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created by a woman of colour, for BIWOC

warriors for embodied liberation

WEL is an invitation only offering of Universal Partnership (UP) and led by master trainer, coach, and facilitator, rusia mohiuddin. A 2-year, certified embodied leadership and coaching training program, WEL centers the leadership of black and brown women, femmes, and non-binary peoples to coach, teach, and heal in our communities and movements.

our work is funded & supported by Robert Sterling Clark Foundation.

embodied coaching creator & teacher

rusia n. mohiuddin is a master trainer, facilitator, coach, and strategist who pioneered the integration of somatics into an organizing framework. drawing from her experiences in life and in movement work, she has developed a coaching and training model specifically designed to serve women of colour.

embodied coaching™

this model of coaching centers humanity & is driven by practices of change that acutely align with who & how we want to be in the world. embodied coaching integrates both how unique experiences shape individual as well as integrating a model of how we tend to change, intentionally & unintentionally.

embodied training & facilitation

WEL students engage in, practice, learn to facilitate and train on a growing number of core methodologies, specifically created for the WEL community. This work serves first as a grounding in lived experiences of transformation, then as a springboard for people to take those experiences to create models & methodologies of their own to use in their own communities.

BEAT-wel Leadership Council


Being Embodied Authentic Teachers (BEAT) is a convening of wel cohort leaders to harness the collective wisdom of the wel community and to ensure that, as wel grows, the community remains connected and accountable to one another.

BEAT-wel leadership council members also play an active role in assessing and recommending Year 2 student-teachers for certification.

roles & responsibilities

BEAT-wel reps will serve on the leadership council and be called upon to shape future programming and structure. The primary roles of BEAT-wel are as follows:

  • Participate and support in decision-making for Year 2 students performing their finals;
  • Engage in fundraising activities for special wel community events and/or programs;
  • Work with other BEAT-wel representatives to design and pilot points of engagement for transitioned cohorts; and
  • Ensure our wel community is living and embodying our collective values both internally and externally.


Each BEAT-wel rep may nominate themselves and another person to serve with them. Each rep must have one nomination from wel community member from their cohort, the cohort before theirs, or the cohort after theirs.


Lucia Gomez

Cohort 1

soon come

Mo George

Cohort 1

Monique “Mo” George or Mo (as she is often called) joined Picture The Homeless (PTH) as the Executive Director in January 2017. Mo formally worked with Community Voices Heard (CVH), as the NYC Chapter Director of Organizing. Mo worked to advance CVH’s NYC Chapter work, which ranges from the preservation of public housing, supporting the need for low-income housing and participatory budgeting.

Mo's over 25 years of organizing experience begun in college where she worked locally with NYPIRG on varies environmental issues. Upon graduation, Mo began working with SEIU Local 1199 and was there for close to 10 years. After leaving 1199, Mo moved on to become the Lead Organizer at the Empire State Pride Agenda, where she fought for the rights of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community. At Pride Agenda, Mo worked on various statewide campaigns including being on the lead team that developed the organizing strategies to win Marriage Equality across New York State. She also furthered the annual statewide lobby day, as it expanded from 400 to over 1000 participants. After moved on from Pride Agenda, Mo joined CVH to work on something near and dear to her, public housing.

As a proud product of public housing, she feels that her past work at CVH has help to preserve public housing, and the campaign has won over $700 million towards that preservation. Mo organizing work has led her from meetings at the White House, to becoming a Professional Fellow with the U.S. Department of State through their work with the Greater Lakes Consortium out of Toledo Ohio. This work has allowed her to travel across Eastern Europe to places such as Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria, to teach community organizing as well as learn about challenges facing varies Eastern European communities.

Mo dedicated her leadership skills to her growth while working with various organizations such as Heritage of Pride (HOP) and FIERCE. Mo is honored to be one of the Co-Chairs and Festival Director Queens Pride. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in Black Studies and her Master’s in Public Administration (MPA) from Metropolitan College.

