We're excited to have these awesome folks as trainers and facilitators at YNPN's Creating Community Change: Community Organizing 101 event.
Myeisha Hutchinson, Vice-President/City of Birmingham's Citizen Advisory Board and President/Oak Ridge Park Neighborhood Association
Myeisha is a lifelong Birmingham native. Upon graduation from Woodlawn High School as Valedictorian, she attended Talladega College as a Presidential Scholar earning a BA in English. She is a eleven year employee of the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Currently she works as a Patient Navigator in the UAB Comprehensive Cancer Center. She is President Oak Ridge Park Neighborhood Association and the Woodlawn Community; she is the Vice-President of the City of Birmingham’s Citizens Advisory Board. She serves on a number of boards and advisory committees to include Woodlawn Foundation, Growing Kings, Inc., Ruffner Mountain Nature Preserve, and FOCAL (Federation of Childcare Centers of Alabama) on which she is called upon to use her skills in community organizing. She is currently serving her provisional year as a member of the Junior League of Birmingham. Her training in community organizing and advocacy has come from the following: 2011 Alabama Organizing Project’s Grassroots Leadership Development Program Graduate; 2012 Alabama Organizing Project’s Civic Engagement Fellowship; 2013 Justice Fund at Highlander Center Fellowship; 2013 Congressional Black Caucus Political Bootcamp Graduate. She considers herself a humble servant giving a voice to the voiceless.
Robyn Hyden, Organizer/Arise Citizens' Policy Project
Robyn Hyden is a North Alabama organizer for Arise Citizens' Policy Project, a nonprofit, nonpartisan coalition of 150 civic groups and congregations which educates and equips Alabamians to advocate for state policies to alleviate poverty. A native of Pelham and a graduate of Vanderbilt University, she lives in Birmingham. She previously worked in nonprofit development and communications with Urban Ministry in Birmingham and Alabama Possible. Robyn is available to meet with groups across North Alabama to work to address state policies affecting our own backyards.
T. Marie King, Activist
T. Marie King is on staff with UAB's Alys Stephens Center's ArtPlay as Program Administrator for educational art outreach programs. King often speaks at local colleges and organizations and serves as guest lecture and panelist for a variety of issues including poverty, race, community outreach, mentoring and leadership. King also co-founded a grils teen mentoring group, Precious Pearls of Promise, reaching teen girls aged 14-18. King holds a B.A. in Urban and Global Economic Development from Beulah Heights University and M.A. in Leadership and a Masters of Divinity from Luther Rice University. King serves as a Young Professional Board Chair with the Alabama Humanities Foundation board member with the Aldridge Repertory Theater.
Matthew Pagnotti, Civic Engagement Coordinator/AIDS Alabama
Matthew Pagnotti is the Civic Engagement Coordinator at AIDS Alabama, where he oversees the civic engagement program with persons living with HIV/AIDS and the broader HIV/AIDS community. Matthew has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in both Psychology and Sociology with a concentration in Social Inequality from Virginia Tech. Prior to working for AIDS Alabama, Matthew was the Assistant Director for Grassroots Campaigns in Philadelphia, where he oversaw regional outreach campaigns for the American Civil Liberties Union, Planned Parenthood, the Southern Poverty Law Center, and Lambda Legal. He is also the Founding Board Member of The Change Project, a Birmingham based nonprofit which elevates the visibility of LGBTQ people and advocates for their improved quality of life through the arts, strategic partnerships, and community programming in the Southeastern and Midwestern United States.
Anna Pritchett, Associate State Director for Advocacy/AARP Alabama
Alabama native Anna Pritchett provides strategic direction for a AARP’s government relations program, managing a network of relationships with stakeholders, policy makers and elected officials. She works closely with key volunteers at the state capitol, as well as hundreds of community partners and volunteers advocating on behalf of Alabama’s aging population and issues on AARP’s social impact agenda. For more than a decade, her success has contributed to increased voter education, the prevention of elder abuse, access to affordable home & community based healthcare, supports for family caregivers, utilization of the 50+ workforce, and livable communities. Anna is an active member of several state coalitions, including Alliance for Responsible Lending in Alabama - advocating to protect borrowers from predatory payday and title pawn loans. Prior to becoming advocacy director in 2012, Anna conducted outreach and education for AARP initiatives including Medicare Part D, 50+Workforce and Employer Outreach, Divided We Fail, Long Term Care Rebalancing, Aging In Place, Housing & Mobility, and the Drive to End Hunger.
