The Coordination Team meets every month to plan and oversee the implementation of the Membership’s decisions and its work-plan. In doing so, the Team forms groups, sub-groups, or teams charged with carrying out specific functions and launch national short-term campaigns that are not necessarily outlined in the work-plan. Meetings of the team are open to all Radical Elders, who may participate but not vote.
Sally Jane Gellert
Team Member Bios
Zakiya Alake became radicalized from 1977-1979, as a paralegal student in DC’s then Antioch School of Law. On the day of Reagan’s first presidential election, she and her then infant and toddler sons moved to Boston, MA. Soon as a student of UMass Boston’s legendary CPCS (College of Public & Community Service), she helped lead an organization of student parents dependent on welfare while completing college and raising families. They fought Reagan’s assault on welfare and the Republican governor’s with some success. In the ’80s was a Freedom Road Socialist member for a few years. Zakiya’s forty-two years back in Massachusetts have been devoted to community organizing praxis on various campaigns including substance abuse addiction treatment in black communities, violence-community & interpersonal,voting rights,stopping Sexually Transmitted Infections in vulnerable populations through education and support groups, Environmental Racism/Justice, Gentrification and Displacement and deeply affordable housing and most recently equitable food eco systems. The most successful campaign Zakiya worked on, ’95-98, brought largely black Roxbury and white South Boston together with Dorchester and the South End to the development of an asphalt plant near an elementary school, a jail and several residential neighborhoods and a shopping mall. She is a contributor to Dig Boston and a board member of the Boston Institute for Nonprofit Journalism.
Sam Anderson is a retired Mathematics and Black History professor who has taught math, science and Black History at various New York City metropolitan colleges and universities for more than forty years. He is also an author of books on science, technology and the history of slavery like The Black Holocaust for Beginners. He has also been active in the Civil Rights/Black Liberation Movement since 1964… and has combined his activism with his scholastic work via numerous community based organizations and Black Studies Departments.
Maritza Arrastia has worked since 1984 as a Freirean popular educator in community based programs, and currently at a community college in NY. She first practiced Freirean education when she was a militant of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party involved in political education. She covered sterilization abuse in Puerto Rico when she was a reporter for the PSP’s Claridad newspaper in the 70s, and this led to being one of the founders of the Committee to End Sterilization Abuse (CESA), a group that helped wage a successful campaign to pass City guidelines and later a NYC law, to curb sterilization abuse in NY. More recently, she was active in Occupy Sunset Park. She served on the board of May First Movement Technology (MFMT) for many years. She was one of the initiators of the Radical Elders political project and firmly believe we elders have key roles to play to create the world where everyone lives well and not just the few live better.
Howard Ehrman,born on Chicago’s Southside, was a member of the original Black Panther Party, Young Lords Rainbow Coalition in Chicago; a Venceremos Brigade organizer; an AFSCME organizer for Illinois & Chicago public workers; a Strike Committee member of the Housestaff Association at Cook County Hospital, which led the longest doctor’s strike in US history over patient care demands; a former Chicago Assistant Health Commissioner under Chicago Mayor Harold Washington; a co-founder of the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization (LVEJO), Mi Villita Neighbors (MVN) and the People’s Response Network (PRN). In 2022 he retired after 37 years as an Assistant Professor of Family Medicine & Public Health at the University of Illinois Chicago.
Marilyn Frankenstein is a retired professor, College of Public and Community Service (UMass/Boston), whose work focused on teaching quantitative reasoning as vital to understanding and acting to create a more just world. She is currently compiling a summary archive of her work as an activist academic; and, is active in BDS Boston; July26.org Cuba solidarity coalition; and, HEART (Wholistic Emergency Alternative Response Team), an alternative to policing created by The Black Response/Cambridge.
Sally Jane Gellert, a resident of Bergen County, N.J. (on occupied Lenape land) is active in civic education and advocacy. She is a member of InterOccupy, and helped organize the Occupy Wall Street gatherings in 2013 (Kalamazoo) and 2014 (Sacramento). Currently she maintains Occupy Bergen County’s social-media presence, was a founding member of the Bergen Unitarian Universalist Relief Group (BUURG) and through Occupy Sandy New Jersey headed up the Bergen County Long-term Recovery Group’s advocacy committee. Sally is deputy team lead of Messaging for Voter Choice New Jersey (working on ranked-choice voting) and s chairperson of the Lackawanna Coalition, a rail-passengers’ advocacy group, and is part of the web-maintenance teams for Northern NJ Jewish Voice for Peace, National Radioactive Waste Coalition, Unitarian Universalists for a Just Economic Community (also cochairperson and newsletter editor for that group), the Lackawanna Coalition, and Radical Elders.
Ted Glick has been a progressive/revolutionary activist, organizer and writer since the Vietnam war. He was a national coordinator of the National Campaign to Impeach Nixon; an adult counselor with the Future Leaders Network, a youth leadership training group; coordinator of the Independent Progressive Politics Network; a 2002 Green Party candidate for US Senate in New Jersey; a co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition in 2004 and national campaign coordinator of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network from 2006-2015. He has been writing a twice-monthly Future Hope column of social and political commentary since 2000. Two books of his were published in 2020 and 2021: Burglar for Peace: Lessons Learned in the Catholic Left’s Resistance to the Vietnam War; and 21st Century Revolution: Through Higher Love, Racial Justice and Democratic Cooperation. He is currently a leader of the climate justice groups Beyond Extreme Energy and 350NJ-Rockland.
Dave Lindorff, a draft resister and anti-war activist since 1967, has been a radical investigative journalist since 1972, working independently since 1979. A veteran labor activist, he organized several workplaces, helped found the National Writers Union and is an elected board member of Philadelphia’s Coalition of Labor Union Women chapter. For more information on Dave, go to: https://thiscantbehappening.net/the-thiscantbehappening-net-news-collective-a-history-and-some-info-on-each-of-us/ or to:
Alfredo Lopez, a revolutionary organizer and activist for a half century, has been a leader of the Puerto Rican Socialist Party in the U.S.; organizer of many actions, campaigns and demonstrations (including the 1974 Day of Solidarity with Puerto Rican Independence in Madison Square Garden); a founder of May First Movement Technology; author of six published books and one of the founders of Radical Elders.
Angel Román is a member of the Venceremos Brigade challenging the U.S. blockade of Cuba; Board member of Cumbe Center for African and Diaspora dance which champions the legacy of culture and resistance; Member of NYC Labor Chorus singing about worker struggles and social justice; Retired municipal worker fighting against privatized Medicare plans; Was board member of a credit union, community health center, and Center for Puerto Rican Studies.
Dorotea Manuela is an Afro Boricua Radical Elder and former RNP (Registered Nurse Practitioner); Community health and occupational medicine, is a long standing anti racist and liberation warrior for over 50 years. Her experience and activities have included: Cofounder of MassCOSH /Massachusetts Coalition on Occupational Safety and Health (conducted successful campaign “Right to Know” which led to legislation); Labor organizing and administration (NYC – Columbia University. Boston Area – Boston University and Harvard University as well as workers in local companies. Co Founded a Women of Color Reproductive Rights Coalition. Developed culturally and linguistically appropriate health programs. Have also organized events including Lolita Lebron Centennial Celebration and Welcoming of released Boricua (Puerto Rican) Freedom Fighter Political Prisoner Oscar Lopez Rivera.