Simone Devi

Cohort 1

soon come

Natalia Aristazabal

Cohort 1

soon come

Rae Leiner

Executive Director, Newburgh LGBTQ Center (Cohort 2)

soon come

Manuela Arciniegas LaSalle

Executive Director, Andrus Family Fund (Cohort 2)

Manuela Arciniegas is the Director of the Andrus Family Fund, a small family foundation with a grantmaking portfolio of $4 million supporting organizing, advocacy, and direct service work dedicated to serving youth ages 16-24 impacted by the juvenile justice, foster care, and other disruptive systems. Manuela manages AFF’s overall grantmaking portfolio of 65+ organizations addressing AFF’s grantmaking gun violence reduction, trauma-informed care, divesting from prisons, and the intersection between immigration and justice systems. She designed and managed the S.O.A.R. capacity building initiative at the Andrus Family Fund and launched the AFF Webinar Learning Sessions, which highlight our nation’s most innovative leaders promoting highly effective strategies that support youth impacted by the youth justice system, including African-American, Latinx, Native and LBGTQ youth. She is a the co-chair of the Funders for Justice/Neighborhood Funders’ Group, the Fund for Women and Girls of Color, the Youth First State Advocacy Fund, the Youth Engagement Fund Advisory Board, the Funder’s Collaborative on Youth Organizing Advisory Board, the New York City Youth Funders, and the New York City Capacity Building Funder’s Collaborative, and the Steering Committee for Funders for Criminal Justice Reform at Philanthropy New York.

Monika Son

Cohort 2

soon come

Mustafa Sullivan

Executive Director, FIERCE! (Cohort 3)

Mustafa was born and raised in Brooklyn, New York as a black Muslim. He moved to the Bronx in 2003 where he has lived for over fifteen years. He started his work in the Bronx leading environmental justice work with black and latinx youth in Van Cortlandt park. He then joined Sistas and Brothas United (SBU) as a youth organizer in 2001. There he was a lead organizer for multiple community and school based campaigns and eventually became the director; he stayed in SBU for a total of nine years. At SBU he worked with seven high schools in the Bronx, fought for greater student voice, challenged the NYPD to hold school safety accountable for creating prison like environments in our high schools, pushed for more guidance counselors, fought for student metrocards, organized alongside students throughout the Bronx and across NYC to stand up and be counted.

In April 2010, he joined the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ) as the National Campaign Organizer but was also a founding organizer and member of the leadership council that formed AEJ in 2008. There he worked on federal legislation to end the school to prison pipeline and worked with black and latinx youth in over 30 states across the country. In 2014, he joined the staff of the Gay Straight Alliance Network as the Director of National programs based in Oakland, California. He continues to work tirelessly to build an ongoing national movement of Trans, Queer, and Gender non conforming youth leaders to reinvent America's schools in multiple states across the US. He uses the tools he's learned from movement building with youth and communities of color who face multiple intersections of oppression through building intentional disciplined movements. He was excited to join FIERCE in 2016 first as the board co chair then in his current role as the Executive Director. FIERCE builds the collective power of LGBTQ youth of color who fight to end youth homelessness, to end state violence from the police and prison system, and create safe and supportive learning environments that are free from bullying and stigma. FIERCE is an organization he looked up to when he came out in the late 1990's and works with their membership to build the next generation of our movement's leaders. He builds and inspires powerful community led solutions through a combo of political education, radical vision, direct organizing tactics, compassionate agitation, creative cultural expression, and the warrior wisdom gifted him by his ancestors.

Ericka Echavarria

Cohort 3

Ericka is an active member of the WEL Community who is committed to supporting the expansion of WEL and guiding future members throughout out their transformation process. Ericka believes WEL offers a blueprint to our collective liberation and hopes to encourage other BIWOC to envision newer more loving and authentic ways of being in relationship with one another and our communities.

Julieta Garibay

Co-Founder, United We Dream (Cohort 3)

soon come

Simran Noor

(Cohort 4)

Simran Noor is an interdependent consultant and coach focused on strategy development, institutional change/organizational development and movement building with a focus on developing processes and setting clear outcomes to achieve racial justice. She brings over ten years of experience working directly with impacted communities, developing policy and strategy, leading organizational change processes and serving as staff within the philanthropic sector.

