Most Massachusetts Peace Action directors serve for a 2-year term. The following candidates have been nominated by the Executive Committee for election in March 2019. The election will take place on March 9, 2019 at the MAPA annual meeting.
New members running for election
Andrea Burns – Boston (CD7)
Andrea Burns co-chairs our Legislative/Political Committee. She is an active member of Our Revolution Massachusetts and worked on Bob Massie’s gubernatorial campaign. A professional photographer, she was the proprietor of Andrea Burns Photography in Easthampton and was a city councilor in Easthampton. She was active on issues of war and peace in western Massachusetts, working as a volunteer with American Friends Service Committee, and was part of a group that was arrested in the lead up to the Iraq War, before relocating to Boston.
Caitlin Forbes – Somerville (CD7)
Caitlin Forbes is the Senior Manager of Marketing and Digital Strategy for the National Institute for Children’s Health Quality (NICHQ), an organization working to ensure health and well-being for all childen. From 2015-2019 she organized MAPA’s campus chapters and was a founding member of MAPA Next Gen project, the next generation of peace activists. Caitlin has an M.A. in English literature from the University of Connecticut and a B.A. in English from St. Anselm College. She has taught undergraduates extensively and was an leader in extra-curricular activities as captain of the alpine ski team in college. She is a native of Bethel, Maine and currently lives in Somerville.
Savina Martin – South Weymouth (CD8)
Savina Martin is the co-coordinator of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival in Massachusetts. She was President of the Boston Union of the Homeless and a national coordinating team member. Martin works extensively with homelessness organizations, and as a veteran and a woman of color, works particularly with homeless women veterans.
Read a 2016 interview with Savina from the Kairos Center about the Poor People’s Campaign: “Seize the moment!”
Vernon Walker – Brighton (CD7)
Born and raised in Philadelphia, Rev. Vernon K. Walker earned a Bachelor’s of Science degree with a major in Organizational Leadership and a minor in Psychology from Penn State University in 2012. During his time in college, Rev. Walker also was elected to become the President of the Abington Christian Fellowship at Penn State Abington; which is the campus Christian Organization. He served there for two years and the group experienced exponential growth as the group met weekly to engage the campus community about growing in the Christian faith and introducing non-believers to the love of God.
Walker earned a Master Degree in Theological Studies (M.T.S) in 2016 from Boston University’s School of Theology. During this time, Rev. Walker also took courses at Harvard University’ Divinity School on non-profit leadership. Rev. Walker was also enrolled in a Master of Social Work (MSW) program at Boston University where he took classes that focused on social justice and macro social work practices.
Rev. Walker served as an associate pastor over social action and outreach at the Berachah Church in Dorchester for 3 years under the leadership of Rev. Dr. Keith L. Magee. It was under Rev. Walker’s leadership that the church formed relationships with various non-profits organization to serve the poor.
Walker has played an integral role in organizing the Massachusetts Poor People’s Campaign. In 2018 he worked as an organizer for the Massachusetts Nurses Association ballot campaign called the Safe Patient Limit Ballot Initiative. Rev. Walker is currently organizing with the New Democracy Coalition around the truth and reconciliation project, with one of the goals being to rename Faneuil Hall.
Board Members Running for Re-election
These current Board members have been nominated for re-election:
Candidates for re-election
Rosalie Anders – Cambridge (CD7)
Rosalie Anders retired in 2012 from her job as an environmental planner with the City of Cambridge. A longtime peace and environmental activist, she is co-chair of the Environmental Justice Task Force at First Parish Church in Cambridge, a board member of GreenCambridge, and a coordinating committee member for Greenport. A former Williamstown resident, she cofounded the Nuclear Weapons Education Center there in 1980 and was active in peace and environmental justice issues in Berkshire County. She was associate director of the Council for a Livable World from 1984 to 1991 and is a past vice president of WAND. Before becoming a planner, she was a family therapist for many years. She serves as president of the Massachusetts Peace Action Education Fund (MAPA EF) and co-chairs our Peace and Climate Working Group.
Carol Coakley – Millis (CD4)
Carol Coakley is chair of Metrowest Peace Action and represents the Norfolk, Bristol and Middlesex state senate district on the Democratic State Committee. She worked at Framingham State College as a clerk for 20 years where she was the chief steward for AFSCME Local 1067. Since retiring Carol has been active in peace and social justice issues and has worked part time in the MAPA office since 2014. She is co-chair of our Legislative/Political Committee and serves on our Executive Committee.