With more than 20 years in public affairs work, Anna joined AARP in 2005 after serving as a policy advisor to the governor, as well as public affairs officer for the Alabama Department of Senior Services. She was self-employed for several years prior to joining the governor’s staff as a government affairs professional for various trade associations; including the Alabama Retail Association, Alabama Recyclers’ Association, Alabama Institute of Architects, Regions Bank and the Alabama Grocers’ Association. She also served as the executive director of the Alabama Voters Against Lawsuit Abuse.
She is a graduate of Leadership Montgomery and a trainer in Direct Action Organizing. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a Master’s degree from the University of Alabama.
Darrell O'Quinn, President/City of Birmingham's Citizen Advisory Board and Director/Move I-20/59, Inc.
Darrell is the current president of the City of Birmingham's Citizen Advisory Board, an organization that represents the interests of residents of all of the city's 99 neighborhoods. With significant record of public involvement and service and detailed knowledge of I-20/59 issue, Darrell was tapped to lead Move I-20/59, Inc. as its executive director in August 2015.
Darrell's undergraduate degree in zoology and veterinary degree were both obtained at LSU in Baton Rouge. He moved to Birmingham in the year 2000 to pursue speciality training in veterinary medicine while also obtaining a doctorate in pathology at UAB. Upon completion of this training, Darrell elected to remain in scientific research as a research associate and senior clinical veterinarian for the university's Animal Resources Program.
Additionally, he serves on the board of directors for the Deep South Cancer Foundation, Keep Birmingham Beautiful Commission, and Greater Crestwood Inc. He also serves on the UAB Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee and the City of Birmingham's Comprehensive Plan Implementation Committee.
Vanessa Stevens, Programs Director/Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
Vanessa is the Programs Director at ¡HICA! where she works to implement and evaluate programs and advocacy strategies dedicated to the social, civic and economic integration of Latino families. Over her six years at ¡HICA!, she has served as Community Engagement & Education Program Coordinator, Resource Development Director, and AmeriCorps VISTA. She completed both her undergraduate and graduate degrees at American University in Washington, DC where she focused on international development, conflict resolution, and public policy. Vanessa is a co-founder and the President of the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network Birmingham.
Ana Valeriano, Lead Organizer/Hispanic Interest Coalition of Alabama
Ana joined ¡HICA! as the Lead Organizer in the Community Engagement and Education program in 2015. She currently leads the program in its work to develop community leaders, organize for community change, and strengthen youth’s college and career readiness. She successfully completed the Midwest Academy’s intensive organizing training institute. Her professional experience includes over ten years as an advocate for adults with intellectual disabilities and she has also served as a Spanish/English interpreter for Blount County District Court.
Candi Williams, Interim State Director/AARP Alabama
Candi Williams has served as Interim State Director of AARP Alabama since March, 2014. Prior to that, she was ASD Outreach in the state office.
Before joining AARP Alabama, Williams served as Director of Affiliate Services for HandsOn Network, the volunteer-focused arm of Points of Light Institute. In her role, Williams was responsible for management consulting for more than 200 HandsOn Action Centers across the United States.
Prior to her role at the national organization of HandsOn Network, Williams served as the first Executive Director of HandsOn Birmingham. The HandsOn affiliate grew rapidly under her leadership, from a small grassroots organization to a significant regional nonprofit with thousands of volunteers. HandsOn Birmingham’s strong brand and organization developed under her guidance led to its acquisition by United Way of Central Alabama.
Williams’ successful career in nonprofit management has also included serving as the Regional Director for the American Heart Association; Director of PR and Development for the West Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross; and Field Director for the Tombigbee Girl Scout Council.
Williams is a native of Alabama, and a graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor’s degree in Communications.