Since starting NOOR Consulting in February of 2018, she has supported several women of color coaching clients from organizations like Center for Community Change and the Surdna Foundation. She has led equity and justice organizational change efforts for organizations like the Natural Resources Defense Fund and Enterprise Community Partners and facilitated numerous meetings for coalitions like It Takes Roots, EMPLOY Youth Collaborative in New Orleans, Career Rise in Atlanta. She has supported the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site and various foundations through grantee convening and strategy support (including Community Food Funders, Doris Duke, Jessie Smith Noyes, Kresge, MS, Nathan Cummings and the Neighborhood Funders’ Group). She has facilitated events for business social impact programs including Sir Kensington’s and Adidas.

Prior to launching her own operation, Simran was Senior Fellow at the new Race Forward. The new Race Forward is the union of two leading racial justice non-profit organizations: Race Forward and Center for Social Inclusion (CSI).

Previously, Simran served as CSI’s Vice President of Policy & Programs, a key senior level manager who worked directly with the President and Senior Vice President, providing programmatic leadership through the management and coordination of all program staff, strategy development, program management, organizational networking, alliance building, and relationship management. In this role, Simran’s primary responsibilities included programmatic strategy, planning, implementation, staffing, and evaluation. During her tenor as Vice President, she also served as a Deputy Director of the Government Alliance on Race and Equity (GARE) where she supported the team in developing strategies and tactics to support local and regional government to achieve racial equity.

Simran also led CSI’s program team who, in turn, ensure the delivery and impact of CSI’s programs. In her past work at CSI as Coordinator of Advocacy and Director of Policy & Strategy, Simran designed and facilitated dozens of workshops in collaboration with national and local community and government groups focused on applying a structural race analysis as well as specific policy issues including transparency and accountability, transportation, food and health equity. During her time at CSI, Simran worked directly with local and national advocates across the country including in Detroit, New York City, and Seattle.

Prior to joining CSI, Simran served as Program Manager at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation where she worked with the Food, Health & Well-being, Racial Equity, and Civic & Community Engagement portfolios. She also served as Program Assistant at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, where she supported the Policy Research and KIDS COUNT teams. Simran is deeply committed to youth development, having worked in organizational development and as frontline staff for the Holistic Life Foundation, a Baltimore-based yoga and mindfulness program, and as a language arts and community engagement teacher for middle school students through the Middle Grades Partnership.

Simran has written and commented for a variety of media including the Detroit Free Press, The Times-Picayune, The Hill, Aljazeera America and City Limits Magazine. She also has been a featured panelist on MSNBC’s Melissa Harris-Perry. Simran is also a regular speaker on issues of racial equity—frequently featured at conferences and public meetings.

Simran holds a dual bachelor’s degree in American Studies and Political Science from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County and a dual master’s degree in Public Administration and Social Policy from the University of Pennsylvania. She currently also serves as a board member for Building Movement Project and South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT).


Jaritza Geigel

Cohort 1

As a young black womyn growing up in a quickly gentrifying community, experiencing systemic and institutional oppression, like so many of my peers, I found myself drowning. I was lucky enough to find a home in the Youth Power Project (YPP) of MRNY where I was able to begin my re-education and reintegration into my community that I had been living in, but also felt hidden from. YPP was and still remains my family where I learned key principles and values essential to any leader – trust, compassion, honesty, accountability, self-love and sustainability. All exactly in that order.

