as a Human Relations Commissioner for the City of Riverside California.
San Diego, California
Head of Finance
I am committed to fighting generational poverty and racism.
As the Head of Finance, Yectlie oversees our finance and accounting functions.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Yectlie had her own accounting firm and led administration, operations, and finance at law firms and tech startups.
Yectlie holds a BBA in accounting from Texas Southern University and an MS in accountancy from University of Phoenix. She has also earned her PHR certification.
I agree that becoming a master at anything in life takes time, but when it comes to my free time, I am a serial hobbyist. I love to learn new processes, and actively make an effort to always be in a state of learning because it fuels me. In anything from candle making to remodeling an entire house, I know a little bit about a lot of things and always have room to learn more.
As an Operations Associate, Mel supports finance and operations processes and assists staff with their operations questions.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mel worked in various roles as an operations associate, eCommerce manager, and bookkeeper. Outside of work, Mel is an active volunteer in their community, helping run fundraisers and organize diversity and inclusion training for majority-white organizations.
Though their role at Accelerate Change is primarily focused on operations and finance, Mel has found working with and for BIPOC folks within a culture that fosters growth (not only for its partners, but also for its people) to be a continuously fruitful, transformative experience.
Carrollton (Dallas), Texas
Finance and Operations Manager
As a proud St. Louis native, I am dedicated to changing the narrative of Black people and other people of color for the better. Equality is a must.
As a Finance and Operations Manager, Candace manages our finance and operations processes and supports corporate governance.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Candace was Director of Operations and Finance at Faith in Texas, a nonpartisan, multi-racial, multi-faith grassroots movement focused on achieving economic, racial, and social justice for everyone. Before Faith in Texas, Candace served as a Program Coordinator for Foundation For C.H.O.I.C.E., which assists low-income high school students with college preparatory activities.
Candace graduated with a BA in Communication, with an emphasis in Mass Communications, and an MA in Nonprofit Administration from Lindenwood University in St. Charles, Missouri.
I have a love for the arts, and in my spare time, I serve as a dance instructor for dancers and figure skaters and lead community initiatives centered around the arts and inclusion.
As Talent Manager, Sterling oversees and manages the full life cycle of recruiting and hiring across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Sterling worked in project management for nonprofits, real estate acquisitions, business operations, and the legal field. Sterling earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati.
Accelerate Change incubates startup nonprofit media ventures. Our team also includes dozens of venture staff from Pulso, Noticias Para Inmigrantes, Localyst, ProgressPop, and an influencer network. Additionally, our team includes the following entrepreneur(s) in residence: Sahil Kotak.