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
Chatbot Experimentation 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 Chatbot Experimentation Manager, Rowan builds and maintains Chatbots across digital media platforms in support of our network of partners.
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.
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 Operations Manager, 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.
Manager, Executive Office
I love to travel, meet new people, and learn about different cultures.
As Manager of the Executive Office, 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.
Director of Impact Campaigns
I’m a devoted cat mom, a book lover (of the long, tedious nonfiction variety), and an aspiring powerlifter.
As Director of Impact Campaigns, Sarah oversees the development and implementation of issues-based digital campaigns across our ecosystem of partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Sarah was a community organizer and archivist working at the intersection of technology, global/domestic warfare, and punishment-based criminal and bordering systems.
Project Manager, Executive Office
I am a first-generation Latina, originally from the Dominican Republic, committed to fostering cross-cultural understanding.
Fun for me means exploring new places, traveling, and getting to know different cultures—it truly gives me life! I’m also a total homebody, loving to binge-watch shows and documentaries, work from coffee shops, and try out new restaurants for exciting culinary experiences.
As Project Manager of the Executive Office, Celina supports the work of Peter Murray and Lea Madry.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Celina’s career primarily focused on digital marketing and project management, supporting a variety of digital agencies and organizations.
Celina holds a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing, with a minor in Spanish Language from The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley as well as an MBA from the same university.
When not working, I enjoy the company of my beloved pets: three delightful cats named Henrietta, Poncho, and Petunia, along with an adorable dog, Mr. Pants. They bring immense joy to my life.
Nature, particularly the beach, holds a special place in my heart. Growing up surrounded by mountains and trees in Seattle, I developed a profound appreciation for the natural world. Although I now reside in Philadelphia, reconnecting with nature, be it at the beach or elsewhere, brings me a sense of peace and belonging.
Besides my love for nature, I’m passionate about traveling and exploring new places and cultures. Experiencing diverse communities expands my perspectives and embraces the interconnectedness of our global world.
As Development Manager, Brooke manages our fundraising processes and systems.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Brooke gained invaluable experience in the fundraising sector, working with non-profit organizations dedicated to conservation and environmental advocacy. Her career has been marked by a deep commitment to supporting causes she deeply cares about.
With a strong foundation in understanding the intersection of environmental issues and social change, Brooke holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies, specializing in Policy, Politics, and Justice from Seattle University. She further enhanced her skills with a Certificate in Fundraising Management from the University of Washington.
Los Angeles, CA
Head of Influencer Engagement and Experimentation
I’m deeply passionate about advocating for and empowering others to embrace their true selves and share their stories. As a fellow Puerto Rican, I find inspiration in diverse communities, their traditions, and the narratives they hold. I love to travel, as traveling is a way for me to explore new identities and learn about different walks of life.
As Head of Influencer Engagement and Experimentation, Amber leads influencer experimentation and oversees relationships with our partner influencer networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Amber spent over 10 years in the fashion industry, aiming to break barriers of traditional beauty standards. During this time, she discovered her passion for Influencer Marketing while working with Savage X Fenty. Amber crafted partnerships with creators who challenged conventional norms and provided greater representation for marginalized communities. In her leadership roles, she successfully developed Influencer Marketing programs from scratch, with a clear mission of representing disabled, BIPOC, LGBTQIA+, and plus size communities.
As a Wisconsin native and a first-generation college student, she successfully graduated from the University of Minnesota. She is now happy to be residing in California, where she can be in closer proximity to her Puerto Rican side of the family and foster a stronger connection with her cultural roots.
Washington, D.C. area
Vice President of People
As a child of immigrant parents from the Philippines, my dedication to uplifting diverse communities is at the heart of my daily work. I am a writer – hoping to publish at least one book in this lifetime – and a doula, passionate about advocating for people of color in their journey to parenthood.
As Vice President of People, Patty supports and guides the People area, which includes the following: the People Operations Department, the Talent Acquisition function, and the People Strategy and Innovation function.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Patty contributed for seven years to the operations and HR teams at Lesbians Who Tech, an organization devoted to supporting LGBTQ communities in tech and their allies. Most recently she served as the Head of Operations at MobilizeGreen, an organization placing diverse interns in National Parks to do STEM based conservation work, helping them to jumpstart their Green Careers.
Patty graduated with a B.A. in Communications from George Washington University and an M.F.A in Creative Writing from New York University.
My passion – both professionally and personally – is creating equitable and accessible spaces where people gather, connect and create together, to bring about the change we need in this world. In my personal life, these spaces are focused on food access and justice, community health, liberation, and human and animal rights.
As Event Manager, Tracey plans and organizes events that build strong relationships and advance programmatic goals across our teams and networks.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, I spent nearly 20 years planning events, meetings, and conferences for various nonprofits, as well as managing organizational logistics and operations.