As a member of MRNY, I found myself working collaboratively with my peers and organizers to coordinate local, citywide, and national youth organizing events through the Urban Youth Collaborative (UYC) and the Alliance for Educational Justice (AEJ). A few years later, I had the amazing opportunity to become part of the YPP team as an organizer on staff. MRNY at the time was the coordinating anchor organization of AEJ. I took on the role of event planning and logistics for AEJ national convenings at 19 years old. MRNY saw leadership and skills that I didn’t even realize were being cultivated in myself at the time. With each convening wanting to meet the needs of all the communities that I would be serving I was committed to making sure that each convening, meeting, training, action, youth networking event was better than the last and it was. This was one of the many moments during my organizing career where I remember feeling, seeing, and embracing joy from a job well done. While wearing my coordinating and logistics hat, I also still had to show up as an organizer and support the young people.

The extension of trust, compassion, honesty, and accountability that was given to me as a youth leader was critical to my successful experience as an organizer. I also realized the importance of cultivating self love and learning to be more sustainable if I was going to continue to want to serve my community for the long haul. I had the opportunity to further my professional development by participating in an 11 week intensive training: Leaders for Embodied Organizing (LEO), with Rusia Mohiuddin from Universal Partnership. LEO was the integration of somatics & organizing skills. It was exactly what I needed. I came back from the training ready, grounded, and understanding just exactly how I wanted to continue to work with young people from various socio economic and health backgrounds within in my community.

2017, I spent it assisting a new local organization in the South Bronx build out their youth program, bring on a permanent staff for the Youth Team, assist in their year long development plan, and assisted in the creation and facilitation of their first ever youth summer program where stipends were raised through a grassroots effort. Even as I have since transitioned out of my role the relationship with the leaders & staff brought on continue to live on.

During this time I was also a student-apprentice of Warrior’s for Embodied Liberation (WEL). WEL is an apprenticeship program developed and lead by Universal Partnership's principle, Rusia Mohiuddin. WEL is a 2-year training program in which the students learn and practice the core methodologies for embodied training and coaching. as a part of their studies, students explore, learn, and develop pieces on our understanding of many things related to change work. One of the first points of entry, into understand the work UP does, is human nature. what is human behavior and how does change happen? It has been and continues to be a privilege to share space with mentors & peers that seek to change the world with integrity, resilience, humor, & love at the center. It is the breath of fresh air & understanding that I have been seeking.

Organizing is a small world and I have had the honor to meet & share space with former Picture the Homeless members (PTH) during my leadership as young organizer. After taking a much needed break and through intentional reflection I felt ready to come back into the organizing movement and I feel lucky to have found another home with Picture the Homeless (PTH). There is already so much richness and authenticity! I am looking forward to sitting, listening, building & creating lasting impactful change with PTH members and staff.

Elena Conte

Cohort 1

soon come

Marcia Olivo

(Cohort 4)

soon come

Julissa Bisono, Associate Director of Organizing, Make the Road New York

(Cohort 4)

Associate Director of Organizing at Make the Road New York, Julissa Bisono has more than 15 years of experience in supporting immigrant communities through community organizing and delivery of essential survival services. At Make the Road New York, she began her trajectory supporting community members in search of adult educational opportunities and often supported their kids as a social justice mentor and tutor. Soon after, Julissa helped to coordinate civic engagement efforts to register and activate thousands of first-generation immigrant voters in Queens. Next, Julissa transitioned into Senior Workplace Justice Organizer and used her talents to build a broad low-wage worker base committed to protecting worker wages and ending wage theft. Than Ms Bisono serve as Lead Organizer at Make the Road New York and providing organizing and technical support to BASTA! and Padres en Accion, the housing rights and education rights committees focused on protecting people’s homes and creating equitable schools. Ms. Bisono also coordinates their non-partisan voter registration voter campaigns. Julissa is a graduate of the Activate! A Community Organizing Fellowship and the recipient of the 2008 Mario Savio Activist Award. She is very proud to have spent half her life working in the community and borough that she calls home.

Queens Coordinator for Make the Road Action Ms. Bisono for the last 5 years has been electoral and grassroots organizing to advance progressive political and policy changes to build black and brown community power.

