2016 PJC BOD
Linda Ayer has been a supporter and member of the Peace & Justice Center for many years. She is a lifelong activist, mother of three sons, and grandmother. She worked in maternal /child health services for years, which gave her a deeper and more personal understanding of economic justice and lack thereof. Linda’s love of baking and people is reflected in her small business, Just Desserts, which gives support and goodies to causes, organizations, friends, family, and college students looking for a homemade treat or meal.
Olga Coralí (Cotrina Ling) Bisbee grew up in Lima, Perú and moved to the USA in 1999. Her love for languages and cultures encouraged her to study Chinese, Italian, Portuguese, English, French and Quechua (Peruvian Native Language). She is driven by collective action that gives emphasis to social service, diversity, inclusion, education, peace-building and sustainability. Coralí received her MS in Sustainable Development from SIT. She has worked as a Diversity Outreach Specialist, advocate, interpreter, and liaison, as well as an organizer in the Peruvian rainforest with cocoa and coffee farmers in agro-cooperatives. She lives with her husband, daughter, and puppy in Hinesburg. She loves to spend time with friends & family. She enjoys traveling, dancing, listening to music, swimming, running, skiing, and practicing yoga and meditation.
Maleka Clarke is a single parent to an amazing 10 year old. She works on multiple Burlington School District initiatives aimed at parent, teacher, and student involvement and empowerment. Maleka served as the PTO President of the Sustainability Academy in Burlington. She is a Registered Nurse working to improve children’s health and well-being. As a Governor’s appointee to the Building Bright Futures State Advisory board, Maleka helps shape statewide policy. She is a member of the Champlain Valley Down’s Syndrome Group. Her most important role is as “a mother and advocate for my amazing child. My journey with him has shaped me into a fearless civil servant.” Maleka is a person who truly see the interconnectedness of life and our mission at the PJC.
Lacretia Johnson Flash is the Chief of Staff to UVM Vice President, Division of Human Resources, Diversity and Multicultural Affairs. Lacretia earned a doctorate from the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at UVM. Her dissertation research was on Developing a Measure of Multicultural Competence in Student Affairs Organizations. She has presented nationally, taught graduate level classes, and received multiple academic awards. Beyond her professional work and scholarly pursuits, Lacretia is an avid mixed-media artist specializing in polymer clay and fiber, as well as a balletomane (lover of ballet). She lives in an intentional community at Burlington Cohousing East Village. We are grateful to her service in the world and here at the Peace & Justice Center. “I’m honored to be a part of an organization and community that have an enduring commitment to justice in all its forms. We continue to live in turbulent times and I feel I have a responsibility to actively engage in and support efforts for a more peaceful and just world.”
Beverly Little Thunder is an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Lakota Band from North Dakota. She has been both a Sundancer and Inipi Ceremony Water Pourer for over 40 years. Her permanent home is Kunsi Keya Tamakoce, situated high in the mountains of Vermont and comprising 100+ acres of natural beauty, the site accommodates a program of Lakota ceremonial activities across the year. Along with leading activities on the land and providing guidance for individuals and families in life’s transitions, Beverly travels widely to speak and share her traditions and work. She speaks about traditional beliefs and ceremonies, community building and personal empowerment, breaking the cycle of violence against women and children, LGBTQA peoples, undoing racism and other forms of oppression through practicing the values of inclusivity and respect that come from understanding our place in the interconnected web of life. She is a teacher, activist, author, “two spirit” woman, a mother of five, grandmother of many, and community leader and teacher for many more.
David Shiman is one of the newest board members, and retired from teaching this year at UVM. As a professor of education, he taught courses in comparative education, multicultural education, and sociology of education. He also directed the Center for World Education, a global and multicultural curriculum resource center. He was president of United Academics, the union representing full and part-time faculty at the University of Vermont and served as chief negotiator in contract negotiations with the administration on three occasions. He is particularly interested in exploring the role of education in the advancement of social justice goals
Nathan Suter is currently the executive director of the Helen Day Arts Center in Stowe, Vermont, which works to enhance the human experience through the visual arts. From 2002 -2008, Nathan co-founded and worked at Root Division, an arts and education not-for-profit based in San Francisco serving artists, youth and the community through education, events, exhibitions, professional development and an active studio complex. He still serves as a member of the Board of Trustees for Root Division. In the past, he has also worked as an Admissions Officer at Haverford College, and an arts teacher at Eastside College Preparatory School. He attended the San Francisco Art Institute from 2000-2002, and received his Bachelor of Arts in Fine Arts from Haverford College in 1995.
Paij Wadley-Bailey was the director of the Vermont Anti-Racism Action Team (VARAT) which maintains a hotline for complaints about racism in public schools. She also worked as the state director of Reading to End Racism (RER) an initiative to help eliminate racism through interactive personal and literary programs that educate and empower youth. Paij is responsible for developing the Lesbian & Gay Studies Program and Center at Goddard College, as well as serving as the first coordinator of the LGBTQA Services Program at UVM. Paij was an an anti-racism trainer and a diversity consultant. She identified as a “bull-dagger” as her ancestors were black women who, as cross-dressers, herded cattle and helped to “tame the wild west.” Once it was discovered that they were women their title “rodeo-ists” was changed, dropping the “o” and adding an “a” to denote they were female. [Paij passed on August 18, 2016. Read about her life here. She remains listed as a PJC board member in memoria.]