Frank Morris Lopez
Director of the Executive Office
I love getting to know people and learning about the world around me. I spend a lot of time studying cultures, religion, history, and philosophy.
As Director of the Executive Office, Frank leads our Executive Office department.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Frank’s career primarily centered around news, nonprofits, community, and social advocacy work. He studied political science and international relations at Northern Arizona University and has a master’s in social justice and human rights from Arizona State. Frank has received state and national awards for his work in media.
A first-generation Latina, I am a child of Puerto Rican parents, committed to making this world a more equitable, inclusive world.
In my spare time, I enjoy finding a balance between being a homebody-enjoying a good read, watching romcoms, Titanic, or documentaries, and going on adventures with my dog Sal in nature or traveling.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jenny worked in the international education field, working as an advocate for implementing structures and programs for BIPOC and marginalized communities. As an advocate, Jenny worked with the BIPOC youth and marginalized communities advocating for equitable and accessible opportunities in higher education, college access programs, and increasing funds for BIPOC communities. She has experience working in financial aid offices and with stakeholders during her time in the nonprofit and higher education sector.
Jenny is a proud first-generation college graduate with her BA in Urban Studies from Worcester State University and an MA graduate from Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey.
You can often find me searching the garden section of a store for uprooted plants or cultivating life with my hands in the soil. To me, gardening is more than just a hobby – it regrounds me in my purpose, builds a community rooted in reciprocity, and acts as an expression of environmental justice.
As a Chatfuel Fellow, Alison is participating in our chatbot-building fellowship program.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Alison held various roles within the tech sector focused on environmental justice and data accessibility. Some notable projects include mapping pollinator corridors in Minneapolis and leading a site feasibility analysis for the City of Phoenix’s Cool Corridors program with NASA.
Alison earned her bachelor’s degree from Macalester College and is presently pursuing a master’s degree at Georgia Tech.
Maribel (Mari) Zagal
Talent Acquisition Manager
I am a proud first-generation Latina from Chicago. I am deeply committed to working within the BIPOC community to create a more equitable world for all.
As Talent Acquisition Manager, Mari manages the full life cycle of recruiting and hiring across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mari held several non-profit roles striving to create educational equity for students from under-resourced communities. She graduated from Carleton College and is a proud Posse Alum.
Denver Metro Area
Director of Finance
I learned how to fight for causes in ways that fairly challenge the status quo from my father. I learned how to show up for humanity and build an intentional community from my mother. I learned the power of taking a step back and joyfully living life from my brother. I bring them with me in everything I do.
As Director of Finance, Rafa leads our Finance Department, which houses our finance and accounting functions.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Rafa worked for the Conservation Colorado family of organizations where his days were spent solving financial headaches for good and modernizing accounting technology for people. Bringing systems thinking and an intersectional lens to radical changemaking is second nature to Rafa as a sociology graduate from Barrett, the Honors College at Arizona State University. His mission is to humanize financial life for the world.
I am a proud American-Mongolian immigrant committed to fighting for a more equitable and empathetic world. I deeply love storytelling in all forms and believe it is one of the most powerful forms of learning.
As Talent Associate, Bia supports the full life cycle of recruiting and hiring across Accelerate Change.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Bia was an Organizational Development and Recruiting Trainee at HM.Clause. Bia graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology.
Pembroke Pines, Florida
In my spare time, I do a lot of creative writing and host a podcast about culture clashes with one of my best friends. I think it’s important to highlight both the differences and similarities in cultures that make us unique while also uniting us and for me, writing and having discussions on those topics help me to contextualize them.
As a Chatfuel Fellow, Mila is participating in our chatbot-building fellowship program.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mila held various roles in tech support and customer service.
New York City, NY
Talent Innovation Manager
In my free time, I enjoy listening to live music, traveling, and making jewelry.
As a Talent Innovation Manager, Kristina manages innovation initiatives and special projects within the Talent Department.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Kristina acquired 10 years of experience in operations and executive assistance. Among her professional accomplishments, she assisted a start-up wellness spa by developing their operations through the creation of protocols and defining the customer experience so that they could remain consistent as they expand. She enjoys using her creative outlook to find solutions to make daily processes more simple, while maintaining their efficiency. Kristina deeply cares about all people feeling a sense of belonging, which has drawn her to transition from working in hospitality to social justice.
Head of Technology
I am motivated by the inequalities that are deeply rooted in the tech industry. I want to see more diversity in all tech sectors.
I’m currently researching ways to utilize blockchain tech for an uncensored blog that communicates through a trustless wireless network.
I love spending time with my family, taking nature walks, and exploring the world through my daughter’s eyes. I also like to explore new local restaurants and enjoy the challenge of recreating my favorite dishes.
As the Head of Technology, Lucien leads our Technology Department.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Lucien was an IT Consultant and helped develop and execute companies’ business strategies and integrate new and advanced technologies. Lucien was also the Director of IT for an international cannabis startup.