Eli Cuna

Campaign Director for the Center for Civic Policy & Senior Advisor for the NM Dream Team (Cohort 5)

Eli Cuna currently serves as Campaign Director for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and Senior Advisor for the NM Dream Team (NMDT). Her focus is on movement building organizing and political strategy in southwest, southern and central communities in both a c(3) and c(4) capacity. As one of the Dream Team’s co-founders, Eli has been a crucial asset in developing what started as a student group at the University of New Mexico into the statewide political youth powerhouse with several electoral and policy wins under their belt it is today.
Prior to moving back down in New Mexico, Eli served as United We Dream’s National Field Director for four years. There, she worked to develop UWD’s field and political strategy and implementation plans for the Texas, New Mexico, Florida, and California branches during a time of massive mobilizations and incredible resistance. Eli also has helped in the development of the field infrastructure for UWD c3 and UWDA c4 civic engagement.
During this time she developed a strong organizing curriculum centered in healing, love and joy which are now core values that the NMDT/UWD leadership pipeline centers around. Elis also played a major role in growing the civic engagement capacity for both United We Dream and our sister organization United We Dream Action. While these are just two examples, the victories and transformations she was able to achieve during her time with UWD are numerous and amazing.
Her work in social justice began when she made the decision to come out as undocumented back in 2004 and participated in her first class walk out at Capital High School in Santa Fe to voice the need for access to college education for undocumented youth in New Mexico. Ever since, Eli’s organizing practice is rooted in racial justice, intersectionality and indigenous epistemology.
Currently she is a member of the Board of Directors for the Center for Civic Policy (CCP) and Funders Youth Collective Organizing (FYCO) and holds two B.A. degrees and a M.P.A from the University of New Mexico.

Wanda Salaman

Executive Director, Mothers On the Move (Cohort 5)

Wanda Salaman is known to many as the MOM of the South Bronx, serving as executive director of Mothers on the Move/ Madres en Movimiento (MOM) since 2002. Wanda’s vision for empowering Bronx residents was born at the age of ten when she arrived to the South Bronx from Carolina, Puerto Rico in 1975 when the Bronx was “burning” so she organized the girls on the block to clean up and reclaim an abandoned lot and form a baseball diamond and the first girls’ baseball team in the neighborhood. As she grew up, so did her community organizing and her reputation as a strong afrolatina woman not be underestimated, winning the Diario La Prensa Latina of the Year Award in 2000, a City Council Proclamation of Recognition. Through door-to-door organizing, research and issue based campaigns, she counseled tenants, homeowners about legal rights and neighborhood revitalization, building a strong base with the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition, the Crotona Community Coalition and the Fordham Bedford Organizing Project. Through her vision, leadership and direct organizing she has transformed MOM into a multi-issue hub developing community leadership on environmental, housing, economic justice.

Natasha Capers

Director, NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (Cohort 5)

Natasha Capers is the mother of two boys ages 16 and 14 who are poised to be the next generation of black liberation leaders, they are a native of Brownsville, Brooklyn, and the Director of the NYC Coalition for Educational Justice (CEJ). Having attended public school in District 23 and attended Thomas Jefferson High School, they know first hand the problems and the promise of NYC public schools, especially those in under-resourced communities. Natasha has served as School Leadership Team Chair, Parent Association President and Vice President for the District 23 Community Education Council.

Natasha began their work with CEJ when their children's school was placed on the NYC Department of Education's list for closure. After a successful campaign to prevent the closure of that school, they became a dedicated CEJ parent leader and then took on the role as the Coordinator.

The NYC Coalition for Educational Justice unapologetically organizes in Black, Brown and immigrant communities, and uses parent voices and power to advance research-based strategies to improve academic outcomes for students. CEJ’s current campaign is focused on pushing NYC to adopt Culturally Responsive Education, including cultural competency trainings for teachers and school staff, diverse curriculum and a DOE Office of Culturally Responsive Education.

They have helped to lead the fight for culturally responsive education and curriculum in NY City, State and Nationally. Their work with CEJ lead to the $23 million investment in implicit bias trainings for all NYC Dept of Education educators and staff.

It is clear to them that the path to our collective liberation is through organizing, collective community building, healing for the generational effects of white supremacy, actively envisioning our freedom futures and embodied joy.

