Fara Wolfson (Co-Chair)
Fara Wolfson has been an educator committed to equity and social justice for 25 years. For the past two decades, she has written curricula focused on civil rights, race, gender and social justice. Whether in the classroom or standing up for social justice in the streets or through community organizations, Fara is grateful for many sources of inspiration. She graduated with an Honors Degree and BA in African-American Studies and Women’s Studies from Brown University and an MS in Special Education from Johns Hopkins University. In her spare time, she enjoys travel with family in search of labyrinths, street art, and coffee shops.
Maile Black (Clerk)
Maile Black was arrested for civil disobedience 35 years ago and has been advocating for justice ever since. She studied cultural anthropology at Harvard, education at Lesley, and creative writing at Salem State. In between degrees, she painted sets for opera companies and ran a cattle ranch in New Mexico. Most recently, after teaching middle school English for decades, she passed the teaching torch on to her son in Baltimore. Now a baker, librarian, and freelance writer, Maile lives happily in Salem with her kind husband and very soft cat.
Ana Brea is an educator, art lover and Salem resident. She is a parent to two adult human children and one Golden Retriever. Ms Brea is a native of the Dominican Republic. She graduated from Massachusetts College of Art and Design as well as Universidad APEC in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. She worked as an art teacher in Santo Domingo for 10 years. In the summer of 2004 she returned to Massachusetts. That September she joined the staff at Salem Academy Charter School, where she serves as a Spanish teacher, Curriculum Team Leader and Service Learning Advisor, as well as occasional service travel leader. After years of working with Salem students and feeling closely connected to this community, she became a Salem resident in 2019. As an educator she is committed to working with her peers and students to dismantle systems of oppression and to decolonize curriculum. In her free time she can be found spending time with loved ones, enjoying art, reading, learning how to grow a garden, running, practicing yoga, going on local adventures with her dog, or trying something new.
Steve Carey has over 30 years of experience in computer technology and has held jobs at Polaroid, Wang Labs, Gartner Group with stints at some mid range and startup companies. He currently works independently as a website developer while easing into retirement. Having navigated his life from a wheelchair since the age of three due to a severe bout with polio in 1955, Steve is fiercely independent, highly mobile, and welcomes life’s ongoing challenges as opportunities to be inspired and connected. He has led courses in communicating across differences and been a consistent voice for inclusivity in communities that embrace and celebrate diversity. As a longtime resident of Chelmsford, he successfully advocated at a town meeting in the early 1990’s to fund and expand the Lowell Transit Authority’s handicapped transportation services into Chelmsford. Steve graduated with a degree in Philosophy from Dartmouth College and has a wide range of interests. He practices yoga and mindfulness and loves to swim, especially during the summer on Cape Cod.
Mathew Chetnik is the Director of First Year Experience at Salem State University where he develops and oversees initiatives to support students’ transition from high school to college both in and out of the classroom. Working at previous institutions, Mathew has advised campus LGBTQIA+ student organizations, coordinated Safe Zone trainings for faculty, staff, and students, developed a diversity education theatre troupe, and overseen campus and regional student conferences focused on various social justice issues. Mathew earned a bachelor’s degree in english literature and black studies from SUNY New Paltz, and a master’s degree in student development from Appalachian State University.
Dan Lipcan is a candlepin bowler, paddleboarder, jaywalker, and librarian, currently the Ann C. Pingree Director of the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum. He leads a talented staff charged with stewarding and sharing the library’s extensive collection of books, archives, ships’ journals, broadsides, and ephemera. Dan joined the PEM in 2019 after a sixteen-year tenure at The Metropolitan Museum of Art's Watson Library. He serves VAI as Co-Chair of the Memorial Committee and he is a member of the Art Libraries Society of North America's Anti-Racism Task Force.
Dan Marshall has turned his passion for history into a twenty-year museum career. He's a firm believer that by understanding our past, we can understand our future. He strives to create diverse public programs that bring to light the struggles, emotions, and day-to-day lives of people of the past. Dan holds BAs in History and Political Science and has worked for several historical organizations, including the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation and The House of the Seven Gables. He is currently a Historical Programs Interpreter with the City of Salem and serves on the Board of Trustees for the Salem Historical Society. He also enjoys watching old movies, creating art, and finding new adventures with his wife and twin boys.
Sara Moore is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Salem State University, where she teaches classes on gender, sexuality, health and well-being, family life, and activism. With a background in community-based participatory research, Sara encourages her students to collaborate with community partners beyond the university to identify and examine social inequalities and create meaningful social change. In valuing multiple forms of local and expert knowledge, Sara’s approach builds bridges between universities and communities. She is a member of several organizations in Salem, including the Salem Education Foundation, the Food Policy Council, and the Board of Health. Sara earned a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Shepherd University, a master’s degree in sociology from The New School, and a Ph.D. in Sociology from George Mason University.
Elsabel Rincon was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Salem, MA. She has over 15 years of experience working with social justice nonprofit organizations and community groups on issues including anti-violence initiatives, racial justice, immigrant rights, poverty relief, LGBTQ equity, and community organizing. Elsabel is deeply committed to the empowerment and integration of immigrant communities. She received the Kipp Tiernan Social Justice Fellowship through which she founded The Welcome Immigrant Network, a volunteer based program that validates the impact of the immigrant experience and empowers immigrant communities; while providing orientation, advocacy and support. Elsabel is a member of the Latino Leadership Coalition of Salem, the MA Women of Color Network and the Essex County Commission on the Status of Women. Elsabel holds a M.Ed. in Community Engagement from Merrimack College and a master certificate in Non-profit management and Leadership from the Institute of Non-profit Management Leadership at BU. Elsabel is fluent in Spanish, Portuguese, and French.
Siddhartha V. Shah is Director of Education and Civic Engagement, and Curator of South Asian Art at the Peabody Essex Museum. He has particular interests in what we can learn from the histories of colonialism, and the conflicts and intersections between religion and art. He earned his BA in Art History from Johns Hopkins University, an MA in East-West Psychology from the California Institute of Integral Studies, and a PhD in Art History from Columbia University. Shah serves on the Board of the American Council for Southern Asian Art, the Advisory Council of the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect, the City of Salem Race Equity Task Force, and is a member of the Rotary Club of Salem.
Jillian Willis has a passion for learning and is a firm believer that understanding history can help us to be more aware of injustices going on all around us. Jillian is a cancer survivor of 6 years and uses her survivorship as motivation to make the most out of every day. She was born in Modesto, California and moved to Salem, Massachusetts after participating in National Student Exchange at Salem State University in 2019. During her time in Salem, she interned for the Peabody Essex Museum where she now works as a Visitor Engagement Advocate. Before moving she received her BA in History from California State University Chico where she also earned a certificate in Museum Studies. Jillian is now working towards her MA in Public History at Salem State while also working as a graduate assistant for the Center for Research and Creative Activities.