Vice President of Digital Strategy
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 Digital Strategy, 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 supports and guides the Departments that fall under the Finance and Operations area: Network Operations, Finance, and Operations.
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.
I love reading comic books and fantasy novels, attending local punk rock shows, and listening to too many podcasts.
As a Chatfuel Fellow, Mike is participating in our chatbot-building fellowship program.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mike studied UX design at Prime Digital Academy with a focus on inclusive and human-centered design thinking. Mike earned his bachelor’s degree in Strategic Communication from the University of Minnesota.
People and Culture Manager
As a Black lesbian whose voice is often silenced or forgotten, I have a deep commitment for building a community that not only hears but acts on the voices of marginalized communities.
As People and Culture Manager, Chelsea oversees performance management processes, guides staff on professional development, and works with staff and managers to ensure that we have a workplace where our team can thrive.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Chelsea worked as the People and Culture Associate at The Trevor Project, where she designed and executed inclusive strategies, internal culture communications, and spearheaded DEI initiatives. In addition, Chelsea worked numerous years within Talent Acquisition for The Trevor Project and TEKsystems, where she was responsible for managing full-cycle sourcing, hiring, and onboarding a diverse set of the world’s top talent. Chelsea is a New York native and a college graduate with a BBA from Bryant University.
Talent Project Manager
Doing this equity work has never been a choice – it’s a compulsion. Being a part of a team of diverse and like-minded people is an honor and a privilege.
I am also an indie fantasy author, and themes of trauma, healing, and found family are core to my work. Mixed in with dragons, of course.
As Talent Project Manager, Haley manages talent-related projects with partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Haley supported startup organizations in building and maintaining their HR departments. Her focus on HR as an agent for equity and positive workplace change led to her consulting with Accelerate Change until she joined the team full-time.
Northwest Indiana Region
Content Experimentation Associate
As an immigrant and child of immigrants, I am committed to advocating for de-stigmatizing mental health in my culture and community.
For fun, I love to lift as a powerlifter, hike and go on weekend road trips with my partner!
As a Content Experimentation Associate, Micah supports the Content Department with testing content for digital and social media platforms.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Micah was a UX Researcher / Experience Designer, designing technology to be more inclusive and human-centered. On the side, Micah was also a Creative Healing Coach for children of immigrants, advocating for mental health through healing arts.
Director of Equity Programs and People Projects
Being a Queer & Trans Afro Latine from the South, I am passionate about making spaces for marginalized people to feel hopeful and empowered in their own advocacy.
In my spare time, I love to dive into creative projects, whether that is oil painting, pixel art, dancing, or baking.
As Director of Equity Programs and People Projects, Jay leads our intersectional anti-racism work.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jay was the Executive Director of a non-profit called Pizza Klatch, focusing on providing community resources and support groups for LGBTQ+ youth in Thurston County. They have received an Ivy League certificate from the University of Pennsylvania School of Social Policy & Practice in Non-profit leadership.
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 Network Operations Department, which houses 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.
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Vice President of Product and Technology
My passion is people, process, strategy, a culture of empowerment, and meaningful change. In my spare time, you can find me wandering local beaches collecting trash and treasure.
As Vice President of Product and Technology, Jenn supports and guides the Departments that fall under the Product and Technology area: Growth, Tech, Program Operations, and Civic Engagement.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Jenn was a technology leader at several mission-driven organizations supporting a range of causes from free school supplies for underprivileged children to research and education for people affected by kidney disease. Most recently, Jenn was providing strategic governance technology consulting to nonprofit executives.
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.
Network Operations 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 Network Operations 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.
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 Department.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Mohammad managed engineering, finance, HR, and operations for numerous organizations.
Maria Helena Oliveira
Director of Content Experimentation
I am committed to working on causes that help in building a more equitable world.
As Director of Content Experimentation, 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.
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 Manager
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 Manager, 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.
Network Operations 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 Network Operations Manager, Christine manages operational support with our partners.
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
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 Executive Director, 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 People Operations
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 People Operations, Vanessa leads our people operations department 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.
Partner Integration Manager
I am a child of the diaspora, and creating a space where everyone feels like they belong and are comfortable to truly be themselves is something that is dear to me.
As Partner Integration Manager, Habibah manages operational support with our partners.
Prior to joining Accelerate Change, Habibah worked as the Quality and Innovations Manager for Memorial Assistance Ministries (MAM), a non-profit whose mission is to partner with local communities in Houston Texas to build stable families, a dynamic workforce, and vibrant communities.
Habibah graduated from Prairie View A&M University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and worked in the Oil and Gas industry in a number of different roles before transitioning to the nonprofit field in 2021 for more purpose-driven work.
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.
As Development Manager, Ceci manages our fundraising processes and systems.
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.
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 a Development 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.