Through their work with CEJ, Natasha gives parents the tools to use their power and wisdom to transform a school system that has historically underserved Black and Brown children.

Maria Mohiuddin

Co-Director & Artist, Ma Mukti (Cohort 5)

Maria is the Co-Director of Ma Mukti, a progressive non profit organization created to honor and uphold the memory and continue the great work of her beloved mother. Additionally, Maria is a freelance artist working predominantly in wax works.
From 2000 to 2016, she was employed with the NYC Administration for Children’s Services. Maria also taught Pre-Kindergarten and volunteered as an art teacher with the Mary Mitchell & Family Center.
Maria is also a freelance artist, working primarily with candle wax and oil pastels. Her artwork reflects her life experiences; eastern culture, western living. She is a South Asian created by a diplomat father and Member of Parliament mother from Bangladesh.

Krista Martinez

Managing Director of Transformative Change (Cohort 5)

KG is well-seasoned in the cultivation of transformative team culture and human eco-systems. They have 10+ years in organizational development, strategic planning, organizing, coaching and supervision, and project management. Their brain works like a constellation map, a multidimensional web if you will. Their commitment to generative emergence draws out the juiciness in individual people who are engaged in collective work.

KG is currently the Managing Director of Transformative Change. Previously, they’ve worked with coalitions and communities on addressing housing justice, immigrant rights, educational inequities, environmental racism, language justice, and the practice of cultivating community belonging. As the founder of Nepantla Navigations LCC, Krista also provides consulting, coaching, facilitation, and training services for organizations and individuals.

They are currently in the 5th cohort of the Warriors for Embodied Liberation program. They are also deep in MNDFL’s intensive mindfulness teacher certification program.

KG is an artist, writer, weaver, alchemist, bruja, mama, singer, gender non-binary mixed race/mestizx (brown/white), and nepantlera. Born and raised in Colorado, they now reside in northern CO with their growing family and chosen family of plants, animals and humans alike.

Andrea Colon

FounderCO-Executive Director, Sis & Non-Cis (Cohort 5)

(she/her) Andrea Colon is a first generation U.S citizen with roots in Guatemala and Puerto Rico. She attends Baruch College and is majoring in Economics with a minor in Law & Policy. Andrea brings 5 years of community organizing experience, having worked with youth in Far Rockaway, NYC on different issues such as dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline, criminal legal reform, and food sovereignty. As a womanist, she understands the intersectionality, both racial and gender, that exists in these oppressive systems. As the the Co-Executive Director of Sis & Non-Cis, Andrea is committed to healing, affirming and protecting young girls, women, and gender non-conforming youth of color who are mostly impacted by racism and cis-hetero normative ableist patriarchy.

Dawn Valentine

Founder, Blossoming Bodhi Tree (Cohort 6)

Dawn Valentine supports seed cultivation for individual and collective liberation. Working with human bodies one-on-one she uses the philosophical discipline of yoga as a tool for embodied liberation. Working in community she uses the philosophical discipline of phenomenology as a framework for unpacking lived experience in the context of a specific phenomenon, she also combines phenomenology with storytelling and participatory practices to create a contextual grounding of the way we interact with things around us. The grounding becomes the foundation for an interpretive and generative process, that is mindful of human experiences in a specific community.

Dawn has spent three decades of her life using her mat as a method of survival and a tool for thriving. Her embodied practices include training and tools from Iyengar yoga, vinyasa flow, yin yoga, and tantra in addition to in-depth study of Patanjali yoga sutras and the Bhāgavata Purāṇa.

Dawn has more than twenty-five years of experience working in community-based public health research, program evaluation, continuous quality improvement, and strategic planning. She studied Healthcare Administration at Washington Adventist University, Public Administration and Public Policy at Walden University, and Public Health with an emphasis in epidemiology at George Washington University. Her dissertation on “the Lived Experiences in Tenured Homeownership Among American Black Households in Washington DC is currently on hold.

