*** Under Construction***
Board of Directors:
Emma Rosenthal: President
is an artist, writer, educator, reiki practitioner, and human rights activist whose work combines art, activism, education and grassroots mobilization. As a person with a DISability she is confined, not by her condition but by the narrow and marginalizing attitudes and structures of the society at large.
Rosenthal is the founder of The WE Empowerment Center and is Director of several of its project including Cafe Intifada, Emma Rosenthal Studios, Radical DISability, and Visiting Hands & Hearts.
She is a retired Social Justice Educator and has been an activist all her life, working for a variety of causes both local and international in both leadership and rank and file capacities. She was a member of the UTLA House of Representatives and a cluster leader, coordinating 5 schools during the 1989 L.A. Teachers’ strike. Her earliest activism included marching against the Vietnam War and organizing in the UFW boycott. Her work is anti-racist, anti-sexist, intersectional, decolonialist, anti-imperialist and LBGTQIAA and DISability affirmative.
Andy Griggs: Treasurer
Besides being a founder of The WE Empowerment Center, Andy is directly involved in two of its projects: as a founder/creative organizer of If The SHU Fits Collaborative, and a founder/co-coordinator of LA Laborfest. He is currently the Community Outreach coordinator for DragonflyHill Urban Farm, has become a certified tax preparer, and provides management consultation services for small businesses and organizations
He served as the Program Director for Interfaith Communities United for Justice and Peace. He has worked extensively in the performing arts as a producer, director, managing director and actor with such groups as the Odyssey Theatre, Burbage Theatre, El Teatro Campesino, Western Stage, the Sacramento Theatre Company and the Bear Republic Theater.
Andy is a retired social justice educator and former member of Board of Directors and House of Representatives of United Teachers Los Angeles (UTLA). He has served in the following leadership roles: co-chair of the California Teachers Association (CTA) Peace and Justice Caucus; national chair of National Education Association (NEA) Peace and Justice Caucus; Founder/steering committee, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) Peace and Justice Caucus; national steering committee, US Labor Against the War; delegate to the LA County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO; member of NEA Resolutions Committee and NEA Human Rights Committee. He was winner of both the CTA Peace and Justice Human Rights Award (2010) and the CTA Human Rights Member Award (2003).
BA in Theatre Arts and US History – Cornell University; MFA in Stage Directing – California Institute of the Arts
Xeres Villanueva: Secretary
graduated from Azusa Pacific University with degrees in English and Communication Studies. She has deep roots in community building and activism. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and various Christian social justice groups such as Jesus 4 Revolutionaries. She has been in the worlds of freelancing, small business and non-profits. Her interests are media and pop culture, cultural activism, liberation movements, and food.
Xeres Villanueva: Projects Director
graduated from Azusa Pacific University with degrees in English and Communication Studies. She has deep roots in community building and activism. She is involved in community building projects such as Tuesday Night Cafe and various Christian social justice groups such as Jesus 4 Revolutionaries. She has been in the worlds of freelancing, small business and non-profits. Her interests are media and pop culture, cultural activism, liberation movements, economic empowerment and food.
Glenda Bonilla: Records Administrator
Grew up in Guatemala and speaks English and Spanish. She provides most of the Spanish translation and outreach for The WE Empowerment Center. She received most of her formal education in Guatemala where she majored in accounting, and also has a strong background in and appreciation of Latin American Literature. She has an excellent sense of order and organization. She has been the Translator and Archivist at DragonflyHill Urban Farm since 2008 and has been essential to the development of the vision of both The WE Empowerment Center and DragonflyHill Urban Farm.