Welcome Jassi, Burrell, Abby, Oz and Delasha
Since last spring, the Goldin Institute has gratefully welcomed four new staff members and a research fellow to the organization’s community. All bring a rich diversity of experience working in development and aid work, as well as innovative storytelling and reconciliation.
A second year PhD student in International Human Rights Law at the University of Bristol, Jassi Sandhar spent nearly two months this summer working with our global partners in Uganda, YOLRED. With academic and field experience in child combatants and war-affected youth. Jassi worked closely with YOLRED program director Geoffrey Omony to capture the oral narratives of Northern Ugandan children impacted by the LRA war, and its legacies including housing instability, joblessness, hunger and insecurity. Additionally, she worked with Geoffrey, and GI staffer Jimmie Briggs to prepare and submit badly needed requests for operational funding to foundations and entities based in the United Kingdom. Though her tenure in the region ends in August, we’re excited to continue the working relationship with her as she completes her thesis on human rights, experiences, and legal protections offered to girl soldiers during and post-conflict.
A familiar face within the Goldin Institute constellation of stars, Burrell Poe joins the organization as a Curriculum Associate for Gather. The native of Chicago’s West Side community served in the United States Army for three years, returning in 2011 to undertake the ambitious charge of addressing city violence through what he’s coined as the “Compassion Project.” As he’s observed often at Institute events, and in-house meetings, “Statistically, I was safer on the battlefield in the Army than I was returning to my hometown. I wanted to change that narrative.”
Enrolling in a social entrepreneurship course at the “Social Academy,” Burrell met and studied with Sara Shairer who shared a vision of elevating and spreading the message of global compassion. Later receiving certification from Stanford University, he went on to work with the Institute for Nonviolence in Chicago, where he led circles, workshops and classes with the greater community on the uses of compassion as a force or transformative healing and change. “Statistics have shown that a small fraction of the Chicago population is responsible for violence,” he says, “and that is the population I work with. When compassion is enacted through personal behavior, it changes how we interact with others. A compassionate community will thrive, and I believe that we can use compassion to rebuild a thriving Chicago.”
Alongside Jimmie Briggs in our New York- based team — through whom she was introduced to the Goldin Institute — Abby Goldberg carries nearly 20 years of domestic and global experience working in the areas of gender rights, media advocacy, and non-profit development. The San Francisco native is the Senior Advisor for Gather, and a recognized expert in digital advocacy and social media campaigning.
The majority of her career has been leading the transformational growth and development of three very distinct, non-profit organizations including the Global Justice Center, Digital Democracy, and the New Media Advocacy Project. Over the course of her professional journey, Abby has learned and mastered the use of technology and digital video to promote tactical change in policy and law based, producing more than two dozen video shorts. Her most recent digital campaign, “We Have Rights: Immigrant Empowerment Campaign,” consisted of a coalition of over 200 organizations responding to the increase of arrests and deportations of immigrants in the U.S.
An ongoing project in development, “Intercambio,” is a series by and for Cubans and Americans to foster greater connection and cultural respect between the two.
Newsletter readers will remember hearing about Delasha Long as part of the team that presented Gather at the Conference on Community Writing last year. Delasha is a Web Content Specialist with a background in content strategy, production, design, and management. She got her start in literary publishing, and hopes to use her talents in both print and digital media. Through a partnership with DePaul University, Delasha provides content strategy and research for the Gather Platform, currently assisting with the UX design, technical support, social media, and technical writing. A Graduate Assistant with the Department of Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse at DePaul, she works as the standing Journal Manager and upcoming Assistant Production and Design Manager for the Community Literacy Journal.
Oz Ozburn brings her planning and design skills to support all aspects of the work of the Goldin Institute. As an architect, Oz is experienced in deep listening and research to uncover opportunities to solve tough challenges through thoughtful design and skillful implementation. Interested in how design innovation can tackle rural economic development, Oz founded Design Ecology to pursue a different type of project design that strives to find holistic solutions to issues involving urbanism, physical place-making, and gaps in rural fabric caused by social inequalities. Prior to joining the Goldin Institute, Oz was Project Architect for Studio Gang, leading project that focused on creating social change while fostering environmental stewardship. Oz graduated with her Bachelors of Science from the University of Virginia and a Masters of Architecture from Yale University, where she was awarded a travel grant, allowing her to research firsthand the architectural consequences of urban warfare and publish a study on the cultural forms of post-traumatic reconstruction in Nicosia and Beirut.
With the recent, successful launch of the Gather platform in the pilot phase, we are excited to have extended our capacity, and depth of talents, with the arrival of these three dynamic people, and expect greater impact and recognition for the work of the organization and the global partners whom it serves.