Dawn celebrates gratitude for the gifts and wisdom of her ancestors by being of service, she is the founder of Blossoming Bodhi Tree and cofounder of Heal the Healers DC.

Dariella Rodriguez

Director of Community Development at THE POINT CDC (Cohort 6)

Dariella Rodriguez is a mother of two teens and works as the Director of Community Development at THE POINT CDC. She graduated from Bronx CUNY schools and has been an organizer deeply committed to support community in the struggle against the racist oppressive systems.

Nia Morgan

Community Organizer & Youth Educator (Cohort 6)

Nia Morgan is a community organizer and youth educator with a focus on education and racial justice. With a background in international human rights, they organize with youth in high school around issues that most impact them as a facilitator for the Liberation Program at the Brotherhood Sister Sol. Nia has supported youth organizers in their work since graduating from Columbia Law School in 2019.

Their activism is grounded in their belief in the rights and dignity of every person. Nia chose to support local advocacy after graduation for the impact on lived experiences and the agency of the impacted community. They approach their work with an abolitionist stance and from a place of being an expert in their own experience being black, queer, and neurodivergent.

Outside of work, they love to write, read, and play the odd video game. Nia lives in New Jersey and also holds a Master and Bachelor of Arts in History from Tulane University.

Julie Colon

Lead Housing Organizer Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (Cohort 6)

Julie Colon is a passionate community leader born and raised in the South Bronx. She has been organizing around the decommodification of housing and tenants rights for the Northwest Bronx Community and Clergy Coalition for the last 3 years.

Sandra Lobo

Executive Director, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (Cohort 6)

Sandra Lobo currently serves as the Executive Director of the Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (NWBCCC), a member-led organization that unites diverse people and institutions to fight for racial justice and economic democracy through intergenerational organizing. A first generation immigrant and resident of the Bronx for over 30 years, Sandra has worked to develop leadership of color, creating long term organizational sustainability, and building community shared wealth and ownership and collective governance over local assets through an anti-racist lens. Before this role, Sandra was trained in anti-oppression organizing and leadership development incorporating a restorative justice framework and served as Director of the Center for Service and Justice at Fordham University for 17 years, shifting the focus of the Center’s work from a charity to a justice model. Sandra has served on several board of directors, including the Simon Bolivar Foundation, Robert Sterling Foundation Advisory Council and is currently Vice President at the Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative. Sandra has a Masters in Social Work with a focus on Community Organizing and a BA in Urban Studies from Fordham University. She lives, works and worships in the Bronx raising her two children, Amelia and Tiago.

Lacy Serros

JEDI Director, Nonprofit Finance Fund (Cohort 6)

Lacy has over 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector with a background in program development, strategic grantmaking, policy analysis, and community advocacy. As the first and only full-time employee dedicated to diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging, Lacy curates initiatives and collaborates across the organization to ensure accountability to its mission and a culture of care. Prior to joining Nonprofit Finance Fund, she engaged with funders, nonprofit leaders and communities across the country to provide grantmaking resources and technical assistance to national nonprofits working for school discipline reform and built programs to build the capacity of place-based organizations working to improve outcomes for Latino communities. Lacy has federal policy experience, entered philanthropy as a Community Activist Fellow at Tides working on a cross-set of issues including civic engagement, voter participation and reproductive justice, and began her career in community organizing in the Central Valley in California. Lacy holds a master’s degree in public administration from CUNY – Baruch College.

Ary Osorio

Community Organizer, the Point (Cohort 6)

Ary Osorio is New York City native, Organizer and aspiring Social Architect. Trained as an architect for over a decade, Ary sought to deepen her practice in 2019 when she collaborated with friends to launch a creative studio in Oaxaca, Mexico.

But fate had other plans, bringing her back home where she would join THE POINT CDC as their Resiliency Coordinator. Today, she helps foster resiliency by way of inter-generational programming centered around environmental justice via arts and culture.

Ary’s dream is to one day launch an affordable cultural education exchange that engages people in actualizing their dreams and potential to heal.

