Our combined experience includes creating equitable food systems, engaging in community social work, organizing for human rights, working for restorative justice in schools, supporting radical finance, and starting up a social justice collective. We have spent much of our lives working for positive changes that address the root causes of injustice and inequity, and our goal is to support others who are doing the same. Our underlying goal is to reduce harm and to create safe, healthy, and just communities.
Founder & Director Angela Berkfield brings nearly two decades of community social work and food justice organizing experience focused mainly in Minnesota, Puerto Rico, Thailand, and Vermont. She has been facilitating workshops for 15 years, with everything from small grassroots organizations to large non-profits. Social justice is not only a professional pursuit for Angela, she has spent 20 years actively working through race and class privilege and the last eight years working with colleagues on uncovering internalized racism and on holding each other accountable on finding new ways of thinking and being. Her life and work experience have taught her how much she still has to learn and she invites you to be a part of that learning process. She is committed to the collective process of ending all oppression and building a world where ALL people have what they need to thrive. She has an undergraduate degree in Social Work and Spanish and a graduate degree in Social Justice in Intercultural Relations from SIT Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, VT. Angela is a co-founder of The Root Social Justice Center. She is the proud mother of two young kids, who are amazing teachers.
Consultant Alex Fischer is a queer farmer, bookkeeper, business-owner and community organizer/educator living in Brattleboro, VT. They have been a social justice organizer and educator for over a decade. In the San Francisco Bay Area, they focused on anti-racism education and organizing with Vanissar Tarakali, Catalyst Project and The People’s Grocery. Since moving to Vermont in 2010, Alex co-founded Homo Promo, a queer events promotion collective and (social justice co-work & community space). In 2012, Alex started Open Bookkeeping, a local bookkeeping business with the intentions of creating alternative local economies based on shared values and creative solutions to economic injustices. Alex just received their Masters in Business Administration (MBA) and is working to create local alternatives to capitalist economies and is blogging about their adventures at www.learnthesystem.wordpress.com.
Advocate and Facilitator Shela Linton, a native Vermonter, is a well-known social justice advocate, activist and organizer. Shela brings over two decades of experience working on issues of racial justice, civil and human rights. She is best known for her grassroots advocacy in education, public health, family (DCF), housing and disability communities. Shela has facilitated dozens of forums on topics including: bullying and harassment, sex education, harm reduction, relationship building, race relations, police relations, voter rights and economic justice to name a few. Today she works with the Vermont Workers’ Center. She organizes individuals for the Put People First movement – advocating for a democratic society where all peoples’ fundamental needs are met through examining such things as healthcare, workforce, the state budget and environmental issues. Shela is committed to giving people the tools and skills needed to empower all of us to stand up against injustices of all kinds, for all people. Shela has a BA in Psychology and associates in Chemical Dependency. She is a 2011 graduate of Governor Snelling: Vermont Leadership Institute. She is a proud mom of two daughters who keep her very busy.
Facilitator and Consultant Mel Motel has more than a decade of experience in education, social justice training, and human rights advocacy. In 2013 she founded the Just Schools Project, based out of Brattleboro, Vermont. The Just Schools Project trains and advises school staff and administrators to implement school-wide Restorative Justice programs. Prior to this, Mel worked for the non-profit Human Rights Defense Center, where she was a leader in a successful national campaign to lower the exorbitant cost of phone calls from U.S. prisons and jails, an issue of economic and racial justice. Additionally, Mel has taught at the middle, high school, college, and graduate school levels, and is currently on faculty at the Community College of Vermont where she teaches “Community and Restorative Justice” in the college’s Criminal Justice Department. Mel is a collective member and co-founder of The Root Social Justice Center in Brattleboro, Vermont. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Arts in Teaching for Social Justice from Marlboro College.
Advocates, Consultants and Trainers who work with ACT:
Davey Shlasko, Director of Think Again Training Davey is an educator, author and consultant who facilitates group learning about & in the context of social justice movements. Davey works in classroom, workplace and community settings, using dialogue, expressive arts, popular education and practical skills building to help groups deepen their understanding and practice of social justice principles. Davey’s recent writing includes the Trans* Ally Workbook and the Ableism and Classism curricula in Teaching for Diversity and Social Justice, 3rd ed. Davey has been writing and teaching about social justice issues since 2000.
Hun Taing, CEO of Training 4 Transformation, and partner Consultant, has two decades of experience in advocacy, training, capacity building, community organizing, workshop facilitation, curriculum development and community building. She approaches her work with the goals of justice and compassion. Her time with Service Employees International Union (SEIU) and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) as Organizing and Field Director working alongside underserved and targeted communities provided her with insights to the needs and struggles of diverse constituents. Hun is a genocide survivor and a refugee from Cambodia. She returned to Cambodia during her graduate program to live, work and relearn her history. With a lifetime commitment to transforming violence, she has a Bachelors degree in Sociology from the University of California Santa Barbara and a Master of Arts degree in Conflict Transformation from the School for International Training Graduate Institute in Brattleboro, Vermont.
Brandon Lee, Co-owner and President of Training 4 Transformation, is a partner Consultant. Brandon’s inspiration to serve as an author and law enforcement community builder stems from his personal experience being confronted with racial profiling and police misconduct. In response, he embarked upon a three year mission to support in establishing the Citizens Police Review Board in Oakland, California. For community service, Mr. Lee volunteered as the Legal Redress Committee Chairman for the NAACP. At Houston Baptist University, Mr. Lee double majored in Spanish and Public Policy. Shortly thereafter, he completed his Master of Arts in Teaching degree at The School for International Training Graduate Institute. Professionally, he served as a Faculty member and administrator at the University of Delaware and Oregon State University. Internationally, he has lived, studied and traveled to Spain, Mexico, Cuba, Puerto Rico and Japan. Civically, Brandon serves on the statewide governor appointed committee (LECC) that is charged with the duties of assisting Oregon law enforcement agencies with stop data collection and analysis efforts, improving community relations, training efforts and policy recommendations to ensure racial equality in Oregon law enforcement.