Rights and Democracy Education Fund Board of Directors

(See our Rights & Democracy Project (c4) board members at           

 Jade_Fitzgerald.jpg Jade Fitzgerald (Secretary) - Jade is a long time technology professional with a background in computer security and data analytics; and is a cloud engineer at the moment. She finds her hobby in volunteer work having co-founded both DrawnCon Incorporated and Lunar Solis Corp; both of which are educational 501(c)(3) organizations in support of Animation and the Arts. She has additionally spent time volunteering as an EMT, and began her political organizing with Bernie Sanders NH campaign for the Democratic Presidential nomination in 2016. She believes in the people's ability to influence the government they live in, and will assist that fight in any way she can. 
 Traven_Leyshon.jpg  Traven Leyshon - Traven has been a long time supporter of independent working class political action. He currently serves as Communications & Community Engagement Coordinator for the Vermont State Labor Council (AFL-CIO), as President of the Green Mountain Labor Council, and as a member of the Vermont Workers Center. He hosts a weekly radio program, Equal Time, on WDEV that focuses primarily on questions of social, economic and climate justice. He lives in Middlesex, VT.

Ali Dieng - Ali is the Family Outreach Coordinator for the Burlington School District Extended Learning Opportunities. He is originally from Mauritania and grew up in Senegal. He studied law at University of Mauritania and then moved to Washington, DC before he came to VT with his family in 2008. He also serves on the School District Equity Council and is the manager and performer at Africa Jamono Drumming & Band Association. He lives in Burlington, VT.
Elizabeth Ropp - Elizabeth is a Community Acupuncturist in Manchester, NH and a founding member and volunteer for The People's Organization of Community Acupuncture (POCA) since 2011. Since the Occupy Movement, Elizabeth has been involved with local activism in New Hampshire regarding campaign finance reform, ending the revolving door of lobbying, and ending the immigrant detention quota system. Elizabeth was on the New Hampshire Steering Committee for the Bernie Sanders Presidential campaign, and also organized grassroots efforts to promote Bernie Sanders in New Hampshire. She lives in Manchester, NH.
 Jan_Schaffer.jpg Jan Schaffer - Jan works for the national AFL-CIO. She is currently the Governance, Organizational and Leadership Development Coordinator for the Northeast. She works with State Federations, Central Labor Bodies and affiliated unions to assist with planning, governance, leadership development and training. From 1989 through 1997 Schaffer was the Political Director for the New Hampshire AFL-CIO. In the 1980s Schaffer was an organizer for the United Auto Workers (UAW) Technical, Office and Professional Workers Department, primarily organizing workers in the academic sector. She has been a member of the United Auto Workers and the American Federation of Teachers. Currently, she is a member of the Communication Workers. She lives in Warner, NH.
 Jim_Vires.JPG Jim Vires, Co-Chair - Jim is an author and partner in the independent publishing house, Branch Hill Publications. A long time activist, Jim has organized factory workers to form a union, took the front lines during WTO Seattle, and trained protestors in non-violent confrontational tactics for in conjunction with Occupy Boston. Politically Jim is the Vice-Chair of the Bennington Democratic Committee. He worked as an educational facilitator for MoveOn in the lead up to the 2012 elections, and organized canvasses in Bennington County for the 2016 election cycle. As an active member of RAD Bennington, Jim organizes RAD membership canvasses, works to bring prominence to restorative justice issues, is working to affect political change on a local level, seeks the renewal of a Bennington County Drug Court, and works to train and empower activists in leading the next battles forward.

Kate Logan - Kate was born and raised in Chicagoland, where she started a photography business while volunteering as a youth mentor in Chicago and New York. She then relocated to Oregon, working as a photographer and serving as a community organizer for low-income parents in Portland and Eugene. She was a graduate student at the University of Oregon, where she was a member of AFT Local GTFF-3544 and Co-Chair of the Feminist Philosophy Research Interest Group. Her research, publications, and public speaking have been focused on intersectional and pragmatist approaches to public policy in the areas of democratic practice, parental responsibilities, gender norms, race, and the environment. She moved to Vermont with her family in 2013 and now works as a Policy Analyst for the State of Vermont.
Kaity Thomson - Kaity is the Coordinator of 350 New Hampshire, the state group which is part of the global organization She started this work as a student organizer working on campus divestment struggles. She grew up in New Hampshire and is grateful for the privilege to have time to give back. She is volunteering with Rights and Democracy to build a movement of collective liberation: of gender justice, women's rights, black lives matter, labor, peace, climate justice and beyond. She lives in Durham, NH.