In her free time, you’ll find this book-worm volunteering, theorizing about embodied education, or singing with her guitar on her fire escape.

Crystal Reyes

Organizing Co-Director, Northwest Bronx Community & Clergy Coalition (Cohort 6)

Crystal Reyes is a first generation Latina living in the Bronx, she brings her commitment to unapologetically trust herself and take risks for the sake of being joyful and feeling fulfilled through embodying and supporting leadership development of people in the Bronx.

Yadira Dumet

Community Organizer, United We Dream (Cohort 6)

Yadira has been part of the United We Dream since first becoming involved in the “We Can’t Wait Campaign” campaign back in 2014, where she became a member of the badass honey badgers squad that led a lot of transformative escalation through direct actions that in many ways defined our role in the movement during those years. Yadira cut her community organizing teeth as a housing organizer in New York City, within the NYC Housing Justice for all coalition and went on to found Astoria Tenants’ Union. During her time there she was a critical voice in the intersection of housing and immigrant rights, organized rent strikes and played a role in the historic and successful #CancelRent push during the height of the pandemic. She does crossfit and loves to cook for family.


Warriors for Embodied Liberation (WEL) is a 2-year teacher training program for individuals looking to cultivate skills and certification on embodied coaching™ and training, specific to the developed model of embodied leadership and embodied organizing™ as innovated by its creator, Rusia Mohiuddin, the principal of universal partnership.

The WEL program includes 24 daylong trainings and 24 (50 minute) coaching sessions. Sessions will be a hybrid of in-person & virtual monthly engagement between February 2023 to January 2025.

The cost of the yearlong program is as follows:

  • $3500.00 per year, for self-pay; or
  • $4700.00 per year, for institutional support.
everything you need to know to…

make a grounded decision.

WEL is a rigorous cohort-based teacher training program. to complete the program and certification process requires a grounded understanding of the expectations and requirements.

This is a practice-driven program.

Attending all sessions, for the entirety, is a critical aspect of the training, practice, and cultivation of the wel community. It is rare for anyone, who missed 1-2 sessions, to achieve certification in a 2-year period.

This application processes are designed by teacher-students entering their 2nd year of the program.

interested? email us

application process

  • complete application
  • schedule interview
  • complete interview
  • applicant notification
  • cohort 6 sessions begins with an opening retreat in February 2023

decision-making process

  • WEL cohort 5 (C5) invites & reviews applicants/applications
  • C5 will determine which applicants to interview based on application
  • Paired C5 teams interview applicants
  • C5, based on interview teams’ recommendations, make a collective decision on applicants to invite into C6
  • C5 makes final recommendation to teacher & facilitator, rusia, to determine cohort 6 participants
  • Invitations sent out to those selected to join WEL Cohort 6


  • Application available week of June 27th, 2022
  • Application deadline by November 1st, 2022 no later than 5pm
  • Interview period: November 2022
  • Finalists selected and notified: mid-December 2022

things to consider

  • applicant understands requirements & expectations
  • organization (if applicable) is aware of & supports applicant’s participation in WEL
  • applicant plans & creates availability for the full application process & all sessions
  • timely availability of applicant to complete & engage in process with cohort 5

during and after the program, participants will…

  • Formally be certified as an Embodied Coach™ and Embodied Trainer/Facilitator;
  • Cultivate a client base to coach using UP’s Embodied Coaching methodology, principles and values;
  • Develop sharp skills in:
    • Supervisory and managerial excellence;
    • Authentic embodied leadership skills that inspire others to bring their best selves forward in their life and work;
    • Focus on generative problem-solving;
    • Develop effective collective and group work; and
    • Increase effectiveness and efficiency with acuteness that honors their work and their humanity.
    • Design and facilitate embodied leadership retreats, such as #practicingJUSTICE 1.0 (daylong versions);
    • Integrate embodied leadership practices into their work using innovative and personal styles; and
    • Develop grounding relationships, throughout the program, to serve as a support community moving forward.
certification requirements
grounded practice
accrued coaching hours
accrued training hours