Rosemary Kean – Dorchester (CD7)
Rosemary Kean is an active member of Dorchester People for Peace (DPP) and co-chair of the Social Justice Committee of First Church Boston UU. For the past 8 years and especially since retirement 2 years ago following a 45 year nursing career, Rosemary has been focusing on activism and community organizing for peace and economic justice under the tutelage of long time activists and organizers at DPP. She worked on the Budget For All campaign with the Coalition to Fund Our Communities/Cut Military Spending 25% which includes DPP, New England United for Justice, Boston Workers Alliance, City Life/Vida Urbana, AFAB, and Survivors, Inc., among other Dorchester-Roxbury-Boston community groups. Rosemary is her church liaison to the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization which organizes around health care, housing, and education. She is currently working on the Jobs Not Jails campaign and on a UU Mass Action effort for passage of 2 bills in the Massachusetts legislature to end mandatory minimum sentencing for drug offenses and to reform pre-trial bail procedures. Rosemary has an MS degree in psychiatric nursing and has written about providing psychiatric care to older adults in the home, a model which continues to be practiced by beloved colleagues at the Cambridge Health Alliance. She chairs MAPA’s Racial Justice and Decolonization Working Group.
Jeff Klein – Dorchester (CD7)
Jeff Klein is a retired machinist and union activist. He worked at GE in Lynn and for the Mass Water Resources Authority on Deer Island, where he was president of his local union for ten years. Since 2003 he has been active with Dorchester People for Peace in opposing US wars abroad and promoting social justice at home, in cooperation with many other grassroots organizations, and he edits the weekly newsletter DPP Update. During the past decade he has traveled almost every year to Palestine/Israel and elsewhere in the Middle East, participating in solidarity efforts and promoting freedom for the Palestinians from occupation and racism. He has spoken many times about the Israel-Palestine conflict in schools, churches, mosques, community and peace organizations, and has appeared on local TV and radio. He also published articles and op-ed pieces on US policy, politics and Middle East issues. In the 1980’s Jeff lived and worked in Nicaragua, then joined the South African freedom struggle, working for the exiled African National Congress in Lusaka, Zambia. He helped to teach English at the Association of Haitian Women in Boston (AFAB) for the past two years. He lives in Dorchester and has two grown children. Jeff chairs MAPA’s Palestine/Israel Working Group. His recent articles include “Voters have spoken — will Washington listen?”, “The Way the Wind Blows in Syria (and Beyond)”, and “Romney’s Iran Campaign”.
Maryellen Kurkulos – Fall River (CD4)
Maryellen Kurkulos grew up in Fall River and has lived in New York, Baltimore and Athens, Greece. A graduate of Wellesley College, she received her doctorate in Biological Sciences from Columbia University and has been a researcher and professor of molecular biology and genetics. Over the last 11 years she has been involved in a range of anti-war and social justice activism including organizing for the Budget For All-MA campaign, Occupy Fall River, and Our Revolution Greater Fall River. In 2005 she attended Z Media Institute, the annual summer school in Woods Hole run by cofounders of Z Magazine. She speaks fluent Demotic Greek, freelances as an interpreter and can make a pretty mean spanakopita. She is a member of our Executive Committee.
Val Moghadam – Somerville (CD7)
Valentine M. Moghadam is Professor of International Affairs and Sociology and director of the International Affairs Program at Northeastern University, Boston. She is the author of Modernizing Women: Gender and Social Change in the Middle East (2013, third edition), Globalization and Social Movements: Islamism, Feminism, and the Global Justice Movement (2012, second edition), and other books and journal articles. Her research areas include globalization and development; transnational movements; the political economy of gender in MENA; revolutions and social movements; and citizenship. A native of Tehran, Iran, she is also a member of the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom. She is a member of MAPA’s Middle East Working Group.
Denise Simmons – Cambridge (CD7)
Denise Simmons, a lifelong resident of Cambridge, is currently serving her seventh term on the Cambridge City Council. She was executive director of Cambridge Civic Unity Committee in the 1980s, served on the Cambridge School Committee in the 1990s, and was Mayor of Cambridge in 2008-2009, the nation’s first black, openly lesbian mayor. She supported legislation on environmental protection, affordable housing development, “green economy”, responsiveness to senior citizens, and closing of the educational gap in Cambridge public schools. She led discussions on issues of race and class. Simmons owns a small insurance business just outside of Central Square. She and her wife, Mattie Hayes, live with her grandchildren in the Central Square area.
Brenton Stoddart, Harvard (CD3)
Brenton is a graduate of Allegheny College where he received a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Middle East and North African studies. His passion for social justice issues worldwide led to him spending five months in Jordan where he studied their language, culture, and customs. Brenton works with college campuses and local churches to give presentations based on his experiences that humanize the Arab world to challenge the rise of islamophobia in the United States. Brenton interned at Massachusetts Peace Action in the Spring of 2016, works at Senscio systems, and organizes in congressional district 3 in order to advocate for peace.
Nominating Additional Candidates
Any member may nominate him or herself or another member before March 7, 2019. See the procedures to follow or call the office at 617-354-2169 for information.
Continuing Board Members
Because of staggered terms, current members James Babson (CD2), Shelagh Foreman (CD5), Jared Hicks (CD7), Jonathan King (CD7), Eva Moseley (CD5), Jeff Napolitano (CD2), Prasannan Parthasarathi (CD4), John Ratliff (CD7), Pat Salomon (CD1), and Michael VanElzakker (CD7) will continue to serve for another year before being eligible for re-election in early 2020.
Bonnie Gorman and Guntram Mueller chose not to run for another term and we thank them for their service.